Best inbounds/freeride backpack?

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by RikkiBobbi, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. RikkiBobbi

    RikkiBobbi Booting up Skier

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    I've done a lot of reading on backpacks, but most if not all reviews and lists seem to focus on back or sidecountry where touring and safety features are the focus. I'm not sure if I've seen any articles that highlight bags for use in-bounds or resort-side country.

    I'm looking for a pack that will be used for those purposes, with no need for stowing of shovel, beacon, probe, skins, etc etc. My basic requirements are "A" or diagonal carry, hydration, all-day comfort, and organization for miscellaneous.

    It seems like regular hiking packs would be good for my uses, but I haven't seen any of these that would prevent the freezing of water in the hydration tube, the way the Osprey Kamber might. I have seen/read about the LiftRider but I don't think that's the pack for me, although it's a novel concept and seems well designed .

    My main concerns with the Kamber 22 are:

    1) the waist belt seems enormous, and looks as though it would need to be buckled up everytime the pack is being worn (they don't pack away or zip off AFIAK)

    2) With the front storage pouch being designed for safety/rescue gear storage, does or can it still function for stowing of regular miscellaneous gear you may need in bounds? (snacks, gadgets etc...or would that stuff just free float in the front pouch?)


    I have also looked at the Lowe Alpine Descent 25 and need to read into the Ortovox Rider series or Ascent. Don't seem to be as much written about those two. Will also do some more research into Dakine but I haven't had good experiences with them.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. MattSmith

    MattSmith Getting off the lift Skier

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    I've skied in-bounds with a small Dakine pack for the last 5 years. I typically carry water (bladder), snacks, lunch, spare goggles and spare gloves. 12L seems small, but it's about the right size for day pack use, IMO.
    I don't utilize a bladder with a water line, so I can't comment about whether it freezes up. Seems insulated. No experience.
    I've utilized the diagonal carry system a lot, with no issues. Not sure I have a good picture from behind with me strapped in. It takes < 5 minutes to load up.

    Here's a link to the current version of the pack: https://www.dakine.com/en-us/bags/backpacks/street-backpacks/heli-pack-12l-backpack/

    20180312_200002.jpg
     
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  3. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    Insulated hoses can be purchased separately if you feel your options are limited right now.

    I’d also keep in mind pack depth and strap design if you plan to ride the lift with it on.
     
  4. Thread Starter
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    RikkiBobbi

    RikkiBobbi Booting up Skier

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    Good point on the chair, though i've always slipped my back off one shoulder and brought it around under my arm when on chairs, so not too concerned with chair compatibility per se
     
  5. Poolskier Vinny

    Poolskier Vinny Red Bull Athlete Wannabe Skier

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    Both my wife and I love our BCA Stash 20 pack's: https://backcountryaccess.com/product-category/stash-backpacks/

    They are built to be "low depth" profile - so relatively easy to ride the chair with them on your back but obviously any pack will push you out from the backrest so you do still need to be careful when loading and/or without the safety bar down. We find them comfortable all day and like that they sit tight to us when we are freeriding steeps/chutes, trees, bumps etc. not flopping around or overbalancing us. My wife never wore a pack previously and I got her one like mine and now she won't ski without it as it holds all her necessary gear and keeps her back warm.

    We've had them several years now and they have proven to be pretty bombproof. They are geared for BC but we use ours for in-resort and sidecountry - so similar to what you want to do. We find the 20L to be the perfect size for us for resort riding - not too big for riding the chair etc. but big enuf for our lunches, water and spare gear/liner gloves, socks, powder mask, insulating layer, wax etc. etc. Holds quite a bit and yes the avy pocket works good for holding extra stuff. (...I wish I could get away with less like Matt! ogwink)

    We also use and highly recommend their radios as well for keeping track of skiing partners. (whether it's in side country or tree skiing or the inevitable "I need to go for a snack/restroom/warp-up break you guys keep skiing for a run and I'll radio you when I'm done" situations. I can't tell you how much time we have saved by using the radios and not waiting for someone (who's already down the run...or at the chair etc .etc.) Paid for the radio's in the first season.

    But anyways I digress... back to the pack:

    Adjustable height chest strap (with integrated whistle) and waist belt. FYI: Another thing to note is that out here some resorts (but thankfully not all) make you take your pack off or have one arm out so I tie the waist belt up behind me and it stays out of the way - that way i can just unclip the chest buckle and slip the pack or an arm out.
    The pack has a dedicated avy gear pocket with dedicated areas for probe and shovel, plus a larger main gear pocket. Even if for now you are not carrying avy gear it's great as there may come a time where you might want to and besides I like having that separate compartment to help organize my gear. Diagonal or A-frame ski carry (integrated and hidden/tuck away straps for this) 2 zippered see-through pockets for sunblock, keys, changes etc. (one in each pocket and one pocket also has a key clip). Insulated shoulder straps (both) where you run your hydration sleeve (on either shoulder strap...as the radio mic cord with the external mic/speaker etc goes on the other strap if you are using their radios). Also has full zip back panel access exposing main gear area from the rear/strap side - very handy. Integrated and hidden helmet carry net. (once you use their hidden and integrated helmet carry system-you really appreciate it). They also have a 30L model if you need bigger. Another person I know runs the 30L and is fine on the chair with it as well if you really need more space but I kinda think that's overkill for resort riding.

    They are well built with solid zippers, good snow shedding and tough water resistant fabric, good stitching and reinforcement, good extended zipper pulls, great warranty and have experienced good customer service from the company.

    Might be an option for you to check out...
     
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  6. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    Check out this Black Diamond Magnum 20. I'm not sure if it's the best, but it's awesome and proably the best deal you'll find anywhere on sale at STP right now:
    https://www.sierratradingpost.com/b...221jd/?filterString=s~black-diamond-equipment
    https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en/hiking-packs/magnum-20-pack-BD681216_cfg.html

    I've got one and use it carrying my kiddos stuff when skiing with them and it works great. It was 25% off with a coupon yesterday ($37.50!) and I almost bought a backup, but already spent too much on other Cyber Monday stuff and really don't need it. First one is holding up awesome after two years of year-round use.

    It's hydration compatible with a compartment for a blatter and a hole, though I haven't tried it with a blatter. I just carry around the kids' water bottles in the side pockets when skiing and hiking and haven't lost one yet.

    Black Diamond stuff has been awesome for me. I also use their Avalung pack inbound on big days. They recently sent me a brand new Sprinter running headlamp after the old one stopped charging after years and years of use. I was pretty sure it was just the charger connector and called them to buy that part. It was an old model and they didn't have the part anymore, so they sent me a brand new and improved model for free! Thanks, Black Diamond!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  7. Eric267

    Eric267 Gettin after it Skier

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    I have the larger version for BC and really like it. I've always had good luck with dakine products. As you said you only need something for resort so this is the lower profile version for inbounds
     
  8. headybrew

    headybrew surrender to the flow Skier

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    "Resort side country" AKA venturing into the backcountry without the proper training or equipment to do so safely.
     
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  9. GNARpts

    GNARpts At the base lodge Skier

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    There are certainly nicer bags available, but I use a gregory miwok in-bounds, at resorts. It's small and svelte, fits everything I need for a day, and is pretty cheap. basically bombproof. It does not have dedicated ski carry options, but I've rigged it up to carry both A and diagonal, with A being the easier option. I use it a lot in the summer as well for ultralight hike/camp excursions 1-2 days.
     
  10. Wade

    Wade Getting off the lift Skier

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    I use the Patagonia Snowdrifter 20L for pretty much this purpose. I don’t usually carry a pack in the resort, but will if I’m going to be hiking. I went through 3 different packs before I got the Snowdrifter and for me, it was clearly the best for this use. It’s super slim when cinched down and carries really well.
     
  11. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    I have a kamber 22 for skiing. I also do regular hiking, so I'm used to having a hip belt to keep things stable. I actually feel weird with a backpack with no hip or chest strap and all the weight on my shoulders. Part of the idea behind the big belt is to make it easier to buckle up with gloves and bulky jacket on and so it doesn't get twisted up. Especially if you are rotating it to your front for the lift rides, having to drop gloves to fiddle with the buckles and twisted straps gets old quick.

    You can put anything you want in any of the pouches that you want. I think the main practical difference is the outside pouch has drain holes in it. So if you fall a lot or sit in snow a lot, some moisture will come in to the outside pouch.

    Regarding the osprey's hydration reservoirs. The main issue is with the osprey is the bitepieces are not very good for winter. It's got tiny tolerances in the valve that are prone to freeze over. It's a plastic donut, with another plastic plunger moving up and down to close it up like a sink drain. So you might want to to customize with at least a different bitepiece; hose;or whole reservoir from another brand that's more free-flowing(e.g. camelbak or platypus). Another option could also put a chemical heatpack in the shoulderstrap pouch where the tube lives but I find that a bit wasteful on principle. It also depends if you ski a lot in very cold temps or just moderate temps.

    As far as the hose insulation in general, you can buy some reservoir that are presetup as "winterized". Or you can buy the insulation kit to make any hydration hose winter ready for extra protection. You can buy something from any of the brands, and there are some postings on ebay that will sell sections of generic material that's cheaper but still meant for hydration hoses.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  12. Rod MacDonald

    Rod MacDonald Booting up Skier

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    Just blow the water back into the main bladder once you've drank from it , stops the tube from freezing.
     
  13. firebanex

    firebanex Getting off the lift Skier

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    I snagged a Dakine Poacher 14L bag for this year.. it's pretty lowprofile, comfy on my back, and holds more than I expected it too without too many extra straps hanging off it. It's also got a separate purchase spine protector if you are worried about that.
     
  14. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    With the osprey bladders, its not the tube that freezes it is the bitevalve. Blowing back doesnt work when theres a 1mm gap between hard surfaces and just the layers of moisture is enough to freeze the gap shut.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  15. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Putting on skis Skier

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    Ottawa, ON
    When I do ride with a pack, I ride with a North Face Chugach 16, and it's got everything you're asking for. Insulated tube holder in the right strap (zips open and close to hide), relatively low profile, bladder storage. "A" and diagonal carry, will hold a snowboard too. Small waist belt that stows away. Enough room for snacks, and or an extra layer. Plus, a built in whistle on the chest strap.

    Only problem is, it's not made anymore, and just a quick search, I can't find it available anywhere. So I guess this makes this post a moot post.

    I checked the North Face website, and it doesn't seem they have a replacement either, maybe the Flashback if you want under 20L?
     
  16. EBG18T

    EBG18T Luv da snow! Skier

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    See if you can find a Osprey Kode 22 pack. Their is a new unimproved version now (the Kamber). The Kode was much better.
     
  17. Rod MacDonald

    Rod MacDonald Booting up Skier

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    Swap it for a camelback one then.
     
  18. Thread Starter
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    RikkiBobbi

    RikkiBobbi Booting up Skier

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    I saw the Kamber 22 pack in person last night, the waits belt straps aren't as cumbersome as they look on the website but as I suspected there isn't much to that front pouch aside from one smaller zippered mesh pouch on the front side of it. Would pretty much just be tossing stuff in there free float and having to dig and sort through whatever is in there. Really I think a rugged travel backpack would serve me well organizationally but need to find out that is also suitable for the snow. Kamber 22 is still a viable solution.
     
  19. NESkiBum

    NESkiBum Booting up Skier

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    Does anybody have any experience with the BCA Stash 20 or Mammut Nirvana Pro 25. These look like two of the better options I have found. I was also looking at the Kamber but am concerned what everyone has been saying. I have a Dakine Heli Pro but don’t like how it fits. I have a Heli trip planned for January and don’t do much hiking so it would be used for this trip as well as inbounds skiing.
     
  20. Thread Starter
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    RikkiBobbi

    RikkiBobbi Booting up Skier

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    Stash 20 looks great to me, but the colors are bleh....and yes I care about how it looks.
     

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