Don’t you hate it when you’re hiking out to a crag, or you’re back at the car, and you want to get something like your cell phone or wallet, only to realize that it’s at the bottom of your meticulously stuffed climbing pack? To get that item, you will now need to pull everything out, then pack it all away again.

Miura35This is one of the many reasons I love the new ArcTeryx Miura. No matter where that gear may be inside your pack, you can easily get to it without having to remove anything else.

Many moons ago, I got the opportunity to test the first iteration of the ArcTeryx Miura cragging pack, and absolutely loved it. It was a pretty innovative design that allowed me to show up at the crag, drop my pack on the ground, and easily access all of my gear without having to actually dump out all the gear inside of it into the dirt.

ArcTeryx has taken that great idea, tweaked it, sleeked it and made it much better than before. The way the original Miura closed—two full-length side zippers, then a roll-top/strap cinch closure—always involved a lot of steps, and honestly just didn’t work as well as one would’ve liked: Inevitably there always seemed to be some giant down coat peeking out the top of that improperly closed roll top.

The new Miura, however, solves that with a complete zipper closure.

I recently purchased the Miura 35 to use as my primary cragging pack for this season. The Miura comes in two sizes: 35 and 45. I chose the smaller size because I decided that I wouldn’t be carrying a rope inside the pack most of the time, and I’d actually prefer to just have a pack that will be in daily use and has that smaller, more manageable form factor. If you want to carry a rope (inside a rope bag) you’ll need to go with the Miura 45 and pick up the Haku Rope Bag, which is designed to fit in the pack.

So far, I’m not disappointed with my choice to go with the smaller size. In the main compartment, I can easily fit two pairs of climbing shoes, a big rack of draws, chalk bucket, chalk bag, harness, a few bottles of water and extra layers.

The thing about this pack that I love most is all of its pockets and compartments that I use to organize the rest of my gear. There are two long but low-volume sleeves on the front side of the back that can always be easily accessed. Here, I keep kneepads, extra shorts, brushes, and a guidebook. There’s a pocket on the top of the pack for keeping stuff like a headlamp, sunglasses and car keys, and another similarly sized internal pocket for other precious items.

My only complaint is that I often don’t need to use the hip belt, but there’s no way to store it away. I would love to see a design that would allow me to tuck away the hip belt buckles and webbing when I don’t need to use them.

My only concern is that the zippers are going to blow out at the corners of the pack. Note that that hasn’t happened, but it seems like it might. Stay tuned and I’ll update this review over the course of the season to see how the Miura holds up!

Check out the Miura 35 here.