Mountainsmith Women’s Apex 55 Hiking Pack is a new item on the market with an adjustable and strong shoulder harness, with two access points, and 7 pockets in total.
Key features & benefits
- Aluminum frame.
- Top & front access.
- Adjustable torso size.
Overview of features
This Mountainsmith Apex 55 backpack is a women-specific design and this is why you will sometimes see the letters WSD in its name. This implies a variety of details introduced to fit women’s body shape, like the width of the shoulder harness, the torso and hip belt size range, the hip belt padding design, etc.
This is a top-loading adjustable lid pack with an expandable collar which adds 5 liters of volume when needed. But you also have U-shaped front access. This is why the pack is without the bottom compartment.
The pack is hydration compatible and you have a sleeve inside of the main compartment.
The whole system is based on a strong frame which is a 7000 series tubular aluminum alloy. The torso length is adjustable and you have the range 15 – 18 inches (38 – 46 cm). All you have to do is to break the Velcro connection and slide the harness where you want. Fine-tuning is possible with shoulder straps and load lifters.
The back panel is with hex-ridged EVA foam ventilation channels visible in the picture below, but there are far better ventilated packs on the market. You will see some in the comparison table below.
The hip belt is with a dual-density foam and on the back you have a gigantic lumbar padding area. With such a design you can carry up to 50 lb (23 kg) and this should be good enough for any weekend or multi-day trip.
Observe also the front straps on the hip belt and those V-structures on both sides. So when you tighten the hip belt, you have the best possible hugging of the hip bones. This is always the best design of the hip belt straps.
There are 7 pockets in total:
- Two stretch zippered pockets are on the hip belt.
- One very large stretch pocket is on the front.
- Two large pockets are on the sides, for water bottle or anything similar.
- There are 2 pockets in the lid, one on the top and one with the zipper underneath the lid.
Straps and attachment elements
- One strap is on the top to compress the collar.
- Dual compression straps are on each side of the pack, see the picture below.
- Dual compression straps are on the bottom, so here you can attach a pad or anything similar.
- Dual loops for poles or an ice axe are on the bottom, and they are paired with bungee tie-offs higher on the front.
- There are 4 attachment loops on the lid.
- One D-ring is on the shoulder strap.
You have strong materials here as expected from this brand. So the main fabric is 210D HT nylon micro-ripstop, and the bottom is reinforced with 420D HD nylon Oxford. The rest is a 210D nylon embossed liner.
- Weight: 4 lb 5 oz (1.9 kg).
- Volume: 3425 in³ (56 L).
- Volume extended: 3725 in³ (61 L).
- Weight capacity: 50 lb (23 kg).
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 24 x 10.25 x 8.5 in (61 x 26 x 22 cm).
- Torso size fit: 15 – 18 in (38 – 46 cm).
- Waist belt fit: 28 – 48 in (71 – 122 cm).
Mountainsmith Apex 55 WSD Pack vs Competitors
I have decided to show you this Apex 55 pack side by side with two other women-specific packs from the same volume range. So as you realize Gregory Jade 53 is far lighter and it comes with more features. But Kelty Zyro 54 is the only in the group with an adjustable hip belt.
Ventilation in the other two packs is definitely better. The prices of all three packs are almost the same, but note that Gregory Jade pack includes a bonus rain cover. So follow the links to read more.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Adjustable hip belt
Payable Every Month
Payable Every Year
top, front, bottom
Payable Every Year
Final thoughts, rating, pros & cons
So you have seen it, this Mountainsmith Women’s Apex 55 Hiking Pack is built in the best tradition of this brand. With strong and durable construction this is a reliable pack that will allow you to carry a significant load comfortably.
I would describe it as moderately lightweight and from this perspective similar to many packs on the market, but you have seen a much lighter alternative in the table above. I have included it in my list of best backpacking packs for women.
The price is a bit steep but for such a size and brand this is a normal price. Please see how I rate it against my standard set of criteria, for easy comparison with other packs:
If you need more options in this volume range, please check my page with packs up to 55 liters.
Note that this is not a sponsored text, and I am not paid by the manufacturer. Please use the comment box below in the case of questions and comments. Have a nice day.
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