Today’s review was written by CXC regular contributor Jess. Here’s what she thinks of the Patagonia Cragsmith.
After years of hauling my gear in tiny daypacks or oversized backpacking packs I decided it was time to finally invest in a specialized climbing pack. For me, the essential features of such a pack would include a padded waistband and a U shaped back pocket for easy gear access. I found these features in Patagonia’s fantastic Cragsmith.
Fit: This is a unisex pack. However, I find it fits a woman’s frame quite well. I’m 5’5″ with narrow hips and a long torso, and the S/M fits me great. The pack has several adjustable straps to customize the fit and compress the top. I really like the Air-Flow mesh panels on the shoulder straps and back that helps keep me cool during the approach and the padded waistband. My only complaint is that the sternum strap sits a little high on my chest.
Form: I love the bright blue and red versions, but it also comes in grey if you’d prefer something more muted. I find that the 35 L is a good size for my gear (especially since there are external daisy chain loops and a top cinch that gear can be attached to), but if you want something larger check out the 45 L Crag Daddy Pack. A rope can be carried inside the bag or cinched to the top. An additional advantage of the 35 L size is that it makes a perfect carry on for far-flung climbing locations. The pack is made of super durable nylon with a water repellent coating. The green side of me appreciates that Patagonia is able to use 50% recycled nylon to make the material.
Function: The selling point of this pack for me is the U shaped back panel. I love being able to throw my pack down when we get to the crag, zip open the back, and pull everything out! Not to mention easily shoving everything back in at the end of the day. Alternately, you can open the pack from the top to throw something in. There is an internal stash pock perfect for you wallet and keys, a water bladder sleeve, a medium side pocket, and a large top pocket. Unfortunately, the zipper on the top pocket is a little small relative to the size of the pocket. The zippers all seem really durable and the pack comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Finances: This pack is a steal! The Cragsmith retails at Patagonia for $129, but I snagged mine on sale in a Patagonia store for $90. Right now, Backcountry has last season’s for $77.40! The pack also occasionally pops up on Steep and Cheap.
Crush Status: Love it! I’ll be climbing with this baby for years to come!
Climb on! ~Jess