I've used the Catalyst 55 on one trip; three days…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: top loading with vertical main compartment zipper
Size: 60L
Number of Pockets: 4 main, 2 belt
Max. Load Carried: 38 lbs
Height of Owner: 6 feet
Price Paid: $110

I've used the Catalyst 55 on one trip; three days in the Sandia Mountains, November '06. I was carrying 8L water as well as cold weather gear, bag and tarp/poles. Total pack weight was 38 lbs. We went up the steep west side of the Sandias, crested near south peak and then spent the next two days heading north along the easier east side of the mountains.

Despite the heavy load, the pack was very comfortable. The air channels on the back worked well. I didn't have any back or shoulder pain with the pack as it balanced well and carried the weight on my hips. The only downside is it's not the lightest pack out there anymore (4 lbs or so) but for an inexpensive pack, it's not bad.


When I bought this pack I was looking for a mid-sized…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: top and pannel loading
Size: 55L
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: approx. 40lbs
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $130

When I bought this pack I was looking for a mid-sized pack that I could carry my snowboard on. I also wanted panel loading and gear loops on the waist belt, all at a reasonable price. The pack has served me well on two climbs up the East Buttress of the North Sister. I did put a small hole in the bottom of the pack, but only through one layer of fabric. It has fair head clearance when wearing a helmet and the pockets on the waist belt are handy.


Durable size pack, fits like a glove on my back. As…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Top and Side loading Internal frame
Size: 4200-4400 cu
Number of Pockets: 4 plus a hydration pouch
Max. Load Carried: 36 pounds
Height of Owner: 6' 2"
Price Paid: $130

Durable size pack, fits like a glove on my back. As for adjustments, so easy on this pack and the add feature is you have side access to your gear. Hip belt has pockets on both side for keys and wallet. I have used this pack for three trips. This pack will hold most of my gear plus a Garcia bear canister inside! Side panel loading is the best feature. Plenty of tiedowns on the outside.

Where to Buy

sponsored links
Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

REI Catalyst 55 Pack


The Catalyst 55 Pack has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:

The REI Catalyst 55 Pack is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen August 2, 2006 at REI.

Recently on Trailspace

Suaoki SunPower 14W Solar Charger Review

Oboz Men's Campster Review

Outdoor Research Men's Alti Mitts Review

Renogy Portable Outdoor Water Filter Review

Toaks Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (small) Review