I live in AZ , so you bet I aint climbin no ice mountain. I use this as my everyday bag & as a daypack when I go hiking. I love it. You could pretty much stuff anything and everything in there. As of now there is a jacket, spare shoes, my lunch box, a 64 oz nalege water bottle, some notes, a hydration unit filled and spare clothes and it still has space for more The front pouch is easily accesible and will hold plenty notes or your well packed clothing gear. The top pouch works for things you need instant access to The side zip makes it easier to get in to items at the bottom of the pack if you are a chornic overpacker like me. In the desert heat the ventilation in the bakc and the straps is much appreciated. also makes for a very plesant hiking bag in the heat and for activities that have you sweating a lot. I dont ever plan on hanging ice picks on it, or anything else but I reckon it would hold. Light weight (in my opinion for my use) well built, and very comfortable.