Descensionist 32L

48170-INBK-S

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The ski and snowboard variant to our Ascensionist alpine pack—this purpose-made backcountry touring pack is built to go light on the ascent but has all the features to accommodate safety tools for steep descents.

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Our midsized Descensionist Pack 32L has a lightweight, fully featured design that meets all the needs of backcountry riders out for the day in varied terrain. Durable CORDURA® nylon fabric makes the Descensionist extremely light and supple, but still provides burly puncture and abrasion resistance. The Descensionist has an asymmetrical spindrift collar that opens wide for easy packing and closes with the tug of a drawcord that simultaneously cinches the collar and closes the lid instantly for a secure seal against blowing snow. A handy side-access zipper provides an alternative entry to the main compartment and lets you access your gear quickly, and a zippered top pocket on the lid makes sure your small essentials stay handy. Your shovel and avy tools have their own zip-closing pocket that features internal elastic cording to keep everything organized and allow instant retrieval. The suspension system includes a padded hip-belt with a stretch-woven stash pocket and a removable high-density foam back panel for structure and support with heavy loads. Compression straps make it easy to pack a snowboard or a pair of skis, and two sets of daisy chains provide multiple lashing options. Made from 210-denier CORDURA® 86% nylon/14% polyester with a polyurethane coating. The base is 420-denier CORDURA® 100% nylon plain weave with a polyurethane coating.

Features

Made with durable CORDURA® nylon for puncture and abrasion resistance

Asymmetrical spindrift collar opens wide for easy packing; drawcord simultaneously cinches collar and closes lid for a secure seal; side zipper for easy access to main compartment

High-density foam back panel gives pack structure and helps to support heavy loads, but can be removed for lightweight pursuits

Padded hip-belt with stretch-woven stash pocket

Snowboard carry straps and diagonal ski carry loop included

Daisy chains on front provide lashing options; compression straps on sides help manage different-sized loads; zippered pocket on lid offers easy access to small items

Available in two sizes: S/M, L/XL

1,040 g (2 lbs 4.7 oz)

Size & Fit

Materials

Body: 5.5-oz 210-denier CORDURA® 86% nylon/14% polyester ripstop.

Base: 10-oz 420-denier CORDURA 100% nylon plain weave. Both treated with a polyurethane coating

Reviews

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Verified Reviewer
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2 star rating
Update
I posted a review earlier, but wanted to add a bit more. Previously, I had mentioned that I lost half of one strap on my 2nd day out with the pack, which I attributed to probably forgetting to buckle it. Well the 3rd day I made sure the one remaining strap was buckled and didn’t come home with it. You need at least one of those straps to use the ski loop (boarders obviously need both). Generally I prefer A-framing my skis on either side, so without another option I went about doing so. I hadn’t realized before but only the top compression straps have a buckle that unclips, the bottom ones just have a tension adjuster. Meaning you have to slide the tails of your skis down the side of the pack. It’s an awkward task. I put the bag on the ground slid the tails in and then had to try and balance both skis while sliding the pack up so I could buckle the top. Maybe in snow I’d just throw it all on the ground and it’d be fine, but in a parking lot I don’t want my gear in the mud and gravel. Besides the added difficulty, just the idea of sliding a sharp edge along the side of your pack seems wrong. I’m sure the fabric is tough, but just put clips on all the straps and avoid all this. A bag designed for skiing and snowboarding, should be able to hold whatever you’re riding on. I’m going to see if I can put some buckles on the bottom compression straps, but that requires opening some seams. I’ll probably loop a strap through the daisy chain so I have the option to use the ski loop. Honestly, I kind of wish I’d bought an old Ascentionist 35L and spend this time putting a zipper on the side.
Verified Reviewer
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A Verified Reviewer is a shopper who has confirmed an email address, or connected a social network with Yotpo, providing an added level of transparency and trust.
2 star rating
So close! But needs work.
I really wanted to love this pack. Size is perfect, smart fabric choices, nice to have the shovel pocket, zipper is handy, seems like a simple, tough choice for day touring and even as an all purpose alpine pack. But, it needs a little refinement to really work. I compared it side by side with the Ascensionist 30 and a CiloGear 30L Worksack. In the end, the Descensionist lost.

1) The opening at the top is too narrow. It’s about three inches (roughly measured) smaller in circumference than the Ascensionist 30. So, instead of the nice wide tapering opening, you’re fighting to get your hands and your stuff in to the bottom of the pack. This is even more important on the Descensionist 32 because it’s taller than the Ascensionist 30.

2) The shovel pocket needs more volume that’s independent of the main pack body. When the pack is stuffed full, it’s a project to get the shovel blade in and out, kind of defeating the purpose, and stressing the fabric and zipper. And, if you pack the shovel first, then it eats volume from the inside of the pack.

3) The bottom edge of the glued-on foam at the top of the back panel, under where the shoulder straps attach, digs into my back. I can feel this even through a couple layers, and acutely with a light layer. I tried all different kinds of packing, and while it went away sometimes, it would come back as soon as I repacked. I hoped that wearing it all day would make it stop, but it didn’t. For some reason this doesn’t happen on the Ascensionist 30 even though it has the same foam piece. It feels like maybe the foam is softer, or the frame sheet behind it is thinner. But that might be my imagination. I don’t know, but it’s annoying! Why not just have a smooth back panel?

Each of these issues on their own might not be a deal breaker. But taken together, the pack just didn't work for me.

I eagerly await Version 2 of this pack, it’s so close to great! In the meantime, I’ll stick with the Ascensionist 30, and jerry rig ski and shovel solutions.
Verified Reviewer
What is a Verified Reviewer
A Verified Reviewer is a shopper who has confirmed an email address, or connected a social network with Yotpo, providing an added level of transparency and trust.
2 star rating
Weird ridge of foam on backpanel
I was all ready to love this pack. Everything about it. But, then I put it on for a while. There's a double layer of foam at the top and bottom of the backpanel. And the top layer creates a ridge of foam that rubs just across my should blades. I really can't understand that design. Too bad!
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