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  • Backcountry Essentials

CiloGear Worksacks

CiloGear 40B Worksack

MSRP: US$160

My main question with these packs was how comfortable is it when fully loaded in one of its many lighter configurations?  I chose the 40B pack and my climbing partner tried out the 60L worksack.  For our short trip into the Tetons, we both left behind the framesheet and aluminum stay but kept the bivy pad for structure.  Also of note, I felt compelled by discussions with the pack designer to limit my use of the many detachable straps that come with the pack to just two.  I kept one set of simple straps for compression and my partner kept two sets, the second of which he rigged up as a combination for both load compression and lift by angling from the bottom of the pack to the hipbelt (pretty cool).

I was surprised at how comfortable the 40B carried when stuffed with climbing and camping gear for our relaxed venture into Garnett Canyon.  The 40B was the perfect size for both getting my stuff into camp and then becoming our shared summit pack for the second to burden during the climb.  The double haul straps even came into play as we wound up through chockstones in chimneys.

Since that trip into the Tetons, I’ve also had the opportunity to try out the 60L as a multiday ski pack.  While these packs are not intended as ski packs, for lack of protection from the ski edges, I was once again pleased with how the pack carried a big load and felt even with the skis making it top heavy.  Furthermore, when the pack was relatively empty, it cinches down so well that I didn’t notice any significant floppage while making turns.  However, for the longevity of the pack, I still wouldn’t advise A-framing skis regularly as I think it would eventually shred the sides.

I would definitely recommend these packs for those who are looking for a light and versatile pack.  I would even go so far as to say that backpackers might be pleasantly surprised and one needn’t have a vertical endeavor as a goal to appreciate these packs.  And if that’s not enough information to spark your curiosity, American Alpine Institute just awarded the entire CiloGear Worksack line of packs with their Guide’s choice award.  Here are some specs to look over.

Listed internal volume for 40B Worksack:

20 L (1,220 cu in) with both sides fully compressed

30 L                   

with just one side compressed (and yes it still feels balanced).

42 L (2,560 cu in) normally stuffed

60 L ( 3,660 cu in) with extension all the way up

Listed Weights: Pack bag: 845 g (29.8 oz) Lid: 190 g (6.7 oz) Hip belt: 160 g (5.6 oz) Bivy pad+framesheet: 400 g (14.1 oz) 8 straps: 140 g (4.9 oz) Total listed weight: 1,935 g ( 3lb, 13oz)

Similarly, the 60L becomes 30L with both sides compressed, 45 L with one side compressed, 60L when uncompressed, and freaking huge with the extension all the way up.  Happy Travels.