User Review: Macpac Torre 80
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: NZ$250 (1995)
The (old skool) Macpac Torre is one tough mutha... you'll need to include it in your will!
- Rather heavy
- Shoulder straps tend to slip
The Macpac Torre model I have is slightly different to the current version - I bought it waaay back in 1995!
Over the years I have used this pack for everything from overnight trips in the local hills, week long wilderness tramps in New Zealand, Canada and the US, a six month overland backpacking trip from London across Asia to Singapore, climbing and ski-mountaineering in NZ, North America and Europe — and much else in between! While it may not have been to perfect pack for any of these activities, it did handle them with ease and I never experienced any problems (except in one instance — see below).
My Torre (size 2), made in NZ, has an earlier version of Macpac's Dynamic harness and is of a single sack design (ie no botton zipper entry or internal devider for a sleeping bag), and instead of a rear pocket, has a kevlar crampon patch (with bungee cord). I have also sewn on a couple of gear loops onto the hip belt for racking carabiners etc while climbing.
I have found the pack to be very comfortable, even when overloaded with climbing gear and food slogging up the Tasman Glacier. The pocket in the lid is generous enough to carry all the odds and ends you need easy access to throughout the day, while the main body will swallow all you need (and probably more). The ice axe loops and crampoon patch while simple are both very effective, while the side compression straps are effective at carrying extras from your sleeping mat, tent or skis, and can still cinch the pack down to a managable size for day long summit pushes etc.
The cotton/nylon (Aztec) fabric, in addition to being pretty much waterproof, is damn near in-destructable. So while the pack will weigh a bit more than a nylon competitor, it will outlast it many times over.
Having said all of that, I have had two minor issues:
1. The shoulder straps do tend to slip over the day, which is a bit of a pain, and
2. One the plastic sleeves in the shoulder straps that hold the lower strap to the metal stay (frame) came apart (after 16 years of use). Bit of an issues as I was five days from the road end at the time, but it was easily jerry-fixed with a zip tie. I was able to buy a replacement strap easily from my local outdoor shop.
Overall what I really like about the Torre is that it was obviously designed and made by people who actually use the kit themselves — there is a refreshing lack of useless bells and whistles. Instead you get a well throught-out simple and robust pack that does everything it should!
After 18 years of pretty heavy use, the pack is not even close to being considered for retirement!
I don't know if the new Macpacs made in China and Vietnam are of the same quality as my old version, but even if they lasted half as long, you would have done very well indeed.
Where to Buy
The Macpac Torre 80 is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Macpac website.
Retailers: Do you sell this product? List your site here.