Gear Review 004

Dan Tests the Amazing Mammut Face 22 Rucksac…

 

My Mammut face rucksack is now an old friend, like an old dog thats been everywhere with me, its never let me down. And like a lot of old dogs it is starting to smell a bit funny!

I brought it in 2006 and use it for everything from hand luggage on aeroplanes, mountain biking, days cragging, via ferrata, multi pitch climbing, ski touring, ice climbing, laptop bag to light weight alpinism and super light overnights in the hills. I have learnt how to pack loads of stuff in it and on the outside.

I love the simple, un-faffy design and low profile. It is slim line with no top or side pockets, allowing for excellent freedom of movement with no head restriction when wearing a helmet. I haven’t got stuck squirming up tight gullies when wearing it. Its heavy duty materials Nylon 420 D velocity and Nylon 1680 D Ballistic have lasted really well. The buckles make a good clunk when clipped together.

It is quite light at 1100g and can be stripped down further; there is a thin foam insert that can be removed, great for impromptu bivvies or sitting on whilst having a brew at the end of the day.  The aluminium V frame support (looks a bit like metal coat hanger) can also be taken out. After nearly 6 years of abuse this is a little bent, but not to the point of making it uncomfortable. The hip belt can also be removed although I tend to just clip it around its self to keep it out of the way. The two gear loops are on the main part of the rucksack and can still be used when the hip belt has been removed. Although I have read that they are awkward for less skinny people

There is a main compartment and a smaller front pocket. They are the same style, with reassuringly chunky zips which run almost the entire length of the pockets making access very easy. The zip toggles are ok, maybe a little on the small side for big winter mitts. Inside the main compartment is a bladder pocket that fits a 2 litre bladder with neoprene tube holes and neat Velcro tube holders on both shoulder straps. In the main compartment there is an internal security pocket with a Velcro closure tab, it’s big enough for passport, money and keys, although if the pack is very full digging my wallet out to buy Georgie a beer at the end of a day can be difficult as it needs to be emptied to get to the pocket. I guess she’ll just have to get them in…

On the outside there are two tool holders and two compression straps on each side. Not only do these compress, there are great for strapping things that wont fit inside; 60 m double ropes, crampons, trainers, jackets, walking poles, helmets and flip flops for sea side cragging! Despite having no specific ski or board features it handles days off-pisiting and easy day ski tours well. It is possible to comfortably carry skis using the compression straps. A snow board or super fat skis might be a problem. My shovel heads fits neatly in the front pocket.

The grab handle is small but has a stiffened cover over the webbing making it easy to use even with gloves on. There are no specified haul loops but they are not really necessary on a sac of this size, I have hauled it using the grab handle and had no concerns about this failing. For hanging the sac at a belay there is a bright red hanging strap with a loop that fits a carabiner.

For the size of the pack it carries load very well with a lot of adjustment available. It can be tightened at the shoulders, hips and waist for the perfect fit. The hip and shoulder straps are well padded and comfy. The padding has lasted very well but its definitely starting to thin down now. The chest strap adjusts very well up and down using a slide fitting however recently it has popped off a couple of times, I think it is getting a bit old! The buckle incorporates a whistle which is one of the niftiest things around.

Mammut have stopped making this great rucksack so if you can find one in the depths of a gear shop or on the internet, snap it up and take it outside!!

It’s very hard to find a ruck sac that suits all situations but the Mammut face 22 seems to cope with everything that I have thrown at it. I love this rucksac, but soon I think it will have to move on to a happy place with all the other old smelly dogs. That will be a sad day.

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