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Backpacks

Blue Ice Warthog 45 Backpack | Review

Climbers will love what this solid, built-for-purpose pack brings

Why We Chose The Blue Ice Warthog 45: Modular design, climbing focus, bomber build.

This Chamonix-based brand has gone from strength-to-strength over their 10 years of operation. For minimalist, tough and streamlined packs that only carry the essentials, these are the people to go to.

Their backpacks have not only been influenced by the steep terrain that flanks Chamonix but also the unique and highly experienced humans who populate the Chamonix valley. Many local mountain guides and athletes have been called upon by Blue Ice for their knowledge and experience in what makes the perfect mountain pack.

“Influenced by the steep terrain that flanks Chamonix”

This serious R&D has already led to the Warthog 30 & 40L family of packs, an extremely thoroughbred range intended for carrying only the essentials, with no room for thrills or needless clutter. These have a refined yet versatile style that’s been built to stand consecutive days fighting and scraping your way up some of the most abusive rock in the world – Chamonix Granite.

So, what about the all-new Warthog 45? Well, we’ve got the obvious streamlined design that we’ve come to expect from Blue Ice, but with some useful features that can be added and removed as you see fit.

There’s a semi-rigid back, an easy-adjust sliding sternum strap, two ice axe holders, side compression straps and a helmet holder, most of which can be left at home if necessary to bring the weight down from 994g, to 711g.

This could well become your go-to pack for all-day trad climbing missions. Photo: Chris Johnson
The side compression straps on the Warthog are perfect for people who like to get vertical. Photo: Chris Johnson
The Blue Ice Warthog 45 can be nicely compressed for streamlined climbing. Photo: Chris Johnson

This adjustability, while handy enough in itself, also makes the pack easy to repair. In the unlikely event that anything were to fail on you, you can just swap it out with a replacement part, or create a temporary fix for the pack. On top of that, Blue Ice have also backed it with a lifetime guarantee, just in case you do somehow manage to expose a kink in the armour.

Whilst much of the pack can be swapped out and changed if and when needed, the permanent features of the pack are built to last, such as the haul loops spread out on the hood of the pack, which will be more than happy taking the weight of the fully loaded pack for when you need to haul it up the tricky or narrow sections of a climb. The fabric itself also follows the bomber theme, being constructed from 210D ripstop fabric throughout.

If you’re looking for pack that is designed with backpacking in mind then you might be suited to look elsewhere in our Outdoor 100 series as the Warthog 45 is an out-and-out a climber’s pack. Otherwise, this is certainly a pack that all climbers should be considering, with its versatility and bomber construction.

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer

“The Blue Ice Warthog has quickly become my go-to pack for all-day trad climbing missions. With enough room to carry two 60m half ropes, a full rack, harness and climbing shoes, it’s a great size to carry everything you need.

“I’m not usually a fan of storing my helmet on the outside of my pack, usually swaying towards trying to fit it in the main compartment to keep it protected. However, I did appreciate the ability to leash my helmet on the outside, for when you’re completely out of space in the main compartment.

“I’ve not yet taken this pack out in winter conditions, but am very certain that it’s going to become another great companion of mine during UK winter mixed climbing trips up to Scotland, with huge amounts of carrying capacity and multiple leash points for equipment on the outside.”

Climbers are going to dig the stripped-back minimalism of the Warthog. Photo: Chris Johnson
A light hipbelt and sternum strap on the harness. Photo: Chris Johnson
Two removable ice axe headlockers at the base. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Giovanni Batista-Rossi – CEO of Blue Ice

“We asked professional mountain guides what they needed out of a pack, the Warthog series is our response. High durability and easy-to-strip features makes this pack among the most versatile in their class. Burly, the Warthog is a through-and-through climbing pack. Put it to the test you’ll keep it for years!”

Blue Ice Warthog 45 Backpack

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 2019/20

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