Jansport's technical packs deserve more attention than they get, and the Ascent 52 is a worthy contender in the 52L/3200ci category of alpine climbing packs, weighing in at a respectable 3lb 9oz for the size regular. The top lid unclips to save a few ounces, but the beefy plastic framesheet has to stay in to support the harness.
The Ascent is a top-loader that comes fully equipped with dual ice axe loops and keepers, ski loops for side carry, hydration sleeve with keeper toggle and single center tube port, a shovel pocket and floating top lid over a single main compartment. Dual side strech-mesh water bottle pockets, a generous 9in expansion sleeve and slots on each side of the waist belt for Ice Clippers or Caritools. The lid leaves plenty of room for your helmeted head to look up, important for the vertically minded among us. The plastic framesheet will comfortably support 30 to 40 pounds.
You get full-spectrum adjustments with two compression straps per side, load lifters, waist snuggers, sliding sternum strap and a rope strap over the main compartment. The hip belt is of the slim and stiff variety, which I happen to like because when cinched down it really locks in. It's also unadorned with pouches, for those who like a clean belt. A couple of plastic d-rings high on the front of the shoulder straps allow small items to be clipped in for ready use. All in all the Ascent is a very nice climbing pack for weekend outings.