Home Outdoor Innovation - New Stuff Osprey Mutant 38

Osprey Mutant 38

£130 www.ospreyeurope.com

This is the newer iteration of the climbing and winter sports classic, but a pack I’ve used all year round. The 38 is a teardrop shaped toploader with a capacity that works well for both summer weekenders and winter daytime epics. It’s feature packed (as we say!) with two ‘tool lock’ attachment points for ice axes, ski carry points and a daisy chain system, plus a (removable) floating lid and rope carry, so it can be stuffed to the gunnels or stripped back for a lighter outing. Winter credentials are further boosted by a fabric backpanel and no front or side pockets to catch snow or snag on the crag. The single lid pocket is massive, though, and there’s an additional pocket with a mesh helmet pouch, as well as zip clasps which are easy to use with chunky gloves. But the best bit isn’t the bells and whistles; it’s the carry. A very stiff high-density polythene sheet is combined with an aluminium frame and provides ideal weight transfer to the hips – even fully loaded with heavy winter metalwork, camera gear and soggy rope I’ve found this an exceptionally comfortable and supportive pack to use. The fabric doesn’t soak up too much wet and so far seems very durable. Weight around 1.5 kg.

►Verdict: Tough and versatile with excellent weight transfer.

►Best for: A winter specialist; climbing, mountaineering, scrambling, snowsports.

Review by David Lintern @selfpwrd