Rab are proper climbing and mountaineering specialists and we’re rarely disappointed by any of their products here at Outdoors Magic. Fortunately, we’re pleased to say that they haven’t broken form with this clever daypack.
The Ascendor 28L is designed primarily with climbing in mind, whether that’s in summer or in winter. This thing’s incredibly versatile, however, so there’s nothing to stop it serving as a hiking pack or just a day-to-day workhorse either.
Materials and Construction
Probably what stood out the most to us when we tested the Ascendor is its durability. This thing feels built to last a whole lifetime of demanding use. That’s not just due to the toughness of the fabric but also the seams and stitching. It all just feels super solid.
Pros: Very durable, lots of useful details for technical use, wide top opening
Cons: No dedicated rope attachment point
The back system has a sturdiness to it too with the padded back panel and an internal frame creating a sturdy structure to manage loads well. It weighs 900g but can be stripped back a further 300 or 400g by removing various parts to it, including the sternum strap, the hipbelt, spring steel frame, internal panel and even the ice axe leash attachments.
The back length is fixed at 19 inches / 48cm. This, we think, should only be a problem for really tall or really short people. The hipbelt, sternum strap and shoulder straps are all adjustable on the fly.
While the 28 litre volume inside the Ascendor should provide plenty of room for kit for a whole day’s climbing or walking (we certainly found it did), there are a lot of details on the outside of the pack to allow all kinds of extra kit to be carried. You’ve got headlockers and bungee cords for two ice axes, for instance, and there’s an A-frame carry option for skis too. The compression straps can double as points to fix climbing rope while there are daisy chain loops right across the front where you can clip on extra gear.
Then you’ve got things like an emergency whistle, an internal bladder compartment, glove friendly zipper tabs and a key clip in the zipped underlid pocket.