A Review of the Blue Ice Octopus 45L Climbing Pack
How many packs does one person need? The answer of course is that it depends! You could probably get away with just one if you just went hill walking, maybe a 40L, big enough for a bit of extra stuff in the colder months. But what about if you want a bigger one for backpacking? Or a small one for your commute? Or a separate one with rope and rack for a quick climb at the wall or crag? If you weren’t careful you could accidentally end up with three or maybe four.
I’m not sure how many packs I’ve owned and used over the years. Maybe 30+. Some just wore out, some I gave anyway or sold on if I didn’t particularly like or need them. I currently actively use six. I have two Patagonia packs for work, an Ascensionist 35L and a Ascensionist 55L. The 35L is good for hillwalking and scrambling. I don’t really like the 55L much, the lid is quite badly designed but it is light and big enough for a three day Mountain Leader expedition or a days climbing work, which is the work that requires me to carry the most gear. I have a brilliant Mountain Equipment Tupilak 45 for personal walking and mountaineering, a Lowe Alpine as a work admin/laptop pack, a little Blue Ice 18L Dragonfly which is great for wizzing around Sheffield on my bike. And finally we come to the subject of this review the Blue Ice Octopus 45L.
Blue Ice Octopus 45L
The Octopus is designed as climbing pack especially for sport climbing and climbing wall visits. It zips open like a suitcase for quick easy access to all your kit, comes with a rope tarp and lots of pockets for packing rock shoes, water bottles, guide books and securing your keys.
Blue Ice have really designed this pack extremely well. You get to the crag or wall, chuck on it down and open it up. All your gear is then ready to go. There is a slot for your rock shoes, some gear loops for clipping stuff to, an internal pocket and two external pockets. The top external pocket is big enough for guide books and has a key clip. The side external pocket is big enough for water bottle; I can fit in my big 64oz Klein Kanteen or a fat Nalgene. There are grab handles on the side and top for easy manoeuvring. The Octopus is a bit of a Tardis, it doesn’t look that big but I always manage to cram everything in. It is also surprising comfy to carry with a good solid bit of foam to protect your back from the hard metal climbing gear inside.
The Octopus is also a great travel bag. It’s sized for most airline overhead lockers and the shoulder straps fold away.
An excellent well designed pack that is perfect for cragging, climbing wall use and weekends away. I really like the new Turkish blue colour, I’ve got an older green version but unfortunately it’s lasting so well I can’t justify getting a new one.
Here is the official Blue Ice Video which shows all the features
And here is a review from our favourite gear shop the legendary Outside in Hathersage.
Beyond the Edge Ltd is based in Sheffield two hours by train from London and within easy travelling distance from Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and other Northern towns and cities.
We are one of the UKs most experienced providers of climbing, walking, scrambling, mountaineering and navigation training courses.
Most of our courses are run in the nearby Peak District National Park which has some of the finest climbing, bouldering, walking and hiking in the world.