This time I wasn’t looking for a classic backpack, but I was on the hunt for a great mountaineering backpack to use on my ‘C1 basic mountaineering course’ in the Austrian Alps. To be frank, I was a bit nervous for the course itself and I really wanted to make sure I had all the right gear. I spent hours browsing outdoor shops for equipment and clothing, comparing prices, reviews, and features. My ideal backpack would have to be strong, light, and suitable for hiking, climbing, and mountaineering.
Luckily, I stumbled upon the Osprey Mutant 52 liters, also the editor’s choice of ‘best mountaineering backpacks’ on Outdoor Lab. The Mutant is designed especially for mountaineering by Osprey, one of the most well-known backpack brands out there. I had the opportunity to use this backpack on both my Poland hiking trip and the Austria mountaineering course. So, is this truly the best mountaineering backpack?
Disclaimer: The Osprey Mutant 52 liters was provided by Osprey to review. Views and opinions remain my own.
THE SEARCH FOR THE BEST MOUNTAINEERING BACKPACK
ABOUT THE OSPREY MUTANT 52 LITERS BACKPACK
My short hiking trip in the Tatra mountains and one-week mountaineering course in the Austrian alps were the perfect opportunity to try out the backpack. The Osprey Mutant 52 liters ticked most of my boxes: light, strong, and versatile! Especially during the mountaineering course, I was able to discover the backpack’s handy features.
Some details of the Osprey Mutant 52 liters
Size: 74 x 56 x 30
Weight: 1550 grams
Fabric: 420HD Nylon Packcloth
Key features: Ice axe attachment system, removable frame sheet, hip belt and top-lid, snow shedding back panel, floating top lid (perfect to carry a rope), internal hydration sleeve, mesh helmet storage pouch.
“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” – Barry Finlay
REVIEW OSPREY MUTANT 52 LITERS
WHAT I LOVE:
- I felt this backpack was made by experienced mountaineers, who knew exactly what features are highly important in the mountains.
- The two ice axe attachment systems are easy to use and convenient.
- It’s really easy to carry a heavy rope and divide the weight equally over the backpack.
- Works perfectly with the Osprey Hydration system (which I would really advice to buy!).
- Extra pouch to carry a helmet.
- Compared to similar mountaineering backpacks, the Mutant is a true lightweight!
- Easy to understand and to discover all features.
- It was large enough for all clothing and equipment for multiple day adventures.
- The fabric feels strong and doesn’t get dirty easily.
- It’s a nicely shaped backpack.
- The backpack is unisex and I was afraid it would not suit my posture and size. However, it fits me perfectly!
- Because the backpack fits perfectly, the backpack feels light and is easy to carry!
“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
IF I WAS THE BOSS OF OSPREY, I WOULD IMPROVE:
- I would love to see an Osprey mountaineering backpack which is front loading
- Maybe an extra pocket somewhere.
- Mammut Trion Spine 50 liters: Mammut is one of the most famous mountaineering brands. This backpack includes key mountaineering features and opens on the front. However, this backpack is 2200 grams, so more heavier than the Mutant. The price is around 299 euro.
- Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45L: Arc’teryx is another famous mountaineering brand. This advantage of this backpack is its weight as it only weighs 660 grams. The price is around 200 euro.
BUNCH OF BACKPACKERS FINAL VERDICT. IS IT TRULY THE BEST MOUNTAINEERING BACKPACK?
Overall, I’m extremely happy with this mountaineering backpack! It’s a perfect fit, which is of course very important for longer hikes and climbs. I hardly felt it was on my back! So, it’s definitely also a great backpack for smaller women. It has all features needed for mountaineering. It is made of sturdy material, but still feels very light. It’s also a visually appealing backpack. Furthermore, after a bit of comparing, I would say the Osprey Mutant offers great value for your money! Whether it’s truly the best I can’t say of course ;), but yes, I would definitely recommend this backpack for your mountaineering adventures!
“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” -Greg Child
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