Light and simple techical mountain design from Osprey Packs.
There's something quite reassuring in the way that while Osprey's designs are mostly packed full of clever little features and innovations, when it comes to technical mountain packs like the Osprey Mutant 28, it's the basics that win out.
Keeping It Simple
In this case that means a lightweight - 870g on our scales - simple, single-compartment pack with tough but light materials and no extra gimmicks. The back systems sums it all up - there's a simple, thermoformed, EVA foam back panel that won't soak up sweat or stick to loose snow, backed up with a simple internal frame sheet for a little more support and comfort. And that's it.
Non-abrasive material covers the dense foam, ergonomic, shoulder-straps, which should minimise clothing wear, there's a simple waist belt so as not to get in the way of a harness and a simple, but apparently effective Z-compression system to hold things in place. First impressions are that it sits and carries nicely with a medium sort of load.
Lids And Tools
The lid, with pocket, is both extendable for overloading and removable, which will save you a princely 80 grammes and we like the neat pull to release draw-cord fastener. Ice tool fasteners are neat shockcorded designs for ice-free ease of use and there's also hydration-system compatibility. Last but not least, the pack is made from light but tough feeling 210d double rip-stop Nylon fabric.
What there aren't are side stash pockets or external shock-corded stowage. The rationale is, no doubt, to keep things light and clean, with nothing to snag on the rock and a reduced risk of dropping stuff into the void below accidentally, but that said, it makes the pack slightly less useable as an all-round mountain climbing, scrambling and walking sac - as an aside, if you do want something slightly more featured, Montane's pack range is an interesting halfway house with technical mountain lines but stash pockets borrowed from lightweight race packs.
But if you're after a clean, simple, technical mountain pack that should handle anything from lightweight alpine stuff through to Scottish mountain days, the Mutant 28 - or if you need more capacity - the larger Mutant 38 - fits the bill nicely.
Price is £70 - big brother is £90 - more information at www.ospreypacks.com.