Friday, March 18, 2011

C.A.M.P. XLP 290 Pack

Light is right….if you follow this credo and live in the mountains, you need this pack in the quiver.  Its best use is in the Winter, for traveling fast & light through the mountains ski touring & racing.  The weight of the pack is disguised in the name at….you guessed it, 290 grams….basically a half a pound with nothing in it.  THE lightest pack on the market that caries 20L or less!

Brian Smith showing off the XLP 290's ski carry system while booting up Purple Pk in the Ruby Range

It’s 18-20 L capacity is just big enough when paired with your probe, crampons, shovel, wind layer and down jacket.  I personally like to travel with an accessory mounted, water bottle holder on the chest strap but it does have capabilities to carry your water bladder in the pack with internal hose routing. 

The pack contains a crampon pouch on the bottom of the pack with a Velcro closure.  This placement allows for easy on/off access to your crampons without taking your pack off AND on, allowing you the freedom to keep moving while getting through technical boot pack sections.  When I'm not carrying crampons I will use this pouch for my goggles.  I have easy access to them when I need to switch from sun glasses for the up and goggles for the down....all without taking my pack of once again!

Another key feature to this pack that many athletes like is the ski carry system.  This ski carry system is a staple amongst the entire Winter CAMP pack line up, it allows the skier to come into a boot pack section and place the skis on the pack without taking the pack off!  Super slick, it will blow your friends away and give your remarkable efficiency….when seconds count!  This pack in particular also allows for a second pair of skis to be attached to the pack via an identical system but on the right side of the pack….for those times when you’re racing with a teammate and they are bonking and need to conserve every bit of energy to keep up.  Trust me, this happens more times than I care to admit….and when don’t you travel in the mountains without a partner!

The pack has no frame to it, bare bones waits belt, and a sternum strap….basic necessities but don’t expect any additional frills.  It has a mesh outer pocket for items you may need easy access to during the ski.  Team Crested Butte uses this pack as our go to pack during ski mountaineering races, and it always finds the podium!  We tend to also use this pack for dawn patrols in the Winter, when time is of the essence…and the 8:30am work bell is calling. 
It’s a one size fits all pack, with lots of adjustability to make even the longest or shortest torso fit comfortably.

Ski fast!

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