I'm considering purchasing a small backpack to take out with me to hold water, energy bars, a camera. Who skis with a backpack and what brands would you reccomend?
I own a Camelback Outlaw pack. It does it all... great purchase for me.
The graphics are not subtle, however.
I've got a Millet pack with a 35 litre capacity. Needed it for an off-piste tour and bought in a hurry without looking around. I use it every time I ski and carry extra gloves or mittens (for me and family), an extra layer and water.
Plenty of brands to chose from out there. I suggest determining the size you need. Also, consider if you will ever need to put your skis on your back as many packs can accomodate that. Pocket locations and style are other considerations.
It the airline industry ever develops clear and consistent policies regarding avalanche bags, I will invest in a Snow Pulse avalanche bag. My pick is found in this link.
I use a HeliPro for day trip and side country stuff. Love the diagnol ski carry. Just enough room for a shovel, probe, 1.5l hydration pack, small first aid kit, skins, and some snacks.
I use a BCA Stash BC pack...it is tough and everything works and fits as advertised. The hydration system works fine although I replaced the bite valve with a new one bought from a military surplus place (I think made by Camelbak) because it is easier to use with a glove on. W/o a shovel, there is lots of room for a DSLR.
Dakine Heli is a good, small bag. North Face Off Chute 26 is a nice bag with multiple carry options. For a camera, Lowepro just came out with some new sports bags, including a sling bag that's pretty slick.
BTW, IMO people go nuts carrying around 2-3 liters of water at resorts when they're going to make a stop or two during the day anyway. Platypus and some other makers have these flexible water bottles in .5-1.0 liter sizes that are good for resort skiing. Drink half, fill it up with snow, and keep going.