The CAMP Rapid Racing Pack is built on the same beloved platform as the Rapid, one of the most popular race style packs around, only the Racing version went on a substantial diet to optimize for speed, speed, and more speed. The new version uses a superlight fabric and features two different ski carrying systems that lets racers attach and detach skis without removing the pack. The Rapid Racing uses every square inch of available space wisely, readily disproving the theory that trimming bulk and reducing functionality go hand-in-hand:
- Convenient Velcro side entry pocket for crampons, water, camera, jacket, etc. that can be zipped open to extend the main compartment.
- 2 ski carry options for different race formats: Tubular Rewind for typical rando races and a Hook Rewind (+3g) for sprints and relays.
- Removable Truck Bull tethering system (+21g) can be used to tow a slower partner during team races.
- Ventilated shoulder straps have pockets that fit energy gels or bottles.
- Loop and cord ice axe carrier fits any size axe so you're ready for technical races or touring.
- Improved EZ OP buckles with special pull tabs for fast and easy one-handed operation.
- Multiple storage options as the upper compartment can combine with the lower side access pocket.
- Shovel blade fits neatly in the upper section while handle and probe slide behind into the hydration sleeve area.
- Internal security pocket for small items like a cell phone, map, emergency blanket, etc.
- Ski carry fits tails up to about 135mm in width (can be retied smaller) and comes with a sheathing to keep the loop open wide.
- Pack is hydration sleeve compatible and even comes with a built-in whistle.
- Internal security pocket and dedicated shovel/probe sleeve
Update for 2017/18: CAMP changed the colors to Orange, Black, and White. They also repositioned the main ski carry loop for better ergonomics, quicker transitions, and more secure carrying. The backpanel was reinforced where the bindings contact the pack in carry mode. In additional the Velcro crampon doors was reinforced for extra durability and the chest strap now has a height-adjustment.
|Access||Top and side|
|Ski Carry||Wire Xpress and Sprint Hook|
|Shovel / Probe||Handle & probe slide behind compartment for blade|
|Ice Axe||Loop and adjustable elastic cord|
|Stash Pockets||2 mesh on shoulder straps|
|Team Tether||Truck Bull|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||All race styles, speed touring|
|Notes||CAMP seems to have thought of everything.|
|Bottom Line||Lightest pack with all the race features.|
|Compare to other Race Packs|
Questions & Reviews
As advertised, this is a lightweight pack, and has a number of useful features for fast tours. The side access crampon pouch is easily accessible, allowing storage of frequently needed items without having to dig through the pack. When not needed, the separator can be unzippered to allow for more room in the main compartment. The pack also comes with two ski carry options: the metal hook or the wrap around strap, either of which work well to stow skis securely without removing the pack. As others have mentioned, the clip for the wrap around strap is difficult to stow, and frequently comes undone from it's clip when not carrying skis, which is a minor nuisance. CAMP's buckles work well with gloved hands, and though their percieved durability is not confidence inspiring, I had no issues during use.
Durability of the pack, however, presented an issue. While one must expect a trade-off in durability in any lightweight product, I was surprised to have a major issue during standard use. While hiking an approach on a spring tour using the ski carry, the lower seam on the ski carry side separated from the remainder of the pack. Fortunately, it did not cause the contents to release, and I was able to mend it with some tape for the remainder of the tour. I was able to return the pack on warranty, but feel this warrants a slightly lower rating, since it appears others have had similar issue.
The CAMP Rapid Race Pack is an extremely lightweight and functional pack. When used in it's intended environment, i.e. racing and training, it will no doubt serve well. If you're looking for a pack to use for daily touring or spring mountaineering, however, it's probably best to look to a slightly heavier, more durable pack.
Background on product familiarity: I used my Rapid Racing pack during the 2014-15 season on many ski mountaineering tours (both winter and spring) even loaded up with sharps (ice axe, boot crampons, ski crampons) and avy rescue gear. I’ve also used CAMP’s very similar Rapid 260 pack for four years of racing and training, plus some touring. Competitor packs I’ve used include the Trab World Cup Aero, Dynafit RC 20, and Dynafit Broad Peak 28.
First, the first impressions out of the box: Despite the minimal weight, the fabric feels substantial, and the feature set is anything but minimal. By carrying water on the outside with CAMP’s own Action Bottle and Holder, the 20-liter capacity is true enough to carry a full load, although all my gear was very compact (e.g., CAMP Race 290 crampons, ARVA Ultra shovel, ARVA Carbon 240 Compact probe).
Second impressions, in use: The features work very well as designed, especially CAMP’s unique (?) integrated partner towing system (lacking only a faster partner). However, if you retain the lasso-style ski attach system (as opposed to the hook version), then you need to wrap a bit of tape around the sides of the clip, otherwise its excessively pared-down cross section will allow the clip to fall off and dangle about when it isn’t kept taught by carrying skis. Also, the waist “belt” clip (on the wearer’s left side of the pack) would often pop open and thereby allow the belt to go entirely slack, although this ended up not being a problem because …
Third impressions, for long-term durability: … the sewing on the waist belt attachment to the center buckle came entirely undone, but this was easily replaced with a nearly weightless “single bar slide” that now both secures the strap to the buckle and substitutes its adjustability for the popping-prone original clip (which I now have set up to let out as much strap as possible, so its open versus closed position is moot). The sewing also started coming undone at the shoulder strap’s attachment to the safety box, but it’s stayed fine after a few stitches with a Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl. The interior of the side-access bottom compartment might be suspect with boot crampons and ski crampons, but I protected it with a nearly weightless cut-up blue foam pad (secured in placed with sticky velcro) so as to also provide an emergency insulated pad.
1- Would 2 ice axes (Petzl Quark) + skis fit on it? If so, would the ice axes move around? I intend to mix run, skin an Ice climbing (waterfall) up and then skiing down.
2- I'm new to skimo and will do my first races this winter, do you recommend adding the camp bottle cage to the bag? Does it fit well on it? I guess it would sacrifice a pocket but I need water close to me.
3- I have Nanga Parbat skis with Plum race 135 bindings, can you confirm that they would fit well on the pack?
Thanks! Love your website!
1- You can get two axes in the loops in a reasonably secure fashion, although I haven't tried with the big handles on the Quarks. Note this is an ultralight race pack designed for one ax so it may not last you decades in this configuration.
2- The bottle holder Velcros around the little horizontal band on the wearer's left strap, and can be secured at the bottom by tying in some of the excess strap webbing. Depending on the race and temperature, it's a reasonable option.
3- Yes the Nangas fit in the ski carry system.
The waist and sternum buckles have been upgraded to slightly larger and more manipulable size.
An ice axe loop has been added.
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