Osprey Zealot and ‘Nimsdai’ Climbing Packs: Purpose Drives Design
Osprey has built its new line of packs to appeal to a wide range of climbers. The Zealot series covers cliff dogs and gym rats, and the Mutant line belongs to mountaineers and ice climbers.
We’ve all heard of “gym to rock” climbing – well, what about mountaineering from the gym to high altitude? Osprey seeks to cater to this range of demographics and climbing disciplines with its new line of packs and chalk bags.
The company is positioning the Zealot 45 and 30 bags, along with the chalk bucket and chalk bag, to help you stay organized and motivated at the gym or on the crag. And the Mutant 90, 52, 38 and 22 can help you bring the essentials of a laid-back day to Ouray Ice Park in the Himalayas.
The ubiquitous pack builder has called on some serious talent to design the Mutant line – Nims Purja. Osprey said he created the Mutant 90 specifically for Purja, who works for the brand as an ambassador. Meanwhile, the Zealot 30 is its first gym climbing pack.
Here’s a quick look at the new gear.
Zealot 30, 45 and chalk bags
Each Zealot pack has a molded EVA back panel with a high density plastic frame sheet to help heavy and bulky gear ride comfortably and safely.
Osprey builds the 45L rig for cliff days. It comes with a rope tarp with tie loops to help you remember the upward direction. With dual access to the main compartment, you can access your gear no matter how bad the spaghetti mess is inside your pack.
The 30L duffel bag has segmented interior organization to keep your most nasty items (smelly shoes, chalk bag) separate from your more delicate items (phone, laptop, headphones).
Speaking of chalk, the Zealot bucket closes magnetically – which is a masterstroke, in my opinion. Chalk buckets that close with hook-and-loop straps always get dirty from repeated fumbling with dirty fingers, in my experience, and the velcro can even clog with coagulated chalk. Either that or you leave it open on the floor and it tips over.
If performed correctly, the magnetic closure relieves both pain points. Crack, give it a swipe to close it, and drop it where you’re standing.
The Zealot chalk bag looks simple, with a conventional strap closure. Each chalk receptacle comes with exterior pockets to help you keep the essentials with you.
Mutant Nimsdai 90, 52, 38 and 22
The Mutant series, including the flagship Nimsdai 90, belongs to the mountains.
A lightweight wire frame (90L) or frame sheet with aluminum stays (52L, 38L, 22L) helps stabilize loads. Osprey also uses what it calls “snow guard” fabric on the EVA backpanel to make wet days less of a hassle. (It’s still unclear if that works or not.) And the shoulder straps are covered with an outer layer of mesh to improve breathability.
For outdoor organization, each features two “tool locks” with bungee ties for your axes, daisy chain loops compatible with sail straps, and included removable straps with side-release buckles.
The hip belts have gear loops and ice ax holsters, and you can drag your rope up with another adjustable strap.
All packs also receive a hydration pouch. Each model, except the 22L, has a removable brain and a jacket/stash pocket. The 52 and 38L variants have straps for carrying A-frame style skis, as well as an expandable helmet net that you can attach in multiple places. If you ski with the 22L, you can take your poles in an A configuration with sail straps.
Osprey gave the pack a narrow profile and designed it for close-fitting carry to reduce snags and help the wearer move naturally. The backpacks have a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment without PFC or PFAS.