Gear Review – Mountain Hardwear Direttissima Back Pack

Gear Reviews

We were pretty stoked to give the Mountain Hardwear Direttissima a burn on some ski mountaineering trips. Why? Well, pretty much because the ice axe strap doubles as a beer bottle opener! Dead serious. Pretty cool add-on for an otherwise all-function company like Mountain Hardwear. And hey, that’s a function anyway, isn’t it?

But in more seriousness, we gave two of these packs a run for their money on our cascade volcano blitz of Mt ShastaMt Hood, Mt Adams, & Mt Rainier, and they did the job and then some.

Some of the Highlights:

  • Good volume, lots of expansion. Used it for day trips and a light overnighter for Rainier.
  • Easy to attach and remove skis on the sides
  • Supportive back and straps, easy to adjust and fine-tune on the fly
  • Did we mention the beer bottle opener? Yup.
  • Cool subtle winter colours, in case you’re on a top secret winter army mission
  • Pockets, compartments, and a spot for a hydration pack right where you need’em

Some areas for Improvement:

  • Shovel pocket – we couldn’t find a good spot for shovels. There’s an indestructable outer pouch, but it’s just a tad too small for a shovel. Hmmm.
  • Hip belt goodies – often nice to have a daisy chain and a small radio or cell phone pocket right on your hip belt, easy to access while your pack is on. Just an idea.
  • Re-inforcement – there’s just some key areas on the side of any pack where ski edges are bound to chafe, especially taking it on and off and on again for a 6 day summer volcano skiing mission. A little bit of extra re-inforcement there would do the trick.

All in all, we’re definitely stoked with the packs, and look forward to further abusing them this winter.

Two thumbs up from

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Mountain Hardwear Direttissima in Action

Gettin’ some on Mt Rainier, Washington

Heading up Mt Hood, Oregon


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  1. forbiddenfruitfarmer

    I was chatting with the people at Mtn Hardwear the other day while I was having them do a repair on an old parka I wanted to donate to the homeless and we got into talks about jacket materials and on these 4 season ski touring packs.  I am amazed at how many companies do not reinforce their packs for heavy edge exposure in ski hauling.  My BCA pack had a strip of material in diag but i still had a gash from my mid fats!  The 08-09 Covert I have seems to resist abrasion and that is nice but it lacks in heavy material for this purpose. Arcteryx has their system, Northface packs seem ok, Lowe and Jansport have theirs, even Dakine seems a mark or two off.  I have been contemplating this and believe we have an untapped market.

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