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The Arc’teryx Alpha FL30 Pack

The Arc’teryx Alpha FL30 is one of the go-to packs for climbers who want to move fast and light in the mountains. Gripped editor Brandon Pullan recently spent a few days climbing with a new Genepi Green Alpha FL30.

Hailed for the past few seasons by many climbers as the one-and-only alpine pack, the Alpha FL30 and its bigger version, the FL45, work great for big ice and cragging.

Having used it for the past year, I can attest to the quality and great design of the robust pack. A note on the size, the 30L is actually 23L until you extend it and likewise the 40L is only 33L. Fully extended, the roll top seals everything in like a dry sack.

The Arc'teryx Alpha FL30 extended.
The Arc’teryx Alpha FL30 extended.

For the last few days, I have been running around to the ice climbs close to Canmore. I made a point to put the pack through the ringer and the N400-AC2 material stood up to the pounding.

At 575g, 650g from the 45L, the pack in phenomenally light. With minimal excess material, webbing hip belt and no extra gadgets, the thin shoulder straps provide all the comfort you need, even with a full pack. The dense foam back panel keeps the pack weigh distributed nicely and I never had any issues with pressure points.

The external bungee runs through lash points and the simple design allows you to quickly attach tools. The 45L version has extra lash points near the back panel that gives you the option to rig your own cord for side compression straps. The sternum strap is easy to remove or adjust.

The Arc'teryx Alpha FL30 sternum strap.
The Arc’teryx Alpha FL30 sternum strap.

The closure system is one of the best features on the pack. With tabs big enough to grab with gloves, it takes one pull to open and one to close. If you tuck the roll top collar into the pack, you create a small area between it and the external closure where a helmet or other gear can fit.

The laminated pocket is big enough for a phone, lip balm, snacks or keys. The long rope strap reaches from the front to a clip above the back panel and can accommodate any rope you need to bring with you. If there is extra strap, just use the fixed Velcro strap to tuck it away. Another great feature is the all-white interior that allows you to easily locate big or small gear. At night, it lights up under a headlamp.

The Arc'teryx Alpha FL30 reflective interior.
The Arc’teryx Alpha FL30 reflective interior.

I prefer the 30L for two-day alpine missions in the Rockies. It allows me to load it up on the approach, but then pack it down to a manageable size. The two haul loops have come in hand more than once when tagging the pack up chimneys. I have used the 45L on trips to the Bugaboos when I need more food and sleeping gear and I bring a smaller pack for day missions from camp.

Having used both the 30L and 45L on a number of alpine, crag and ice routes, I highly recommend them both.

For more info on the Alpha FL30 see here and on the Alpha FL45 see here.