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New in the USA: simple packs that redefine the notion of "lightweight durability".


by Ryan Jordan | 2005-07-06 03:00:00-06



I've been using the Crux AK47 Backpack off an on for alpine climbing and backcountry ski trips for the past six months. My favorite feature: it's tough. And not, "tough" in the way that an ultralight hiker on the AT talks about tough (i.e., "Wow, this silnylon is tough!") but tough in the way that people who think sliding on their backsides down scree slopes think is tough. The Crux AK47 Backpack body is made with a remarkable fabric not found on any US packs I know of. In fact, I've seen this fabric in ice climbing boots, and it never dawned on me that it would make a nice pack fabric. And, the beauty of all this toughness: the pack is still very light: 47 liters, with an internal frame, and only two and a half pounds?

The Crux AK47 Backpack carries weight well. I've had forty to fifty pounds in it with no problem - an innovative internal frame is made from a single piece of bent 7000-series aluminum tubing - a pretty unique means of creating a frame stay with tremendous load carrying capacity that still flexes well and remains extremely light. The main limitation to carrying weight is certainly not the frame - it's the hip belt. Fine at 40 pounds, but a little narrow for seriously heavy loads.

The final most distinguishing feature of the AK47 is the harness. Shoulder straps, hip belt, and back are backed with a single piece thermo-molded lining that fits, pardon the cliche, like a glove. But size the pack right - it comes in various sizes - to fit your torso.

Bottom line: A very light pack that carries heavy loads, is simple, extremely durable, and for what it does, awfully light.

Features and Specifcations

  • Weight: 2 lb 9 oz (Size 2)
  • Packbag Fabric: Polyurethane-coated Schoeller Keprotec (a blend of 28% Kevlar with 72% Cordura)
  • Bottom Fabric: 600d Cordura
  • Frame: 7001-T6 tubing bent into an "M" shape providing good head clearance (above the middle point of the "M") and stability equivalent to a multi-piece frame with twin vertical stays and a horizontal cross bar
  • Compression System: Single 1" webbing straps on each side of pack, in a Z-configuration
  • Ice Axe Loops: two bottom loops, upper loops consist of a toggle and elastic drawcord, which works well and is faster to deploy than conventional straps
  • Haul Loop: A HUGE haul loop is a nice feature - the pack is very easy to grap with winter mittens!
  • Sternum strap: yes
  • Top Pocket: yes, with waterproof zipper; when pack is extended and top pocket is full, it interferes with a helmet while vertical climbing
  • MSRP $249 (approx. US Street Price)


"Crux AK47 Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Ryan Jordan. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2005-07-06 03:00:00-06.