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Patagonia Descensionist Backcountry Touring Pack 40L

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4.5 /5

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Patagonia Descensionist Backcountry Touring Pack 40L

March 16, 2021

two big mistakes need to be fixed

I love my Ascensionist pack which I have used for four seasons for alpine climb, so I had a huge expectation on this pack for my ski touring. Fitting is great, weight is awesome (I love a minimalist pack), but there is two big mistake they made, made me believe previous season model was much better. First, need a top flap back. Without it, there is... Read More no medium size pocket with this pack, I hate stuffing goggles, buff, little snack into the main compartment and never being able to find it without pulling all other items. Next, need better solution for carrying an ice ax. Avi gear compartment is already very tight, not a god idea to suggest ice ax to be added there! or please add classic ax loop to the bottom of the pack. Over all I'm pretty disappointed with this pack, wouldn't recommend to any of my buddies.

Response from Patagonia
March 18, 2021

We're sorry to hear that this didn't work out and thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. If you're still in the market for a great pack, we'd recommend checking out the new [Altvia Pack 36L](

March 16, 2021

10ish Days of Use

I have gotten about 10ish touring days with this pack and have a few thoughts. Overall a great piece. Pros: - Side zip pocket access is revolutionary. I have not used another ski touring pack but the Side zip pocket access is fantastic. It allows you to access the main compartment without fully taking the pack off and provides protection from blow... Read Moreing snow when it is unzipped on the ground during a stop. I rarely even use the rolltop for trip packing. - Great, durable material - Simple Cons: - Shovel can sometimes be difficult to remove from the avy pocket. - It could use one more medium/small pocket or pouch to keep things a bit more organized in the main compartment. - Horizontal ski carry. Patagonia claims this is possible but I am not sure how. - External attachment for .5 L water bottle. These last two items would just allow the user to be quicker in the backcountry. Other than that this is great pack. Get stoked to use it each time out.

March 15, 2021

Great Touring Pack

I really like this pack. My beacon, probe, shovel fit perfectly into the front pocket. There's plenty of space for layers and snacks an other things. I like the roll top. My friend (5'2) and I (5'4), both have this pack and both think it doesnt fit short torso-ed women that well. It would be nice if there was more petite sizing. Othe... Read Morer than that, I love this pack, especially for longer days.

February 26, 2021


This was a gift, the person had a friend that had one. That is why this one was chosen. Thank You Randy

January 22, 2021

This IS the bag for Ski Touring

I'm not one to write reviews but this bag deserves ALL THE LOVE. After 20+ days touring this season I have yet to find anything I don't like. This is rare with gear for me. First off, a waterproof material. Essential. PNW days are wet and this makes sitting on the bag during breaks not a problem. The roll top / side zip combination make... Read Mores getting gear and snacks in/out obscenely easy. I've got a nice little storage system all setup that allows me to keep my helmet inside the bag. If I didn't, or needed the storage space I could use the removable elastic storage. As for sizing, I'm 6 ft , 175, athletic and I use the S/M size. It might reduce the storage but it sits so comfortably that I rarely use the hip and chest strap.

January 14, 2021

rugged and stylish

My main motivation to purchase the descensionist was for the helmet carry. Its solid in that respect. I am at the smaller end of the fit for the S/M size, so i have some lengthy straps cinched pretty tight. Ive had it for only a few weeks and havent tested it with avi tools or filled it to capacity. The side zip access to the main pocket is conve... Read Morenient. The waist belt fits snugly, although the zipper pockets in the belt require two hands since they are far back (almost behind my hips). My large gps smart watch catches on the shoulder strap consistently, so i normally have to perform a left-right-left maneuver to get it on. Yet none of these are deal-breakers. While downhill skiing the pack stays in place. I hardly feel the weight or the frame. And the zippers are pretty easy to operate even while wearing padded ski gloves. Its a bigger pack than i need for skins, a few snacks water and incidentals my resort ascensions have required. Im really psyched to take it on a true trek. Nice that the Z factor video was media-fed to my account. It increased my outlook for safety. Lastly... i love gear labels. this pack has none. Again, not a deal breaker, it could make an awesome pack even slicker. Thanks for asking.

December 8, 2020

Near Perfect, One Large Miss

This simple pack answered a lot of desires I had in a touring pack. Most notably: Useful additions in place of unnecessary bells and whistles (no goggle pouches, but internal ice-axe carry, roll-top w/ side-zip access). Also, the simple and effecting ski carry systems are great and offer room for self-customization. The removable back pad allows sp... Read Moreace for a small thermaresta feature that all packs should have. Last, it's durable and lightweight. The BIG MISS is one that I find a bit frustrating. The zippered "key" pocket located at the top of the wet/avy tools pocket is in a horrible location. If you have more than a ski scraper or credit card in it, accessing your shovel quickly is nearly impossible and thus creates a huge safety issue. If this is a must-have feature, and perhaps it is, relocating the pocket is a must.

December 6, 2020

Exceeded expectations

Excellent pack! Very pleased with the re-design of this pack with a new tool pouch up front and still keeping the roll top and side entry from the original. much sturdier than the previous and more supported as well. fits my needs perfectly!

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