Mountain Hardwear Hueco 34
This pack delivers. I firmly believe that my goal…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $62
This pack delivers.
- Great carrying capacity at 34L — not too big and not too small
- The construction is "bomber" tough. I will say though, the rubbery outer finish will likely flake off soon. I personally don't care as that is only aesthetic.
- The top lid compartment offers three different pockets with enough space for a proper quick-access kit (keys, mobile phone, compass, map, whistle, fire kit, etc). I'll put it this way: it's designed to have enough room for a climbing helmet plus more in just the lid pocket.
- Hydration capable.
- Outside loops for two tools. For example two ice tools or two walking poles. So many packs only have room for one (Why? Have some designers never used their own product?)
- Small unobtrusive outside side pockets allowing secured quick access. I use my right hand side to carry my bear spray canister.
- Well placed compression straps that were clearly thought out in a way as to support more than one function. Well done, MH!
- There are two carry handles making this a very easy to use pack, even in airports. Nice!
- The suspension could be more athletic — this is likely only an issue for me.
- This pack is a little heavy at 2.3 lbs, though it's difficult to find a pack that is this well built and well thought out that is also less than a pound. In other words, I don't really see it as an issue. If you are a devout gram counter, "Your Mileage May Vary".
I firmly believe that my goal in buying gear is that the gear needs to support me in "hiking my own hike". If you've read "Hike your own hike" (Tapon), you'll recognize what I mean in that we all have our own goals for getting to the wild.
For me, camping is not key, but athletic hiking and constant healthy movement of my body in nature most certainly is the goal. So, I need a self-contained kit that fits well to my body no matter how fast I'm moving and what I'm doing (from sitting to climbing a pitch). My beloved 20L ascent pack (A+ for athletic fit) didn't give me the room to be properly prepared for overnight stays.
On the other hand, my 80L pack is just ridiculously huge and allows for no athletic movement at all as the center of gravity is dispersed both too wide and too tall (though if I want to move into a prospecting camp, then it's great... but I don't want to prospect, so it's 5 1/2 pounds are borderline useless to me).
If my current packs were too small and too large, then what was I looking for? I wanted about 35-40L of space with solid suspension, durability, some organization (but not too many pockets), some needed features (like hydration capabilities), and a sleek design that would support an athletic approach to the mountains.
I started looking for a new pack after years of using a 20+5 Liter ascent pack. My old pack is nothing short of amazing, except for two things.
- It needed a larger extra pocket for items needing quick access (the built in pocket was only big enough for my mobile phone, keys and a few more small items).
- The main compartment falls short on providing enough room for a basic overnight trip. 25L is just not enough room if you're serious about being prepared with an emergency shelter and sleeping kit. In fact, 25L wasn't big enough for a basic hotel stay or quick overnight flight either. Through the years I repeatedly brought multiple bags on all these trips. Ugh.
At this point, I just needed to guess at how much room I'd need. I thought something at 40L would be the sweet spot, though 34L has worked for all the ways I use the bag thus far. For hiking, my old 25L bag would not let me include an emergency bivy or shelter. With the 34L Hueco I'm having no issues.
What it is, and what it's not: At 34L this pack is easily supporting day trips and 1-2 night overnights. To do that, I have to use very space-efficient gear.
For example, I use a combination poncho/tarp as my shelter instead of carrying both a rain jacket plus a full tent. I still sleep like I'm in a fully enclosed tent, but I carry less weight and need less pack space. Also, I do not bring my sleeping bag on these trips. I only bring an AMK bivy which works to 50°F.
If I am wearing my wool hat/gloves/jacket/wool socks, then I can be comfortable at lower temps. This works for me, but it really may not be your speed to use such a minimalist approach. If I'm going to be out longer than 2 nights, then I seriously consider not using this pack as I'll need more room for food and I'm likely going to want to bring my sleeping bag.
If my boys or wife are coming, then I bring the tent and definitely need a larger pack. In other words, this pack only supports one person in a fast and light approach to hiking (and day hikes of course).
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
From crag to gym and beyond, this do-it-all zip-top pack has the bases covered by Mountain Hardware.
Featuring a rope strap, ice-axe loops and a top pocket big enough for most climbing helmets, the Mountain Hardwear Hueco 35 climbing pack holds everything you need for the crag. Dual-density shoulder straps carry in comfort; stowable webbing belt adds stability when needed. HardWave suspension conforms comfortably to the curve of your back and distributes weight evenly. Large zip-top opening provides easy access into main compartment. Interior sleeve fits a hydration reservoir (sold separately), guide book or iPad/tablet. Stowable rope strap deploys when needed and hides away when not. Reinforced grab handle helps ensure safe hauling when needed. Side compression straps on the Mountain Hardwear Hueco 35 pack help keep any size load stable.
Whether you pack your gym bouldering shoes inside or use it to tote your sport climbing kit to the crag, you'll appreciate the burly no-frills design of the Mountain Hardwear Hueco 34 Backpack. The ventilated CoolWave suspension keeps you comfy on warm summer days, and the V-strap on the top pocket is perfect for carrying a helmet during the approach to the cliff.
Free Shipping. Mountain Hardwear Hueco 35 Pack FEATURES of the Mountain Hardwear Hueco 35 Pack HardWave suspension conforms comfortably to the curve of your back and distributes weight evenly Stowable rope strap deploys when needed, hides away when not Interior sleeve fits hydration, guide book or iPad/tablet Large zip-top opening for easy access into main compartment Reinforced grab handle ensures safe hauling when needed Dual-density shoulder straps carry in comfort Stowable webbing belt adds stability when needed Side compression straps keep any size load stable SPECIFICATIONS of the Mountain Hardwear Hueco 35 Pack Regular Fit Capacity: 2135 cubic inches / 35 liter Weight: 2 lbs 3 oz / 1 kg Torso Length: 16.0 - 22.0in. / 41 - 56 cm Load Range: 15 - 30 lbs / 6 - 13 kg Body: 840D HT Ballistic Nylon Accent: HardWear Tarp 18 Bottom: 840D HT Ballistic Nylon