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Pack Advice

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a new day pack to ski with, I've used a lowe alpine camel pack the last couple years that I can carry a couple bagels in but I started doing some in bounds hiking last year and would like something more serious. I'm hoping that someone can suggest a pack that would meet my needs. I'm looking for something that I can strap my skis to, can take a hydration system and carry lunch and possibly a change of clothes.
post #2 of 16
I'm not sure what your needs are, but...

Check out these:

Whoops, forgot to recommend some packs -- check out the DaKine Heli Pro pack or Heli pack. Diagonal ski straps are a god-send when you're bootpackin'.

I haven't used any Life-Link packs but they're reputable and I haven't heard any negative feedback about 'em yet. A buddy of mine has the Guide pack, and Reverend Floater over at the powdermag.com bulletin board is raving about his: http://forum.powdermag.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/004012.html

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 26, 2001 05:30 PM: Message edited 1 time, by BooYAH ]</font>
post #3 of 16
try a Burton pack I know it is a snow board pack(the dark side)I do not know the model I have but it is fantastic,it has a pouch for a camelback that i do 30 oz wine and 30 oz water.It has a lot of straps that I have used in spring for my jacket and if you were hiking for pow you can strap skis in.It has a lot of extras like a pouch for glasses and another for tuneing tools and one for skin stuff(chapand spf35) and for me a couple off pockets for tapes--If interested let me know ,i will look for the model # tomorrow at the shop
post #4 of 16
I've tried several and sold a variety as well and kept coming back to the Dakine Heli Pro. The snug fit, low profile is great for a day pack. Try a few on with a pair of skis and some junk stuffed in. Pack may feel nice until you load it down. Good Luck!
post #5 of 16
Scott O,

I have the Life-Link Boundary Pack. It is Camel Bak compatable for 70oz. or 100oz. but with shovel, probe, water and food there is very little room for much clothing. You can get extra gloves, liners socks and shirt but that is about it. I am also able to carry a small first aid kit.

It is a tight fit sometimes and lunch can get squashed but I like the compact fit. The Life-Link Boundary comes with good options for fit and load stabilization. It is very durable and the diagonal ski carrier works fine and the skis can be strapped down tight. A-frame ski storage might be more desirable for longer hikes but for short inbounds hikes the diagonal works fine.

Hope this helps,


post #6 of 16
there were a couple of really great threads about packs last year. Soory, I can never find the threads though; maybe you'll do better. Anyways, a lot of folks then recommended the Wookey packs.
post #7 of 16
In my experience with many different packs:

Best for Lift-Served Skiing (and short hikes from resort): Wookie
This pack is unbleivably comfortable, carries skis, and sits high on your back (not on hips) so it does not interfere with back of chair lift.

Best for Backcountry: Arc'Teryx Borea
This is the ultimate in well-though out backountry skiing (full day or light overnight).

Also do a search on packs, there were some good threads last year.
post #8 of 16
I like the JA Gear pack. (inbounds) it probably does not have enough space for everything you would want out of bounds. It's small and light, very thin and has straps for carrying skis.
Previous threads I remember are

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 26, 2001 09:38 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #9 of 16
I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess you're looking for something in the 2000-3500 cu in range. A few years ago I had a summer job (2 summers actually) that gave me the luxury of trying out just about every major pack manufacturer. Of course packs fit everyone differently, and someone will disagree about my opinions. I'm average height and weight if that helps.

Also, go and try these out at the store. If you're really serious about carrying some odd equipment take it with you to the store. If the fella working there can't fit the pack with your equipment on it go elsewhere. For winter be sure to account for the fact you'll be wearing some bulky clothing.

IMHO Dana Design makes the best pack you can buy. And despite being bought out I haven't heard many people complain about the pack quality. Check out a Dana, the prices can be somewhat scary, but the quality is top notch. I've got 3 and they're my favorite packs. (all pre-1998)

Dana Gleason started a new company called The Works (or is the company name Mystery Ranch?). The pack concepts are really interesting. Might be worth a look. The idea is you buy a framesheet and add on various pack bags. Never carried one though. (I've had my eye on the Longhorn.)

Osprey. I've carried several of these packs and I've never been really comfortable with them. I actually have a Kestrel and I love the modular system where you can buy different add-ons for the back. But it just never felt quite right. Nice suspension, but you really have to be careful how you pack them in order to get the load to balance right. Unlike..

Mountainsmith. Which I've found impossible to pack correctly. I still carry one of their Day Pack models (which is actually a really fancy fanny pack). The actual backpacks in this size range I'm pretty sure are discontinued. That's probably a good thing. They tended to be quite rectangular in shape and allowed the load displace pretty far from your center of gravity. They were never very comfortable for me. They dropped out of making small packs for a while, but I think they're back into it.

I've never carried a Lowe Contour pack with skis and I can't really imagine it. But the teardrop shape is killer and carries really nice. My buddy had a nice one (Contour 40?) and I used it a few times.

As far as North Face goes I have mixed opinions. I've seen some cool designs come out of them, but they change their pack line on an almost yearly basis. It seems like it takes a few years for a good pack line to develop and I haven't seen many of their packs in the last 10 years make it that far. I wouldn't be surprised if you were able to find and awesome pack at a great price.

As far as the Burton, DaKine, Acteryx packs.. I haven't used any of them. DaKine seems to have a nice pack for the price.

And then there's custom pack companies. Mudd n Flood out of Taos has made some really cool stuff for friends. Vortex used to do some custom stuff, the only pack of theirs I've used was custom.
post #10 of 16
I've got a North Face Patrol pack that I have been very happy with. On a bad note, its a little big (2900 cu) for inbounds skiing, however, it will cinch down nicely. You can carry skis in A-frams, base-to-base, or even a snowboard, ropes and ice axes if necessary. Boots also easily attach. Has room for a 100 oz water bladder in a pocket with routing for the hose.

In the summer I have removed the ski attachment and used it for light multiday backcountry travel.

I like it much better than my older/smaller Mountainsmith. I have never had a load shift problem either.

I think it retailed for around $200.
post #11 of 16
I use the Marmot Scree, a nice pack that costs about $100. Very ergonomic design, hydration bladder compatible, loops AND side pockets for skis (you get to choose your preferred carrying method), super-comfortable Marmot Bio-Span back panel, hip belt and shoulder straps. It's tall and narrow, which gives better maneuverability IMHO. Check 'er out. :
post #12 of 16
The Smuggler's Notch Ski Patrol did a group order of Wookie packs direct from the factory, since we wanted all black material for that cool ski patrol look. Anyways, these Wookies are on most of us all day, packed with the various patrol stuff you might imagine, probably equivalent to the load that you describe. They ride high and tight, like a cop's haircut, they don't move around and the weight feels like it's between your shoulder blades. They cinch down nice and flat, they come with accessory rigs for ski/snowboard packing. Everybody likes them.

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post #13 of 16
My girlfriend has the wookey pack, she likes it, but it has alot of straps if you ask me. It also doesnt fit me very well, i am pretty tall, and have a long torso.

Personally i like Dana Designs packs, even though the quality has gone downhill since K2 bought them. What i like is that i can put different length shoulder straps on it, so it rides where it should on me.
post #14 of 16
Short hikes backcountry: DaKine. I love my 1999 Poacher, 2300 cu. in., I think. The diagonal carry system works great when you run out of snow at the bottom and must hike out down hill. My calves appreciate not having the tails of the skis driving into them every other step down hill. Also, if you have to get on a snowmobile, an A-Frame set up gets caught up on the seat – no fun! I think the Sports Castle may still have some of last years model on sale.

Lift access. 1997 VauDe Asymmeteric 40 is what I use; I think it’s about 2400 cu. in. It’s top loading, with two separate interior upper and lower compartments. They’ve changed the design a bit over the years, but what I do is just load the top half, compress everything, and leave the bottom empty for sitting in the chair. Skis are carried in an a-frame setup, there’s an exterior shovel pocket with parallel daisy chains, which work great for backcountry.

For overnighters, I use an old Mountainsmith Frostfire 53. The VauDe latches perfectly to it for the accent. Typically, I swap out my packs depending on the trip.

Most important, get a pack that fits YOU well, more than anything else. Good Luck.
post #15 of 16
Has anyone used the rossignol packs? I'll be doing some short, close to in-bound hikes. No more than a half mile or so. Just short stuff and other than that it will be in bounds. Any help?
post #16 of 16
I'll put my vote in for the Wookeys. I use the Wookey Couloir for backcountry and its perfect--can carry heavy loads effortlessly as its a lot beefier than you'd expect for a 1400ci pack. I had to rig up a way to carry the shovel blade outside the pack (easy since its got daisy chains outside) for quicker access if needed. Go with the Shovelpack for inbounds skiing with occasional short hiking. Both have an awesome ski/snowboard carry system, but the shovelpack is almost not noticable while riding since it's a pretty small pack (just enough for the essentials). Lifelink and DaKine Heli-pro are also good stuff. look at www.wookey.net if curious.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 29, 2001 01:46 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Skinow ]</font>
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