Mountain Hardwear’s Hueco 20–Worth Every Penny

I test gear for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), and every so often a box of stuff arrives, for better or worse. Believe me, we occasionally get some, uh, less-than-stellar stuff to check out. Happily, though, I received a shipment of Mountain Hardwear gear several weeks back. A tech tee, sun shirt, hard shell, and MH’s exceptionally good Hueco 20 bullet/daypack. After 20-25 days in it I can honestly say it’s worth every one of the 80 bucks it costs retail.

Streamlined and durable--great piece
Streamlined and durable–great piece

I’m buried packing and prepping for my last couple days guiding before I head to the Pacific Northwest for my alpine exam, September 15, so I’m keeping this post brief.

Highlights of the Hueco:

It’s light, 479g, or 1 pound (verified on my atomic scale at home).

It’s simple–no klutzy frames, stays, or doo-dads. A bit of back padding, 400d nylon body with burlier “tarp” material on the front, haul loops, sewn webbing you could ring a piolet to, and a minimalist rope carrier.

Yes, the rope carrier–hides when not in use and deploys easily/ingeniously when you need it. It loops over a coiled rope (tip: lap-coil long and then thread the bottoms of your coils up through your shoulder straps for a secure, comfortable carry) on the top of the Hueco–fast, easy, secure.

A lightweight, unobtrusive loop of webbing deploys to hold a rope.
A lightweight, unobtrusive loop of webbing deploys to hold a rope.






An internal zippered pocket holds glasses and has a key clip–though I’m careful with the key clip, as I don’t want keys bouncing against my Julbo lenses!

Side pockets lay flat, so nothing to snag when climbing/hauling. Two of them, flush with the sides–use ’em if you’d like, but no penalty (other than a few grams) if you don’t.

Exterior/front seams are tucked internally and sewn, so they’re protected when hauling.

Folds down to almost nothing, so you can chuck it in a larger pack.

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