Ortovox Haute Route 35 ReviewDecember 17, 2015
- Good weatherproofing
- Frame is stable and comfortable
- Versatile for year-round use
- Some features can be quirky and awkward at first
- No snowboard carry
Ortovox designed the Haute Route 35L for half to full-day tours with versatility in mind. Of all the packs in this test, this one seems to cater to year-round use more effectively than the rest, although it is marketed first and foremost as a ski/winter pack. A few quirky features will limit interest in this pack.
The Haute Route is a comfortable pack and supports weight well thanks to its rigid internal frame that was developed by sports physicians in Munich. The pack is designed to sit off your back to allow for some airflow on warm spring days and perhaps during the summer months, although on downright balmy days it might not be enough to prevent your back from getting soaked. Solid weatherproofing around the pack will help protect your gear from a light rain shower in the spring/summer months as well.
The Haute Route carries skis securely in both A-frame and diagonal fashion and both are easy to use. There’s no snowboard carry option on this pack.
Like most of the packs tested, the Haute Route sports a wide back panel zip pocket which makes retrieving and storing items a breeze with skis attached. It also includes a helmet carry system and a hip belt pocket. A martini glass icon marking the hydration tube outlet hole may make one wonder just what kind of beverage the Germans prefer to drink while out in the backcountry.
Ease of Use
The gear clips/loops may take some getting used to at first, but the zipper handles on this pack are a delight to use as they’re large and easy to grab while wearing thick gloves. Overall, once beyond the small learning curve, most will find the Haute Route to be friendly and easy to use.
Durable ski straps will likely hold up well against metal ski edges for several seasons and the pack’s exterior material feels very solid, similar to its German counterparts over at Deuter.