Small packs are the man-purses of manly men. I say this to justify to the SheFlogger the quiver of them taking up space in the garage majal. After almost a year of abuse we still reach for the Mountain Hardwear Crimper, a hot little number designed for a day at the crag that will be at home wherever you go.
The 900ci capacity Crimper weighs in at just over a pound and a half, putting it squarely in the lighter-than-air class. There are even lighter packs out there, including MH's own Scrambler, but the Crimper is built to take more of the abuse that ape-indexed climbers dish out with 840D HT ballistic nylon construction.
The abundant features are perfectly dialed in for a day climb: the shoulder straps are minimal but not too much so for the max 10-20lb loads you'll carry in this pack, and even include a vertically adjustable sternum strap and high-mounted elastic keeper loops for a hydration tube; there is a minimalist webbing hip belt, and it tucks away into the dual mesh side pockets that are big enough to carry quart bottles; an offset daisy chain allows clipping of miscellany; there are dual ice axe keepers, one an Axe-S toggle (and bottle opener!) and the other a traditional loop, as well as a keeper at the top of the daisy; and a beefy grab handle/haul loop at the top.
Storage is ample with a widely opening main compartment, inside of which is a bladder pocket with keeper clip and a nifty dual pocket mounted on the top third of the outer flap: one zipped with a key clip, and the other a sunglasses pouch with velcro closure. The final pocket is outside, with a vertical zipper running alongside the daisy. It's big enough for a guidebook or other flat items. The Crimper carries great, and sharp stuff inside doesn't gouge your back thanks to the stout HardWave framesheet. The narrow profile is perfect for climbing or ski mountaineering, staying out of the way of swing arms and snarled epithets. Overall the Crimper is a really great example of just-enough engineering from the folks at Mountain Hardwear.
3 responses to “Mountain Hardwear Crimper pack”
Is the “stout HardWave framesheet” removable? Does it prevent the compressing or rolling of the pack into a smaller size for transport from trailhead to basecamp for means of using as a summit pack?
The Crimper is designed as a stand-alone pack, and the HardWave framesheet is not removable, unlike the Scrambler. The Crimper does roll, but it’s awkward and it’s not a very tight roll, e.g. not like you would get with a closed-cell foam pad.
For readers new to the concept summit packs generally come in three flavors: a floating top lid that converts to a lumbar/waist pack, an add-on pack like McHale’s kangaroo pocket that rides on the outside of the big pack and is basically a pouch with shoulder straps, and a stowable summit pack like the Scrambler that has a sleeve for a sleeping pad to act as a backpanel.
In the last case the pad is optional, but on summit day you should have one for emergency purposes, and although it’s not designed to provide any support it will protect your back from hard objects like a stove, fuel canister, etc.
Of all the solutions I like the McHale the best. A kangaroo pocket is usable while you’re humping, especially for light-weight/high-volume stuff that you’d like to be most accessible, e.g. down jacket/pants for when you fall in a crevasse and your idiot meatbag oxygen-thief partner is taking forever to set up a haul system. If you’re not going above 14K you probably don’t need a summit pack.
I would submit there is a forth category for your consideration. That of the stuff sack turn summit pack. Basically a sleeping bag stuff sack with shoulder straps, and maybe a waist belt and/or daisy chain.
Thanks for another great review MrFlogger!