Ascent Superlight Review

Words by AMI instructor Andy Spink

I have been testing the Ascent Superlight rucksack for a good few months now and I am in love.

At last a pack that is simple, streamlined and faff free and that does the job with no questions asked. I was excited to get hold of the Ascent Superlight to test, as I had seen a few prototypes on the hills.

I have been wearing and testing the pack for over six months, in a variety of pretty harsh and testing environments; from remote coastline walks, cragging days in the Dales and long robust winter days in Scotland. In addition, I have used it in the gear-trashing heady heights of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

First impressions

On opening the packaging my first impression of the pack that had a stylish looking design. It is clean and athletic in cut. The TriSheild fabric colour is eye catching, modernist and paired down. I requested the Platinum colour which is pleasingly different and it has created positive comments from others whilst out on the hills. Form and function have been brought together in this package.

The main visual impact is the paired down simplicity of the pack. Unnecessary over complicated straps are absent, this rucksack only offers essentials of function. The carefully placed and clever lid pockets were discovered and the useful removable alpine bivi pad is a nice touch and cunningly folded in place.

The shoulder straps looked well shaped and the ice axe headlocker and elastic holder seemed simple and robust. It’s weight at 0.58kg just added to my excitement to get outside and use it.

In the field

As with all new gear the real test is it’s function in the outdoors environment.

After packing it with all my mountaineering equipment, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it carries on the back. I am particularly impressed by the shape of the shoulder straps and most importantly the comfort of them.  I was concerned the fabric maybe a little sweaty, but in heat of the Atlas Mountains it stayed cool whilst next to my back and dried very quickly if exposed to a breeze.

I didn’t feel tired after a long day carrying this pack. Often lightweight rucksacks can be shoulder heavy but the Ascent Superlight is very comfy and ergonomic. The thin but useful and effective waist belt holds the pack in place well.

The reason I like this design so much is its versatility. If I need to carry an ice axe or two, a rope and a helmet, I can and this is achieved simply and quickly.  Once removed, the pack is still small and unobtrusive. Rope storage is clever and quick; the rope fits over the shoulder straps and is secured neatly under two buckles behind your neck. There is no movement whist walking or scrambling.

Your helmet can be stowed (if not inside) on the daisy chain webbing on the front of the pack. Ice axes can easily be placed onto the metal headlocker and shaft stowed under an elastic loop. I have never had an ice axe slip out or off and they don’t wobble around. In addition, there is a sturdy grab and haul loop for clipping to belay stances.

Ascent Superlight 30
Colour(s):

Ascent Superlight 30

30lt | 57 x 30 x 25cm | 0.58kg

The Ascent Superlight is the pack of choice for the modern alpinist, the ultimate lightweight alpine backpack for fast and light ascents.

Conclusions

A long overdue, practical, strong, functional and stylish looking technical alpine and Scottish winter mountaineering backpack. Form meets function and heads have definitely turned; my go to backpack!

Many thanks to Andy for his review. If you have liked this article then please follow Andy via TwitterInstagramFacebook or check out his adventure company Hebridean Pursuits here.

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