How We Tested Climbing Packs

Ian McEleney
Review Editor

Last Updated:

Exploring South America's granite wonderland  Cochamo  with the Creek 20
Exploring South America's granite wonderland, Cochamo, with the Creek 20

We conducted the field testing for the rock climbing daypack review over a five month period across North America. From El Capitan to Devil's Tower, the Canadian Rockies to Cochamo, anytime we got more than a pitch off the ground a pack came along. It was annoying and tiresome work. (Ha!) Half-way through the process we'd tried all the packs a few times, but evaluation was difficult because each experience had been on a different route with a different size load.

Our trusty Weighmax 2822 hard at work.
Our trusty Weighmax 2822 hard at work.

In order to level the playing field we were forced to bring OutdoorGearLab indoors. The local climbing gym gave us a controlled environment to fairly assess comfort and other attributes. We loaded each pack with 12 lbs of gear and let our testers take each pack for a spin. Opinions occasionally varied between different body types but by and large we were able to settle on similar scores. The final published review is an amalgamation of our outdoor trips, indoor testing, and conversations with climbing friends and acquaintances. We hope you find our thoughts worthwhile and insightful.

Testing rock climbing daypacks is trickier than you'd think...
Testing rock climbing daypacks is trickier than you'd think...

As always, to assure complete independence and objectivity, the gear tested was purchased by OutdoorGearLab in the retail marketplace.

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