When Trango named their new crag pack they ignored industry clichés that favor foreign mountain ranges or deadly beasts. Instead they went with their own original name "Crag Pack". Yet this dull moniker wasn't a mistake because it exemplifies this packs greatest attribute: simplicity. Trango has essentially taken the reliable top-loading design of a classic backpacking pack, stripped off all the unnecessary junk, and marketed it to climbers at an unbeatable price. In our tests we found the result to be both comfortable and versatile, which is why it earned our Best Buy award. However, with savings comes sacrifice: its incorrectly named 'Titan' fabric is surprisingly delicate and its limited climbing specific features can be summarized as external pockets for guidebooks/shoes and a removable mini-tarp. Nevertheless we found this simple bag charming and functional and recommend it to anyone searching for the best deal.
Trango Crag Pack Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, big capacity, 3 external pockets, mini tarp included
Cons: Difficult to access gear, delicate fabric
Our Analysis and Test Results
Tthe Trango Crag Pack gets the job done when headed out for a day climbing. We give it our Best Buy Award for its inexpensive simplicity.
Due to its Titan wrap fabric, the Trango Crack Pack weighs in at a hefty 3 lbs 6 oz. This makes it the second heaviest pack we tested, 11 ounces more than the Editors' Choice Patagonia Crag Daddy.
Aside from three external pockets, the outside of the Trango Crag Pack is pretty streamlined. If packed efficiently, it can fit a large amount of gear into a relatively small area. A problem arises though, when it's not fully loaded. The straps it has do little to compress its size and the Titan wrap material holds it shape, which causes the load in a half-full pack to settle the bottom. Our testers didn't mind this too much but minimalist packers might prefer a smaller bag, like the Metolius Crag Station.
The suspension system on this pack is pretty bare-bones. There is some mesh padding on the back panel and shoulder and hip straps. Inside, a pair of flat aluminum stays provide rigidity. Some of our testers liked this simple design that keeps the load close to the body while others preferred the modern, molded shapes of Black Diamond Pipe Dream suspensions. Climbers that like to strut shirtless should be careful with the grey titan wrap fabric because it can get painfully hot in direct sunlight.
We like this pack mainly for trad climbers or people that enjoy a blend of all disciplines. Forty-eight liters is probably overkill for strictly warm-weather sport climbers, who would likely prefer the smaller, more durable Metolius Crag Station. However, if you like to place the occasional cam or multi-pitch with a second rope this bag can better handle the extra gear.
Other Versions and Accessories
We tested the regular size which is available in green or blue. They also offer a 'short' version in orange or purple.
— Jack Cramer