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Mountain Hardwear Alpine Light 35L

We were curious to test the new Mountain Hardwear Alpine Light 35L in the hills. With a new Dyneema construction weighing only 760 g Mountain Hardwear wanted to create a super-technical top quality pack that is perfect for mountaineering and possibly ski touring.
The quality of construction is irreproachable and is reminiscent of the AK packs from Crux.

Many super-light packs suffer from a lack of support to keep gear in place, especially when the pack is only half full. This is not the case with the Alpine Light, it's straight and rather narrow shape ensures superb stability in all situations whether walking, scrambling or climbing, letting you concentrate on achieving your objective. The streamlined profile is much appreciated when climbing narrow spaces and chimneys. The Alpine Light has a lightweight aluminium internal frame that maintains pack shape plus a removable thin yet comfortable foam pad that protects your back. Superlight and practical.

The Alpine Light 35L has two small gear loops on the belt plus additional loops integrated into the lateral compression straps, which split to provide both functions. While not designed specifically for ski touring the Alpine Light is supplied with generous ski slots to accomodate the widest touring skis. A small quibble, we would have liked one more strap on the top of the pack for stashing ropes in position. The Alpine Light also has two solid loops for hauling the pack should this be required.

In terms of rain protection we found that the Dyneema construction of the Alpine Light gave good protection while not having the additional flap thet works so well on the Scrambler series. No doubt this was removed to minimise weight here.
Acess to the main compartment is really quick and easy with the the open / close system very functional. The two zipped side pockets can store essentials. There is no compartment or hook for a hydration bag but we liked the removable pouch hanging inside the main compartment for stashing valuables.

With a very clean minimalist look yet all the necessary features, the Mountain Hardwear Alpine Light 35 is a very technical pack and its apparent minimalism does not detract from comfort, the foam thicknesses having just the right density to keep a good ratio weight / comfort. The Alpine Light 35 L is an excellent choice for going far and fast in the mountains, while should you need more volume take a look at the larger Alpine Light 50 L.

Fabrice

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