Gregory Alpinisto 35 Backpack | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Gregory Alpinisto 35 Backpack | Review

A bombproof backpacks that’s decked out in climber-friendly details

The Alpinisto is a pack made, as its name suggests, for alpine-style climbing where you want something that will carry all the technical equipment you’ll need for a smash and grab ascent above the snowline. It’s packed full with clever design details, so much so that we could go as far as saying this is one of the most high-spec packs we’ve tested. It’s been a mainstay in the Gregory collection for over a decade now, and we can see why. 

Construction and Fabrics

This is one super tough pack. You’d really need to work hard to inflict any damage on this thing. Not only is the main fabric a 630D high tenacity nylon, but it’s also reinforced at the base with a 210D nylon layer too. 

Pros: Super tough, loads of technical details
Cons: No side pockets

This pack was probably a little bit too long for our tester Cat, who you can see pictured here. For that reason, the hipbelt is where you’d normally expect to see it, but the pack is actually designed so that the hipbelt will sit above the waist. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

It comes in three different back lengths and these aren’t adjustable so it’s important to pick the right size for you when purchasing. The sizing guide on Gregory’s website should help you out there. It features a padded harness which, interestingly, features a hipbelt that’s located higher up than you’d normally see. The reason for this is to ensure it sits above a climbing harness rather than directly on top of it. 

“There are so many climber-friendly details throughout this pack.”

The back panel is a thing of beauty. It’s a compression molded and thermo-formed foam (that’s a tongue twister) which sheds snow and also provides a degree of insulation to the wearer. Behind this, there’s a full length frame sheet and an aluminium scaffold. These both give a high degree of structure to the pack, making it well capable of handling loads of up to 20kg. 

You have standard access to the pack’s main compartment from the top under the floating lid and through a double drawstring closure and there’s also access via a long two-way zip that runs down the side of the pack, right across the length of it. This makes accessing stuff at the bottom, middle and top of your pack really easy. 


There are so many climber-friendly details throughout this pack. There are universal ice axe holders, for instance, and there’s a large pocket on the front specifically for crampons. There’s an A-frame ski attachment system, glove-friendly zipper tabs, haul handles and even a small internal foam pad to a basic level of insulation during rudimentary bivouacs.

The base weight is 1.6kg but you can strip this back a further 800g by removing various elements of the pack, including the hipbelt, the sternum strap, the internal bivy pad, framesheet and the top lid. While this is designed for those who want to strip their packs back for a fast and light ascent it should also be handy for people who want a technical winter option that they can also use during simple day hikes throughout the year.

From our experience, it will keep moisture out well, but the pack itself isn’t actually waterproof – you’ll want to use drybags if you want to keep any kit fully protected. 

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

I was unaware of the high hipbelt when I first tried this pack and it took me by surprise as it was quite noticeably high. Still, it feels comfortable and manages loads well – it’s just a little different!

The pack manages loads really well and it feels supportive and well balanced. I’ve found the volume adjustment straps make it quite versatile too; you can carry a range of loads and still feel like the pack is streamlined and able to keep your kit close to your back. 

I used the medium sized version. I’m five foot 10 and have what I’d say is probably an average back length, and it fitted nicely. I particularly liked the slight curve of the base of the backpanel which creates a nice bit of lumbar support and I found the sternum and hipbelt straps all easy to adjust on the fly. 

While there are obviously lots of climber-friendly details this pack seems to get some of the basics right too. That includes the harness and carry system but also the pockets and storage too. I like the fact that the over and underlid pockets are large – easily big enough to stuff a jacket or big pair of gloves in each of them. The pocket on the hipbelt will swallow a lot of snacks too.

A slight downside for me is the absence of a side pocket to stow a flask. It does have a hydration bladder inside the main compartment though. 

Some Other Key Things Answered:

Is a women’s specific version available? No, but the pack is designed to cater for men and women.
Does it have a waterproof cover? No
Is it made from recycled materials? No but the materials are bluesign approved 

Gregory Alpinisto 35

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Winter 23/24
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