How do I care for my backpack?

Always store your backpack in a cool, dry environment. When it comes to washing your pack, hand washing works best. Simply soak your pack in warm water with a mild detergent. Take a soft-bristle scrubbing brush and gently scrub your pack clean. Hang your pack in a cool area to dry. There are many different gear-specific washes available at most specialty outdoor retailers. If you wish to wash your lumbar pack, you can do this in a Front Loading Washer, warm water, and mild detergent. Please do not use a machine with an agitator. Always hang packs to dry.

How do I pack my backpack?

Balance and weight distribution are critical for any hike experience whether on or off trail.  Typically, one should pack heavy items centered within the pack and close to the body. The sleeping bag should always go in or on the bottom of the pack.
Pack clothing and other light gear around heavy items (i.e., a stove or climbing gear) in order to keep them from shifting.
Items you will need during the day should be packed in the top of the main compartment, the top pocket, or side pockets.
Foam pads and odd-sized equipment (such as long tent poles) can be carried on the outside of the pack. Use the appropriate accessory patches, ice-axe loop, or ski slots for these items.
Do not put heavy items like water bottles or climbing equipment in pockets located far from your back.

How do I care for my zippers?

Most zipper failures result from wear to the coating on the inside of the zipper slider. Once this coating wears off, the metal abrades quickly, and the zipper slider no longer joins the continuous plastic coils securely. The plastic coids then tend to separate behind the zipper slider. One of the keys to zipper longevity is to keep them free of sand and grit. Never step on your zipper, and clean them by washing them with a garden hose with a pressure nozzle. Also, it is important to know the expanding capacity of your pack. Over-loading your pack will put stress on your zippers and could cause failure.

How do I properly fit my backpack?

Our resident pack expert Stephen wrote a great blog post on this process, read it here.  This video should also help:

Do you have any spare parts for products?

We do have some spare parts for new and old products available. If you need a spare part, please call customer service at 800.551.5889 to see what is available.

If my pack is 20 years old, is it still under warranty?


If I live in Golden, CO area, can I stop by Mountainsmith to drop off my pack for returns, warranty, or exchange it?

Yes, please feel free to come by our Headquarters to drop off packs, explore our showroom, and say hi. We do not carry stock and cannot sell out of our showroom, but we'd love to show you our gear, let you try it on, and get you fitted for your next adventure.

Do I need to clean my pack before sending it in for warranty?

Yes, please remove all personal items (carabineers, trash in pockets, etc) and at least give it a good brushing off before mailing it in. Extremely dirty packs will either be sent back to the customer or charged a fee for the cleaning of their packs prior to repair.

I had a pro purchase account on your old website, is it still active?

If you had a user account on our old pro store, please submit a request to including your first and last name, the email address you used for that account, and your username.  We will return your request as soon as possible with a login code.

If I place an order right now, when will it ship?

If you placed your order before 8:00AM MST, it will ship out that day. All other orders after that will be packed for shipping the following day.