Wilderness Experience Klettersack

The Klettersack Is Back! Wilderness Experience Relaunches 1974 Crag Pack

The very definition of an ‘oldie but a goodie,’ the Wilderness Experience Klettersack was one of the very first pieces of core outdoor gear in America. And now, the brand makes a bold comeback relaunching the pack on Kickstarter with ‘the original pattern, materials, and quality.’

This one’s for the over-40 crowd. And because everything retro is cool, it’s for the under-40 crowd, too. The Wilderness Experience Klettersack, originally designed and built in 1974, is back and live now on Kickstarter.

Wilderness Experience Klettersack

Wilderness Experience as a brand was a major force in pushing the nascent outdoor industry forward in the ’70s and ’80s. And one of its very first products was the Klettersack, a 28L daypack suitable for climbing, scrambling, and backpacking. Made with CORDURA back when the durable material was first gracing packs, “klettersack” became a common term for any rugged crag pack.

And after a long hiatus, Wilderness Experience is rebooting the pack and the brand. With a heritage of iconic climbers who used the pack — including Fred Beckey and Jim Bridwell — Wilderness Experience hopes the Klettersack will attract the next generation of adventurers.

Wilderness Experience Klettersack

The Klettersack is a simple but burly 28L daypack. It uses 1,000-denier CORDURA for the body and comes with a CORDURA or leather bottom.

A cinchable bucket loader, the Klettersack offers a zippered top pocket and dual nylon straps to tighten down the load. Eleven accessory patches let users customize their setup and add extra carry items. The bottom has a sloped profile to shift items closer to the body and help prevent snagging on quick descents.

Though not the lightest pack in the category, the Klettersack counters its burly construction with a narrow profile. And it manages to come in at 24 ounces for the leather bottom and 22 ounces for the CORDURA bottom.

Wilderness Experience Klettersack

“After decades of working with other outdoor companies and 13 years of retirement and travel, I began to feel nostalgic,” Jim Thomsen, founder and first president of Wilderness Experience, said in a press release. “It’s really exciting to think that a product we made 45 years ago, which was loved by so many, is relevant today. I am inviting old and new friends to join our Kickstarter community to relaunch a favorite brand that brought pleasure to so many outdoor devotees.”

The 2019 Klettersack will stay live on Kickstarter through June 30. The CORDURA-bottom Klettersack will retail for $125 and the leather for $150. But both are available now with early-bird buy-ins for under $100. That’s a crazy deal for a piece of nostalgic gear that also offers modern utility.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.