Gear Review: Mammut Spindrift Lite 30 Backpack

A lightweight pack that doesn't skimp on features

[lightweight]
Most packs this light skimp on features to save weight—but the Spindrift Lite builds in conveniences like a dedicated internal shovel pocket, loops for ice tools or ski poles, and two mesh side pockets for skins or a thermos. Where it shaves ounces is in fabrics and suspension design: Both are sturdy enough to be functional, but not built for the worst abuse or densest loads. One hundred-denier nylon (instead of the burlier ballistics material used by some other packs) reinforces the Sprindrift’s high-abrasion zones on the bottom and front (to keep diagonally carried ski edges from slicing into the material); 70-denier ripstop nylon is used everywhere else.

And instead of a framesheet, two aluminum stays transfer the load to the hipbelt and allow the Spindrift to carry 20 pounds in comfort. Four thin pads on the backpanel hold the load away from the body, and air channels between the pads provide adequate ventilation. After a sunny springtime climb up Colorado’s Diamond Peak on a 30°F day, our tester’s back was barely damp. Stability is solid, thanks to cinch cords that compress loads and keep them from shifting. But careful packing is required to prevent contents from poking into the wearer’s back (hard-edged objects like the rim of a thermos can be felt through the frameless fabric backpanel). $170; 2 lbs. 1 oz.; 30 liters; mammut.ch