In most cases, it goes hand-in-hand with the type of skiing you will do. When deciding on a pack, think about how often you’ll need to access gear throughout the day and in what sort of environments. 1 color available. That said, we like what Ortovox did with the Ascent, and the ability to practice without the canister might be the tipping point for many.See the Ortovox Ascent 30 See the Women's Ortovox Ascent 28 S. Category: ResortCapacity: 12LWeight: 1 lb. When you purchase select backpacking packs on Osprey.com, you can receive a professional fit from a qualifying local gear shop. Additionally, the lack of external straps means you can’t compress a half-full pack or carry skis in an A-frame configuration (although the streamlined exterior won’t get caught on the chairlift). And in the majority of cases, airbags and AvaLungs are removable, which means you can streamline your pack when avy danger is low (or when you want to use your pack for other gear).Airbags: Canister and Electric However, some people prefer to add additional safety measures, such as an avalanche airbag system. Finally, we found the simple webbing waist strap to be notably uncomfortable. Before making a purchase, it’s important to consider whether or not you really need these features—if you don’t, they might feel unnecessary and burdensome. There currently are two types of mechanisms used to inflate airbags: compressed air or gas cartridges and electric fans. As the leader in custom-fit backpacks, we’ve adapted our pack-fitting … Category: Resort/day touringCapacity: 20LWeight: 1 lb. A 375-Denier woven-Dyneema face fabric instead of our more … And clocking in at 5 pounds 14 ounces for the backpack and airbag, the Scott is a reasonably lightweight design and $300 less than the JetForce Pro above. Alternatively, when skiing laps in our local backcountry bowl, we prefer a pack with a U-shaped, backpanel zip (like that of the Osprey Soelden 32 or Black Diamond Dawn Patrol) that allows us to see all our gear and use our pack as an ad hoc staging area during transitions. For starters, although the largest version can accommodate 45 liters of gear, the lack of load lifters and stiff suspension means it isn’t quite as comfortabe as we’d like. However, we highly recommend that those venturing into the backcountry purchase a ski-specific pack for one main reason: safety. By adding insulation and a zippered pocket along the shoulder strap, the Powderhound help prevent water inside your bite valve and drink tube from freezing. But it’s hard to beat Osprey’s top-notch carrying comfort and fit (women can opt for the female-specific Kresta 14), which ensures that the pack won’t get in the way while you’re bombing downhill. If you want added carrying comfort or an airbag system, expect a big bump in weight. Category: Ski mountaineering/day touringCapacity: 32, 40LWeight: 2 lbs. For example, there are no external straps for ice tools, ski crampons, or a helmet—often necessary tools for skiing big lines. That said, while the AvaLung can certainly be an effective safety tool, riders must ski with the tube in their mouth in order for it to work—a very tall order should you suddenly be outrunning a slide. The Descensionist has been one of our favorite ski mountaineering packs for the past few winters, and this year it got a full overhaul. And as expected from the brand, carrying comfort was a priority with dedicated men’s and women’s variations (the Sopris Pro 30 is the women’s model), a padded hipbelt, and a sturdy frame. In the end, we prefer an airbag for its ease of use and proven performance. What’s more, for $40 less than the Black Diamond Cirque above you get more durable fabrics, significantly more organization (including backpanel access and a fleece-lined goggle pocket), and the choice between men’s and women’s sizes. Created by Black Diamond, the AvaLung is essentially a snorkel that inserts into the shoulder strap of a backpack. In terms of design, some packs allow you to attach lightweight skis in both diagonal and A-frame configurations, while others limit you to one setup or the other (many airbag-equipped packs, for example, do not support A-frame carry). While some (the lithium battery system) are travel friendly, others are not. For use in cold weather, CamelBak’s Powderhound 12 is a nice solution. The 32-liter is very similar to the Patagonia SnowDrifter above, although it lacks the convenient backpanel access to the main compartment. See the Black Diamond JetForce Pro 25L. What do you give up by going with the more affordable Scott Patrol E1? But what really sets the Poacher RAS apart is its compatibility with Mammut’s Removable Airbag System 3.0. The 32-liter version sports an impressive array of straps and compartments for your technical gear: attachment points for snowshoes, snowboards, and skis (both A-frame and diagonal), a crampon-fastening slat in the fabric, rope-carrying and ice-axe straps, a hiking pole attachment and fixed helmet net, and even a pocket for holding a map. To get you through an afternoon at the ski hill, the Dawn Patrol 25L from Black Diamond is a great tool for the job. Designed for chasing fresh lines beyond the boundaries, the Mission Pro 25L is a dedicated backcountry … Diagonal ski carry. Further, Mammut’s Protection Airbag System (PAS)—unlike most other airbags—expands around the head and neck and over the shoulders to cradle your upper body. In addition, some ski backpacks have insulated sleeves to prevent the water from freezing in the tube. Skis may be attached to skiing backpacks if you need to hike up and ski down. Comparison Table - The Best Ski Backpacks, BEST FOR SKIING IN THE SIDE OR BACKCOUNTRY, BEST FOR SIDECOUNTRY OR CHAIRLIFT ACCESSIBLE SKIING, For more of our top ski gear recommendations, check out the, These small ski backpacks are perfect for trips into the side country that are served by chairlifts, helicopter, or snowcats. Dakine Mission Pro 18L ($90) Category: Resort/day touring. As we’ve come to expect from Patagonia, the bag is durable, comfortable, and offers functional organization. To start, you get a range of carry options, including A-frame, diagonal, and a vertical snowboard set-up. Ski, Snowboard, Wakeboard, Skateboard Gear & Clothing: Enjoy Free Shipping, Low Price Guarantee, Product Reviews, Shopping Tools and a little flavor. 13 oz.What we like: A roll-top expands to fit 10L of extra space.What we don’t: Not proven and could be too feature-rich for some. And finally, it’s important to note that airbags should never replace your need for an avalanche beacon and—more importantly—thorough training. Osprey consistently nails the comfort equation, and like most of their packs, this one comes in men’s and women’s-specific versions. The Pro 34+ in particular stands out for its all-around nature, and it received a noteworthy update for fall 2020 that gives it 10 liters of expandable capacity via a roll-top closure. As the name implies, airbag packs are equipped with either a compressed air/gas- or fan-powered airbag. The Pro 34+ clocks in a bit heavier than other lightweight ski mountaineering packs here, but the extra ounces could be worth it for the expandable design and Deuter’s reliable comfort and fit. You also get a host of ski-specific features including a simple roll-top design with a pull tab for snugging down the lid, weather-resistant side zipper for alternate access to the main area, an internal rescue gear compartment, and adjustable ski-carry straps on the outside. Category: Day touringCapacities: 22, 32LWeight: 2 lbs. These straps are incredibly useful in the event that you need to hike with your skis on your back, which is common in ski mountaineering and accessing hike-to terrain at resorts. And for a similar design with more capacity and even stiffer suspension, check out the Ortovox Peak 45, which boasts a unique moisture-wicking wool backpanel.See the Ortovox Haute Route 32 See the Women's Ortovox Haute Route 30S. 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