Backpacking has been my passion for close to 10 years now and my career for going on 7 years, and one of the greatest gifts I’ve received from my dive into the wilderness has been my discovery of new outdoor pursuits like rock climbing, and my rediscovery of mountain biking. Had it not been for backpacking, I would never have experienced so many new places in such extraordinary ways. Though Six Moon is best known for the gear it makes for hiking and backpacking, today I want to talk about how much I’ve used my SMD gear for rock climbing.
I primarily use my Wy'east pack for climbing, as a gym bag with space for all my gear, water, and snacks, and as my go-to pack for sport climbing, where the gear I need to carry is typically limited and light. I have even used it as my go-to for multi-pitch climbs, carrying it up cliffs up to 700 ft tall! Over the last few years, my climbing has grown to include traditional climbing, which includes a whole new set of gear, and often long days and approaches. When I was looking at photos on the website of the Six Moon Designs Traveler, I knew I had found the perfect pack for this new venture.
The added weight and volume of all the gear necessary for this sport required a larger pack than my Daybreaker and the Traveler met all these needs and more! It has the size to carry everything from gear to water, layers, and lunch. The comfortable shoulder straps and hip belt help me carry these loads deep into the backcountry on often very rough and poorly maintained trails. The zip-open design (like a suitcase) allows me to carefully organize all the gear I may need and easily prepare myself for the climb. The extra zipper compartments on the inside are the perfect place to organize belay devices, slings, cordelette, and locking carabiners without losing them in the mess of nuts, cams, and quickdraws already present. The extra zipper pockets on the front are the perfect place to stash non-climbing gear like headlamps, toilet paper, first aid, and other miscellaneous gear.
Like all SMD packs, the hip belt also has pockets to store snacks, and I can keep my phone or maps handy in the stretchy pouches on the shoulder straps. The stretchy pockets on the top of the bag are my go-to spot for gloves and, beanies, or that much-needed afternoon crag soda pop. Since the pack is designed to fit on an airplane, I know I can travel anywhere around the world, with plenty of room for my climbing and traveling gear. Since I started using this pack, I’ve even had two friends fall in love with its versatility and all the pockets and order one for themselves. Now, the next test will surely be to see if it would be the perfect pack for an overnight backcountry climbing experience!