Historical and Outstanding Mountaineering Rucksacks


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right here, right now
Oct 29, 2016 - 08:30am PT
Also from eBay or Google images, a Millet we haven't seen on this thread yet, and perhaps slightly more modern, say late 70s or early 80s.

The shape is trending more towards teardrop or wrap-around, and also lacking a heavily reinforced bottom, perhaps for achieving lighter weight.

I'd be interested to see a photo of the back panel, likely thermoformed foam (see Nut Story's Millet Cecchinal circa 1976 up thread), if so, for its vintage, it looks like it would carry nicely:

Note the presence of a color-story matching blue side release nylon buckle used at the lashing strap, in the picture at the right and on the side of the pack. This SR buckle may not be consistent with the pack's vintage, but if it is (it matches with the cord lock on the pack closure), it would help in dating this item.

Sport climber
Oct 29, 2016 - 10:32am PT


I appreciate your posting of the Millet catalogue above. The B rucksack in the Millet catalogue is clearly the rucksack I posted above. Now I know.
Was it a 1975-77 catalogue?

right here, right now
Oct 29, 2016 - 05:35pm PT
Okay, I see that Marlow.

REI catalog probably from that timeframe or a year or two earlier. Their inventory seemed pretty static for a while.

Another Millet 368, from Google images:


Sport climber
Nov 18, 2016 - 11:51am PT

And then a legendary rucksack from the other side of the canal - Karrimor Alpiniste Dougal Haston. The original version as seen from the logo.


Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Nov 18, 2016 - 02:47pm PT
John Morton... I have that exact Chouinard pack. I shall ig it up and take a pic. Great fabric on that one!

Roger Breedlove... That is absolutely a Karrimor Whillans Pack. Horribly uncomfortable but I wish I still had mine. I dragged it up plenty of routes in the Valley and Pinnacles.

Maelow... I had that Haston pack too. Didn't carry very well when loaded.
Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Nov 18, 2016 - 05:39pm PT
Marlow, perhaps the mystery pack is a copy made in the East Bloc. Those climbers did some amazing knockoffs before the Soviet collapse.

Sport climber
Nov 19, 2016 - 01:08am PT

Todd. Yes, it could be a Russian version. It was located in the US, but that does not exclude the possibility of a Russian rucksack.

Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2016 - 01:47am PT
Marlow, your old Alpiniste in such a mint condition is a dream piece! I love it.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2016 - 08:36am PT
I like the simple, elegant styling of the older packs...nice and minimalist. It would have been nice if they had had access to some of today's materials.

The nadir of pack design was in the 80's with the rise of Dana Designs and Gregory. Their owner/designers were rather rotound individuals who likely didn't do much backpacking. The packs were over engineered behemoths that weighed 4+ kilos before you put anything in them.

right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 09:42am PT
The original Dana Terraplane was the best of all the iterations of the Rivendell Jensen/Chouinard Ultima Thule wraparound concept. Except with a more robust harness system, that worked well, but ultimately defeated the elegant simplicity of the originals. More of a ski mountaineering pack than a climber's pack.

Yes, those later Dana packs were way over built.
But I carried one into the Winds with full climbing and camping gear and I didn't care how much it weight because it carried so well with such a hefty load.

right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 09:55am PT
I also think the shapes and simplicity of the European rucksacks from the 70s fit the pure climber's needs best.
Karrimor maybe even a cut above Millet.

Here's an early Haston Alpiniste.
This one belonged to Don Peterson, of Robbins/Tis Sa Ack fame. (I had it in my possession so I could pull pattern from it).

It had that novel full-length entry zipper with velcro closure.
This allowed access vertically all the way through the load from nearly the bottom up through the draw sack at the top, as in Marlowe's picture.

Here's another good example of a Haston Alpiniste, from Google images:

And a recent revivalist version:


right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 10:10am PT
Millet 330/331

Model designation depended upon construction either from cotton canvas or nylon.

Darryl Lloyd, owner and operator of Mount Adams Wilderness Institute, 1976:

An example from eBay:


right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 10:24am PT
Check out this sweet Karrimor Jaguar!
(pictures from eBay)

This is a nice size pack:

And this Karrimor summit pack shows perfect minimalism:


the east
Nov 29, 2016 - 10:55am PT
Ive been using a Cilogear with several elements of the old karrimor dougal haston, inc the zip and bucket base. Also minimalist panelling, padding and general bullsh#t. In modern fabrics as messr donini prescribes.
It can be done and it works.

Millet still do a big zip pack. Having used one a fair bit i found it lost integrity as the nylon warped and the foam squished out and the frame wasnt really up to it. Perhaps the old ones in heftier material fared better, but to becomes lighter they got flimsy. Only way to have both worlds is with expensive fabrics.

But if youre doing sh#t that demands 100L volume at sub 2kg the $$$ becomes irrelevant.

Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2016 - 07:45am PT
• 1959
Armature lombaire souple amovible (Brevet FR1236558A)
• 1962
Walter Bonatti conseiller technique (1959?)
René Desmaison conseiller technique
• 1964
Bretelles Minyl (Brevet FR1365328A)
Sac en Nylon
• 1965
Nouvelle armature dorsale
• 1966
Fond de sac en Edsanyl
• 1970
Fond de sac en Cordoual
• 1971
Porte-skis plastique
• 1974
Chapeau des attaches supérieures de bretelles en plastique
Fanion tricolore triangulaire
• 1975
Walter Cecchinel conseiller technique
• 1976
Boucles à pression coulissante
Fond de sac en Taryl
• 1977
Appui lombaire garni feutre
Fermetures à glissière Nylon
Reinhold Messner conseiller technique (?)
• 1978
Bretelles Minyl contact coton

(a work that might help you to identify old Millet; forgive the French language)

Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Dec 1, 2016 - 08:08am PT

And of course fantastic (factory?)promotional? Shots of th the old karrimor dougal haston

I was saying I've got dig out my pack. . . .

So motivated, I'll make an attempt . ? .

That . . What I said above was an hour or so ago.
The very sad condition of my packs makes sharing now to
Embarrassing ,
I'll try to share some thing soon.

The discovery of the damage is not really a surprise.

This is just more of the constant change . . . the continuation
And while Entropy, is universal, this just adds to material loss,
the packs being nearly the least of a life's worth of chattel .

Sport climber
Dec 21, 2016 - 06:09am PT

Karrimor O Bound I: What's the story?

Now on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/252690369880?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2016 - 07:49am PT

Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2017 - 02:04am PT

Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 11, 2017 - 06:07am PT
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