I'm looking around for a mountaineering pack and stumbled across this. I climb in the Cascades for a few days a year but will also use this a winter pack when I carry snowshoes, tent, stove, clothes maybe a snow shovel and such. (We do get some snow down here. Snowshoe backpacked twice last year, once in 2.5 feet powder in Virginia). Not sure if I'll do more frequent mountaineering in the future with work and spouse (I can always hope). My current pack is an 18 year old Mountainsmith Frostfire 2 held together with bailing wire and zipties. Any thoughts?
I just ordered a CCW Chaos a few days ago and I expect to receive it sometime this week. I chose this pack because of some recommendations from SP members responding to my recent thread re: Opinions on backpacks in the 75L range. In addition, I did a lot of research on my own and found that it's nearly impossible to find anyone who has not had a good experience with the Chaos and Randy at CCW.
Adventurer, Saw your post. In looking around most people recommend Osprey, some Diamond Brand some Arc T. Everything I've seen sings praises of the Chaos . Saw a few being sold after minimal use, not sure why. See if anyone has any other thoughts.
I have the slightly smaller Chernobyl with a couple custom tricks and spectra grid fabric. Best climbing pack I've ever owned, period. Over the past 10 years, just off the top of my head, I've owned (and climbed with) Cilogear 45L and 30L, Osprey Mutant 38 and Variant 37, BD Instinct, Marmot Eiger, and I'm sure a couple others. The CCW trumps them all. I was in Chamonix for about 3 weeks earlier this year with it and it performed beautifully, even with ungodly loads as we skied off the Midi with food/gear for 3-4 days of bivying on the glacier. Side note: Skiing in climbing boots with a fully loaded pack sucks hard, no matter what pack you're wearing.
I'm having a highly customized Ozone being made up this summer as well as soon as I can devote the cash to it, already spent 45 minutes on the phone with Randy discussing the various options.
One thing I'll say is I can't get used to his reversed shoulder straps (On a stock CCW, you pull up to tighten). He seems to like them an awful lot, but they aren't for me. I'm having the Ozone made with normally tightening shoulder straps and will drop off my Chernobyl at his place when I'm up in NH later this year to have the Chernobyl converted to normal straps as well.