First Ascent Jupiter, Neptune packs: Opinions pls


Does anyone have experience with these FA packs, the Jupiter 65+10 and Venus 55+10? Specifically the carry-harness system. Looking at it it seems a bit fiddly and insecure, not unlike someone else someone knows, but still, opinions are welcomed.


Hi Carl,

Not sure about the FA Jupiter 65+10.
I did look at it while I was doing research for a Trekking Backpack.
See what I settled for and why (the reviews), reflected on my one for sale at

Yea thanks Ian.
I too am looking at the Deuter.
Zee Jermins know a thing or two, have you read their history? Fascinating.

I have bookmarked your “for sale” page, but in the interim I’m also sniffing and snooping about. Frankly, for the same price as the Jupiter I can get an Osprey Rook 65, probably will be a better pack. In any event, I’ll keep looking.


I haven’t used the First Ascent packs but have used the Cape Storm overland, which as far as I can see is a pretty similar setup in terms of the frame and straps as the FA. As far as I know KWay/FA/Cape Storm are all the same company, so assume using the same manufacturer for everything.

My experience has not been great. In trying to avoid making pack sizes it means nothing is fixed and rigid, everything is adjustable which felt like it resulted in constant fiddling to try dialing it in which never quite got there. Also can’t say all of the looseness in the system gave me a lot of confidence in the load transfer.

At the price of the Jupiter I would definately suggest looking at Osprey or Gregory. Well made and tested, variable sizes, proper reviews available to you and they both have amazing warranties. If you can make do without hipbelt pockets, or hack a solution, the Osprey Exos 58 is a great carry and pretty versatile. Haven’t used it personally but the Gregory Optic seems to be their equivalent.

Dropping a KG off your pack weight vs the Jupiter also holds a lot of appeal!

Naturehike has an interesting looking 60L pack at the moment, appeals to me in terms of stripping off most of the junk. But fixed size so not sure I would be that keen without being able to try it on, and not sure about the longterm suitability of the front netting in our thorny environment.

Hi Jaxz.

This was my suspicion. Just looking at the old-school-military-webbing-style harness system made me groan, though I did not want to be unduly prejudiced. I looked at the Exos, felt the hipbelt-support was a bit flimsy, like two ears as opposed to hugging arms and I also want a tougher pack. I’m looking around for something that can ramp up carrying capacity if needs be. Osprey Volt perhaps. Comes in decent sizes and thoughtfully designed.

p.s. Cape Storm and FA are Performance Brands aka Sporstmans and Outdoor Hohouse. After service is pretty good I can say.

Thanks for input.

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Oh yeah, if looking for something a bit tougher the Volt is quite a jump up, think that is like twice the denier count as the Exos. Should do well.

Also has a nice chunky adjustable hipbelt which looks like a good time if you carry heavy loads.

Ah, I see about performance brands, in my mind they were bundled with Kway as well. Agreed though, have had a good experience with FA overall.

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Hi there

I have a Venus backpack and used it for a few multiday long hikes (more than 5 days). I got it at a great price which was the reason I bought it. Would I pay full price for it, no not really. The pack adjusts too much while you walk and I always feel like I need to tighten it. I also find that the hip belt chafes if I carry for longer than 2 days. I have a Deuter SL pack which I prefer to walk with. It fits exactly as if it was made for me. My opinion would be spend a little more money and buy a better pack.

That about knocks it off the list. Sounds like a pain…
Thanks Kareemah.

The Gregory packs on currently 30% off on their website. Those fit really nice and great quality, in my opinion.

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