Ultralight backpacks aren’t known for their bells and whistles. Using lightweight fabrics like Dyneema and Xpac, designers often make these bags as spartan as possible, without any extraneous straps, buckles and pockets. The goal, after all, is to make the lightest bag possible (think 20-something ounces or so). Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear has applied this ethos to its futuristic white packs that might have an exterior mesh pocket or bungee, at most. But wonders never cease, and the company’s recently released Prism Pack is its most feature-adorned yet — while still coming in under 30 ounces.
The Prism is the most traditional-looking backpack that Hyperlite has put out to date. That’s mostly due to a construction that features a removable top and drawstring closure (all of its others have roll tops) and an exterior pocket; though it’s intended for crampons, it can also hold a pair of climbing shoes or a water bottle or an extra layer. The pack also has side-mounted compression straps for securing ropes and other equipment. Inside, it can hold 40 liters of gear, as well as another 3.5 in the lid.
These features bring the Prism in line with traditional backpacking and climbing bags, just as the ultralight category is beginning to gain ground outside of the hardcore, ounce-counting set. And while Hyperlite made the Prism specifically with ice climbing in mind, thanks to its bevy of smart features, it’ll serve you well on other adventures too.
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