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Osprey’s Variant 52 is the ultimate pack for expedition and high alpine climbers. Designed to carry specialized mountain gear such as skis, wands, ice protection, and ice tools, this pack can be easily stripped down to minimize weight for a summit push.

The removable hipbelt has built-in gear loops and is contoured to facilitate movement and fit easily around a climbing harness. You can also remove the pack’s top lid and deploy the integrated FlapJacket™ closure system when it’s time to move light and fast.

Other mountain-specific features include redesigned ice tool attachments to keep your tools secure yet allow one-handed access via bungee tie offs and side release buckles. Dual side wand/ice pro pockets keep critical gear close for an extra margin of safety. A-frame ski carry loops transport skis in the classic fashion. Three bombproof attachment points give you peace of mind when hauling. All zipper-pulls and buckles are designed to be glove friendly. And, when it’s your turn to lead the crux pitch, stow your belay jacket in the rear shove-it pocket and get out on the sharp end.

Key Attributes

Key Mountaineering Features

Dual ice tool holster with bungee tool tie-offs and lower side release buckles allow one-handed access. Durable pick sleeves and adjustable axe head strap fit a wide range of tool shapes. Once attached, tools carry protected and secure. Dual front and single reinforced rear haul loops provide simple, secure hauling capabilities. Reinforced A-frame ski carry loops work in conjunction with compression/retention straps to provide stable ski carry.

Interchangeable Hipbelt

The Variant offers a climbing-focused interchangeable hipbelt with gear loops, ErgoPull™ closure and a narrow cut design to accommodate a climbing harness.


The top-lid with integrated FlapJacket™ system, framesheet and aluminum stay and hipbelt are all removable to optimize weight savings.

Additional Features

  • Glove Friendly Access - Glove friendly zipper pulls and buckles allow for quick and easy use in adverse conditions

Carry Information

Aluminum/HDPE Suspension

  • Removable 6mm aluminum frame and 1.5mm HDPE framesheet

Thermoformed Contoured Backpanel

  • Snow shedding material to reduce ice/snow buildup

Countered EVA Harness

  • Webbing attachment points and reservoir hose routing
  • Adjustable sternum strap with whistle

Removable/Interchangeable Hipbelt

  • Contoured for optimal fit and load transfer
  • Narrow cut to accommodate movement and climbing harness
  • Reverse wrap stowable ergoPull™ closure
  • Gear loop and attachment points


Load Range
35 - 50 lbs.
15 - 22 kg
  Volume Dimensions Weight
MD 3173 in3 / 52 l 32h x 14w x 13d in. 3.46 lbs.
MD 3173 in3 / 52 l 82h x 35w x 33d cm 1.57 kg
210D Nylon Shadow Box
210D High Tenacity Nylon
210D Nylon Shadow Box
Product Manual Additional languages available here �


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VARIANT 37 depicted in image
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Removable Top Lid

A removable dual compartment keeps needed items organized and accessible and can be removed to shave off weight

Integrated FlapJacket™

Integrated FlapJacket™ closure system can deploy to provide main compartment protection when top lid is not in use

Side Compression Straps

Quick release upper and threaded lower compression/retention straps provide load stability and external storage options

Side Wand/Ice Pro Pockets

Dual side pockets provide secure storage and easy accessibility to wands, pickets and other longer items. Utilize the side compression to secure load.

A-frame Ski Loops

Reinforced A-frame ski loops at the base of the back work in conjunction with side compression/retention straps provide stable, easy to use A-frame ski carry

Three Point Haul System

Dual front and single rear reinforced haul loops provide simple, secure three point hauling capabilities

Ice Tool Holsters

Dual reinforced ice-tool holsters work in conjunction with bungee tool tie-offs to provide secure and easily accessible ice tool carry

Front Panel Compression Pocket

A compressible, reinforced front panel pocket provides easy external storage and access to crampons and other needed items

Under-lid Rope Carry

An under-lid adjustable rope compression strap provides stable and easily accessible rope carry
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Great larger pack


I use this pack for guiding mountaineering in Washington and it is a great pack for that use. It has a large enough capacity for the weight/bulk conscious climber for 3-5 day trips. You can get all of your gear into camp and then by cinching down all the straps and ditching the lid it makes a fine summit pack. It's got a lot of great features without too much extra. I like the removable lid, all of the gear loops and the comfort, it is a comfortable pack even when overloaded. My critiques of the pack are minimal and not major issues but include: plastic buckles which can break if stepped on, the lid is a little floppy. I also think the locking plastic buckles are unnecessary and the ice axe retaining buckle/strap could be a little bigger to accommodate carrying trekking poles. Again, these are quite nit-picky and not that big of a deal. Otherwise this is a great pack for backpacking and mountaineering.

Cascades, Washington


Nice backpack worth buying.


I don't use it as much as I wish but when I do it is enjoyable. I have loaded it down with a ton of camera gear for a trek up the mountainstairs in can more and it held the weight well. I use it annually for a hike up the mountains of mcbride BC.

Edmonton AB


This is the pack your looking for!


After using several packs over the years I'm happy as can be that picked this pack up and I'll never look back. From my home in the PNW to Norway and Sweden this pack has never let me down and is as comfortable as I've ever worn. I even use the Variant 52 through the summer months in comfort. This IS the backpack you want. ( I also bought one for my daughter to keep her from stealing mine)

Issaquah , WA



4.3 3


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