The Trad Zero 24 is lightweight at 570 grams. We took a closer look at the puristic alpine backpack from Ortovox and tested it on a multi-pitch tour in the Alpstein. Spoiler: We were impressed by the successful mix of comfort, functionality and lightness.
The Schafbergwand, a striking rock triangle and popular climbing destination on the southern foothills of the Alpstein, towers proudly above our heads. Spread out in front of our feet is the climbing equipment for a multi-pitch climbing tour as well as the Trad Zero 24 alpine backpack from Ortovox. In direct comparison to all the material, it looks small at first glance. But we should soon be taught better.
With a packing volume of 24 liters, the Trad Zero devours a surprising amount of material without significantly increasing in size. It has a central main compartment, which can be quickly opened and closed with a drawstring. There is also a narrow compartment on the side for maps, smartphones or valuables, which can be reached without having to completely remove the backpack or attach it to the stand.
You won't find a classic lid compartment on the Trad Zero. Instead, a lid flap printed with silicone on the inside ensures that neither the rope nor the helmet slip. If the strap is not needed while climbing, for example, it can be folded inwards and is therefore neatly stowed away.
Everything has its place
Ortovox has remained true to this principle across the board with the Trad Zero: all attachment options can be stowed away in no time when they are not needed. Even the hip belt can be removed if desired. As a result, there is nothing that just dangles around and could get caught somewhere.
We have misappropriated the side attachment options – designed by Ortovox to be able to fix two technical ice axes or to compress the backpack – to additionally attach the rope loops of our single rope.
Beautifully while we climb towards the foot of the wall, the super-light alpine backpack, which weighs only 570 grams, convinces with its carrying comfort. It lies well on the back and can be easily fixed using the hip strap and the easily adjustable chest strap.
The quick adjustment to our own body size is of benefit to us at the latest on the wall, when we take turns leading the way and the follower carries the backpack. A 20 centimeter difference in size between the two test subjects is not a problem for the Trad Zero. This is surprising insofar as it comes in a uniform size and yet nestles comfortably on every back.
For our five pitches we didn't pack much besides a drinking bottle, two bars and two thin jackets. Accordingly, the alpine backpack was able to fully exploit its lightweight. Once you put it on, you quickly forget you're even wearing it.
A fact that convinced us both. It doesn't matter whether you're doing a traverse, climbing the Piaz vertically or squeezing into intersections: the Trad Zero sits immovably and does not restrict the freedom of movement of the arms or that of the head when looking up.
The rough limestone of the Alpstein with its sometimes razor-sharp edges did little to harm the Trad Zero - at least not on our first tour. A look at the materials used leaves no doubt that it will also make a good trap in the long term. The alpine backpack is made of robust 420 D ripstop, which consists of 88 percent recycled polyamide. This is a super robust fabric in relation to the weight.
At 24 grams, the Trad Zero 570 alpine backpack is a featherweight. It sits comfortably on your back, whether full or half empty, and doesn't slip. It can be easily adjusted and adapted to different body sizes.
If you are looking for a minimalist backpack without any frills for your alpine adventures, you will be happy with the Trad Zero. The concept, trimmed for lightness, is consistent and yet so well thought out that you don't have to do without the usual central features and attachment options of a climbing backpack.