Hands-on Gear Review

Mammut Creon Light 45 Review

Price:  $160 List
Pros:  Great for carrying medium loads, breathable tensioned frame, useful external pockets
Cons:  Quite heavy, narrow main pack compartment
Bottom line:  The Creon Light 45 carries heavy loads better than most packs we tested and is most suitable for mountaineering and peakbagging.
Editors' Rating:   
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Total Weight (ounces):  38.7 oz
Stripped Weight (ounces):  35.5 oz
Claimed Volume (liters):  45 L
Manufacturer:   Mammut

Our Verdict

The Mammut Creon Light 45 is Discontinued as of Fall 2018
The Mammut Creon Light 45 is a fully-featured, tensioned frame backpack that carries 30 pounds better than most packs we tested. With this extra design feature, we found that it is unfortunately quite heavy compared to the volume it carries, for most ultralight backpackers. That said, the relatively narrow profile of the weight-carrying tensioned frame makes this pack an excellent choice for folks that take compact but heavier loads. Additionally, the floating lid allows you to easily carry a rope on top. We feel that this pack is best suited for light and fast off-trail travel, peak bagging, and mountaineering and is comparable to the Haglofs L.I.M. Strive 50 and the Osprey Exos 48. Our testing determined that the Exos also carries medium loads in comfort and is better designed for ultralight backpacking.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ultralight Backpacks for 2018

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Brandon Lampley

Last Updated:
Sunday
January 31, 2016

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With a well-designed tensioned frame, the Mammut Creon Light 45 earned a "Great" rating for carrying 30-pound loads. The most prominent limiter of its overall score is an inferior weight-to-volume ratio compared to the other ultralight backpacking packs we evaluated.

Performance Comparison


The tensioned frame carries medium loads well  plus the narrow profile handles rough terrain travel well. Here  we're loaded up for a day of climbing in Eldorado Canyon in Colorado.
The tensioned frame carries medium loads well, plus the narrow profile handles rough terrain travel well. Here, we're loaded up for a day of climbing in Eldorado Canyon in Colorado.

Weight-to-Volume Ratio


This pack is only available in one size, but the torso length is adjustable.

Weight Bottom Line:
Total Weight with all modular components = 2 lb 6.7 oz
Pack striped of components = 2 lb 3.5 oz
Lid = 3.2 oz

The external pockets on the this pack are stretchy and larger-than-average volume-wise.
The external pockets on the this pack are stretchy and larger-than-average volume-wise.

OGL Measured Volume Bottom Line:
Total Volume = 49 L
Main Bag = 35 L
Front Pocket = 5 L
Side Pockets = 4 L
Lid = 5 L

At 22 g/L both max and stripped of its lid, the Creon earned the worst score for an average weight-to-volume ratio. This pack uses the burliest fabrics we tested, especially on the bottom, which makes sense since it is designed more for alpine climbing and rough off-trail travel. It also has one of the narrowest pack bodies we tested; this means that it carries very well in rugged terrain but has a lower volume relative to the central pack's material.

Load Carrying Comfort


This pack earned a "Good" rating for carrying 15 pounds and was one of only four contenders that we judged "Great" at carrying 30 pounds. If you need to carry relatively heavy loads, and the terrain is rough enough, you'll want to compress them into a low profile pack, making this model an excellent choice. The Sierra High Route in California is one such trail where this contender would be a good choice. The Haglofs L.I.M. Strive 50 is another pack that works well in this kind of terrain and received similar scores concerning carrying comfort.

This pack just fit our wintertime load. A compression stuff sack for our bulky winter sleeping bag would make packing up this narrow pack much easier.
This pack just fit our wintertime load. A compression stuff sack for our bulky winter sleeping bag would make packing up this narrow pack much easier.

Features


This pack uses a floating, removable lid above the drawstring main bag closure. Unique to this pack is a large side access zipper of the left side. Large stretchy front and side pockets are also an appreciated feature and the side compression straps are placed to not interfere with side pocket storage. Two ice axe loops also contribute to alpine versatility.

An interesting combo, this pack has one hip belt pocket on the left side and one shoulder strap pocket on the right. The shoulder strap pocket either stows away or expands to hold a 20 oz water bottle; we love it! The Creon features a large internal pocket to keep a hydration bladder and a Velcro loop up top that quickly and easily holds it vertically. A single port lets you route the drinking hose to your right shoulder.

This is the only pack other than the running oriented Fastpack 30 that has a shoulder strap pocket that accepts a water bottle. It's also the only model with a single hip belt pocket.
This is the only pack other than the running oriented Fastpack 30 that has a shoulder strap pocket that accepts a water bottle. It's also the only model with a single hip belt pocket.

Adaptability


This pack earned an average adaptability score. While the floating lid is beneficial, the narrow main pack is limiting. Indeed, the narrow profile always made it difficult to pack.

We wouldn't recommend this pack if you need to use a bear canister.

Durability


Durability is one of the places where this pack stands out from the others, for the most part. Burly, abrasion resistant fabrics and good construction fit with the low profile design. Two points prevented it from earning the highest durability score though. First, aside from the benefits of a tensioned frame, we wouldn't recommend sitting on it to take a break, and you wouldn't want just to toss around. Second, even though it is protected by a large storm flap, the large side access zipper to the main pack is not a feature we like. The zipper is reversed, with the pronounced teeth inside the pack. If and when this zipper breaks, you're screwed.

Best Applications


This pack's narrow profile and great medium load carrying ability make it a great choice for rugged off-trail travel. We prefer the adaptable and comfortable Gossamer Gear Mariposa for on-trail adventures.

Value


Retailing for $160, this pack is relatively affordable and quite durable. While it doesn't fit the use mode most ultralight backpackers are looking for, it's a good deal for peak bagging and rugged off-trail trips.

Conclusion


The Mammut Creon Light 45 is a rugged pack that carries medium loads better than most we tested. The narrow profile is well-suited to off-trail and scrambling terrain.

In rough terrain  the Creon Light carries medium loads really well.
In rough terrain, the Creon Light carries medium loads really well.
Brandon Lampley

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