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Osprey Kode packs?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Anyone looked at the new Kode packs from Osprey?  They look quite a bit different from the Switch series they were selling last year.  If you looked, is the new model better?  I looked online and I was not sure the changes were positive. 
 
post #2 of 9
There's a pretty good thread on the Kode packs over on TGR's tech talk. They look pretty rad to me - I just ordered a Kode 30 yesterday. The ski carry looks really solid.
post #3 of 9
I've fondled them pretty extensively.  To me the stand-out is the Kode 38, so I bought one and sold off my old Osprey Switch 36.  The Kode series has an improved suspension system with a mini alloy tube frame supplementing the framesheet.  It carried really, really well in a dry run.  The Kode 38 is configured like the old Osprey Switch 26 with a lid and top loader access and back panel access as well.  The Kode 38's helmet pocket is much improved - the fragile mesh of the Switch series helmet pocket is gone.  The main drawback I see is that there is only one ice tool carry loop.  

That said about the 38, I still like the configuration of the Switch 26 better than the Kode 30.  The Switch 26 had top loader/lid and back panel access where the Kode 30 has only panel access - I like a lid on my packs to hold things and to stuff layers under.  And the helmet carry for the Kode 30 is external and kind of funky IMO.  So I hung on to my Switch 26, but the improved suspension on the Kode series is worth noting.  

The Kode 22 looks like a sweet little lift-served/slackcountry pack - more volume than the Switch 16.  

Kool things that were retained between the Kode and Switch series include the carefully thought out skiing-specific layout and features, the great hipbelt, bomber A-frame and diagonal ski carry (and snowboard carry if you're into that sort of thing), the wet/dry gear division, and the insulated hydration sleeve. 

Can you tell I'm a fan?  I [heart] Osprey ski packs - the Kode 38 is an improvement over the Switch 36, but I like the old Switch 26 better than the Kode 30.  
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post

There's a pretty good thread on the Kode packs over on TGR's tech talk. They look pretty rad to me - I just ordered a Kode 30 yesterday. The ski carry looks really solid.
Can you post a link to the thread? 
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post



Can you post a link to the thread? 


 
Found it.  Thanks.  It is still unclear that Kode 30 is better than the old Switch 26...  

What irritates me is that Osprey (and many other manufacturers) omits many key features from their small volume packs.   Exhibit A: Arcteryx Silo 16 ski pack- has a ski carry system but no hipbelt.  Apparently skiers who use small volume packs also use skis that are ten times lighter than normal skis???  Who was that idiot who designed it?   Same with the Kode 22- no helmet carry.  Why not?   If I am bootpacking in in spring, I'd still like to carry my helmet on the pack and not sweat in it.   
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

... It is still unclear that Kode 30 is better than the old Switch 26...  

Glad I could help.  
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post 

What irritates me is that Osprey (and many other manufacturers) omits many key features from their small volume packs.   Exhibit A: Arcteryx Silo 16 ski pack- has a ski carry system but no hipbelt.  Apparently skiers who use small volume packs also use skis that are ten times lighter than normal skis???  Who was that idiot who designed it?     

 

I freaking hate that. I don't care how small the pack is or what it's designed for - all backpacks need a hipbelt. Small bike hydropacks used to be notorious for that. OTOH, I usually just loop the chinstrap of my helmet through some webbing or around one of my skis when hiking.

Mainly what got me interested in the Kode 30 was the ski carry. I'm usually hauling Sanouks, but sometimes I'm hauling Praxis Powders and those thing flop all over the place on a lot of other packs unless the pack is almost totally empty (diagonal) or packed full (A-frame). I guess I'll see with the Kode, but from the photos I've seen of guys hauling their skis it looks pretty good.
post #8 of 9
 I just picked up Kode 22 while I was looking for packs, all I can say is that this thing rocks. I tried the BD Avalung series but it wasn't nearly as comfortable. It's perfect sized for day skiing or a small venture to the back country and is low profile enough to take on the lifts without being a pain in the ass. Holds just enough for: water, food, extra fleece and gloves, a probe, shovel, knife and other misc things. Granted its gonna be a tight fit, as it should be.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes, packs without hipbelts are silly, ski packs without hipbelts are plain stupid.  I am actually a little bit unconventional user of ski packs- I don't tour with them, but I often ski with my two young kids, and the pack is a great way to keep spare clothes, snacks, and most important, it lets me carry three pairs of skis AND still hold their hands.  So I am looking for a pack that can comfortably carry my stuff (skis, goggles, gloves, helmet) from the car to the lodge, accept two other pairs of skis if necessary, expand to about 20-25L, but also compress tight when necessary.  Switch 26 was almost perfect for that, and the top pocket was excellent for keeping the show out of my helmet when I was carrying it from the car or on the bootpack.  Switch also had the cool padded front panel which provided some kind of protection when I was carrying an SLR camera in my pack. 

I had a look this weekend.  The worst feature in the Kode as far as I can see is the location of the dry compartment zipper behind the load lifter strap- basically you have to unclip the load lifters every time you need to get into the dry section of the pack.  I also sometimes carry a large camera, and it is enough hassle to get it in and out of the pack, so if I had to unclip and clip the straps, that's more time spent fiddling with the buckles.  They also took out the small pocket inside one of the belt pockets, which was perfect for the car keys, a credit card, etc.  Why did they took it out?  To save a few bucks on a $100+ pack?   The fleece-lined google pocket is nice, but good luck drying it if it gets wet.  Switch 26 had a removable goggle pocket, which is a more practical solution.  Also, I was very disappointed to see that the bottom of the pack does not compress tight enough if the pack is almost empty. This is a problem if you carry a fleece in there and it bunches up in the bottom of the pack-- good luck trying to sit on the chair.         

 I'd have to look at the ski carry, if it is really good, it may be worth the switch for me, as last year I had problems fitting Nordica Blowers into the diagonal carry loop.  But otherwise the Switch 26 looks like a better pack than the Kode 30, which is pretty unexpected from a good company like Osprey, they usually improve from model to model.  Other grips about Kode series:  Why no double compartment and helmet carry on the Kode 22? People still use it on the snow and they may have the same needs as the users of larger volume packs...






Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post

I freaking hate that. I don't care how small the pack is or what it's designed for - all backpacks need a hipbelt. Small bike hydropacks used to be notorious for that. OTOH, I usually just loop the chinstrap of my helmet through some webbing or around one of my skis when hiking.

Mainly what got me interested in the Kode 30 was the ski carry. I'm usually hauling Sanouks, but sometimes I'm hauling Praxis Powders and those thing flop all over the place on a lot of other packs unless the pack is almost totally empty (diagonal) or packed full (A-frame). I guess I'll see with the Kode, but from the photos I've seen of guys hauling their skis it looks pretty good.
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