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David Vo
(sygyzy) - M
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Alchemist 40 on 03/08/2012 14:23:03 MST Print View

Hi,


Has anyone used or seen this pack? It's featured in the April 2012 Backpacker gear guide and it's rated a "versatile bargain" and "killer deal". It is a 40 liter pack that expands to 55 liters so the idea is you could carry a large load up to camp, drop some stuff off like food or your tent, and ascend up a mountain. Or similarly, you could hike to a camp, drop off stuff, and use it as a smaller pack for a day hike.

It weighs 4lbs so it's not ultralight but it costs only $199, which seems reasonable to me. Another cool feature is it has a removable closed cell foam (?) pad in the back which is used for back support. However, since it's removable, you could take it out and use it as a chair, sleeping pad, or even a splint for a sprained ankle, or something.

http://bit.ly/wbW6OM

I don't *need* a pack right now but I am sort of a gear junkie so I was thinking about picking it up. What do you guys think? Any experience with this?

Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
Waste. on 03/08/2012 14:48:08 MST Print View

Don't waste your money. 4lbs for 40 liters is more than a little ridiculous. That's 16oz for every 10 Liters! You can get 40 liters for half that weight at the same price, if not way cheaper/lighter. IMHO it's been awhile since Eddie Bower was more than just a clothing company anyway. None of my EB clothes I'd take to the mountains, even less their gear. Don't waste the money, look at ULA or Zpacks.

My Circuit is 67L and weighs 2.5lbs and even that is heavy for some.

It's great to have a Gear Closet, but if it's filled with gear you will never use, it's not much good.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 03/08/2012 14:55:25 MST Print View

"It weighs 4lbs so it's not ultralight but it costs only $199..."

(4lbs of weight) + (199 dollars) = 17.338 teraparsecs of FAIL

I'm sure Roger and Will can confirm my math...

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Alchemist 40 on 03/08/2012 15:03:19 MST Print View

It isn't heavy for an alpine climbing pack that requires a level of robustness against granite and sandstone.

However, that is quite heavy for an ul backpacking pack.

Are you a climber?

Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
Coleman Backpacking on 03/08/2012 15:22:47 MST Print View

If cheap is your thing, check out the camping section at Walmart (seriously, not trying to be sarcastic) "Coleman MAX" makes some backpacking backpacks in the sub 100 dollar range with this much space, and still probably lighter/rugged than this.

I think Coleman tends to sacrifice weight for rugged cheapness. (EDIT: and cheap replaceability)

They have some other stuff like the Blue CCF and decent lightweight tarps. Almost bought the tarp. It intrigued me very much.

Edited by Nihilist_Voyager on 03/08/2012 15:25:40 MST.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Re: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Alchemist 40 on 03/08/2012 15:28:38 MST Print View

I presume this has been in development by the FA team for awhile - it's their second generation of packs, which hadn't been updated in several years.

It looks burly and low, with lots of organization. Lots of extras and internal doo-dads.

Looks much better in the video than in the pictures.

$200 for a 55L climbing pack is a deal, especially with EB's sales.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Alchemist 40 on 03/08/2012 16:02:44 MST Print View

"It is a 40 liter pack that expands to 55 liters so the idea is you could carry a large load up to camp..."

Oh, oh! I know of another pack that can expand like this! It's called any pack in the world that has a roll top or storm collar.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of this pack. Seriously, this seems like marketing BS. I guess the idea is that it's an expandable panel loader? Why even bother...people have been using roll tops just fine...simpler, does the same thing, and lighter

I know tons of climbing specific packs in the 40-50 liter range that weigh less, and are held in high regards by real climbers (e.g., cilogear)

Edited by Konrad1013 on 03/08/2012 16:05:22 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Alchemist 40 on 03/08/2012 16:15:16 MST Print View

"I know tons of climbing specific packs in the 40-50 liter range that weigh less, and are held in high regards by real climbers (e.g., cilogear)"

But that cost double. Don't forget the cost factor here.

By the way, I really disliked the fit of my Cilo but YMMV.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Re: Alchemist 40 on 03/08/2012 16:53:02 MST Print View

@David: Cilo (or CCW) packs aren't double. Cilo's 45L is $235.

Black Diamond and even Arc'Teryx's climbing packs aren't $400 in the 50L range, either.

$200 is nice, but isn't half comparable packs.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Alchemist 40 on 03/08/2012 17:18:36 MST Print View

Thanks, I stand corrected.

Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Big Fan on 03/08/2012 18:07:00 MST Print View

I'm a big fan of FA gear. The packs might not be the lightest, but their technical layers and shells are great!