or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Need ski pack reccomendations
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need ski pack reccomendations

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Needs to be able to carry a bladder, storage for an extra layer, and carry my skis preferably not A-frame style. I've tried a few that were A-frame and just didn't like the feel. I also want to carry my iPod, pair of fleece windstopper gloves, GPS, avalanche tranceiver, snacks, and radio. Packs I have looked at so far are ones from Black Diamond, BCA, and Arc'Teryx. Really not sure where else I should be looking.
post #2 of 15
I can only speak to the packs that I own, but I have had great luck with both of them. I use the Dakine Heli Pack for resorts/poaching and the BCA Stash BC for backcountry day trips. Both carry skis cross-wise (the BCA has an A-Frame option as well). The BCA is 2,000 cu. in. and can hold all of the gear that you listed above. The Heli is only 660 cu. in. and won't carry a ton, but is a great resort pack in that it is built super low profile to ride the chairs without getting in the way. It's probably not going to be big enough for what you need. It's big brother, the Heli Pro, might be, although I haven't tried it out. P.S. REI is having a sale on the Heli Pro for something like $59.99, a steal.

The BCA has an outside pocket for your shovel (you didn't list it, but I assume if you carry a beacon, you carry a shovel) which is much more convenient than lashing it onto the outside of a pack. It also has a seperate sleeve inside for your shovel handle and probe. There are a bunch of other features too, including a zippered shoulder strap (like a camelback) for your hydration tube. It is durable and comfortable and when I needed a new pack, I researched a lot of them and this seemed to be the best, but it's $150.00.

BD and Arc' make great packs too, so play with as many as you can get your hands on at a shop...try 'em on...comfort goes a long way too.
post #3 of 15
I also have a Dakine - the Heli Pro. I like it inbounds and for short hikes. It was perfect for the ridgeline at Taos - gets the skis out of your hands for the 15- 20 minutes of hiking without being overly complicated to set up. Has the internal bladder pocket, and a few quick access pockets on the outside as well. I think the capacity was 1100 cu in., so a little bigger than the plain Heli.

Don't think it would be good for longer hikes - I wouldn't want to carry my skis up to Tuckermans with it (~2 hours), but it would be useful once in the bowl for the climb over the headwall.
post #4 of 15
I have the dakine heli (non pro). I almost never ski without it.

Yesterday, I did an all day ski mountaineering trip with it (About 2hrs carrying skis, rest skinning/skiing) and it performed quite admerably. Its quite small, but there seems to be no end to what you can strap to it.
post #5 of 15

Osprey All the Way

Your thread it timely. Infact, I recently completed this same excercise.

In my case, I commonly become the "sherpa" for carrying my two young daughters extra gear and clothes, so I was looking for a pack that had your same basic needs, plus the desire to have a pack without a lot of external straps to get caught on the lift chair (lift friendly).

I started my research from an old thread on this site (from 2003, I think). I searched under "pack" or "ski pack".

I fondled packs from:
Back Country Access (BCA)
Black Diamond
Alpine Design
Granite Gear, and
Cerro Torre

I agree that the BCA, Stash BC is a well constructed, great pack, in the 2200 cubic inch range. If I was looking for a pack this size I would without hesitation buy this pack. The BCA Stash (maybe around 900 c.i.) is just too small period! I wish BCA made a pack sized between these two - BCA makes outrageously good products.

My next favorite was the Granite Gear - but again it was too large for my needs - but would make a fabulous back country pack.

In my opinion, the Dakine packs (Heli Pro and Poacher) are nice but do not have the build quality of some of the others - lots of bells and whistles to break). If I wanted a top-loading strictly backcountry pack I would get a Poacher or Guide.

I was very disappointed in the Marmot and BD designs and sizes. For my needs I would have liked a BD Revelation is a size smaller than those avilable and with a insulated shoulder strap for the hydration tube. Now that would have been a huge winner. This pack is definiely worth a look if a larger, strictly back country pack is wanted.

In the end, my selection was the Osprey Switch 18. Bomber build quality, great customer service that will probably not be needed and somewhat more chair friendly that other packs I reviewed. Osprey also make a Switch 25, for larger capacity. Both packs have, goggle pocket, probe pocket, shovel pocket, hydration compatable. Also, because of two compression straps the pack will go quite small, as needed. Osprey understates their pack capacities.

One slick thing about the pack is its ease of fitting the hydration bladder in its own sleeve and a "copy" of the zippered shoulder strap that BCA promotes. Their system is definitely better than Dakine. Dakine's, hydration system, tube protection on the new packs seems to be an after thought. NOTE: most the deals, around, on the Dakine packs are older models that do not have the hydration tube in the pack strap. On the up side, the Dakines are relatively inexpensive compared to some of the others.

The Switch 18 has been to the field on three trips: one hike and two resort oriented ski days. In short, the pack rides nicely on the back even when busting at the seams. The pack is a little thick (front to back) when fully loaded to be as lift chair firendly as I had hoped. I like the way it rides so much that it will also probably replace an Arc'teryx Bora daypack that I use in the summer for baggin' 14er's.

What don't I like about the Switch 18? It is a panel loader - that will take getting use to - It replaces an old top-loading Lowe "Klettersack" that lived a long, blissful 20 year life.
post #6 of 15
I ski with a marmot eiger and an arcteryx quiver

The Eiger is a good lightweight and simple design that handles a load well (about 2,200 cu in?) (framesheet and single aluminum stay) bladder pocket, roll top, etc. What I'm not a fan of, is that it doesn't have a shovel pocket or any exterior pockets for that matter. If you don't want to carry a shovel then for $99 retail you can't go wrong.

The quiver is a pretty hot pack, its a "3-point" system, which means it goes over one shoulder and has a waist belt. 1 main pocket with hyrdation pocket and 1 accesory pocket. water proof zippes bla bla bla. I usually got some food and some extra gloves etc. in here for on area skiing. What is bomber about the pack is that our lifties around here are super anal about taking your pack off when you get on the chair. With the quiver you can just unclip the waist and then the whole thing can spin and sit in front of you... no more worries.
post #7 of 15
jtq 99:

My pack is made by Vortex out of Salt Lake City. You won't find them in very many retail stores, but I think they make outstanding packs. My 2200 is seven winters old now, I pretty much abuse it all the time, and it's held up extremely well. I use it for backcountry skiing, as a approach pack for climbing, and for hike-in fishing.


I particularly like the way the suspension works. Whether I have it fully loaded or almost empty, it conforms extremely well to my back and I never notice it when skiing. You can carry skis A-frame or strapped together and either way loads quickly and easily.

They might be worth a look.

post #8 of 15
Anyone know of a pack for the smaller female types? Back length in the 17-18" range. Tried the heli-pro and while the back didn't swallow me, the straps in front were too wide -- spaced far out on my arms instead of shoulders. I've seen Victoria Jealouse (about my size) wearing packs that look like they fit, I just can't figure out which brand/style they are.
post #9 of 15

"I bent my Wookey"

Check out a company called "Wookey" out of Bozeman, Montana. Started by some former Big Sky tram ops. Great packs! I own the shovel pack which is perfect for shovel, bladder, extra layer, and a snack. In addition you can strap on the ski hooks for hiking.

Perfect for the minimalist day skier/hiker. It really allows for freedom of movement. Who wants to carry all that other stuff anyway?? But if you do, they do have a range of sizes.
Anyone else have thoughts on the Wookey packs?

post #10 of 15
The Brio line from Mountain Equipment Co-op can't be beat for the money. They are great packs ranging in size from 25-70L (sorry, don't know what that is in American). Almost all the sizes have the features you are looking for. I have 3 different sizes for various applications and love them all.
post #11 of 15
I have the Dakine Blade pack and love it. Hiked Tuckerman's, Teton pass, and some other hikes of various distances with it. Big enough to be in the backcountry all day, but not big enough to be bulky and get in your way.
post #12 of 15
I usually ski with a Da Kine Guide pack or an older Poacher pack. It's one of the few pack companies (I think Lamar and Clive have some models with back access zippers) to have dual zippers near your back (both of them are inwards from the stays). I always carry one pack on the plane with at least one pair of ski clothes plus layers, etc. I'm thinking about getting another Da Kine pack - either the Ridge or the Heli-Pro (2004-2005). Da Kine medium-sized packs are so overbuilt, I don't noticed the weight when I'm hiking inbounds to a powder stash in Utah, Copper Mt., Squaw, Alpine, Sugar Bowl, Loveland, A-Basin, etc. with my powder skis.
post #13 of 15
ortovox has really nice packs with bmx padding built in, they rock.  Only thing you have to do is add an extra strap because the chest strap flexes, but not a big deal to clip on an extra strap when you carry your ski's on your pack. 
post #14 of 15
IMO Osprey makes some of the best ski specific packs.
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

IMO Osprey makes some of the best ski specific packs.

Agreed.  Other than my Macpac (80ltrs for multi day trips), my Osprey Switch 45+ and Switch 18 are bomb proof, well though out and comfortable.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Need ski pack reccomendations