Berghaus MTN Seeker 32 mountain pack




A really well-designed and well-built mountain pack that could become your go-to daypack for year-round use

Pros and Cons

  • Durable fabrics
  • Rolltop + flap arrangement works well
  • All the right technical features
  • Can be used all year round
  • Gusset fabric bunches under top lid

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Backpacks, Climbing & Mountaineering Packs, Daysacks, ,

Chris Kempster heads to the Arrochar Alps to roadtests Berghaus new mountaineering daysack

When Berghaus relaunched its Extrem range of technical mountain clothing and gear a year ago, the two mountain packs in the range really caught our eye for their rugged looks and technical features. Consisting of the MTN Seeker 32 and MTN Guide 45+, the packs employ a rolltop + flap design, and are made of a heavy ripstop polyester fabric with a TPU coating for durability and water resistance. In this test we’ll be focusing on the smaller model, though the 45+ pack will be featuring in our Group Test of winter mountaineering packs next issue.

Berghaus describe the MTN Seeker 32 as “a true mountain all-rounder that performs year round across all disciplines”, and they’ve included features needed for ice climbing, ski touring, summer cragging and general mountaineering. There’s both fabric loops and metal toggles for holding ice axes, plus pick retainers to prevent damage. Two lines of daisy-chain webbing allow kit to be attached to the outside of the pack, and there’s Velcro loops to secure ice axe shafts or walking poles. Also provided is a mesh helmet carrier which can also be secured onto the webbing. At the sides of the pack are large rubberised ski loops at the bottom which can be used with the upper compression straps to secure skis in an A-frame configuration. The back system consists of a padded panel on the outside and a removable semi-rigid panel on the inside with, usefully, a full-length zipper at the side of the back panel which allows direct access to the pack’s main compartment. The main entry point of the pack is the top of course, with a roll-top backed up with a flap to provide more protection. This incorporates a top pocket, an advantage of this design over a purely rolltop pack. Underneath the flap is a strap for securing a rope, which can also be secured at the sides using the compressions straps.

In use
The first thing to note about the MTN Seeker 32 is that it comes in two back sizes – the Regular being 45cm and the Short version being 41cm. These dimensions are not given on the Berghaus website, which also incorrectly states that the lid can be removed – it can on the 45+ version, but not the 32L. The hipbelt and the internal back panel can be removed, but the weightsaving doing this is pretty minimal.
Plenty of packs of this type forego a padded back, and those who want the lightest weight will usually opt for this, however I like the padding on the MTN Seeker not just for added comfort but also the structure it gives to the pack. I hate the feeling on super-lightweight packs of ‘attaching the pack to the gear’ rather than the other way round, and the Berghaus avoids this with the combination of padded back and its burly fabrics. Speaking of which, we also liked the fact that high-wear areas such as under the ski loops, the ice axe pick retainers, the webbing and haul loops are reinforced with bonded TPU patches, further giving the impression that this pack has been built to take plenty of punishment.

As well as the technical features that this pack boasts, a couple of its other features also made using it a pleasure. The direct-access zip is super-useful for getting items out of the main compartment quickly, especially if you’re carrying a rope which would complicate getting in via the main entry. And the pocket contained in the top flap is also a bonus, and one that people who have owned rolltop packs without this feature will fully appreciate. So far the only niggle we’ve had is that the rolltop is quite difficult to get tidy underneath the flap, something that could of perhaps been avoided with a drawcord around the gusset. Aside from this we couldn’t really fault the MTN Seeker  32 which is an excellent mountaineer’s pack.

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