The OMM Jirishanca 35RL MSC: Review and Test

A test and review of the OMM Jirishanca 35RL MSC, including photos

After a little research into light weight packs, I settled on the Jirishanca 35RL MSC, produced by OMM. I'm happy with the choice: check out the review below. Or, skip the babble and get to the good and bad at the bottom

Hip Strap

The one thing I took a chance on Jirishanca was the belt buckle. Although the actual hip strap looked sturdy and robust, there's only a few photo's of the pack available on the internet - the standard product shots (from the rear) and a couple of reviews, none of them featuring the buckle. This was a worry because some of the packs competitors including golite and Osprey have what look and feel like quite flimsy clips on the hip strap - not a great feature for such a frequently used part of the pack. As you can see from the photo's below, the clip is fairly large and feels very sturdy and hard wearing - I'll be surprised if I see it fail any time soon.

The hip strap provides plenty of support, offering a close fit even for slim people. With the removable back piece of the Jirishanca in place, it happily takes weight off the shoulders as effectively as larger and more reinforced packs.

Ergonomics

The side pockets first: these are great - as you can see from the pictures, they are large and strong enough to carry two 1ltr Sig bottles, which is my preferred setup when heading out for a couple of nights. The sports compressor provides a useful addition to the bag, much increasing its capacity and also providing a good place to keep wet weather gear that can be accessed without having to open up the bag and expose its contents.

General Pack size

When fully utilizing all the nooks and crannies (sports compressor, top pocket, hoops for hanging gear off), this pack is more than adequate for a comfortable couple of nights camping. With room to spare, my gear included:

  • liquid fuel stove + fuel
  • tarp
  • sleeping bag
  • bivy bag
  • fleece
  • waterproof
  • spare underwear
  • couple of layers for warmth
  • cooking pots
  • food for two days
  • 2ltr water
  • head lamp
  • small towel
  • roll matt
  • leatherman
  • phone
  • money

So, provided you go lightweight and minimal with the camping setup (namely a tarp and bivy instead of a tent), you'll do just fine with this.

Comfort

As mentioned above, the pack provides excellent comfort when loaded up to a fair weight. Its worth noting that a lot of this comes from the removable back piece (that can unfolded and used as a durable seat, or combined with an accessory to create a sleeping mat). Without the back piece in place I found the pack slouching a lot more, plus a lot more care had to be taken to prevent nobbly bits of gear digging into my back from within the pack. Pictures of this back piece unfolded can be found below.

The shoulder straps are adjustable and well padded, with an elastic chest strap that can be used to secure them in place, decreasing the motion of the bag.

Good:

  • Comfortable
  • Plenty of support, good hip strap
  • Big enough for a few days out, including food and full camping gear
  • Very tough; made of dyneema mostly. Far tougher and more rugged than other lightweight options.

Bad:

I really like this pack, as you may have guessed. The only bothersome thing about it is the need to fasten the main lid of the pack down under the sports compressor. This can be annoying as its sometimes necessary to remove whatever's in there (I usually keep my waterproof, as shown in the photos) in order to get to it, refasten the bag, and restuff the sports compressor. However I don't see any effective way around this in terms of a design change.

Actually, fastening the lid strap over the sports compressor completely and effectively solves this problem. Doh...

Also, you'll need to take particular joy in clipping straps and cords into place all the time: if you don't, you might find this pack tiresome. That said, everything seems to be there for a reason and I've yet to find a completely superfluous strap or clip.

Well, I think I've covered all the things that occured to me when looking at this pack. Any questions, feel free to comment and I'll probably reply within a few days. If your interested in owning one a Jirishanca 35RL MSC, check out www.backpackinglight.co.uk for a friendly service and knowledgeable staff.

Jirishanca Loaded with Gear Jirishanca Standing on Its Own The removeable back piece - top The removeable back piece - bottom The tough buckle

Written by Tom Bates