Osprey Variant 52
Price Paid: $179 on sale
I bought this pack for winter mountaineering. At first I thought the size would be a little small but after 4 nights up at Mt Whitney I love it. I can fit all my gear inside the pack, down sleeping bag, women's Prolite Thermarest ( I am a 5'10" 180lb male but use the small pad for size), cookware, clothes, gloves, down coat, complete 2 man 3 season tent or a 4-man 4 season tent minus the fly, and 5-6 days of food.
The side pockets don't fit water bottles but fits MSR fuel bottles, tent poles, shovel. The back pocket fits fuel bottles, shovles, crampons. Just depends on how I decide to pack it.
The hip belt has a loop for climbing hardware and works great to hang a water bottle from. Padding is very thin on the hip belt but very comfortable. I loaded 52lbs on this pack and it felt comfortable.
I agree with other reviews, adding snowshoes is tuff because the back pocket staps are not long enough but every other strap was buit to long. After cinching the main compartment there is a long strap for cinching down a rope, sleeping pad or a tent depending how you want to pack your gear. I love the ice axe straps.
The size is 3400 cubic inches but seems much larger. I love the color. Easy to see if rescue was needed and has a built in whistle on the chest strap.
Overall this pack is my go-to pack.
Price Paid: $199
The Osprey Variant is one of the best mountaineering packs I've used so far. I tried other packs in the genre and this pack has a massive load capacity in comparison.
I tried the Mammut Trion Guide, and I loved all of the straps and lashing points on it. However, It did not have near the capacity that I needed. I exchanged it for the Variant and it fits all of my winter overnight gear with room to spare.
The thing I was most impressed about is this pack's ability to repel water. I was unloading my car and my pack fell out into a mud puddle that was about an inch deep. When I recovered my pack, I was amazed to see the water beaded off and the inside was still dry. I figure it can handle some light/moderate rain without having to use a pack cover. This is important living in the Pacific North West.
The only problems that I have with this pack are minor. Like I said, I loved the lashing points of the Mammut pack; the variant has some of the similar straps. The only thing is that I need to find a way to lash my snowshoes on the pack.
The Variant doesn’t really have an effective way to carry a sleeping pad on the outside of the pack. The straps are a little bit long and can get a little out of control, I am planning on sewing some small pieces of Velcro to the ends of the straps so I can roll them up and keep them out of the way when all the straps are cinched down.
The only other modification I am planning on making is adding a separate rope securing strap. All of these are personal preference, but I love using this pack its sturdy, comfortable, and has a massive capacity.
Price Paid: >200
Straps fray after 6 months.
Warranty?...still waiting for repairs >4months and counting...after several complaints.
Bad material....bad construction, bad brand experience.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Osprey Variant 52 offers big volume, intelligent features, and clean styling.
The Osprey Variant 52 Backpack offers big volume, intelligent features and clean styling. Water resistant zippered front pocket Removable HDPE framesheet with aluminum tubing Crampon compression pocket Dual ski loops Removable and stowable hipbelt Adjustable tool bungee Y-clip Glove friendly buckles Ice tool attachment Spindrift collar Three-point haul system Underlid pocket Wand pocket
Designed using feedback from mountain guides, professional alpinists and weekend craggers, the Osprey Variant 52 pack offer a streamlined feature set specific to the climbing pursuit.
Ski mountaineering, ice climbing, and rock climbing-Osprey thought of it all when developing the new top loading Variant 52 pack for vertical endeavors. Lightweight suspension consists of a removable HDPE framesheet with aluminum tubing framesheet. Fixed Stretch comfort shoulder harness provides superb carry with rolled seams for added comfort; rescue whistle is incorporated into sternum-strap buckle. 3-D contoured EVA hipbelt is removable and stowable; to stow while climbing, tuck hipbelt out of the way by threading webbing and buckles through tool holster slot. Thermoformed, contoured back panel provides carrying comfort and snow shedding capabilities. Dual, adjustable tool bungee Y-clips stow ice tool shafts quickly, with corresponding holsters securely attaching ice tool head, including leashless ice tools. Removable top pocket has a zippered pocket underneath and an extendable spindrift collar to keep snow out of the pack; collar can be rolled up. Front pocket stores often-used essentials and is protected from the elements with a water-resistant zipper. Reinforced front crampon shield compression pocket provides secure storage and easy access. Pack includes protection pockets for easy storage and quick access to wands, probes and pickets. 3-point haul system, consisting of grab handle and 2 reinforced loops located at the top of pack, facilitate big wall hauling. Internal sleeve and drink tube exit port accommodate a 3-liter reservoir (sold separately) for hydration on the go. Side compression straps cnch down loads for jostle-free carrying; dual ski carry loops.