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Ski touring pack recommendations?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm shopping for a new pack to use while backcountry touring. By that I mean all-day trips, but not overnights. My basic criteria are that it must carry skis well, either in A-frame or diagonal fashion, and carry all my avy gear. I'd prefer something on the light and simple side, rather than heavier and full-featured. I'm learning towards one of the Black Diamond models, but any advice or reviews about specific products would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 14
The BD Covert and Anarchist are both good, but I'm in love with the Osprey Switch 26 and 36. They carry great, and can hold skis either diagonal or A-frame. Other things I like about them are wet/dry separation in the main compartments, great pockets on the belt, insulated hydration sleeve, and helmet pocket.

The 'wet' compartment holds shovel, probe, skins and slope-o-meter perfectly.

They're really well thought out for skiing, so I'd say check them out. I have both for however big my day will be, but I like the layout of the 26 just a little better because I like having a lid that you can strap things under.

But the important thing is how they carry which is a function of body type, so if possible, try before you buy. But the Ospreys seem to fit a majority of people very well.
post #3 of 14

Sounds like they have further improved the pack. I've got the previous model (Switch 25 + 5) and like it but it's not perfect. I really like the addition of a top pocket and a helmet pocket!

Are you going to be in SLC anytime this year?

Best, Si
post #4 of 14
The new Osprey Switch 36 looks sweet. I have an older Switch 45, which I'm very happy with, and as Si notes the new mdels are improved again.

If you were looking at a pack for extended touring, I am very happy with my Macpac Ascent XPD.
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by Si View Post
Sounds like they have further improved the pack. I've got the previous model (Switch 25 + 5) and like it but it's not perfect. I really like the addition of a top pocket and a helmet pocket!
Hi Si! Yeah, they eliminated that +5 thing - it's just a straight pack now without being convertible. I thought that old feature mostly just added weight and futziness. I think that now the 26 is a great, great pack, assuming it fits you well.

Originally Posted by Si View Post
Are you going to be in SLC anytime this year?
Hope so - I was pretty busy last season with starting on the patrol at Santa Fe so I didn't travel much. And apparently there's a bottle of scotch with my name on it at the Silver Fork chalet, but I have to collect it in person. I hear the water issues have been solved at Chez K, so it's got that going for it which is nice.

And it's not like we're getting a lot of snow so far in NM.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions. The Osprey 26 looks like just what I need. I especially like the helmet pocket idea. Now that I think about it, securely carrying a helmet on a skin-up has always been a big annoyance. I will definitely look for one in a store around here to see if it fits.

I'm headed out to ski Taos around New Year's, my first time skiing in NM. Hopefully you guys will have snow by then.
post #7 of 14
I have and love the Osprey pack, the 26 is perfect for day trips and carries everything wonderfully
post #8 of 14
I have several hands down favorite day pack is my Stash BC made by BCA. It has a winter hydration setup, a place for shovel and probes etc. In general it is a very well thought out design. It fits me like a glove, rides well when skiing, and is the perfect size for day trips and yo-yo-ing. Hell there's even a lot of days i use it on the resort.
post #9 of 14
I also have a BCA Stash BC. Its a very well thought out design. This year I'm using a BD Covert 32 Avalung and a BD Anarchist 45 Avalung. I skied today with the Covert and love it. It's just as good as the BC Stash although a bit smaller. It didn't come with a hydration bladder, but it takes one. I did a week in BC last spring and an overnight in Teton Pass using the Anarchist. The Anarchist has a helmut holder. I think the integrated Avalung is a great idea.
post #10 of 14
some suggestions here:

though these suggestions are more geared toward packs that fit on the lift, there's still some good rec's for BC.
post #11 of 14
I also use the BCA Stash BC.

I like the enclosed hydration system and the high standard of construction.

However, it's relatively heavy for its size and I'm rapidly going off bladders. They are a faff, have a habit of leaking and it means you can't eat your lunch while sat on your sack! BCA's larger ALP 40 pack has the same, enclosed, drinking tube but it plumbs into a Nalgene bottle - which, IMHO, is a much better solution.
post #12 of 14
I think that all of the new BCA packs have the bottle option. I also think you could use their kit in someone elses pack.
post #13 of 14
That'd be the Stash Valhalla then:

Lighter too - looks good!
post #14 of 14
I really like my Stash BC and I already had an Avalung II. But if I was looking right now to start out. I would have a hard time passing up the BD's with the built in Avalungs.
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