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Osprey Zealot and ‘Nimsdai’ Climbing Packs: Purpose Drives Design

osprey zealot 45Hiking out with the Osprey Zealot 45; (photo/Osprey)
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Osprey built its new pack array to appeal to a wide range of climbers. The Zealot series covers crag hounds and gym rats, and the Mutant lineup belongs on the backs of alpinists and ice climbers.

We’ve all heard of “gym-to-crag” climbing — well, what about gym-to-high-altitude mountaineering? Osprey seeks to fulfill that range of climbing demographics and disciplines with its new lineup of packs and chalk bags.

The company positions the Zealot 45 and 30 bags, plus chalk bucket and chalk bag, to help you stay organized and psyched at the gym or the crag. And the Mutant 90, 52, 38, and 22 can help you bring the essentials from a casual day at the Ouray Ice Park to the Himalayas.

The ubiquitous pack builder tapped some serious talent to design the Mutant line around — Nims Purja. Osprey said it 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 rundown of the new gear.

osprey gym climbing pack

Zealot 30, 45, and Chalk Bags

Each Zealot pack has an EVA-molded back panel with a high-density plastic framesheet to help heavy, bulky gear ride comfortably and securely.

Osprey builds the 45L rig for crag days. It comes with a rope tarp with tie-off loops to help you remember which way is up. With dual main compartment access, you can get at your gear no matter how bad the spaghetti mess inside your pack is.

osprey climbing pack zealot 45
The Zealot 45; (photo/Osprey)

The 30L gym pack has segmented interior organization to keep your gnarlier goods (smelly shoes, chalk bag) separated from your more delicate items (phone, laptop, earbuds).

osprey climbing pack
The Zealot 30 (left) and 45; (photo/Osprey)

Speaking of chalk, the Zealot bucket closes magnetically — which is a masterstroke, in my opinion. Chalk buckets that close with hook-and-loop strips always get grimy from repeated groping from grubby fingers, in my experience, and the Velcro can even become clogged with coagulated chalk. Either that, or you leave it open on the ground, and it tips over.

If executed right, magnetic closure eases both pain points. Chalk up, give it a tap to close it, and drop it where you stand.

The Zealot chalk bag looks straightforward, with a conventional cinch closure. Each chalk receptacle comes with exterior pockets to help you keep the essentials with you.

zealot 45 collection

Mutant Nimsdai 90, 52, 38, and 22

The Mutant series, including the flagship Nimsdai 90, belongs in the mountains.

A light wire frame (90L) or framesheet with aluminum stays (52L, 38L, 22L) helps stabilize loads. Osprey also uses what it calls a “snowshed” fabric on the EVA back panel to make wet days out less sucky. (Word’s still out on whether or not it works.) And the straps get an outer layer of mesh to boost breathability.

Osprey nimsdai 90

For exterior organization, each one gets dual “Tool Locks” with bungee tie-offs for your axes, daisy chain loops compatible with voile straps, and included removable webbing straps with side-release buckles.

The hip belts have gear loops and ice tool holsters, and you can lag down your rope to the top with another adjustable strap.

All packs also get a hydration sleeve. Each model, except the 22L, has a removable brain and a jacket/stowaway pocket. The 52 and 38L variants have straps to carry skis A-frame-style, plus a stretchy helmet net you can attach in multiple locations. If you’re skiing with the 22L, you can take your sticks in an A-frame setup with voile straps.

Osprey gave the pack a narrow profile and built it toward close-to-body carry to reduce snags and help the wearer move naturally. The backpacks have a PFC-free, PFAS-free durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment.

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