Burrito-style hiking backpack: Patagonia Altvia Backpack Review

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Patagonia has quietly launched a new line of four eco-friendly day and light hiking packages for the night. We hit the trails with the largest capacity Altvia 36L to get a grip on this lightweight pack.

If you’ve taken a quick look at Patagonia’s technical pack selection Before spring 2021 you will find it difficult to find a technical hiking backpack over 30 l. A search would have only found four packs with a capacity of 30L: the Cragsmith 32L and 45L and Ascensionist 35L and 55LAll packs focused on alpine and climbing.

The Altvia family marks a new generation of technical hiking backpacks for Patagonia. The line includes four sizes: 14L, 22L, 28L and 36L.

There are two distinct differences in design between sizes. The 14L and 22L packs have a zipper opening to the main cavity, while the larger 28L and 36L packs use a drawstring housing. Overall, the line aims at lighter climbing packs with enough space to pack almost anything.

We tested the Patagonia Altvia packs to see where they fit the brand and how they work.

In summary: While I wouldn’t classify these new backpacks as replacements for your heavy hiking pack, they’re perfect for short and quick missions where keeping weight down is a must.

Patagonia 100% recycled technical hiking packs

The main heading of the Altvia line focuses on sustainability. The entire line is made from 100% recycled nylon and has a non-fluorinated (PFC-free) DWR finish.

All trays are made from 4 ounce, 140 denier, 100% recycled nylon ripstop with a beefier 200 denier boot.


Altvia 36L technical data

  • Capacity: 36 L.
  • Material: Ripstop made from 100% recycled nylon with a PFC-free DWR finish
  • Major subject: Top load design with drawstring and clip housing
  • Lid compartment: Zip pocket
  • External: Two side stretch zip pockets, two side elastic pockets and one front pocket
  • Internal: Small zip pocket and hydration sleeve
  • Back: Suspended network
  • Carrier: Breathing air network
  • Extras: Key fastening, rain cover

Patagonia Altvia hiking package review

To test that Altvia 36LI spent a couple of days wandering around my longer sport climbing garden. Although I did not test the backpack technically with hiking equipment due to the heavy weight of the climbing equipment and my above-average climbing approach, I got a good feeling for how the backpack works.

The backpack carried well across the site for a minimally framed, lightweight backpack, especially given the weight of my load. The S / M size seemed to fit my frame nicely (5’8 “, 140 pounds, 29” waist).

The back wall and suspended mesh straps provided sufficient breathability for the toasty California weather.

Loading and accessing equipment in the main cavity was easy thanks to a large drawstring opening. In the main compartment there is a drinking sleeve and a small zip pocket.

Altvia Pack 36lA look at the opening of the main cavity. To close, synchronize the drawstring and fold the back over the front.

Different opening

One big difference between most packs and the Altvia is that there is no independent top lid that folds over the main opening. Instead, the opening to the main compartment and the top lid are one, so they fold over the opening and then attach to a front clip.

I know it’s a little confusing. It’s like flipping a burrito over to enclose the inside.

This design accomplishes two things. First, it saves weight by eliminating a separate compartment. And second, it protects the main cavity from moisture.

Because of the time sport climbing backpacks spend on and off the ground, they get beaten up pretty badly. I found it to be quite durable for such a light package, but time will tell.

Externally there are two elastic side pockets and a large dump-and-go pocket on the front, in which you can stow an extra layer or some travel guides.

patagonia altvia pack 36l

To improve things

There were a few areas where I felt the pack could be improved. For starters, the zippered hip belt pockets were just above the bony parts of my hips.

This posed a problem when carrying rigid items such as a cell phone or a bar. When I tightened the waist belt, these items dug into my hips and became uncomfortable.

The jury is still on the top one-piece case. I really liked how big it was – and how easy it was to throw items in and out.

However, if it is tightened securely, items in the top zippered compartment will be difficult to access. I had to unclip it completely to gain access.

Altvia 36L Pack: Conclusion

Although my tests were limited to long attempts at sport climbing, it was Altvia 36L is an impressive pack. For such a light backpack, it carried my heavy climbing load well. The mesh back breathed adequately and it was easy to load and unload with plenty of external storage space to take with you.

Bottom line: Barring a few flaws, this package is a worthy contender if you want to get ahead quickly – but need a package big enough for light missions of a night or two.

Altvia Pack 36l

Check the price at Patagonia

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