Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 Packis rated2.5out of5by2.
Rated3out of5bygearhead88fromgood basic pack but quality issuesI have used this pack for over a year for backpacking and climbing. I like the idea of the pack and love the fact it is so lightweight. The pack is pretty easy to pack, but on my winter backpacking trips I found I always had the pack in it's extended mode throwing it of balance. However, The largest problem was the chest strap; it kept coming completely off the backpack during the most inconvenient of times. While I was climbing to camp Miur it fell off multiple times. In addition, the system for reattaching the chest strap is very painstaking and took a lot of my time. On one of my winter backpacking trips the rear strap holding the top pocket ripped out causing the whole top pocket to fall off.
The top pull cord catches making the pack difficult to close.
There are needlessly too many lose straps on the top of the pack.
Nice ice ax attachment.
large snow shovel compartment.
Comfortable to wear.
Good waist belt.
Large top pocket.
I bought this backpack for backpacking and mountaineering. It only preformed mediocrely for both. I returned this pack this morning and am so glad I switched to the Osprey Xenith 88.
Date published: 2013-07-08
Rated2out of5byIan in SeattlefromIt Could Have Been GreatI wanted to like this pack so much, but there are some very frustrating aspects. I've taken it on numerous long day and short overnight technical glacier and scramble climbs in the Cascades this year, including Rainier and Shuksan. I'm already in the market for a replacement.
Pros: It's extremely comfortable, seems very durable, and very lightweight (< 4 lbs) for a supposed 70L.
The outer "shovel" pouch is pretty useless. There are some lateral compression straps that run through it, I think the intent is to load up the main pouch and cinch these down, which should free up space to use the outer "shovel" pouch for a snow shovel, crampons, or technical gear. In my experience, this doesn't work at all. You can't get to the cinch straps as you load the pack unless you re-clip them on the outside of the shovel pouch, which defeats the purpose. If you load up the pack for an overnight trip, there's just no room to use the outer pouch. Long story short: The shovel pouch seems like a ton of unnecessary weight that can't be used.
The top flap is removable, but this seems unnecessary for just a few oz of minimalist weight savings. I've never removed it.
The drawstring cords don't work, which is crazy. You can't cinch down the two drawstrings to the main pouch very far without the material getting bound up. Other reviewers complained about this, very weird for MH.
I found the ice axe lash loops (top and bottom) to be complicated, why don't they just use a normal old fashioned loop? They get the job done, but are annoying.
The hydration pouch competes for space in the main pouch, and if you stuff the pack full it put enough pressure on my camelbak that my reservoir was dripping the whole trip.
I found it very hard to use the side straps (supposedly for skiis?) for even a rolled-up ground mat or trekking poles when the main pouch is fully stuffed.
For a single overnight trip up Rainier with pretty light and compressible gear, I barely had any room to spare, the dimensions of the main pouch seem off, like it's too shallow and narrow (front to back) and yet doesn't extend up very easily. I have friends who seem to fit more in a 40L.
Sizing: I got the Medium after trying them on (I'm 5'9 with a longish torso) and it is too short, but the Large was way too long. Tough in-between size for me.
Date published: 2012-09-19
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Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 Pack Customer Reviews