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Rab Latok 20L Review

Rab Latok backpack review
  • Back breathability
  • Comfort
  • Functionality
  • Stability
  • Weight
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A lightweight but very durable pack for rock climbing and high altitude mountaineering. A detail-oriented, unfussy product that fully meets the needs of fast & light style adventurers.


  • Lightness
  • Toughness
  • Ergonomic features
  • Careful attention to detail


  • Lack of a dedicated helmet holder
  • No way to hold the rope in place laterally

The Rab Latok 20L Mountain Pack is designed for all kinds of vertical adventures, whether on rock or high mountains, when you need essentials, robustness and lightness. The perfect example of how a product in the Fast & Light category should be built and designed.

Rab Latok 20L full

Technical Features of Rab Latok 20L

  • Capacity: 20 litres
  • Weight: 0.48 Kg
  • Dimensions: 61 x 28 x 22cm
  • X-Shield back system
  • 2 spade holders
  • 2 daisy chains on back
  • Rope holder
  • Mono mesh shoulder straps with two front attachment points
  • Cordura fabric with Spectra Ripstop
  • Lightweight detachable belt
  • Side pocket
  • Country of manufacture: Vietnam
  • Manufacturer link

Spectra fibre is claimed to be 15 times stronger than steel in strength to weight ratio. It is woven with Cordura nylon to create a very abrasion resistant material.

Rab Latok 20L from the back

Test mode

The Rab Latok 20L Mountain Pack has been tested on several high mountain mountaineering climbs, on glaciers and mixed terrain (snow/ice/rock). The weather tended to be good, with a wide range of temperatures.

Rab Latok 20L on a glacier

Rab Latok 20L on-site test

First impressions

The Rab Latok 20L Mountain Pack consists of a main compartment with a volume of 20 litres, a small internal pocket, an external side pocket and two holders on the front shoulder straps.

The main compartment opens easily and quickly from the top. The side pocket has a zip near the back so it can be accessed with the rucksack on without having to remove it. The two front pockets are large enough to hold small items such as bars, gels, mobile phones and the like.

detail of the zip

The mono mesh shoulder straps are very thin and breathable, with two elasticated bands and several loops to keep the backpack as tight and secure as possible.

The strap is very thin and light, with a system for quick opening and closing. It is also removable if you want to add a bit more weight.

On the back of the pack are two small vertical daisy chains with two loops at the bottom, which can be used to carry two ice axes. These can then be easily attached to the daisy chain with two elastic bands.

There are two soft holders on the side and a rope can be attached to the top of the pack.

There is no dedicated helmet holder, nor is there a system to hold the rope in place laterally, so it tends to move around a lot on approaches.

Rab’s patented X-Shield system allows for a pack that is light and breathable, but at the same time fits snugly against your back, with just the right amount of support for any gear you carry, even the heaviest.

Load capacity

At 20 litres, the main compartment is more than enough for a day’s climbing, no matter how much gear you have to carry.

I was able to fit a full set of friends, a harness of the not-so-light variety, carabiners and webbing, a set of mountaineering quickdraws, crampons, extra clothing such as gloves, a lightweight down jacket, a shell and even the sleeping bag (used in the shelter).

Inside this compartment there is also an inner pocket large enough for keys, documents and other items that do not need to be accessed too quickly.

inside of the backpack

The Spectra/Cordura blended fibre material is very durable, even when carrying heavy or angular items such as crampons or friends.

The outer side pocket can be used for small items such as a mobile phone or map.

The two front pockets are very practical for keeping bars or gels close at hand and, if you prefer, your mobile phone, which in any case, since it is in contact with your chest, manages to keep itself at a reasonable temperature even in colder temperatures.

front closure
Front closure and pockets

The two ice axe holders are very light, but keep the ice axes firmly attached to the backpack.

The system for carrying the rope at the top of the pack also keeps the main compartment compact, although I found the lack of a system for holding the rope on either side to be quite important. Because the backpackk is so compact and light, the rope tends to move around a lot when you do a lot of walking.

rope carrying system
Rope carrying system

Comfort and stability

At first glance, the Rab Latok 20L Mountain Pack appears to have no structure and looks more like a trail running pack than a mountaineering backpack. But as soon as you put it on your back, you feel the research that has gone into making it light yet strong, with the right attachment points and support that will impress you immediately.

Rab Latok 20L full of gear

The shoulder straps are very breathable and thin, but they fit just right, and the elasticated sternum strap allows the backpackk to fit snugly to the body. The waistbelt is also fine, but keeps the backpack in place without adding bulk.

But perhaps the most surprising thing is the back support: to the touch it feels super soft (and it is) and does not give the feeling of being able to support the weight of the material on your back, while once on it not only follows the shape of your back perfectly, it proves to be the right compromise between lightness and support.

back of the pack
Back detail

Walking test

What to say: The Rab Latok 20L Mountain Pack impressed me with its comfort during hour-long ascents and equally long descents. Once you have found your own configuration to keep it firmly on your back, it is virtually impossible for the pack to move, even when full of gear. I never had to adjust the shoulder straps or the belt during the day.

The construction and multiple contact points wrap around you without leaving any gaps between you and the pack, and this makes for incredible comfort, even after several hours. It really does feel like a trail running pack, but much more spacious and robust.

mountaineering test Rab backpack

Climbing test

To be honest, after a few days I forgot I was wearing a backpack. This happened even when I had some of my gear in the pack and several metres of rope inside. Fine, soft back and shoulder straps make it almost invisible when climbing or mountaineering.

mountaineering test

Durability of materials

I accidentally rubbed the pack on rocks or ice a few times and there were no marks visible to the naked eye, and even friends and crampons left inside did not mark the material of which the Rab Latok 20L Mountain Pack is made at various pressure points. It seems that this Spectre can withstand (almost) anything.

Rab Latok 20L in test with carrying an axe

Recommended for

The Rab Latok 20L Mountain Pack backpack is perfect for any kind of mission in the vertical world, on any kind of terrain, when you need to carry the essentials. Although it is very light, its construction makes it ideal for long ascents. Not to be recommended if you need to bivouac and carry heavier clothing or even a sleeping bag, due to the small volume.

Price: €140.00

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