Pod Sac Alpine 50
April 3rd, 2011
My first rucsac was a Karrimor Jaguar. It set the standard for pretty much all of my rucsac choices ever since – big and simple, no side pockets, fixed back, with limited fixtures and fittings. I then had a very minimal red Troll Trolltind sac that I used for rock climbing for years and years. It was utterly indestructible, you could have cut it up for abseil slings. I have since used Karrimor Alpinistes, a great Mountain Equipment sac, a Macpac that I didn’t like at all, a Crux AK47 which I sold on almost immediately, and a ridiculously lightweight Golite Pac which I have used in Borneo, on Kilmanjaro and in the Rwenzori mountains.
I was a little late in catching on to the cult of Pod. Originally hand-made in Sheffield, Pod Sacs gained a reputation for good design with no superfluous frills and an incredible durablility. My first was a Escape Pod, which I have used as a crag sac for over 10 years and I still use for carrying my photography kit for rock climbing shoots. I now own four Pod Sacs – my original Escape Pod, the excellent Black Ice (one of the best all-round rucsacs available), a Tear Drop (which a friend embarassingly described as looking good for shopping in Sheffield) and now the Alpine 50 which have been using continuously over the last six months, throughout the Scottish winter while working for Jagged Globe and as an mountaineering instructor training and assessing on the Single Pitch Award, Walking Group Leader and Mountain Leader Award.
Pod describe the Alpine 50 as a lightweight pack honed for the alpine environment. Functional, weather resistant and can be stripped down to suit the needs of the lightweight alpinist.
- Roll top closure provides weather resistance and gives secure closure even when the lid is stripped.
- Tapered profile allows good freedom of movement and easy packing.
- Extendable / Quick release lid with internal and external pockets.
- Thermoformed back panel with closed cell foam sheds snow and does not absorb water.
- Removable internal framesheet and alloy stave for support.
- Removable load bearing hip belt with gear loops for racking.
- Internal light grey PU coating increases weather resistance and aids viewing of contents.
- Ice axe / walking pole / ski pole carrying system.
- External wand pockets constructed from ultra-tough leno mesh.
- Rope carrying loop.
- Front and rear haul loops.
- Internal pocket and hose outlet for hydration system.
- Seams triple stitched and bound.
- Internally bar tacked stress points.
The first thing I noticed about this sac was that it is very light (1.6kg / 0.85kg stripped). It is quite narrow and has a roll-top closure that will provide protection to contents when the lid is removed. The lid has two zipped pockets, one with a key clip. The sides have compression straps and mesh wand pockets with when used together can carry equipment such as ski-poles, ice-axes, etc.
I started off using the Alpine sac as I received it, with the removable lid attached and all the straps and clips in place, however as the Winter progressed I removed and cut off more and more. It is now stripped down to its barest bones. The narrowness of the sac allows great freedom of movement and you can swing your arms about in all directions without any restrictions. The fixed back system is simple with pre-curved shoulder straps, a removable waist belt with gear loops and a chest strap. The system works very well, is secure while climbing and is undoubtably the comfiest and best fitting rucsac I have ever worn.
To conclude this a versatile rucsac that continues and expands upon the great Pod heritage. While designed for and eminently suitable for Alpine and Scottish winter mountaineering, the PodSac Alpine range is also excellent for hill-walking and as a rock-climbing sac.