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We are high in the Tetons, ascending a couloir up into the cloud-cover. My friend, just a few steps below, jokes that I’ll be breaking trail the rest of the way since I’m so easy to see with the new pack I’m carrying. “What pack is it?” he asks, “I haven’t seen that brand before.”

 

I explain to him that it’s the Mutant 45L pack by Kailas; the most versatile pack I’ve ever owned, and perfect for any occasion.

 

Over the past few months I’ve put this pack to the test on a weekly if not daily basis. I have used it as my primary pack for backcountry skiing, mountaineering, sport climbing, tradclimbing, hiking, and as a pack for my job as a field instructor for an outdoor science school.

 

In general, I have found the pack to be exceptionally comfortable, partially due to the padded and formed waist-belt. Kailas has made it easy and convenient to remove these pads if desired to shed weight for climbing; however, I have used the pack with them on as it has made it incredibly comfortable for any and all uses.

 

Coming in at 45L, the Mutant is a perfect size for anything from trips of a few hours to a full weekend. It seems true to size, although I would argue that it provides more space than many other 45L packs due to its many packing tricks and details that are addressed below. With two side straps on either side as well as a top strap that doubles as a climbing rope attachment, the pack is easily compressed when extra storage isn’t needed (for example, when on short trips or when gear is on-harness).

 

Although perhaps not completely waterproof, as is expected with most ‘waterproof’ packs, I was highly impressed by the level of water resistance that the Mutant displayed; I found no damp gear either after spring rainstorms or after sitting on the pack in spring snow while on day ski trips.

 

When I first started using this pack on a daily basis, one of my friends told me to ‘be careful or you’ll wear it out—that always happens with technical packs like that.’ I was happily surprised to find that this was not the case. Between climbing on sharp limestone, taking falls on springcorn, and throwing the pack down every 20 minutes while field teaching, the pack shows almost no wear and it’s water resistance makes it easy to spray and wipe off after a particularly messy day in the field.

 

While the Mutant 45L may not be quite as light as some of its competitors, I have found its versatility to more than make up for that fact. This is the type of go-to pack that I always want to have in the back of my car for whatever the road and the mountains may bring.

 

It’s in the details

 

I was most impressed with the number of clever and useful details that are included in the construction of the Mutant 45L, making it the perfect pack for any occasion.

 

Each side of the pack has straps to A-frame a pack, or hold hiking poles. Each side has the buckles in different directions, making it easy to bring the straps around back to hold a snowboard or any other piece of large, bulky gear that won’t fit anywhere else.

 

The small waist-belt pocket is perfect for holding a cell phone, bandana, and a snack for easy access, and I have had no issues with it accidentally opening from rubbing on the rocks as I have with other packs.

 

As previously mentioned, there is a strap that can be pulled from inside to wrap over a climbing rope to hold it on top of the pack—however, this strap is also perfect for shrinking the brain of the pack as well, keeping the pack more contained.

 

 

The brain is large and spacious, and even has a built-in space on the underside for maps or any other gear you want flat and separate.

 

 

Finally, the side-zip access on the pack is excellently located and convenient. I have had no issues with it coming open, and it is low enough on the pack to allow for access to a Nalgene in the bottom of the pack without taking off the pack (assuming your shoulders are relatively flexible). This is a HUGE point for me as I love to be able to access water while hiking even if I don’t have a hydration system with me.

 

In short, the Mutant 45L pack by Kailas is the most versatile pack I’ve ever owned, is perfect for any adventure, and is durable and comfortable enough to be used on a daily basis if needed.

 

 

Pros

Versatile

Comfortable

Nice details

Water-resistant

Durable

 

Cons

Heavier than competitors

 


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