A favorite climbing pack: Deuter Guide 45+
This pack is a favorite for many reasons, it fits well, and carries a heavy load just fine, but the main reason is that it’s versatile enough to use for almost all of my climbing excursions. For my personal use this varies from Indian Creek cragging to all day hiking/climbing endeavors in the Cascades.
I like having a single go-to pack. I keep all my essentials in there, from first aid kit to extra bars and gels, and then the gear in my Guide 45+ plus varies depending on what adventure I’m on. At The Creek that means shoving every single cam I own into the bottom and then building up from there with other essentials (the last being a celebratory beer). If I’m in the backcountry hiking all day there’s less cams, but more water and food. The desert is certainly where I fill this thing to the max.
Packs get heavy in Indian Creek, way heavy. My 45+ is seldom more loaded than when I’m cragging at The Creek, especially if we’re doing anchor replacement or new routes. Add a drill plus all the necessary hardware on top of the a full rack of cams, water, a rope and everything else, and you’ve got a lot of weight to be putting on your back.
This is where the Guide 45+ shines. First of all if I need something that is down at the bottom of the pack or in the middle, I can easily access it with the side zip, or the bottom zip. Second, the hydration system works wonderfully, I personally use either the two or three liter Steamer bladder, depending on how hot it is, and if I’m climbing in the sun or shade. And the best part, is no matter how heavy the pack is, it always feels lighter than it should. That’s a good thing because the climbing is hard enough, why put your body through extra abuse?
On alpine excursions, like those I had in the Cascades last summer, the pack feels light as a feather. I appreciate the design of the 45+ in these situations as much as when I have a heavy load. It’s got enough room for the kit, yet the weight distributes itself so well, on the hips and the shoulders, it feels like you’re carrying next to nothing.
During the winter months most rock warriors put their gear to rest for at least a few months. In Durango, where I live, we have the luxury of stopping, the weather is still good for winter rock climbing. So I’ll continue to stuff my 45+ full of everything I need, and for the next few months, there will be a few extra layers in there. With the comfort of the 45+ I doubt I’ll even notice.