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April 2019

Viking Tested: The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Backpack

Small pack size, big pack features

Mountain Hardwear has gone to great lengths to develop a pack that is small enough for day excursions yet jam packed with features. The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 is also one of the most sturdy built packs I have ever had the experience of using. It is loaded with features and the more I used it the more I realized that it had well thought out, purpose built features everywhere Mountain Hardwear could put them. Built with intention and designed to withstand the most rigorous climbs or hikes, the Scrambler 25 is also versatile enough to take on a day hike, pack for skiing or use as a carry-on on the plane. All of which I did with it!

Scrambler 25 Review

Rough, tough and waterproof

The first thing that was very apparent to me when first using the Scrambler pack was the ultra durable material it was constructed of - lightweight and waterproof four-layer Dimension-Polyant™ fabric. I have had some packs in the past that are made of beefy material but after time I would get tired of the weight and eventually that material would fray or wear. I did not experience any of that with this little pack. In fact, when I knocked it over and it skidded down some rocks I thought for sure it would be damaged. Not so, it didn't even have a scuff. Unlike my packs of yesteryear with that were designed with heavy fabrics just so they would be durable, the Scrambler 25 is very light and ultra strong.

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Review

Size is everything

The next thing that I noticed about the Scrambler 25 is how much I could fit into it's 25L compartment. It is very spacious and a lot of gear can be crammed in there. Once loaded (and heavy) and strapped onto my back, the weight is distributed very evenly and my shoulders and chest are comfortable due in large part to the padded straps. And speaking of straps, the chest strap is removable and the hip strap is easily stowed...and unlike many other packs, it stays stowed once you start moving!

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler Pack Online

Clever Storage Options

For storage space there is plenty. Beyond the main compartment there is a floating lid that has large pockets on the top and on the inside. At first this floating pocket was a bother because I didn't have the pack full on my first outing. When I realized this was easily removed I was back in love with the pack. When I did need to load up the bag I kept my snacks easily accessible in the outside pocket and my electronics, wallet and back up battery pack in the inside pocket. There is even a handy key loop. To further the well thought out train of thought, Mountain Hardwear has made all of the zipper loops and drawstrings in a way that you can easily manage them with gloves on or if your fingers are tired from climbing. A feature I appreciated greatly as I hate having to take my gloves on an off in cooler conditions.

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler Hydration Pack

Don't forget to hydrate!

Inside the pack there is a space for a water bladder and a hole to thread a hose through. This is an excellent option if you want your water that way. I prefer using my Corkcicle bottle so the side pockets come into play for that one. The dual side pockets are elastic so they are very low profile when not in use. Being that I have a large water bottle I am happy that they expand all the way and hold the bottle tight. There is even a tie-down strap to secure your bottle so if it takes a tumble the bottle stays put. Smart thinking Mountain Hardwear ;)

Best day pack Mountain Hardwear Scrambler

A pack for adventure...and everyday life

The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 feels like a do-all kind of bag. It is rugged and extremely well thought out yet small enough to take on light adventures. I have also adopted this pack as my everyday bag. I use it for work. It fits my tablet and files perfectly with room for lunch and my electronic accessories. It is perfect for throwing in a picnic and some beers and going to the beach. I also see strapping Scrambler to my paddle board this summer with all my gear for an outing on the lake. It surprised me with it's versatility. I am confident that it will stand up to the test of time and be a pack that I have for many years to come.

Jam packed with features

mountain hardwear scrambler 25 backpack

You can really tell that the designers and engineers at Mountain Hardwear use the gear they design. It is like the were given creative license to make a pack that they would use everyday. Here are some of the best features of the Scrambler 25 Backpack:

  • Light, durable, and waterproof four-layer Dimension-Polyant™ fabric
  • Contoured ventilated back panel with lightweight frame sheet
  • Fully removable floating lid with compression strap
  • Stand-up design with durable padded base to protect contents and increase durability
  • Dual-density padded shoulder straps
  • Internal gear loop
  • Dual side water bottle pockets
  • Forward-Access™ gear loop unique shape keeps clipped gear easily reachable
  • Hydration reservoir compatible
  • Dual full-length daisy chains
  • Quick access skirt collar opening
  • Haul handle
  • Removable sternum strap with whistle

From the Mountain Hardwear Sr Equipment Designer...


The Verdict?

If you have read this far I think it is obvious that I am a fan of this pack. The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 is a confidence inspiring piece of equipment that has every feature you would need. It is built using rugged materials that are also light weight. It fits and carries well and is versatile from climbing to hiking to skiing to hanging and the beach. It is my new go-to pack for all occasions.

Todd Avison reviews the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Pack

Review by Todd Avison

Todd Avison is a skier and adventurer based out of Kelowna BC. His home mountain is Big White but he can be found logging days in the backcountry of the Kootenays either by snowcat, helicopter or human powered. If he could only ski one place for the rest of his life, it would be in the Valhalla Mountains. During the summer Todd is an avid mountain biker, kayaker and a newly obsessed paddleboarder! Check out his adventures on Instagram.