As the smallest of the Mutant series, the Osprey Mutant 22 liter pack packs plenty of punch
by Brandon Mathis
The Osprey Mutant 22 and larger sizes in the series make up Osprey’s climber’s climbing pack. Revamped and in an all new color, the brand set out to create an adaptable pack that fits a variety of needs and conditions. Part haul bag, rope bag, ice climbing pack, and with some clever rope management chops for multi-pitch routes, it’s rugged, weather-proof and perfect for the well-rounded climber. With DNA from Osprey’s Variant pack, the Mutant is, well, a mutant.
The 22-liter version, the smallest of the series (38 and 52 liter are also available) is more than just a summit daypack for fast and light missions. It’s every bit as burly as its larger relatives, just streamlined down to keep its 1.3 pound weight and less-is-more attitude.
“I can get a 7O-meter rope, 15 quickdraws and a water bottle in there no problem,” says guide Marcus Garcia, who helped Osprey designers zero in on essential features for the series.
The Mutant 22 is well thought-out. Right off the bat, the pack is designed to never interfere with the one way climbers are always looking: up.
A three-point haul loop system isn’t just stitched in; the pack is actually built around it. The super wide-mouth zipper opening is angled down, so it’s perfect for multi-pitch belays where you can leave it open and feed rope in, feed it out, or just use it as a catch-all for anything you need to stay put. A quick lid stash mesh zippered pocket is also wisely accessible.
Glove-friendly oversized buckles and zipper pulls make using this a joy, and the tool locks are made for today’s modern ice tools. Something really awesome is the Snowshed Fabric back panel; snow won’t stick to it.
A front panel daisy chain is key for clipping extras on in a jiffy. There’s a removable frame sheet foam pad that doubles as a seat, a hydration bladder pocket and another terrific feature: a rope carrier strap on top to cinch things down for efficient travel.
“I’ve used this on big ice routes in Valdez, Alaska, multi-pitch routes in Yosemite and Red Rocks, Nevada, and just fun climbing in Mexico and the Black Canyon,” says Garcia. “It’s streamlined down to only what you need. You can do a lot with this pack. It’s a mutant.”