Full side access zip from one shoulder to opposite hip
Adjustable lid height
Lightweight for its size
Side access zipper runs underneath lid
Thinner material than its counterparts
No hydration hose sleeve
The Ortovox Peak 45 is spacious and highly functional while maintaining a minimalist feel without sacrificing much in the feature set. Yet, it is the second lightest pack in this test. The side access is compromised by being under the flap lid but it was otherwise perfect for snowy nights spent deep in the backcountry.
Comfort/Fit The Peak 45’s rigid, sweat-wicking back panel and cushy hip straps provide plenty of comfort and support under a heavy load. The pack skied great and also has adequately padded shoulder straps.
Ski/Snowboard Carry The Peak 45 is capable of both carry options. A-frame carry comes standard and the diagonal carry utilizes a thick tail loop and metal hook and attachment point up top that can double as a rope strap. It will also carry a snowboard.
Features The most interesting feature of the Peak 45 is the side access zip, which runs from the right shoulder all the way around the bottom of the pack to the left hip. This allows for the entire pack to be folded open from the outside. One flaw is the top of the zipper runs underneath the lid, so it must be unclasped in order to open and close the side zip. A dedicated avy pocket, axe attachment, helmet carry, and hip belt pocket round out the feature set. Note that the Peak 45 lacks an insulated hydration sleeve.
Ease of Use The Peak 45’s waist belt adjusts from the hips by pulling straps inwards towards the belly button, which made for an easy and secure adjustment method. The straps and zippers are straightforward and easy to use.
Durability It’s clear the Peak 45 sacrifices on strap (particularly the A-frame carry straps), and fabric thickness to save on weight. However no specific issues were noted during testing.
Skier, runner, and author Ben Conners has been exploring the Rockies since he was a kid. Growing up in the Vail Valley, Ben spent his winters carving turns and summers backpacking in the Holy Cross Wilderness. Ben authored a guidebook on ski mountaineering Colorado’s high peaks and lives with his wife in south-Denver.