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Patagonia Ascensionist Alpine Climbing Pack 35L

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3.3/5

True To Size

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Patagonia Ascensionist Alpine Climbing Pack 35L

3.3/5
True To Size
May 6, 2022

Can't fit enough gear including a rope

I don't understand how others keep writing saying that they can get enough gear in this. It is one large hole to put everything into, and no way to attach a rope on the outside. Does anyone have a suggestion about how to do that?

Response from Patagonia
May 10, 2022

Hi Susan, thank you for submitting this question. The 35L Ascensionist Pack has a system of straps whereby the rope can be strapped down on top of the bag, and then the ends are secured with compression straps on either side of the pack to hold the rope in place. The 55L pack has a similar system under its top lid. If we can be of any help, you're always welcome to reach out to our Customer Service Team, at (800) 638-6464, or via secure chat on our website.

January 18, 2022

Perfect size for mountain treks

I use this pack anytime I'm bringing a rope with meeither in the mountains or just a day at the crag with the family. I can fit everything I need for a couple nights in the mountains, or can haul several harnesses, rock gear, and a rope for a day out with the family. The top closure system makes it really quick to access and, when minimally pa... Read Morecked, the top can be rolled down into a compact size that is easy to maneuver around. The rope retention system is great, and the ability to take the soft, inner frame out makes it very comfortable to climb in.

November 3, 2021

Good! But not amazing.

Got this pack for cragging, alpine climbing, skiing, and the occasional overnight backpack trip. I saw the reviews and was very hesitant at first to purchase this pack. I think it deserves more stars than it gets. Pros: First, yes I do believe that this pack is more than 35L, but I actually really appreciate that! I thought at the beginning that t... Read Morehe 35L was too small and the 55L was too big. But this pack is just right! I was kinda testing it out when I first got it, and I was able to fit a double rack, 21 quickdraws, harness, chalk bag, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 Nalgene water bottles, 2 down jackets, 2 mid/baselayers, sleeping pad on the side, and a tent on the side of this pack! This thing can pack it all in! I wore it for a while with all this stuff and it never once got uncomfortable. And what I packed it to was complete overkill for what I would bring. I just wanted to push it a little and it defiantly passed! This thing also carries great with light and medium loads! I haven't had it for a long time but the material seems super durable and I am not concerned about anything wearing out! The daisy chains are great and I love how everything is girth-hitched to make it easy to customize. The outside pocket is also super nice for organization, extra food, and your phone, or really whatever. There is also a small pocket on the inside which is also super nice to have to use for whatever. Cons: Now I don't know who designed the top strap (no way it could have been an athlete) but frankly it sucks. It's really confusing and just doesn't work well. I am sure this will be changed. But what is great about this pack is just how adjustable it is! So I removed the strap and girth hitched one side to the carry handle on the bag. And created it to be just a single strap going across the top instead of the weird V configuration they had. Now it is an ideal strap to throw over the rope or just sinch the top. The second con is the spindrift collar at the top. This thing is huge!!! Which I guess is good to create more room! But it goes up really high if you fill it up all the way and when you look up, your head hits it. There is also just a lot of material so it feels that you are digging through a cave to get to your equipment. I did find that putting a full double rack in here was slightly challenging. Also, I haven't tested this to a full extent but it seems if you ever stuff this thing, it will barrel. Overall I think this pack is pretty great, but not perfect. But it's hard to make a perfect bag for everyone. I love the blue color, it carries well, fits a lot of gear, and most of all it is just so damn diverse with what it can do. I can use this climbing, skiing, hiking, backpacking, and ice climbing. I definitely recommend it! Just remember to switch up the top strap, it sucks!!!!!! It takes all of 5 minutes to do this and will completely change your look on this pack! Gear loops also on the side of the pack are a super nice feature!

September 14, 2021

Suspension Problems and lame skirt

I got one of these after a few people who had the old version recommended it. I never tried the old one, but a few things I noticed with this one before I returned it. I took it for a three day climb in the mountains, 3 or 4 days of cragging, a few hikes, and one time on an overnight work trip. Minorly, I thought the fit was a little weird. I&#x2... Read More7;m a pretty standard size, a little over 6' with normal sized shoulders and such. I felt that the shoulder straps were positioned a little on the narrow side, sorta always cutting into the sides of my neck, even with the sternum strap pretty loose. I also felt like the hip belt was a little too high on my hips, though I understand this is desirable for when you are wearing it with a harness. I wore this bag with a harness for a full day and then a few sporadic times, and felt that it didn't really carry well enough with the harness to make up for the annoyance without the harness. Another minor thing, the skirt on top is way annoying. With nothing in the pack, its like a tunnel you have to crawl through to get inside, and with the pack full, its like a loose tower of junk that falls to the side when you undo the cinch. I have a mountain hardware bag that has a wonderful skirt, and the skirt on my old osprey bag was great, so this is just a design failure, not a skirt thing. The most major problem with this bag is the suspension. I carried probably 35lb with it for three days and it had to have been the most uncomfortable walk of my life. The shoulder straps cut into my shoulders the entire time, and the hip straps could not support any weight. Firstly, the hip straps have a novel little pad arrangement, where the strap passes through sort of a 'Z' shaped friction thing. When the hipbelt it really tight, like when you are carrying some weight, this 'Z' shape collapses and folds the pad or liner over on itself and cuts into your hip in a brutal little hotspot. I actually found that when I got home and rearranged the pads with no weight, the hot spot was still there and i could feel it for the rest of the times I wore the pack, regardless of weight or strap tension. Eventually I took the pads off and the straps worked much better. Secondly, the back panel is far too flimsy for anything. Initially, when I wore this with a ton of weight, I thought perhaps I had overloaded the poor bag. It was stuffed to the brim with stuff strapped to the sides. It felt distictlt that the shoulder were taking all the weight. If I loosened them to get more weight on the hips, the pack would lean way off the back of me and pull on my shoulders in a hideous fashion. Then, I wore it cragging. I had a single rack on the light side with a 60m rope. Not packed too full, but decently heavy. I noticed that the back panel fully sagged away from my back, meaning all the weight was on the shoulder straps. Still, really uncomfortable. Finally, I took it on a work trip. It just had clothes and laptop in it, but i packed pretty loose. So, the bag was more or less full but not heavy. Still, uncomfortable. The back panel again sagged away and meant that even with a tight hipbelt and constantly adjusted straps, I was feeling all of the weight on my shoulders. So to recap; Fully loaded and heavy, medium loaded and heavy, fully loaded and light, all uncomfortable. There is clearly no loadpath for the weight to get into the hipbelt in a meaningful way. The load straps above the shoulders are also located too low, so they don't really do much. To summarize, I found the suspension on this bag is genuinely terrible, considering the use case it is designed for. I also thought riding my bike with this bag was annoying as it sits up real high and keeps you from lifting your head up. Another annoying thing, I noticed after only a few months of light use, the shoulder strap was ripping out where it was connected to the back panel. I returned it, and of course got all my money back, but dang. I wish it were as functional as it is pretty.

Response from Patagonia
September 23, 2021

We appreciate your detailed review after thorough testing of this pack in many different situations. We're sorry it did not work well for you, but happy to know you successfully returned it under our [Ironclad Guarantee](https://help.patagonia.com/s/article/Ironclad-Guarantee). Please reach out to our Customer Service team if you have any questions or concerns. We're happy to help!

May 11, 2021

Used as a prop for a commercial

Purchased for A Commercial. Used as a Prop It was beautiful and perfect for our use. I feel Certain it would Be great on the trail as well.

March 23, 2021

Very solid all around

I found this pack to be just what I was looking for. It's lightweight, but more durable than my ultralight hiking bag I had been using for small climbing days. There's just a few small things that are weird. It's nice that there is an extendable collar for extra bulky gear, etc, but this pack is way larger than 35L! And when compress... Read Moreing it down to its smallest size, the way the buckles are configured makes for a loose closure allowing water in potentially, so pack liner is recommended. I'd like to see the pack closer to its stated size. I like the daisy chains running down the front of the pack it makes it possible to run shock cord on the front panel for holding helmets or jackets. But I would have liked if there was a different closure system. The Y buckle closure is decent for when the pack is full, but the fact that the front buckle can't be adjusted makes for awkward closure with small loads. I like the drawstring collar, but pairing that with an easily closable buckle as on previous models would be wonderful. Overall it's a really comfortable pack for a pretty light weight, and the gear loops on the hips are a nice addition too. I think with a few revisions like: simpler closure, and smaller collar for lighter overall weight, it could be a truly excellent pack! If they could get this pack down to 20 ounces it would be incredible. But still one of the best packs I've ever used.

March 15, 2021

Not for short torsos, and sadly no Patagonia technical pack are:-(

I give this 1 star as I would every single pack Patagonia offers because there isn't an option for a smaller torso length size. As a rock climbing woman with a torso length of 15", it is nearly impossible to find a technical pack that fits me properly. All of Patagonia size small packs start at 16". I tried this pack in hopes that it... Read More might work out but it was quite uncomfortable and I won't use it again. I have been climbing for over 2 decades and with all the advances in gear options for women (mostly with apparel, and even there I find a lot of discrepancies in the women's versions or complete lack of product in the more technical options) pack sizing it lightyears behind. I love the Patagonia mission for sustainability and buy the products because of that. I am sad that there is no option for me and other shorter climbers out there. Please change this. Aside the fit issue, I found the strap that closes the top that adjusts with the collar extension to be quite a nuisance when compressing things down to its smallest capacity for a summit. It can be removed but its a pain in the butt to do especially with cold hands and would be near impossible to accomplish with large gloves imho. I did love having the external zipper pocket for quick items that come off and on often in a climb as well as quick snack access.

Response from Patagonia
March 18, 2021

Hey Melissa, thank you so much for taking the time to write this product review. This is really important and valuable feedback! Please know we have passed this along to our Design Team. They are constantly working on revising and improving our gear and feedback from customers such as yourself is one of the contributing factors to these changes. If you haven't already [returned](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) this, please feel free to do so at your earliest convenience. We hope to not disappoint you in the future.

November 24, 2020

Really great bag

Great pack for its intended use. Carries weight surprisingly well and is nice to climb with. It is well built but light, and overstuffs quite a bit. My only complaint would be the rope attachment system at the top. It's a little odd, and something I assume will be changed. It seems like this pack was designed to fit in between the ultralight... Read More hyperlite stuff and the "bells and whistles" osprey bags. Which I think it does well, light but with enough feature and durability to make it worth the price.

August 3, 2020

Very tall pack!

I am 5'5" tall and bought a 35L size. A good deal of the pack is above my head. Its weird because it is like 1/3 of the pack sticking over my head. If I don't fill the pack and just fold the top over, then I have like a 20L pack. Very strange construction.

Response from Patagonia
August 27, 2020

We're sorry to hear that this didn't work for you and appreciate the comments on the construction of the pack. Please feel free to [send](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) this back to us for a refund and we are happy to work with you to find something else.

July 29, 2020

Good, not great

I bought this pack earlier this summer for alpine rock and ice, plus for use as a winter ice pack. I was considering the arcteryx Alpha FL 45, but there were things about it I didn't really like, especially given its price. The new Ascensionist 35 seemed fairly comparable while addressing what I didn't like with the Alpha 45. The pack is... Read More well made, typically Patagonia quality. The material of the main pack bag is durable and thickly coated with a water resistant coating. While the pack isn't seam sealed, things inside didn't get wet during an overnight thunder storm. It has a very rigid foam back panel that is removable. It transfers a load from the shoulders to hips quite well for a frameless pack and keeps various objects (crampons, screws, rock gear, stoves, etc...) from poking through and causing hot spots while being carried. The downside of this back panel is that it may be too rigid. It doesn't really conform to the body. It's also quite wide. I'm a fairly wide shouldered guy with typical big lats and the sides of the pack when loaded still stick out. This can be seen in the product photo with the model turned to the side. Given this is on a S/M pack, I'm not sure how women or smaller guys like Kelley Cordes could find the pack a good fit. While it doesn't quite interfere with my arm movement, there is noticeably less clearance than found on other packs. When unloaded for climbing, you don't have the nice body hugging feel of other packs, including the older versions of the Ascensionist. It simply doesn't disappear like the previous models did. My other big niggle is the ice tool attachment. Frankly, it sucks. The pick pockets are huge, technical tools still need to have the picks sticking out the center. And worse is the single strap that secures the tool heads. It takes too much juggling to hold both heads in place while getting the strap around tool heads. You almost need three hands. And you have to take the pack off to get one tool/axe off the pack instead of just reaching around and popping a metal toggle. Or if you have a partner get a tool off your back, they release the buckle and both tool heads fall out! This could be dangerous with straight shafted axes or tools without a pinky rest as they can then slide off the side of a mountain. Added to this, is that when taking out one tool, you have to then tighten up the strap to keep your second tight. Then you have to loosen the buckle to reattach the tool. This is stupidly combersome. Bottomline, the old metal toggles were far more simple, lighter, vastly more functional, much more secure, and easier to use with cold or gloved fingers. What do I like about the pack? The extension collar is nice and large. The pack's capacity without the collar in use seems more than 35L and with the collar is pushing 50L. When empty for a route, I don't get much or any interference with my helmet while looking up. I also love the exterior zip pocket. It's large, but not intrusive and is easy to access when the pack is crammed full or empty. I like not having to open to pack to get snacks, chapstick, or whatever I need. The 3 point rope strap carries more securely and all other straps attach using girth hitches. They can be configured multiple ways, kinda like the old Cilo Gear packs. The hip pads are comfortable and lock in place well. They are kind of a pain to take off or get back on, but as they are so light, I just leave them on. Overall, it's a good pack with some flaws. The thing is durable and can carry a lot while still climbing pretty well. I think it can be more versatile than many other alpine packs, but can be stripped to be simple sack with a very functional front pocket. If they can make an inline change to the tool carry system, it would be much, much better.

Response from Patagonia
August 26, 2020

Hey there, thank you so much for taking the time to write this detailed review. Reviews like these are so helpful to not only other shoppers, but to our designers who use these to guide decisions. Overall, it sounds like there are some aspects that you're not satisfied about and we do welcome you to [send](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) this bag back to us since it missed the mark.

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