Arc’teryx Cierzo 35 Backpack Review

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Size:
0.58kg/20 oz
35L/40L max

Activity: Rock Climbing/Ice Climbing/Alpine Climbing

See link for full list of features: Arc’teryx Cierzo 35 Daypack – Black

Previously the only pack I owned and used was a 55lt Gregory Pack, with all the straps, pockets and loops you would ever need. Although I still love and use this pack, mostly in winter when I want a bit more comfort, it wasn’t always appropriate for light summer trips as it tended to be too heavy and bulky. Last summer we had a 3 day traverse trip planned that would have us bivying and traveling as light as possible, so I knew right then that my good ol’ Gregory pack would need to stay home that trip.

I did a bit of research and spoke to a friend who already owned and used a Cierzo 35 and decided that would be the pack for me. This pack is as minimal as it can get while still offering some durability and a small amount of comfort.

I have been using this pack for everything from crag climbing, multi-day mountaineering trips, ice climbing and even a 2 day back-country ski trip. Here is what I have found since using it:

Pros:

1) Extremely lightweight.

When researching this bag I came across this quote:

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery~

This really sums it all up for me. There is nothing excessive on this bag. It “does exactly what it says on the tin”. It is described as being compact and nearly weightless, and I would have to agree.

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2) Sits above your harness. Because of it’s compact & compressible design(no inner frame) you can push the pack to sit above your harness comfortably. This makes it easy to climb in and because it is not sitting off or your body due to a frame, it becomes part of you and your movement.

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3) With 2 ice axe loops and velcro axe keepers it was designed with the climber in mind. There is also micro daisy chains sewn to the front of the pack which makes for easy attachment of other items with carabiners or add on velcro straps.

4) Durable. I am not overly rough with my gear, but when I am out in the mountains my comfort and safety always comes before thinking about getting a tear or stain on my bag. With that in mind I have found the Cierzo to be very durable for what I have subjected it to.

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5) For a 35lt bag it can store alot! This pack has mostly been for trips that it was not actually designed for, such as multi-day trips where it weighed in at around 30lbs, and yet I still found it workable.

Cons:

1) Can be uncomfortable. If you pack alot in this bag you will definitely lose some comfortability for sure. As I had mentioned before there is no frame to this pack(only a light foam back pad)and no excessive padding on the shoulder straps, so with weight, or over the course of a day, the bag can become uncomfortable.

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2) Due to the compressible, frameless nature of this pack it needs to be packed specifically to ensure it is comfortable while wearing it. Unlike my heavier pack mentioned in which I could almost throw things into it without thinking of the specific order or placement, with the Cierzo you need to be more methodical to ensure it is comfortable against your back.

Winter Crown

3) I have also found that this pack works best when full. If you are heading out with only a few items in the pack it tends to be rather floppy on your back. When the pack is not completely full the top pocket shifts alot while walking and can get irritating. The solution to this issue is obvious, you just fold the top pocket into the main compartment to avoid it from moving around your neck.

So that’s my two cents, I hope it helps you to decide if this pack is right for you. I personally love this pack for exactly what it is;  lightweight and highly pack-able. I use it beyond it’s recommendations so I am willing to give up some comfort to be able to have a lighter pack. This pack is worth the money and I’d definitely give it a “buy!”

Buy: Arc’teryx Cierzo 35 Daypack – Black

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Author: Spring McClurg

I moved to B.C. with my husband in 2010 after spending 6 years living abroad in Ireland. Originally from a small town in Alberta that was minutes away from the Rockies, I always knew I would return to the mountains one day. I love spending as much time as I can in the mountains, whether it be mountaineering, rock climbing or simply running on the backcountry trails. I love to challenge myself and seek out new experiences.

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6 Comments

  1. I really love this pack too! I’ve been using it for the exact same sort of stuff, great for hauling an ultra-light multiday load. I find adding a blue foam sit pad (half of a square one) fits in perfectly and saves my back from poky things.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for the tip! This is really a great all-round pack. I just used it the other day on another back-country ski trip and was able to strap my skis to the pack. Is there anything this pack can’t do? 😉

      Post a Reply
      • Im curious, is this Waterproof?
        I know this was posted looong time ago, but id really appreciate if you give any comments about this.
        Thanks for the review!

        Post a Reply
        • The pack is not waterproof. If you have anything that you do not want to get wet, sleeping bag, down jacket etc. and you know it could possibly rain I would bring a rain-cover for the pack or use water-resistant stuff sacks.

          Post a Reply
          • Thanks! you’re too awesome 🙂
            ill have to keep searching for a waterproof pack… im actually starting a kayak trip…and the usual packs are way too heavy
            Thanks again

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