Relive Climbing's Glory Days With This Classic Pack

An American-made rucksack from Epperson Mountaineering fit for adventure


Graham Hiemstra

This story, like all the great gear brand stories, starts with a man looking to make a product he couldn’t find anywhere else. This time it was a backpack. One to be used for hauling climbing equipment, to be sure. And so, in 1973 Mark Epperson founded Epperson Mountaineering in Nowheresville, Montana. The brand was a hit early on, but sometime between the 1980s and now the brand died, due to factors ranging from a waining public interest in climbing to globalization.

Luck for us, a few clever Japanese fellows with an eye for Americana revived the storied brand, and now we have the current incarnation, complete with original designs and build quality. The business end of Epperson Mountaineering is now based in Hermosa Beach, CA, and manufacturing elsewhere in middle America.

Brand history aside, the packs speak for themselves. And we’re most drawn to the mid-sized, multi-colored Climb Pack, originally designed to haul climbing rope. Each is made of DWR-coated 1000 Denier Cordura fabric with a Mil-Spec nylon webbing and a climbing rated carabiner for securing the top lip. A daisy-chain down the middle front rounds out the design.

Did we mention the colors? Oh boy, the colors. We’re usually an “all-black everything” crowd here at TF HQ, and sure, each pack comes in a solid color too, but that’s not what you came to EP for, now is it?

Published 02-01-2017

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