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Backpacker Magazine – January/February 2010

Gear Review: ALPS Mountaineering Orizaba Backpack

Obsessive-compulsive packers will appreciate this pack's organization options.

by: 2010 Reader Test Team

ALPS Mountaineering Orizaba (Seth Hughes).
ALPS Mountaineering Orizaba (Seth Hughes).
Etendable collar and floating lid (Genny Wright Fullerton).
Etendable collar and floating lid (Genny Wright Fullerton).

Best Organization

If you like easy access and a dedicated spot to put everything, you’ll love the Orizaba’s pockets (two side, one front, one internal, and one hipbelt), U-shaped panel access zipper, separate sleeping bag compartment (also zippered), floating top lid, and bungee systems lining both sides. “It’s a dream to pack,” said Rochfort after a three-day trip in the Tetons, but don’t overdo the weight.

“It doesn’t have the structure or support to handle loads of more than 25 pounds.” The torso length adjusts (from 17 to 20.5 inches) via a standard ladder system, and two parallel aluminum stays stiffen the suspension. But the stays don’t attach directly to the padded hipbelt, so there’s no direct weight transfer to the hips. Still, Trotter called the Orizaba his favorite pack after his partner tweaked her ankle and he had room to carry his gear and hers.

Durability concern: After normal wear and tear, one of our samples suffered a (repairable) three-inch rip along the bottom corner of the main compartment. Best for: bulky (though not heavy) loads and mellow trails.

> Capacity 3,051 cu. in. 

> Weight 3 lbs. 14 oz. 

> Sizes One unisex

> Price $120

> Info

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Reader Rating: -


Jul 28, 2010

I took this pack out last weekend on a 5.5 day climbing trip in the n. cascades. I weighed in leaving the house at 45 lbs in the pack. I found it to work well even with that weight. I know it was pushing the pack beyond what it was made for but it held up well. No complaints.


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