FS: North Face Alpine Guide Pack

This is a vintage pack (est. 1999) in excellent condition - specifically, the foam belt and shoulder straps are still soft and pliable. (that would be the first thing that would worry me).

Believed to be original copy:

The North Face Thin Air Alpine Guide Pack (1999)

From The North Face..."This lightweight, low-profile guide pack is engineered to flex with your torso, and the pack's x-shaped, carbon-composite stays keep weight balanced and controlled. Made of ultra-lightweight and virtually indestructible 210 denier Spectrum Ripstop for great tear strength and abrasion resistance, this pack features micro-adjustable suspension for a body-hugging fit. Contoured, wicking shoulder straps and bright yellow, water resistant linings. Load-control top compression strap, double-layered bottom and extra-long storm skirt. Four compartments in all with gear loops, ice-axe loops, shovel flap, ski-tail guides and wand pockets. Regular Size: dimensions: 27"x16"x10", length: 15-20", volume: 4300 cu.in., weight: 3lb. 6oz."

Per Backpacker Magazine, March 1999:
Type = Internal, Top-Loader
Capacity = 4300 ci
Sizes/Fit Range: 2/15-24
Features: Shove-It pocket, Spindrift Collar
Weight: 3 lbs 6 oz
Was $240 in 1999.

My comments:

  • The extension collar on this pack is strikingly long at 15", more than half the length of the body of the pack. In theory this could add substantial capacity to the 4300ci/70L pack (you can do the math, it's a crazy high amt), but a) it would be tall, and b) it might be hard to stabilize, since it would be extend the main pack body. You would have the wrap-over webbing plus the floating lid/brain to hold it down, but still ....
  • There appear to have been slight variations in the pack during these years, such as the placement of the shovel/shove-it pocket, and the webbing loops. Mine is as pictured below.
  • Although mine has the same dimensions as the copy listed above, mine comes in at 4 lbs exactly. Maybe there's a stack of D.B. Cooper's money sewn in the waistbelt, I don't know. It's still quite light for the 70L+ volume, less than 1 oz per liter, unexpanded.
  • My dad took it up Humphrey's Peak in AZ and then it was put away until a couple years ago, when he gave it to me. I took it on a couple hikes and it performed well (it's a good conversation-starter).
  • To the best of my knowledge there are no tears, runs, or even stains on it. It's pretty pristine and doesn't stink.
  • The body is one giant compartment. The only other pockets are on the floating lid (external and internal, pictured), plus the shove-it pocket.
  • The shove-it pocket can hold up to a 2L soda bottle of water, or smaller, depending on how you lace the shock-cord. But,
  • ... there are no lateral water bottle pockets or a hydration sleeve, which apparently is typical of alpine and climbing packs. There are also no pockets on the hipbelt. There may be some after-market solutions for these things, such as the Aquaclip and other kinds of add-ons.

Selling locally (Chattanooga), or regionally as my travels may put me near a buyer (or vice-versa).

$100 cash, no paypal.


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