Crux AK 57 Pack

Tester for this review: Chad Cochran

Item Tested: Crux AK 57 Backpack

Testing Areas / conditions: The North Cascades (thick brush), Alaska (granite alpine rock climbing), and the Cordillera Real in Bolivia (Spring alpine climbing)

Approximate # Days tested: 40

Crux AK 57 Backpack

Basic description of product: The Crux pack is a simple rucksack designed around the use and abuse required traveling and climbing in the Mountains.

Similar products that you have used: I’ve been through a series of packs over the years.  Similar sizes would be the 45-liter CiloGear Worksack, the 50 liter Gregory Alpinisto, and the Wild Things Andinista.

Overall how was the performance of this product versus other similar products used?  I felt that the pack proved to work as well if not better then packs I have use and have used in the past.

How was this product's ease of use compared to other similar products?  The design was extremely simple which made it easy when adjusting the pack.  It fit me well out of the box and carried comfortably whether I had 5lbs in it or 30lbs.  When it came to transitioning from the approach to the climb it was not very customizable like similar packs with removable hip belts.  When I removed the support stays from the back of the pack, it did not carry well at all and felt a bit bulky. 

How does this product's durability compare to other similar products?  Other then the wild things pack I haven’t used such a durable pack that is also extremely light weight.  After being abused heavily in the mountains the pack shows little wear and tear.

How does this product's weight compare to other similar products?  The Crux AK 57 is on the lighter to average side of similar packs on the market

Do you feel that this product shows advancement in technology or is a step above competing products on the market?  I think this product fulfills a niche in pack selection that other manufacturers have been straying away from over the years with the Crux AK 57 simple, no frills design.  

What are some changes that you would suggest to make this product better?  I would have integrated a removable hip belt.

What are the key things that make this product great?  It is great for it’s simplicity.  I never had to waste time getting the pack just adjusted right.  It was also extremely durable.  After my testing time the pack only sported a small pinhole acquired from one of the thickest bushwhacks I’ve encountered in the North Cascades. 

As a guide, what are the key factors that you take into consideration when choosing such a product?  I want something that is versatile, easy to use and that I don’t have to worry about breaking in the field. 

Additional Notes:  I would happily recommend this pack to anyone looking for a great all around alpine climbing pack.  It was a perfect size to go into the mountains for several days and then compress down for smaller missions from an advanced base camp.  I have gone through more then one pack that claimed it would hold up to heavy use in the mountains, this pack actually lived up to my expectations.


AAI Guide Chad Cochran testing the Crux AK57 on a trip in the Cascades

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published