Gear Review: Gregory Alpinisto 50 Backpack - Backpacker

Gear Review: Gregory Alpinisto 50 Backpack

Made for mountaineers who need overnight capacity or who carry huge day loads


Mountaineers who need overnight capacity or who carry huge day loads found the Alpinisto 50 an able hauler. “Laden with rope, screws, layers, axes, water, a big thermos of coffee, food, and a helmet, it felt totally stable,” reports our Colorado tester, who used this top-loader while ice-climbing in Boulder Canyon. The pack’s narrow profile aligns the payload with the wearer’s center of gravity and allows for unrestricted arm movement. And a supportive suspension design combines a plastic framesheet with an aluminum stay that transfers the load to the hips; a central cross-stay also keeps the pack from barreling when it’s stuffed with weighty gear.

But for light-and-fast summit bids, the Alpinisto morphs into minimalism: You can remove the lid, framesheet, stay, and bivy pad to shave a pound and a half. Our tester praised the smart, climbing-specific features: The hipbelt is cut high to integrate with a harness, and gear loops are big enough to hold about a dozen screws (eliminating the need to store them inside the main compartment). The external crampon pocket is backed with a TPU panel to keep points from penetrating into the pack, and when empty, it collapses flat to reduce clutter. The body-hugging, molded backpanel sheds snow (so it doesn’t collect moisture and freeze) and buckles are glove-friendly. Downsides: The skinny shape easily becomes top-heavy (careful packing is required to keep weighty items down low), and capacity is meager for weekend trips (a sleeping bag barely fits alongside climbing gear). $229; 3 lbs. 10 oz.; 50 liters;