Staff Review - Millet Axpel 48 rucksack

By Adventure Peaks
September 10, 2013

I used this rucksack on a trek to Kang Tengri base camp (Kyrgyzstan) in July 2013. This was a 6 day trek up a predominately moraine-covered glacier. Although we had porter support, as leader of the trip I was carrying a fair amount of group safety equipment so for the most part the pack was relatively fully loaded.

COMFORT. This was a very comfortable sac to wear, fitting nicely to my back. The broad pad on the waist belt (sitting in the small of the back) suited me well. Although I noticed the ‘Mobility Back System’ at times enhance the comfort of the sac, this was not employed to the full as there was very little climbing / scrambling involved. However I did test it out on a boulder or two and must admit it did create a new sensation in pack carrying which I am sure would feel great on longer climbs as the pack did ‘flow’ with the upper body and did not feel restrictive at all.

LOADING. The pack loaded well. I used the split main section with the divider zipped closed with easy access to first aid and waterproofs (it rained a lot!) from the lower section and kept spare clothes etc in the upper section. The outer  top pocket (with the rain cover inside it) was very generous and held al the bits and bobs I wanted it to. I like pockets on waist belts, and wished that there had been tow of them (why only one I am not sure) and it needed to be bigger. Very useful, it appropriately sized, for compass, camera, GPS, lip salve, sun cream, sweets and snacks – all those items you need to get at at any time without taking off the rucksack. The stretchy side pockets easily held a large water bottle securely.

STRAPS, BUCKLES, BELTS, ADJUSTERS. All worked well and smoothly and could be operated with gloves on. I liked the way ice axes could be attached (once I worked out how to do it – there were no instructions!), but the system does not hold walking poles as well as other systems I have used.

MATERIAL. The material seems very robust and the sac still looks as good as new (glaciers are not the most sac-friendly places!). The rain cover was tested and worked well.

SUMMARY. I like the size of this sac, and feel it ticks the box for a variety of purposes. It is light but tough, so can be used as a partly filled day sac without feeling one is carrying excess weight. It is big enough I am sure for lightweight backpacking, Alpine climbing and ski-touring (skis can be attached but i did not test this – looks fine though). Feels good, looks smart and modern as well. A nice bit of kit Millet!

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