Patagonia Ascensionist 35L Backpack Review

Lightweight  |  Cavernous  |  Minimalist

Where to Buy/Quick Price Comparison
Patagonia Ascensionist 35L Backpack Review

The Patagonia Ascensionist series of packs make for excellent all-around climbing accessories but are just versatile enough for general use as well.  If you are looking for a lightweight pack that can fit all your bulky climbing gear but can also double as an overnight ultralight pack this might be the one for you.  

Build Quality

Build quality on the Ascensionist Pack is what you would expect from Patagonia: generally excellent.  Jury’s still out as to how many times we can throw in a pair of crampons without ripping the nylon, so we plan to exercise caution with any sharp objects.  The pack opens at the top with what might be the largest opening I’ve ever seen on a pack and the clever single aluminum hook closure system simultaneously compresses, rain-proofs and secures all your belongings.  

An aluminum hook closure system is simultaneously simple and effective.


This pack presents an interesting value proposition.  If you are an avid climber it’s a no-brainer, since the pack’s huge main storage area is a perfect fit for bulky gear like ropes, helmet, shoes, etc. and you probably don’t care as much about how comfortable the pack remains after 5 miles on the trail.  

The huge opening makes for quick packing and unloading - the secondary rain cover can further expand capacity.

Initial Review

We tested this pack on an 8 mile dayhike up to Yosemite Falls and on several shorter expeditions throughout the Bay Area.  We tend to overestimate how much stuff will fit into our packs, but that didn’t seem to be a problem with the Ascensionist - it easily gobbled up all our gear.  The only other pocket is a small zippered pouch on the top - just big enough for a map, navigations tools and a snack.  Patagonia included a pair of daisy chains for those wanting to expand storage and even came up with no-nonsense ice-ax storage system though we expect most users would take advantage of this feature to store their hiking poles (any pack that can accommodate a set of ice axes gets instant style points, in our book).  Use the side compression straps to further lock down the load and secure the upper shaft of your axes or hiking poles.  Like the review? Sign up for our email list right here


Side straps and daisy chain loops provide endless possibilities.

Lowest Price for

This gear was provided to free of charge by the manufacturer in exchange for our fair and unbiased review.

Let us know what you think



2 lbs




Climbing, Peak Bagging, General Use (in that order)


2140 cubic inches


6.5oz 210D and 400D double-ripstop nylon


Aluminum (removable)

Where Tested

Yosemite NP, Bay Area

Overall Rating

Latest Gear Reviews