Mutant 38 – Osprey Packs Press
Poco Safety Notices – Featuring: Mutant 38 – December 17, 2014

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December 17, 2014

The first serious storms of this winter season are on the ground (sorry, Buffalo), but that shouldn’t keep you off the trail. Sure, it might be below freezing and your favorite trail is completely iced over and deserted. That means you’ll have the best spots on the mountain all to yourself, that is, if you know how to build your hiking kit up for the winter. A winter summit day gear list can easily start looking like you’re packing for a trek to Everest instead of a quick jaunt in the woods, so we’ve done the serious leg work and helped you pick out the best trekking gear for cold weather trips above the the treeline.

Our favorite four-season pack is the Osprey Mutant 38. Redesigned for this winter, this formidable gear hauler is just as at home hauling ice axes and rope up Rainier as it is navigating the twisting canyons of Zion National Park. Specific alpine climbing features like water and snow shedding outer material, a stowable helmet carry system, A-frame ski carry, and climbing harness compatible suspension make for the perfect formula for bagging peaks in the snow. Using the side compression we’ve dialed it down for light day use, and even hauled ski and camera gear on serious ski-mountaineering routes. To sum it up in a single word, the Mutant is flawless.

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Download PDF – Featuring Mutant 38 – December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014

This weekend’s Bozeman Ice Festival usually marks the official start of ice climbing season, but with the early season cold temps, many climbers have been getting after it for quite some time now. We will post a few different essentials lists pertaining to the sport, but begin here with the hardware required to second a multi-pitch climb or even top rope. Stay tuned for our apparel picks for the season, as well as a look at gear choices for leading.

1. Osprey Mutant 38: Our main backcountry ice climbing pack for the season is the Mutant 38. The minimalist design makes for a lightweight pack (just over 1 kg) and is roomy enough to fit extra layers, your multi-pitch pack, helmet, snacks, crampons, harness, and a rack, with a rope slung under the lid. The ToolLock system on the front of the pack is quick and easy to use, and keeps the sharps from snagging your and your partner’s gear. I personally like to keep all my gear inside the pack, but if you need the extra space, a zippered pocket near the top of the pack stows a removable stretch mesh helmet carry system to secure your helmet to the top…

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Download PDF Winter Buyer’s Guide – Featuring Mutant 38 – October 2014

October 1, 2014

At first glance, the 38-liter Mutant ($160) (it’s also available in a 28-liter version, pictured) looks like a bare-bones pack. There’s no side access to the main compartment and few obvious bells and whistles. But dig a little deeper and a bunch of vertically inspired features appear, like the zigzag webbing that pulls double-duty as both compression and ski-carry straps. With adjustment points in three spots, “it’s quick to open, close, and fine-tune,” said our most experienced tester, a mountain guide in British Columbia. It also downsizes nicely for shorter missions…

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Download PDF – Featuring Mutant 38 – February 2014

February 1, 2014

When I was getting ready to head off to my first week-long Boy Scout camp at the age of 12 my dad surprised me with a new frame pack… Every climber knows that she/he needs more than one backpack. I can think of at least 5 specific genres of packs that I need to head out on various endeavors. One of these types of packs is a single-day Alpine Climbing pack. The sweet spot is 30-40 liters. You need more room than a summer day-pack because you need extra layers, crampons, harness and maybe a rope.

This is where the Osprey Mutant 38 thrives; the single day alpine climb. Right off you can see that it has the obligatory features of a winter pack. There are two ice axe/tool attachment points with a simple combination of plastic latch and elastic cord to attach each tool to the pack. A very nice way to save weight over other systems. The extra durable nylon fabric on the back of the pack keeps sharp axe points from ripping through the pack. The waist belt has three racking loops (for ice clippers or carabiners) and one gear loop on each side. This works great when you need to remove the clippers from your harness to use the waist belt, but still want that functionality of racking screws or clipping ice tools while belaying. The waist belt reverse wraps so that you can flip it around onto the pack to stay out of the way of your harness and gear. Wand pockets are located on at the base of the pack on each side so that you can securely carry bamboo wands or snow pickets. The z-compression straps on the side did a great job of keeping the bag compressed when needed as well as keeping pickets secured until needed.

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Download PDF – Featuring Mutant 38 – September 2012

September 15, 2012

We’ve chosen five packs in the 30- to 40-liter range that exemplify the discerning packer’s wants and needs. All packs are hydration compatible, with a comfortable carrying range between 20 and 40 lbs. Whether you’re bagging a technical peak or hiking to the top of the nearest tree-free knoll, these packs keep it simple.

Osprey Mutant 38 This pack has an ultra-clean design with full technical features, a thermoformed contoured back panel for enhanced, day-long comfort, and a removable bivy pad that doubles for a lunch seat.

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Download PDF – Osprey Mutant 38 Backpack Review – October 12, 2011

October 26, 2011

If you like climbing or peakbagging in cooler weather, I recommend you try the Osprey Packs Mutant 38 backpack. While large enough to swallow all of your gear, it only weighs 2 pounds 15 ounces (size medium), and has a clean streamlined design optimized for rock and ice climbing that won’t slow you down over rough scrambling or more technical routes.

The Mutant 38 is an exceptionally comfortable backpack to carry with an excellent hip belt system and lumbar padding designed to transfer weight off of your shoulders and onto your hips. But it really is just intended for climbers or and not backpackers. If you want a pack that feels like the Mutant but has enough capacity for backpacking, you should try the Osprey Variant 52 which I tested last winter. That pack has the same kind of suspension as the Mutant, but has a lot more volume and external attachment points. If however you are a rock or ice climber, and you like a form fitting technical pack feels like it’s an extension of your body, this is the pack for you.

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