Outdoor Gearlab Top Pick - The 5 Best Mountaineering Backpacks of 2023

Rated 4.5 out of 5
Based on 72 reviews

Prism 40

$425.00

SKU: 3-10740-1

Designed for technical alpine ascents, this 40L pack with drawstring closure and floating lid strikes the balance of speed, weight, security, and comfort.

DESIGNED FOR: Alpine Climbing
GOOD FOR: Ice Climbing, Mixed Climbing, Mountaineering
WEIGHT: 34.6oz | 981g (Medium)

PRIMARY FEATURE SUMMARY

With external diamond pocket to lock two technical axes in place, an external crampon pocket, and a drawstring closure with floating lid, this pack is ideal for ice climbing, mixed climbing, and mountaineering. Primary features include:

  • Ice axe loop for a traditional mountaineering axe
  • Top-loading pack with lid featuring a zipper pocket
  • Over the top strap helps compress and secure a rope
  • Removable hip belt with gear loops and ice clipper slots
  • Low-profile side pockets for securing pickets/wands
PRIMARY FEATURE SUMMARY

WHY CHOOSE THE PRISM 40?

WHY CHOOSE THE PRISM 40?

Key Feature

REMOVABLE FLOATING LID

Sized to accomodate items you need quick access to throughout the day

Key Feature

DRAWSTRING CLOSURE & WATERPROOF MATERIALS

Easy to open and close with gloves on for loading or unloading gear. Pair with our Stuff Sacks for a buttoned up, nearly waterproof kit

Key Feature

HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE

Compression straps secure crucial equipment while keeping the pack close to the body for free and unrestricted movement

FEATURES

  • External Pockets:Diamond pocket locks axe heads in place without additional buckles. Low profile side sleeve pockets hold mountaineering wands/pickets.
  • Top Closure:Drawstring closure system with extendable collar and cinch cord. Floating lid allows for pack expansion.
  • Hip Belt:Removable hip belt with gear loops and ice clipper slots, built using Hardline with Dyneema®, dual-density 1/8” closed cell rigid foam, 1/4” closed cell foam and spacer mesh
  • Back:Integrated plastic sheet with dual-density foam back panel pad
  • Loops:Grab Loop & Ice Axe Loop
  • Side Straps:Four side compression straps for horizontal compression or attach additional items like snowboards and sleeping pads
  • Top Compression Straps:Top compression strap secures gear stored under the lid and brings the load closer to your center of gravity.
  • Shoulder Straps:Hardline with Dyneema® shoulder strap construction with 3/8” closed cell foam and spacer mesh.
  • Sternum Straps:Adjustable sternum strap with self-tensioning elastic and whistle
  • Buckles/Bungees:Reflective bungees with quick-release pull tabs secure axe handles
  • Stays:One removable, contoured aluminum stay
  • Sealing:Seam tape on all vertical side seams and behind all sewn-on pack features
  • Stress Point Reinforcement:Bar tacked reinforcements on all stress points
  • Pack Accessory Options:Prism Ice Screw Case, Prism Crampon Bag, Shoulder Pocket, Versa, REpack, Stuff Sacks & Pods
  • Daisy Chains:Daisy chains on shoulder straps, two external daisy chains for attaching extra gear for trip-specific customization.
  • Water Resistant:Yes
  • Compatible With:Pods, Stuff Sacks, Prism Crampon Bag & Ice Screw Case, Hyperlite Mountain Gear Removable Hip Belts
Rated five stars
Perfect Pack for Adventures in the Mountains!
Great for carrying skis, ice tools, crampons, and everything else you need to have a skiing/climbing adventure in the mountains! Lightweight pack but super durable and supportable; comfortable to wear for many hours at a time!
Sarah S.
Verified Buyer
Rated five stars
My Favorite Piece of Outdoor Equipment Ever.
Simply wonderful. I love the fit, the comfort, the durability and functionality of this pack. I love the solid, shiftless way it carries weight close to my center of mass, and the minimalist aesthetic with nothing extra, nothing out of place.
Philip E.
Verified Buyer
Rated five stars
Prism Pack is Great
This pack rubs an itch I have had for a simple, roomy pack for ski tours on a glacier. It has just the right amount of room for everything and carries really well. I can highly recommend it!
Brian O.
Verified Buyer

SPECS & DIMENSIONS

  • MaterialsDCH150 + DCHW
  • Internal Volume40L + 15L
  • Weight34.6oz | 981g *Average weight based on size Medium
  • Load CapacityUp to 50lbs
  • Back Width11.0" | 27.9cm
  • Height (Fully Unrolled)35.0" | 88.9cm
  • Height22.0" - 30.5" | 55.9cm - 77.5cm
  • Top Circumference38.0" | 96.5cm
  • Bottom Circumference28.0" | 71.1cm
  • Made InMexico

WHY CHOOSE THE PRISM 40?

Key Feature

REMOVABLE FLOATING LID

Sized to accomodate items you need quick access to throughout the day

Key Feature

DRAWSTRING CLOSURE & WATERPROOF MATERIALS

Easy to open and close with gloves on for loading or unloading gear. Pair with our Stuff Sacks for a buttoned up, nearly waterproof kit

Key Feature

HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE

Compression straps secure crucial equipment while keeping the pack close to the body for free and unrestricted movement

Features

  • External Pockets:Diamond pocket locks axe heads in place without additional buckles. Low profile side sleeve pockets hold mountaineering wands/pickets.
  • Top Closure:Drawstring closure system with extendable collar and cinch cord. Floating lid allows for pack expansion.
  • Hip Belt:Removable hip belt with gear loops and ice clipper slots, built using Hardline with Dyneema®, dual-density 1/8” closed cell rigid foam, 1/4” closed cell foam and spacer mesh
  • Back:Integrated plastic sheet with dual-density foam back panel pad
  • Loops:Grab Loop & Ice Axe Loop
  • Side Straps:Four side compression straps for horizontal compression or attach additional items like snowboards and sleeping pads
  • Top Compression Straps:Top compression strap secures gear stored under the lid and brings the load closer to your center of gravity.
  • Shoulder Straps:Hardline with Dyneema® shoulder strap construction with 3/8” closed cell foam and spacer mesh.
  • Sternum Straps:Adjustable sternum strap with self-tensioning elastic and whistle
  • Buckles/Bungees:Reflective bungees with quick-release pull tabs secure axe handles
  • Stays:One removable, contoured aluminum stay
  • Sealing:Seam tape on all vertical side seams and behind all sewn-on pack features
  • Stress Point Reinforcement:Bar tacked reinforcements on all stress points
  • Pack Accessory Options:Prism Ice Screw Case, Prism Crampon Bag, Shoulder Pocket, Versa, REpack, Stuff Sacks & Pods
  • Daisy Chains:Daisy chains on shoulder straps, two external daisy chains for attaching extra gear for trip-specific customization.
  • Water Resistant:Yes
  • Compatible With:Pods, Stuff Sacks, Prism Crampon Bag & Ice Screw Case, Hyperlite Mountain Gear Removable Hip Belts

Product Video

Product Reviews and Questions

average rating 4.5 out of 5
Based on 72 reviews
  • 5 Stars
    49 Reviews
  • 4 Stars
    14 Reviews
  • 3 Stars
    6 Reviews
  • 2 Stars
    2 Reviews
  • 1 Star
    1 Review
89% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
How was your pack fit?
Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Too Small, 0 is Just Right and 2 is Too Big
Rate your level of experience in the backcountry.
Rated 4 out of 5
Customer photos and videos
Review posted
Reviewed by Veraun C.
Verified Buyer
Age Range
25 - 34
What activities did you use this product for?
  • Backpacking
  • Thru Hiking
  • Day Hiking
  • Alpine/Ice Climbing
What size pack did you order?
Small
Rated 5 out of 5

Prism 40

The best pack hands down for ice and alpine climbing! Been using my own for a couple of years now, and bought one for Christmas for my daughter.

This is HMG pack #6 for my family!

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How was your pack fit?
Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Too Small, 0 is Just Right and 2 is Too Big
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Rated 5 out of 5
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Review posted
Reviewed by Steven D.
Verified Buyer
Age Range
65+
What activities did you use this product for?
  • Alpine/Ice Climbing
What size pack did you order?
Tall
Rated 4 out of 5

Almost perfect ice climbing pack

I liked everything about this pack (compared to other “ice climbing pack designs”. Only wish it had a larger top pocket to accommodate extra mitts, first aid kit, beacon.

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How was your pack fit?
Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Too Small, 0 is Just Right and 2 is Too Big
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Rated 5 out of 5
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Review posted
Reviewed by Joshua S.
Verified Buyer
Age Range
25 - 34
What activities did you use this product for?
  • Alpine/Ice Climbing
What size pack did you order?
Medium
Rated 5 out of 5

Best light weight simplistic minimalist pack out there

Great pack, really ticks all the boxes. Light weight, simplistic, minimalistic, super durable, VERY comfortable. great features. I measured my torso and went with a Medium. Should have got a size small unfortunately. But I will just have to get by

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I recommend this product
How was your pack fit?
Rated 2 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Too Small, 0 is Just Right and 2 is Too Big
Rate your level of experience in the backcountry.
Rated 3 out of 5
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Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Hey Josh, thanks for the review! Reach out to the Customer Service team to get the fit of your pack assessed. They should be able to help you out with this!

Review posted
Reviewed by Wayne P.
Verified Buyer
Age Range
35 - 44
What activities did you use this product for?
  • Alpine/Ice Climbing
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Day Hiking
  • Thru Hiking
  • Backpacking
What size pack did you order?
Medium
Rated 5 out of 5

Changing the game

Amazing and great pack! Light and extremely durable!

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I recommend this product
How was your pack fit?
Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Too Small, 0 is Just Right and 2 is Too Big
Rate your level of experience in the backcountry.
Rated 4 out of 5
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Review posted
Reviewed by Juan R.
Verified Buyer
Age Range
35 - 44
What activities did you use this product for?
  • Alpine/Ice Climbing
What size pack did you order?
Medium
Rated 3 out of 5

Guide

Hi, I am an Ifmga guide living and working in patagonia, chalten for 20 years. I guide all the most challenging climbs in the are as fitz Roy. This is my first year with your pack an i really like it.

My suggestion is related to the hip belt. I know it's removable but will be nice if it camps with a thin strap belt to climb with. Thanks

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Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Too Small, 0 is Just Right and 2 is Too Big
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Rated 5 out of 5
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