Mammut Trion Pro 50 + 7 Review
Cons: Heavy, features restrict some versatility, less comfortable
#9 of 9
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Our Analysis and Test Results
2017 Performance Comparison
The Trion had a rough go. It came in last in the weight to volume ratio, by a lot. But like most objective scores, that doesn't tell the whole story. The Trion has an extra zippered sleeve in the front for quick access to avalanche rescue items, and a zippered back panel which is a favorite feature in snow-optimized packs.
The pack is designed to keep your gear compact rather than expanding upward or outward, which keeps its usable volume down but keeps you from overpacking. A more appropriate, lateral comparison for weight-to-volume ratio would be similarly sized ski packs from, say, Osprey or Gregory. Compared to similar ski-related models, this pack's seemingly heavy 3.75 pounds looks much more reasonable. All this is to say, if you're looking for a great ski pack, don't shy away from this pack. It is not a mountaineering generalist, but it might be a good fit if you're looking for a snow-optimized option.
The Trion took a dive in the comfort tests. No matter how we packed, fit, and adjusted it, it would pull back on our shoulders.
The back panel did not sit flush on our back like the models that topped this category. We much preferred the flat back panels featured in the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Ice Pack, and in the award-winning Arc'teryx Alpha FL 45, as well as our other Top Pick, the Patagonia Ascensionist. The knobby protrusions on the back panel felt uncomfortable and not necessarily worth the increased breathability and airflow created by the spaces between them—mainly because this is a snow-optimized pack and a sweaty back is often less of a concern in winter-related backpacks.
The Trion is made of extremely durable fabrics, earning an above average score in this metric—its strongest score in this review. It is a very well made backpack, holding up the strong reputation of Mammut for durable, long-lasting, and typically high-quality gear.
Packs are all made of relatively durable fabrics these days, with a few stand-out exceptions (Cuben fiber, for example, is particularly prone to holes when it makes contact with sharp or abrasive objects). Instead, we tend to focus our attention on any stress points on the packs, or places of unusual wear. The Trion had such short side straps that not only were they nearly impossible to use, they also wrenched on the seam when attaching ordinary objects such as a 3/4 length foam sleeping pad.
When we put all our observations together and considered that this is a ski-optimized pack that hails from Switzerland, a much more clear picture came into view: this is a pack designed for hut-to-hut style trips. If you travel hut to hut, you won't need a foam pad (though we think it's often a good item to have in case of emergencies or accidents), so the short side straps won't be an issue there.
It is also very sleek and compact for its volume and keeps straps contained with elastic loops, and sharp objects close and protected. This is great for hopping on crowded trams or managing bustling mountain areas—common in the Alps. For a genuinely versatile pack, check out our Editor's Choice winner, the Osprey Mutant 38. Or, if you need a highly versatile mountaineering pack with more volume, you might like the Black Diamond Mission 75.
While this pack scored below average for versatility, we considered its specificity to be a strength; if you're looking for a svelte ski pack, this is a good option. So long as the comfort issues aren't a deal breaker for you, or if it fits you and your equipment better than our testers. We are skeptical, but all bodies are different.
If you're after a full-featured backcountry ski pack, this is a decent one. It has some excellent features for the snow enthusiast, and especially those venturing out on hut trips. As such, it got an average score for features. If you want a ski pack, the features are great; however, there were some redundancies that we didn't like and which add a little weight here and there—which adds up.
One example is the redundant ice tool/axe attachments and the single velcro tab to secure the shaft. You can flip and fold an axe or two onto the pack using the ice axe loop, or you can fasten two ice tools through the buckle system. We're not sure why there are four ways to attach tools when you can only carry two at a time. And for the extra weight of the loops and buckle system, it would have made more sense to pick one or the other style and put one more velcro tab to secure the shaft of the axe or tool. We had to secure the second tool behind a side strap instead. This added up to trouble when we wanted to access that tool, but we had another item secured to the side strap such as a picked or short foam pad.
Overall, a few quirks in the design of the features on this pack. We think things could be streamlined to shave a little weight and make things simpler on this pack.
This pack is best suited to hut-to-hut backcountry ski tours. It is voluminous enough to carry bivy gear as well. It is heavier than many packs in this review but on par with other similarly ski-optimized backpacks.
Mammut tends to be on the pricier side of the gear, but this pack is well priced for the quality materials and durable components.
During this review, this pack didn't shake out as a versatile mountaineering tool, but it may still be an excellent pack if you're looking for a solid ski or split board mountaineering pack.
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Most recent review: November 20, 2017
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