Arc'teryx Alpha FL 45 cardinal
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $169.95 at Backcountry
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$179.00 at REI
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$279.00 at Backcountry
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$345.00 at Backcountry
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$99.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable, affordable, durable, fully featuredSimple, light, comfortable, highly modularSimple, good weight to volume ratio, durableExtremely light for volume, very comfortable on approach, good ice tool attachment, 100% waterproofLightweight, simple, excellent pack for steep, technical terrain
Cons Not as lightweight as some packsDifficult to overstuff for the approach, some finicky featuresCan't remove the foam suspension pad, not best for heavy loads, requires thoughtful packingOpening the pack is a pain, not durable, no removable bivy padLess durable, less versatile, no side straps
Bottom Line This is a comfortable and versatile pack that climbs well on all alpine terrainHighly versatile and impressively lightweight, the Ascensionist is well designed for technical climbsThis pack is light, durable, simple, and comfortable, making it more versatile than most ultralight packs we’ve usedThis pack is extremely comfortable and climbs well, but it is less durable and difficult to get in and out ofWhat the Blitz lacks in versatility it makes up for in performance in steep, technical alpine terrain
Rating Categories Osprey Mutant 38 Ascensionist 40 Arc'teryx Alpha FL 45 3400 Ice Pack Blitz 28L
Weight To Volume Ratio (30%)
5
7
9
10
10
Comfort (20%)
9
7
8
9
7
Durability (20%)
9
8
7
2
4
Versatility (20%)
10
10
5
6
5
Features (10%)
9
7
5
5
5
Totals (%)
10
10
10
10
10
Specs Osprey Mutant 38 Ascensionist 40 Arc'teryx Alpha FL... 3400 Ice Pack Blitz 28L
Measured Volume (liters) 37 35 34 50 29
Measured Weight (pounds) 2.84 1.95 1.47 1.7 1.09
Measured Weight (grams) 1288.2 884.5 667.38 771.8 496.1
Weight-To-Volume Ratio (grams per liter) 34.82 25.27 19.63 15.44 17.11
Frame Type Inner framesheet with aluminum stays None Rigid, formed back panel Removable, contoured aluminum stays Foam pad
Fabric 210D nylon with 420HD nylon packcloth on bottom 210D cordura N400r-AC2 nylon 6 ripstop Waterproof dyneema composite fabric Dynex ripstop
Pockets 1 zippered lid 1 zippered lid, 1 small zippered internal 1 front zippered Internal zippered pocket, 1 main compartment, 1 waterproof top lid, 1 internal zippered
Hip belt Yes - reverse wrap hybrid EVA foam w/ gear loops and ice clipper holsters Yes Yes - webbing hip belt Yes - Dyneema Yes - removable webbing belt
Removable Suspension Padding? Removable framesheet and/or dual stays Yes No No Yes
Lid? Yes - removable with stowable FlapJacket for lidless use Yes, attached No No Yes - removable
Hydration System Compatible? Yes, internal pouch with buckled hanging loop No No No Yes
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