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Helmets and backpack

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am starting to get real serious about skiing-heliskiing, and also taking my family skiing.. Is there any consensus on what is the best lightweight, durable,comfortable, helmet..I do not want a fullface though, possible audio option...How about backpacks.. I also have a mountain hardware jacket that is super warm, and a great jacket, but is somewhat bulky, what is some good jackets, that can be used in warm, or super cold days..I sure see obermeyer jackets alot. Are they good jackets or just a fashion statement..Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 19
A helmet that FITS is more important than it being lighweight. Try a bunch on and pick the one that fits the best. Don't worry too much about weight - they aren't really that heavy. Can't comment much on packs - I don't ski with one. You might get better luck asking this at TGR. I use a Lowe Alpine Contour...something... Coats are coats. Obermeyer is nice - so is Mtn Hardwear. Choose what works for YOU, and what works for your budget. You are the one wearing it and paying for it. If you need a coat for lots of conditions, go with some kind of waterproof/breathable shell, and then layer accordingly - you can put on many layers - even down if need be.
post #3 of 19
I spent a lot of time looking for a small pack. I wanted just enough space for what would otherwise go in my pockets, but also wanted ski-carrying straps. I was about ready to buy something that was really larger than I wanted (an Osprey, if I remember correctly). But I kept looking everytime I went in a ski or outdoors store, and I found a good one. It is branded as Dynastar, and does not seem to have a model name.

The only other packs I've seen of similar size are some of the camelbacks, but I much prefer carrying a bottle of water to sucking on a tube.

My son uses a Lifelink pack (that I won in a raffle) that is almost as small as my pack, and also can carry skis. That might be easier to find.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
My mountain hardware is a great jacket, but as it warms up a bit, it is just too much. I would like to get a good liner jacket. The problem around here(i live in new mexico) is that there are not a lot of ski shops around southern NM, and was wondering..Maybe next year when I get out, and go somewhere(hopefully Whistler), I can look at some good equipment.I was just getting an idea of what some posters here use. I wanted to do some heliskiing next year, and every Miller film I watch they have packs on, and would figure I might need one..One more question..Why do most of the skiiers in Millers films,wear harnesses? Is it because of the nature of the extreme skiing..I wont do that kind of heliskiing, but will do some a little less difficult..While I am at it..What are some of the best heliskiing companies, you guys, or girls have used? Getting excited about next year, as our year is about over..I want to pick up my bag, and go..

Thanks alot

post #5 of 19
The harness is for cravasse rescue. Unless you're skiing on a lot of glaciers, I wouldn't worry about one.

Get a helmet that fits your noggin well - they're all different. The MP3 option is great if you like purposely dulling one of your senses while skiing. Personally, I treat skiers with wires comming out of thier helmets the same way I would treat a skier with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand.

As for packs -I recommend anything from a BCA Stash pack to a Gregory Denali Pro depending on wheather you're just skiing lifts or going on a ten day high altitude ski mountaineering expedition.
post #6 of 19
Helmets: I like the Giro line, they are light, very well vented and good quality contsruction. They have the Skullcandy tune up audio options for wired and Bluetooth. Available for cell phone or Two way radio as well.

Packs: Man so many good options here. Primarily you would want one to accomadate a Shovel and Probe. Dakine, Black Diamond (my personal fav.) Osprey, North face all make packs that will carry skis, probe and shovel and are avail from about 15L - 25 L. I suggest no more than 25L for day skiing at resorts and 25L will suffice for a light day out of bounds.

I use a small water bladder type pack for everyday skiing as it's big enough to hold a sweater, sunglasses, goggle wipe cloth, Swiss Army knife and 1.5 L of water.

I personally like this one alot:

I own this but it is too large for everday resort skiing but it is a fantastic well made pack.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the input, and will look into all packs. I like the covert so far, and have seen alot of the Giro helmets.I will continue looking. Keep the comments coming
Why do you say you treat people with music that way..Right now I am skiing on piste, mostly groomed, and I keep tabs on everything that is going on around me. I do not ski blind because of music. When I go heliskiing, off piste, they will come off.

Thanks for the replies

post #8 of 19
I think for most western skiing a Gore-Tex XCR Shell that is well designed with ventilation options is a better bet than an insulated coat. The warmth is added in layers under the shell as needed for the day, and if you are carrying a pack you can add or subtract from that as needed. The best brand IMO is Arc'teryx, but there are a lot of choices and have been may threads on this site discussing them. Obermeyer, Bognar, and other fashion jackets are best if worn with matching pants or as a one piece suit, and accessorized with a Ski-Tote, that way we'll see you coming.

The heliskiers and backcountry skiers are carrying avalanche rescue equipment, and hopefully know something about its use. If you want a good economical pack, the DaKine Pro II or BC Stash packs are pretty nice. Black Diamond sells the Covert or Anarchist with built in Avalung. Look for packs with a ski carry system, built in hydration and sleeves for a shovel, probe. It doesn't sound like you are really prepared to do backcountry without some research and education, so we won't discuss avalanche beacons, except to say, at some point you should become acquainted with this stuff. BTW, if you want to start acquiring some of this stuff on the cheap, most of us keep an eye on this site to get clothing, goggles, helmets, packs and so forth at less than half price.

Helmets, who cares, except to get a fit. The other day I saw a snowboarder listening to his IPod nearly run over, when he fell into the path between a snowmobile and a rescue toboggan, just as it was pulling away from the lift on flat ground....
Patroller "Hey watch out!"
Gaper "I never heard you".
Leave the tunes in the car for the trip home.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Appreciate the comments. When I go heliskiing it will not be to the extreme backcountry, just furthur off the beaten path..There are some helis that will take you to black, or blue type runs..I would like to get away and ski some virgin powder away from the lodges..Not the Miller type runs..I maybe brave, but not stupid..Though it could become reality if my skills improve. I will still need the equipment, and I will find out how to use it, and will use the information here to use as a guide..When I do listen to music, I always keep one bud out, as to hear out of the other ear...As I said, I will start weaning off it come backcountry time..

Thanks for all the replies

post #10 of 19
Lee, most guides and heliski companies give you everything you need. You won't need your own pack or beacon, and they will provide training appropriate to your terrain selection as well. In most cases, they even provide clients with wide skis. For now focus on getting well equipped for skiing with the family at the resorts. The high quality jacket/shell, goggles, gloves and all will be useful if you go heli or cat skiing.

I don't know what equipment you currently have, but good fitting boots should be your #1 priority, and if you haven't experienced wider skis, give them a try.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
All new equipment this year..Atomic metron 10 164 with neox bindings, Tecnica flame boots, Mountain hardware 650 down jacket, North face fleece light jacket. North face summit series pants, North face ice N tele gloves, and Leki poles..I am extremely happy with all the equipment so far,I am set for a while, but would like to get helmets for family, and possibly another jacket that is not so bulky..One 14 year old kid died this year where I ski, and we happened to be there, we did not see him, but when you hear the heli at my resort, something bad has happened...He fell, got up skiied down the hill, and died of head trauma...I will have helmets next year no matter where we go..Sometimes I think the groomed,are more dangerous than the backcountry..Anyway, it was enough to get my attention, as I have an 8 yr old that is learning, and we will all be wearing something for safety.

post #12 of 19
bwxmas, we have several members here who are business supporting members like dawgcatching, ptex1, sierrajim, alpinord and race510. They have significant sales on right now and would be an excellent source for your needs. Take a look in the gear review and gear swap forums for information, and give them a try. For example this link to ptex1 or see the 50% sale by SierraJim here.
post #13 of 19
Wow - you shouldn't need a 650-fill down jacket for skiing unless it's REALLLLLLLYY cold. Your fleece with a shell should be plenty for most days. I'll wear polypro or something like it as a base layer, then maybe a heavier weight half zip if it's cold, then fleece, then shell. That's always been a winner for me.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
There were a few days that were in the single digits plus a 40mph wind..Glad I had it..The last time we went though it was in the 50's, and My fleece was a bit on the warm side...I always dress more to the warm side, as the ride up on the lifts are the worst when there is wind..

post #15 of 19
I have Giro G10 helmet, which I'm loving and it has the option for music. Don't put down music until you've tried it. I can hear what's going on around me, that's why I got the tune ups, and I don't use ear buds. The tuneups are slightly away from my ears, allowing me to hear music and whats going on. (As long as I don't blast it.)

As far as bags go I'd go with something by Dakine. Well made packs for anything.

Jacket, I don't have much to recommend, I just got a 686 jacket which I'm liking. I would recommend something with a hood.
post #16 of 19
The bigger the pack the more of a pain it is on chairs. If you get too big you'll have to take your pack off everytime you get on the lift. The problem with smaller packs is many don't pad you enough from the skis and shovel.....by the end of a hike you can have some hot spots on your back. Some also don't balance or secure the skis well on your back which is really a pain & dangerous during steep climbs since the swaying skis can unbalance you.

I have a Dakine Heli Pro. Great pack if you're toting along lots of things but much too big for just putting around. It has straps for carrying the skis separately straight up & down or together diagonally. It is bigger that I need most of the time though since the skis don't stay steady on the pack unless its sufficiently full. Most days I would be better off with the thinner Dakine Heli model.

I also have a Camelbak Snoblast pack. It is a nice size for riding chairs. It carries the skis diagnally well balanced even when the only thing in it is a shovel & has sufficient padding.

A real popular pack in these parts is the Life-Link. It is ultra-narrow so it doesn't bother you at all when sitting on chairs. It can carry a shovel, probe & a couple energy bars and that's about it.
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by Devils Fiddle View Post
I have Giro G10 helmet, which I'm loving and it has the option for music. Don't put down music until you've tried it.
I've had people tell me the same thing about methamphetamine. Guess I'd rather miss out.
post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
Personally, I treat skiers with wires comming out of thier helmets the same way I would treat a skier with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand.
Amen! The only time I ever thought an MP3 player might be nice is when I've ridden a lift all by myself. Since that almost never happens I won't ever be bringing tunes along while skiing. Hell, if it should happen again I'll just enjoy the silence.
post #19 of 19
Helmets: I have an older Leedom and a new Giro. The Leedom is pretty substantial, the Giro is lighter but uses polystyrene to get lighter. Polystyrene offers great protection but it can be compromised if it takes a direct hit so you can't reuse it. I have also been looking at a Bern Macon, which can be used for kayaking and rock climbing as well, and can take multiple hits. Measure your head and don't buy it too big, if it doesn't fit right protection can be compromised.

Backpacks: I have a Lowe Alpine Snow Attack 50 and a Dakine Ridge, but I am a big guy and need bigger packs (21 inch torso). In the lighter category I would look at the LA Snow Attack 25 and the Dakine Helipro, both of which have shovel/probe pockets and ski carry systems and are hydration compatible (you need your own reservoir). There are a lot of friends of the Dakine Helipro on this site, I would maybe look at one of these first as a comparison point if you can find one at your local store. Black Diamond also makes a lot of good ski packs, look for something in the 25 liter and under range. The North Face Spire could also be an option. Make sure you try the pack on with a load at home for an hour or two before you decide whether to keep or return it, there is nothing that sucks more over a long day than a pack that doesn't fit or carry weight right for your build. Also, for skiing, you generally want one with a waist and chest strap to keep things tight to your body.

Jackets: I have a variety of soft shells, fleeces and outer shells which can be mixed and matched to fit conditions. As others have noted, you want to be able to adjust your temperature by adding or removing layers so you don't overheat or get too cold. I tend to favor North Face and Columbia, lately I have been trying Helly Hansen with mixed results (stylish, but I have had some busted toggle cords and zippers). I would say that you should have a waterproof breathable shell with a hood and pit zips (goretex is great, but I actually like northface hyvent better for skiing), a soft shell, and a couple of full fleeces or vests with weights from microfleece (100) to heavyweight (300). If you buy the WPB shell a little big you can probably fit your 650 fill down jacket underneatch for really cold days. And start out with underarmor or nike drifit, anything cotton underneath is a no no.

Other stuff: If you haven't been out of bounds before, make sure you go with a guide. They should be able to loan you a beacon, probe and shovel. Flourescent ribbons for your skis so you can find them if you loose one. If you are going for really deep powder you may want to rent a set of demos that are wider underfoot than the M:10's. Treats for the occasional avalanche rescue dogs are optional, but a nice touch if you can find them. Since you are going to heli ski with a guide we can leave GPS systems, randonee bindings and boots, skins, climbing harnesses, ice axes, ropes and crampons for when you decide to get more serious about things.
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