I'm looking for a new pack to replace my Camelbak MULE. I'm looking for something slightly larger, but still relatively small since I will mostly use it during lift-accessed skiing. In the future I'd like to do some backcountry skiing but I'm not buying with that purpose in mind. Something versatile enough to double as my airline carry on would be beneficial, I always carry on enough clothes needed for a day on the slopes in case my checked bag is lost, and I also usually carry a laptop.
That said, these are some of the key features I'm looking for:
- Hydration compatible with insulated hydration sleeve
- Minimal straps hanging, to minimize risk of snags, especially on a lift.
- Thin profile, again for chairlifts
- Good compression ability. I'm unlikely to completely fill a 25L pack while skiing. I want to be able to carry no more than lunch, extra layer or 2, hydration reservoir, camera, and some small odds and ends.
- Goggle pocket
- Helmet carry
- Hip pocket on waistbelt
- Ease of use. Easy to open pockets without lots of flaps or straps in the way, glove friendly buckles and zipper pulls, logical pocket layout without being overly complex, etc.
I have my eye on 3 packs, which I have found mostly via searches on this site. Here they are in random order. Unfortunately I don't live in an area where these will be available in any local store, so I'm looking to order online. I'd love to see all 3 in person before choosing but that likely isn't an option.
1. Osprey Kode 22
2. Mammut Nirvana Pro 25L
3. Dakine Pro 2
Any thoughts on these 3, or other suggestions? If you have first hand experience with any of these I'd love to hear your feedback.
One important note. The Dakine specs state it is 7" deep, the others are listed as 11". This is drawing me to that pack, however.. The H x W dimensions don't vary much between any of the 3. This leads me to believe the Dakine measurement might not be accurate, but I'm not sure. If it is truly 4" thinner, but is not much taller or wider, I don't see how it can have the same capacity as the others.