Given the number of skiers happily sporting the X3 600 backpack, it's hard to imagine what CAMP could improve upon for the new Plus version. But improve it they did. Aside from the new color choices to set yourself apart from the crowd, the pack features an upgraded fabric, more solid ski carry, and the new CAMP EZ OP buckle system. The fabric is an even better combination of weight, strength, and ripstop durability than found on the existing model. The ski carry is no longer a dangling hook but a plastic ring that snaps into a wire clip integrated into the shoulder strap. The new special pull tabs on the chest and waist buckles engage a cord to automatically open the buckle with a simple tug from one gloved hand. Other than that, the X3 600 Plus remains loaded with all the ski mountaineering features you've come to expect from a Campack.
Spacious 30 liters can handle long excursions while being supported by hip padding and a removable ultralight frame bar (-33g).
Big mesh pockets on the sides can fit water bottles, skins, or layers that you need to access quickly.
Improved Xpress Wire ski carry system lets you attach and detach skis without taking off the pack, a huge time saver.
Zippered hip belt pocket can be used stash gels, clinometers, a camera, or other small items you want right in front of you.
Retractable ice axe carriers securely loop around the pick, adze, and shaft to prevent dangerous shifting.
Velcro and elastic interior loops are designed to secure a shovel handle, probe, and a hydration bladder.
EZ OP buckle system is found on the chest and waist straps that can be operated with one hand by using pull tabs.
Spacious zip pocket on the lid can be used to stow keys, energy bars, first aid kit, or whatever else you think is important.
New interior security pocket can hold your wallet, phone, avalanche log book, or secret diary.
Improved fabric is lighter and stronger and comes in your choice of orange or red patterns.
Note the ski carry system fits tails up to about 150mm wide. The tail loop is a retractable cord with an internal knot that can be retied to shorten it.
This pack feels close to wonderful but misses the mark on a few points for me.
- Light weight for the volume - Fast ski carry that can fit larger-than-race skis - Mesh pockets are convenient for quick storage of extra layers, gloves, skins, drinks
- Lid is fixed in such a way that it does not tuck in to the main compartment very well. Consequently flops around when full and main compartment is not. - No way to mount a bottle holder securely. What looks in the product photos like a potential mount point is actually flimsy elastic (intended for a bladder tube) and your bottle will bounce around a lot if you try to use this. I ended up sewing some webbing onto the shoulder strap for a secure mount. You would think CAMP's own products would work better together! - Minimal storage up front. Right shoulder strap fits 1-2 gels, waist belt pocket fits 2 bars or 3 if crammed. Most people are using this pack for the GT or big backcountry days, so easy access to more cals would be nice.
Overall a decent product but could be better. I have the CAMP Skin Pack as well, which I love, and I sort of keep wishing that this were just a bigger version of it with a waist belt.
I used this pack for the Elk Mtn Grand Traverse because my normal skimo pack would not hold all the required gear. This pack held everything comfortably and could have held a touch more in a pinch. I should note that I packed mine with all my gear as well as almost all the required team gear and had a little room to spare (we had the smallest lightest team gear possible). It is well thought out and rides well. The lid storage is accessible even when buckled down tight. The side mesh pockets are awesome on a long race like the GT since you cant keep everything you need in your suit. They allow fast access to a whole bunch of stuff and were by far the most important feature of the pack in the race. The ski carry system works fine even with a full pack and the hip belt storage is great. It mounts one CAMP bottle holder.
The one drawback to it has been the fiberglass stay down the spine- somehow the bottom rubbed against something and quickly poked through. I just removed it because its kind of unnecessary and I shaved off like half an ounce...
Overall, a great pack for such a race or backcountry use where you want to bring a bigger safety net with you.
2) I'm working on a project that involves swapping between hiking boots and ski gear. Is this pack big enough to get a pair of AT boots into? Or, can they be lashed onto the outside in a manner that won't allow them to swing around?
Mike, I just asked CAMP and did not get good news. They are out of skimo packs for the season so our orders will not be fulfilled this year unfortunately. As far as boots, I've had TLT5s inside the X3 600 and also lashed them to the pack, both worked okay. There may have been a little boot swing but I didn't spend too much time trying to secure them. Nothing a skimo strap wouldn't fix :)
on the stratus and spitfire packs i see the ski tail width is only 105mm max. all my skis are bigger then that and I was wondering two things. 1. can the loop be easily cut off and replaced with a bigger one? 2. is it only the La Sportiva packs that have this limited size range or will all of my wider skis be to big for these stlye packs? 3. how long is "Pre-Order" going to take?
Good questions David. The Spitfire/Stratos uses a thick piece of corded webbing that is sewn on really well and would be tough to replace. Each pack has its own size limit, some being smaller (Trab World Cup is ~100mm), some bigger (Trab Gara Aero is ~130mm). We are noting this in the product descriptions as we get them in; we expect the CAMP packs (some of which have fairly big loops) late next week, and the Dynafits shortly thereafter. I will also add this info to the comparisons when we get them all in.