Millet Pierra Ment Evo : a new Skimo Backpack

Millet Pierra Ment Evo 2023

A brand new crampon pocket. Here is a real innovation in the small ski mountaineering bag market, signed Millet. Is it just a gadget or does it really help? We tested it.  

In ski mountaineering (skimo competition if you prefer), the backpack has undergone major changes over the past twenty years, to make transitions faster. The innovations were mainly focused on the attachment of the skis on the backpack. Gone are the diagonal matches in a strap of the backpack, with the bindings that lacerate the shoulder. From now on, it is the hook that has imposed itself. The problem of crampons remains.

The small capacity of alpine ski backpacks means that the main storage pocket has to be filled, often to the detriment of the crampon pocket, which is compressed. To remove the crampons, it can be done. Putting them back in the pocket without them sticking out is a different story. We regularly lose precious seconds making sure that nothing falls out on the descent. In the team races, the teammate is then called upon to pack the whole mess with the energy of desperation. Millet seems to have found the answer. 


The technique is quite simple: build a rigid gangue to ensure a large incompressible space. In fact, this trick was already known by some racers. They used to cut shovel sleds to the size of the pocket, and that was it. Here, Millet did things properly, with a major difference: the trapdoor. Goodbye scratch flap (which ruined the suit sleeves), hello magnetic hard cover! Very clever, it has a tab to open it. The closing is done almost automatically by folding the whole, helped by an elastic. I find the speed I had on my first Trab bag from 2014, with a kangaroo pocket on the back (bike jersey style), but whose closing security left something to be desired, especially in case of a fall. 

We went to the Belledonne mountains, above Grenoble, France, to test the device in real conditions. The system works perfectly, and we don’t have to take off a strap to fix the crampons or to check that everything is well stored. We had fun doing the manipulation as fast as possible, like in a race. We go a little faster, but above all we are less stressed. We always keep the reflex to tap well on the trap door to make sure that it is locked. It was always the case, so we can trust it with the habit.   

The problem with this innovation is the weight. Having done the last season with the previous version of the backpack, I could compare. The balance is cruel: + 250 grams (650 for the Evo, 400 for the classic). If, like Kilian Jornet, you’re looking for grams by cutting the labels, you’ll have to pass. For the others, looking for more comfort in use, this pocket is a real plus, a guarantee of serenity. 

In a nutshell

Apart from this innovation that attracts all the attention, this Millet Pierra Ment Evo keeps the qualities of the previous version, with a few touches of improvement. The back is better constructed and less minimalist. The backpack fits well on the back and is pleasant to use. The Dyneema weave covers even more of the back of the backpack (not just half of the ski side, which is nice, especially when you take the bag to the north faces like Leo Billon did for the last winter alpine trilogy in 2022).

The storage space is perfect for race days, with a pocket for a flask on the front, the regulation double attachment for two pairs of skis, an integrated whistle, a zipped pocket inside for the keys, a pocket for the shovel, an opening in the crampon pocket to let the shovel handle and the probe pass through, enough space to carry an ice axe… There is even a small storage space under the backpack to put the towing rubber band, which is also very practical. To finish on the rigid crampon pocket, you should know that it is removable, in case you don’t use crampons, just to save a few grams during the race.


Weight :650g  VOLUME : 20 L. PRICE : 250 €

The Pros

Speed and serenity brought by the new crampon pocket 
Storage for competition (flask, elastic, ski holder)
Reinforced fabric with Dyneema weave
Sober look 

The Cons

  • Price
  • Weight