Karrimor Alpiniste 45+10 RIP

It was the classic, the mold breaker, my favourite rucksack, and one of the few bits of kit I ever aspired to. It increasingly spiralled out of control with added weight and stupid extra features from ’99 onwards and finally crashed and burned as a 2kg monster a couple of years ago. The slight update by the “all-new” Karrimor with a different harness and back system was half arsed and didn’t help.

So it’s dead and I’m glad. We have the OMM Villain, which is the real Alpiniste 45+10.

So what Karrimor have done is the right thing, make an all new model. Much better than flogging a dead horse.

This is the new Alpiniste 45+10. It looks nice.

I can see a couple of things though; no lid attachment points and it looks like no wand pockets either. Both pretty vital for me, but not everybody. The lid straps are attached quite high up lessening the opportunity for stowing kit behind them, although the bungee is good. I’d miss the single buckle lis as well.

But it is purple.

14 thoughts on “Karrimor Alpiniste 45+10 RIP”

  1. I like the placement of the lower compression strap, it`ll neatly hold the side pocket tightly shut to stop stuff being put in or taken out ;) At least it`s got a clip on instead of just a buckle.

  2. They do the same pocket exclusion tactic on other new packs.

    I really would like to hear the explanation. We must be missing something.

  3. I think it [no pockets] is a climbing vs moving quickly thing with their designers. 45+10 was my first excursion into civi rucksacks when I left the forces. still the best i have had at that size. (and I can say that – I have had many; far too many or so my wife thinks).

    I had this “must have gear loops on my hip belt” thing until recently. Then in a fit of (unusually pragmatic) peak I thought, “when i am climbing, I have a harness on; which has millions of gear loops”. So now I can have pockets instead! :)

    Good site, Ptc! I found your site cos I am looking for comments on the OMM Villain, which I think is the answer to my decade long search (after the demise of the 45+10 to wear, tear and thieves)..

    *wishing I could see as mush of the mountains as you seem to get to do…. Keep the pics coming !!

  4. Hi Steve.
    The Villain is the business. But I still think the harness on the old Alpiniste is the most comfortable harness I’ve ever used though.

    It’s handy living so close to the mountains I must admit :o)

  5. Well, Ptc, when I need some armchair mountains…

    What about mountain running ‘trainers’? I have not found any that are decent and give enough stability & support. Back using (old-favourite) Asics road trainers as I know they wont shag my knees any more than they are.


  6. Montrail Highlanders have to be the best for mountain use. Except maybe for a lot of scrambling because of the sole pattern.
    They’re beefy for a fell shoe and heel cup is spot on, but they have to fit you of course :o)

    I think a shoe has to fit you better than a boot as there’s less scope for adjustment with insoles, volume adjusters and the like as they usually just take your foot with a thin sock and that’s it.
    Getting something that fits perfectly first time is the goal.

  7. I would disagree with your initial comment. I still treasure my Elite blue Karrimor Alpiniste 45+10. In the early days I had a Karrimor Haston Vallot in red and green then I upgraded to a Karrimor Haston Alpiniste in purple, the one with the centre zip. I bought it for my first trip to Chamonix. All the above mentioned sacks were so over engineered which of course made them heavy relative to the modern incarnations but they were virtually indestructible. I used to know Mike Parsons when I worked in the outdoor industry and always respected his thoroughness and attention to detail. I am sure he brings that to OMM but it is sad that Karrimor, one of the greatest names in the outdoor industry and Mountain Equipment, another icon are but a shadow of there former selves

  8. That Elite Blue was a brilliant colour, there’s a couple of packs from “Karrimor” still using it. And you’re right it wasn’t all bad, the vertical zip external pocket was a good addition. I think the Alpine Lite was a better pack in the later years and was closer to the original Alpiniste in form as well as spirit. A sad situation though seeing all the cheap tat around with the Karrimor name on it.

    I think Mike is carrying on in a similar style to before, there’s so many great new packs and new clothing in the works from OMM.

  9. Yes you are quite right, Mike is continuing the tradition of quality sacks for people who know what they want and are not prepared to compromise just as Peter Hutchinson is (www.phdesigns.co.uk) with Mountain Equipment. The same is true with mountain boots. Gallibier were the manufacturer of choice in the early days with their Super RD and Super Pro both superb boots with their Makalu was the double boot for high altitude. I have, for some years been very impressed with the fit and quality of Lasoprtiva (www.lasportiva.it). Their Nepal Top is an obvious development of the Super RD and is without doubt the best fitting boot, for me, that I have ever found. Good to talk about good gear

  10. PHD are another bunch of folks punching well above their weight. I’ve got several pieces of test kit from them just now and it’s just fantastic. The British independants are producing some great gear.
    Getting footwear that really fits you well is the dream, for years I suffered in all sorts of boots trying to make them fit with insoles and the like. I’ve now got various models that feel like slippers and I’ve never been happier on the hill.

    And aye, always good to talk gear!

  11. I have an Elite Blue version 45+10 which is somewhat older and in my opinion far better. I also used to have a purple Haston Alpiniste 65+15 which was a great alpine sac which I used to take to the Alps

  12. The Elite Blue ones were the last of the line of the really good models I think.
    I’m definitely taking some of this stuff out on the hill this winter!

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