My love of the outdoors led me into Patagonia fandom several years ago, a great brand that makes excellent products. As I started looking for a bag that could be used for both camping and traveling, I spotted the Pategonia Ascensionist. The bag is really intended to be a climbing gear or mountaineering bag, but is simple and versatile, so after finding the 35 liter size for a great price online, I bought it. After taking it on many trips over the last few years, I feel I can give the Patagonia Ascensionist 35L a thorough review.
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I was looking for:
My list of pre-requesites was pretty simple; I wanted a bag that was…
- Versatile: tough for the outdoors and easy to travel through airports
- The right size
- From a quality brand
- Reasonably priced
*eBags has an awesome chart which shows carry-on dimension standards for most airlines.
I am very happy with the bag!
The outside of the bag is tough, made of abrasion-resistant nylon. It also has many ways to attach gear to it (which is not ideal for airport travel, but would be great for its truest intention, mountaineering). The shoulder straps and hip pads are very comfortable and have become one of my favorite features. One excellent feature is the exterior pocket on the lid. It’s easy to stash a wallet, phone, or snack and have those items easily accessible.
Inside the bag is very simple—it’s basically just a stuffable tube. It has a lightweight aluminum frame which can be easily removed. It also has a built-in, water-resistant rain fly that can be used to keep your things dry if it is packed full. When camping, I can quickly throw everything I need in here for a trip: like several pairs of clothes, layers, a jacket, sleeping pad etc. One thing it does not have inside is compartments for organization. Those would be nice for traveling or quickly removing one item without having to take everything out. This problem can possibly be solved with packing cubes.
How much did it fit?
While camping, I can fit 3 or 4 days of clothes, layers, a puffer coat, rain jacket, toiletries and any gear like a small tent lantern, headlamp and sleeping pad. For a backpacking trip, I would opt for my Gregory Baltoro 75L which can fit a tent, food, etc. For casual travel, I have comfortably packed for a 4 or 5 day trip.
Where to Buy
The newer versions of this bag (30/40L), can be found at most outdoor retailers like REI. Of course, you can always see the newest pieces order on the Patagonia website.
Not only that, but I shopped through the Southwest Airlines shopping portal and multiplied my points per dollar on backcountry.com while they were having a sale. Ebags has a wide variety of brands, including Patagonia and more. Use my link to get $10 off your first eBags purchase ($25 and up) and The Voyageer will get $10 too.
Thanks for checking out my Patagonia Ascensionist review. Are you a backpack person? A carry-on person? Let me know in the comments!
All photos by Doug and Staci Jackson for The Voyageer.