First was a Life-Link Granite. It worked fine as an in-bounds pack, but I blew it out the first time I used it for summer patch skiing (just couldn't hold the weight of skis, boots, helmet, 3L hydration pouch, lunch, extra clothes). The one little perk I loved about the Life-Link was that you were able to thread your hydration tube through either the left or right shoulder strap. Many packs only allow you to thread it through the right shoulder, which sucks if, like me, you are left-handed.
Second was the Ortovox Ski-Plus 23L. Not a bad pack, but seriously lacking in many aspects. First up the A-Frame carrying set-up is kinda wack. The bottom straps are not adjustable and if you have semi-narrow (94mm or less) waisted skis, then there's a lot of slop. Additionally, if you don't have the skies fitted in exactly, they will flop around and throw you off-balance (it takes a lot of effort and readjusting to get them just perfect, too). I also found the pack to be a bit on the small side (and it's quite a bit bigger than the Life-Link).
So, now I am on the hunt for a new pack, one that can handle about 30lbs, is sturdy, has a thick, well-padded waist-belt as well as backpacker heavy duty shoulder straps. It must be able to fit shovel, probe, hydration, and I would prefer the luxury of both A-Frame and Diagonal ski carry.
I am looking for feedback on the following packs:
DYNAFIT - Manaslu 32L (has both A-Frame and Diagonal ski carry)
C.A.M.P. USA - M3 or X3 (Diagonal carry only) or Squad (A-Frame carry only). They are 30L and 35L, respectively
BCA - Stash BC (has both A-Frame and Diagonal carry). 35L
DEUTER - EH Guide (not sure what carrying style it has). 30L
MYSTERY RANCH - Snapdragon (not sure what carrying style it has). 36L
Again, I am looking for something that is pretty sturdy, with backpacking/trekking level shoulder straps and waistband and it should be able to handle at least 35 lbs and be satisfactory for rock scrambling and summer patch skiing.
Any feedback y'all might have on any of these models would be mucho appreciated.