EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › Looking for recommendations on a ski pack
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Looking for recommendations on a ski pack

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am just getting into trying backcountry and am looking at ski packs. I am mostly looking to start season early or extend season not go crazy and do long tours. At least not yet. I have BD Acensions for skins and Alpine Trekkers until I decide how serious I am. I have signed up for a Backcountry 101 course by the Utah Avalanche Center as well. So far, I am looking at 3 packs: Black Diamond Outlaw, BCA Stash BC Hydration and REI Double Diamond (although it seems too big for my needs). 

 

Am open to suggestions, especially since I am completely clueless on what features, size, etc. to look for. I have done a little reading and one suggestion I saw said to get a pack that can carry skis diagonally or A-Frame. Sounds good but may be overkill for what I am considering doing for now. Please help me you great backcountry wizards!

post #2 of 16

http://www.rei.com/product/825839/marmot-backcountry-30-pack-2011-closeout

 

I just got this about two weeks ago.  It's got tons of features including an insulated hydration tube.  I haven't skied with it, but I've tested it hiking and on a mtn bike and like it so far.

 

-Smarty

post #3 of 16

I've had lots of bc ski packs including the Dana Bomb Pack and Arcteryx Khamski.  My present pack, the Dynafit Manaslu, is my all-time favorite: relatively light; carries skis the best of any pack I've had. Opens from the shoulder-strap side with a zipper (I love that) and from the top (I don't use that);  just-roomy-enough top pack; a water resistant storage compartment that is great for skins, crampons, waxes, a jacket, etc.--velcro opening door on the left side which can be accessed without taking the pack off and you don't have to go into the main compartment where you might be keeping clothes, lunch, water; hydration pouch (I don't use it); strap mounted water bottle holder (I don't use it); a strong net water bottle/wet skin holder on the right bottom side of the pack (I use it all the time).

 

IMHO, you won't be able to fully appreciate earn-your-turns bc skiing until you get the appropriate lighter weight boots, skis, and tech-type bindings.

post #4 of 16

I'm a big fan of Osprey ski packs:

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/group/vertical_endeavors__snowplay/kode_series

 

But there are lots of them out there - Mammut, Dueter, Black Diamond, BCA, DaKine, etc.  I suggest you go to your local ski gar emporium and check out the features and fit.

 

You'll need to decide about things like volume required, whether you want A-frame or diagonal carry or both, hydration system configuration, separate storage for avy tools and skins, hip belt pockets, helmet storage, integral Avalung (!) or air bag (!!!), and fit - don't forget fit.

 

So we'd need to know more about your plans and goals before we can really say much about what you should look for, other than to say what works for us.  That said, you could do worse than to look hard at Osprey.  cool.gif

post #5 of 16

Another big fan of Osprey!

 

I have had BD packs, they just don't carry right (lots of sholder pains) and they are heavy and hot. 

post #6 of 16

Had a bunch over the years as well.  Currently using a Deuter Freerider Pro 30 that I've been very happy with.  Fit and features are both important, try a bunch on with some weight in them and figure out which one will work best for you.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartyiak View Post

http://www.rei.com/product/825839/marmot-backcountry-30-pack-2011-closeout

 

I just got this about two weeks ago.  It's got tons of features including an insulated hydration tube.  I haven't skied with it, but I've tested it hiking and on a mtn bike and like it so far.

 

-Smarty


Thanks for the suggestion. Is the false bottom compartment big enough to hold a pair of Alpine Trekkers?

 

post #8 of 16

I really like my BCA stash pack. Offers two carry positions is pretty light and has a well designed dedicated pocket for your avi gear. The few Times I have gone i have either snowshoed or hiked and the pack has been really comfortable and I was carrying skis for several hours (carrying skis) when I climbed Quandry. I highly recommend it 

post #9 of 16

Congrats, Vince, on getting into a great sport!

 

I currently have a BD Covert pack, which I like a bunch and have no intention of switching out.  However, I had an Ortovox pack previously and while it had some shortcomings, it carried skis SIGNIFICANTLY better than the Covert.  That's not to say that the Covert doesn't carry skis well, it's just that the Ortovox was so excellent in that regard.

 

For my next pack purchase, I plan on hauling my skis to the store along with some 10-lb bags of rice... fill up the pack with coats and weight, strap on the skis and walk around for a while.  Figure out how it carries weight and where the center of balance is.  You want it to fit right FOR YOU.  I like my pack to suck down tight to my back when I'm skiing, and yet have enough suspension to feel lighter than it is and enough flexibility to not feel constraining.

 

Size matters... I have a 32L pack and it's appropriate for day-trips in the backcountry.  Anything smaller would be a hassle to deal with and wouldn't have enough volume to carry all of the crapola I consider necessary in the BC.

 

Make sure that whatever you buy really is designed for backcountry skiing.  Any old daypack won't do.

post #10 of 16

+1 on the Osprey. Another important factor is your preference for attaching your skis. I am a militant A-frame guy myself. 

post #11 of 16

Another fan of Osprey (have 2) and also Macpac.  Something around 30-40 ltrs will be useful but not too big.  Like boots, try for fit before you buy. Also some pack come in different sizes to fit different body types (Osprey do this).

post #12 of 16

Granite Gear Q2 is pretty nice and available on closeout still I think, if you like diagonal carry and a smaller pack.

post #13 of 16

Love the Osprey Kode! Lots of great functions. Easy access to shovel and pole if you should need it, and you still have room for whatever you should need on your trip. It is also easy to integrate a camelpak.

post #14 of 16

Look at the Camelback hydrations pack.  Has a sleeve to keep water from freezing in the hose, but you must remember to blow the water back into the pack, after drinking, to keep water from freezing in the mouthpiece making it useless in really cold weather. It is large enough for a shovel, probe, first aid gear, emergency stove, fuel, freeze dried food, skins, plus other gear that you should have even on day trips in the event of an emergency night out. I went the Alpine Trekker route as well, and I can only recommend that if you enjoy b.c. ditch it as soon as possible and acquire the necessary lightweight equipment to make the sport really enjoyable. Enjoy the journey.  

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the great advice. Believe it or not I actually put it to use! Spent 2 hours at REI, tried on all of the recommended packs.The salesperson was very helpful and patient with me. I have to say I must have an odd shape because none of the Osprey packs fit me well at all. I tried Kode 30 nand Kode 38 in large and medium. The shape of the back panel just dug into my shoulder blades. Anyway, narrowed it down to three and then took them over to the backpacking center there and loaded them with sandbags and pillows to see how the felt. When it was all said and done I ended up with the one pack I didn't think would be the one for me, the REI Double Diamond. Has all the features one could want and felt great on my back with different load weights. Hopefully it seems the same when I get to actually put it to use. Thanks again!

post #16 of 16

I am always the fan of buying a pack that will also work for other uses in other seasons. True, this means you might be missing a "few" features, but you can live without. Buy less crap, it's good for the earth, wallet and your already messy gear room.

 

I have a BD Predator pack for multi-day tours and a Arcteryx Bora 40 for day trips. Both work fine for me.

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