Blue Ice Squirrel 22L
I was in the market for a small rucksack to wear on multi-pitch climbs in the mountains that could also carry all my gear to the start of the route. I decided it needed to be in the low 20 litre size range, have a rope carrying system, helmet holder and a way to carry a water bottle on the outside (I don’t like hose style hydration bladders). That’s when I first heard, or rather read, about the Blue Ice Squirrel 22L.
Blue Ice are a company based in the Chamonix valley which was started by a group of friends, in a garage, with the idea of creating equipment that gets ‘back to basics’.
The Squirrel 22 is simple but with some nice technical features that make it stand out from other packs in this size range. The large zipped top lid gives good access to the inside of the bag. There’s a smaller pocket on top of this with a key clip inside and also a buckle that goes over the lid for securing a rope.
The front of the bag has four plastic loops to which you can attach the helmet holder. There are some elastic attachments for poles or possibly even an ice axe, and two straps on either side that help secure a rope or can be used to compress the bag down when you are climbing.
It has two stretch pockets, one on each side, that are big enough to take 1 litre drinking bottles or an additional layer. Two reinforced handles (at the front and rear of the bag) are great for clipping in at belay points. The bag’s inner includes a pocket for a hydration bladder and additional gear loops.
The pack is very comfortable to wear, even when fully loaded. It’s worth mentioning the amount of gear you can fit into the bag. Packed well, it can fit a full rack, a 60m half rope, shoes, helmet, chalk bag, first aid kit, food and an extra layer.
The lower part of the shoulder straps are designed as extra gear loops which comes in useful for extenders or slings on long multi-pitch routes. The bag also features a removable minimalist hip belt.
The Blue Ice Squirrel 22L is fantastic for multi-pitch climbing. It’s light, doesn’t get in the way whilst worn climbing, and is deceptively roomy. It’s also a great size to use for scrambling, as a day pack, for the daily commute, running or biking. I’ve been using the bag since the start of May ticking off classic rock routes in Scotland, plenty of trips to Wales and a recent trip to Morocco. It has become my go to bag when heading for some multi pitch action!
Beyond the Edge Ltd is based in the Peak District, easily reached by train from London and within easy travelling distance from Sheffield, 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 Peak District National Park which has some of the finest climbing, bouldering, walking and hiking in the world.