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JZickler

Touring packs

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I'm in the market for a touring specific pack - I've realized over the last couple of seasons that the pack I've been using is completely inappropriate for this application. I'm trying to avert buyer's remorse from a poorly thought out purchase and would appreciate thoughts/advice. Here are my stats:

 

Looking for something around 30L

 

I appreciate simplicity - not attracted to gimmicks and unnecessary features

 

I ride a splitboard

 

Now PLEASE bestow upon me your infinite wisdom CC folks!

Thanks in advance

 

 

 

 

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If I were buying a pack specifically for touring I would only buy one with a Avylung or ABS in it. If I wore a avylung as part of my clothing I'd double up on my safety and get one of the BCA ABS packs, otherwise I think personally I would grab a BD clamshell.

I've actually never owned a touring specific pack but if thats what your getting it for I dont think there is any sense or reason not to as twight puts it "make you harder to kill."

Avylung pack or ABS is what I'd get, probably the lung

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I'm not big on the avalung packs--seems a bit gimmicky and could possibly inspire sketchy behavior where you may normally err on the side of caution. To each their own though.

 

I have a BD revelation pack and its been, hands down, my favorite day-touring ski pack I have ever had. Its 30L, slim and fits tight to my body. I've never had a problem with it shifting around or anything.

 

Packs are so user-specific though that you really need to just go test a bunch until you find what you want.

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Packs are so user-specific though that you really need to just go test a bunch until you find what you want.

 

So true. My plan was to narrow it down to three or four and exploit the REI/Backcountry "rental" program, sending the ones back that I disqualify.

 

I have been using the 30L Lowe Alpine summit attack - a great pack for its intended purpose which is not touring!

 

I want something with a wet room for skins and avi gear so I'm not stuffing my skins in the main compartment on top of my puffy at every transition. Also need a system that carries a board well - both together and split. A hydration system would also be nice.

 

Just had a quick look at the BD revelation. Seems to have all my desired features in a super clean design. Curious how well it would carry a board....

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Be wary of the BD packs. Some don't fit the standard Voile shovel in the wet pocket. I didn't feel like buying a new shovel when I got a new pack, so I went with the Kode. Also another highlight of the Kode over the BD packs is the neoprene expansion area for the elbow on your hydration bladder. The BD packs don't have this and depending on your bladder, it may give you trouble.

 

On a related note, the Kode will carry a board assembled, or split. Not sure about how the BDs handle an assembled board.

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Word. I'll bring along my shovel. I have the BCA companion - not sure how it compares in size to the voile. How do you like the Kode? I've read mixed reviews one common complaint is that they used poor materials in the construction and that the compression system interferes with quick access to the wet room. Have you experienced this? Guess if I buy if from REI/BC failure as a result of poor construction is not an issue.

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The pack is fairly new to me, but I wouldn't go so far as to say poor materials. Perhaps a little light for the intended use materials.

 

You have to undo one clip before unzipping the wet access. No biggie. However, if you were carrying an assembled board, then it is a lot trickier. Also more complicated if you are using the sling.

 

I will say the compression system is a little weird.

 

The pack is not ideal, but I haven't found one that was.

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The revelation will not carry a board. It does, however, have the neoprene hydration tube slot and carries my BCA shovel just fine.

 

I think REI's pack selection sucks when it comes down to technical backcountry packs.

 

Your profile doesnt indicate where you are or someone might be able to offer up some advice on places to check out.

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I'm in Spokane WA. Between Mountain Gear and Mountain Goat Outfitters I have access to every conceivable brand and model of pack. And the folks who work at both are legit skiers who seem to offer solid advice.

 

I can recall very few times when I have carried my board put together. Usually when the terrain requires booting, it's not exactly conducive to fiddling with gear. Most of the time I carry my board split A frame style so the revelation may just work. It's nice to have options though.

 

Jeez, sometimes I wish I could be more impulsive.

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Have a look into redesigned Pieps Plecotus 36. Soon it will be in REI (I think!) or on line ...

 

People tell me it's on heavy side but I like my pack. I am old fashioned and don't care about 2-300g more. It has separate compartment for avy gear. Other option is Mammut Nirvana. Nice pack.

 

 

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I have the black diamond agent with avi lung. It works well enough as a pack that my fiance got one this year. She has a voile shovel, it fits if you take the blade off though the part of the blade that the handle slides into is annoyingly (and unnecessarily) long.

 

I think they make a version that will carry a snowboard (bandit?)

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Packs are tough. I have sent a few to Second Ascent after a few uses. I have found a few that work for me but I don’t snowboard so I can’t recommend anything to you. If I were you I would just take your gear into a local shop and ask them to show you a pack that was compatible with your needs. If they do not help you then move on to a shop that will. I don’t know about snowboarding but with skiing I sure hate it when a pack doesn’t compress the weight close to me.

 

I do recommend using an avalung. Either intergraded into the pack or not. It doesn’t hurt.

 

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I don't have an avalung, but I may buy one. Just like a transceiver it can help but it is not a guarantee.

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I'd agree with that. When I was last shopping for a touring pack I was looking a lot at the BD packs because of the built-in avalung option. But I ended up getting the stand-alone avalung just so that I could use it interchangeably with different sized packs (day trips vs. overnight)

 

But even without the avalung, some of the BD packs, like the Outlaw, are pretty nice. If I were shopping today, the Outlaw is what I'd be leaning toward for day trips.

 

 

 

Edited by hemp22

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I got the BD Covert Avalung last year. It is nice and i like the avalung built in (that way i will use it) It is a skiers pack but you could carry the split board as two separate skis. The compartment in the front is small, my old probe is too long to fit in there.

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Anyone have experience with BCA packs? The Alp 40 seems like a dialed, well thought out system. I really like the nalgene compatible hydration setup - and with 40L I could use it for long weekends or even a week if staying in a hut. I really like the dry-sack closure system when using it without the lid. Anyone have a compelling argument against BCA packs? They make a great beacon!

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Anyone have experience with BCA packs? The Alp 40 seems like a dialed, well thought out system. I really like the nalgene compatible hydration setup - and with 40L I could use it for long weekends or even a week if staying in a hut. I really like the dry-sack closure system when using it without the lid. Anyone have a compelling argument against BCA packs? They make a great beacon!

 

I love my Alp40 - but I have the older model, I think it was just redesigned. No complaints a all, I would buy again and the hydration system that screw into a Nalgene is tops. I actually remove the system and use it in all my packs.

 

Alp40 is ski-specific but I also use it for ice/alpine climbing day trips. It has 2 ice tool loops, and I added bungee to the front panel to hold crampons. It (the old version, at least) is basically a classic top loader with a shovel pocket on the front and a side "tube"'pocket that holds the shovel handle and a probe. I guess my only complaint is that the top lid is fixed, not removable.

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Thanks for the reassurance dbcolin. I ended up ordering the Stash BC because of its ability to carry a board vertically. That feature was the tie breaker for me. I actually found the older model on sale for $80 on BC.com and nearly bought it. Thanks everyone for your thoughtful advice - I'll post a gear review after a few turns! On that note - we just got BURIED here in the 509 so I'm off to eat it up!

 

Cheers!

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It would be a little stretch of the series but I have been super happy with my Dakine Helipro. I think they have a 30L model. On the pro side it is quite low profile and keeps stuff centered for weight great, it has a real full suspension so it is comfy no matter what I jam in or on to it, the beavertail carries skis or a full snowboard with ease. On the con side it is heavier than the others even if the suspension hides hides that.

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I have the 32L BD anarchist with the avalung and have been very happy with it. It is very simple and fits me well. The features I appreciate are

 

top loading with lid

side zip access

external shovel/probe pocket

decently light

 

I agree A 30L pack is IMO the best one size pack for touring. Plenty of room for an extra jacket, food, light rope,... but can be compressed for less gear.

 

The avalung is integrated nicely and I think I would end up not bringing it if I had to pack it separately.

 

I am a skier so I can't comment on it's usability for snowboarding.

 

Side note:

I find the push back against avalungs a little curious. I certainly haven't used it and would like not to, but the same goes for my transceiver and almost no one thinks it is a good idea to head out with no transceiver. My guess is soon enough they will become standard equipment.

 

Orion

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Got my new pack yesterday and conducted a packing test in my living room. This pack is deceiving at first glance. When unloaded it's sleek and fits tight to your body. The shape of the packing space is efficient and minimizes empty voids allowing you to use every cubic inch of space. I laid out a typical weekend's worth of gear and the Stash BC easily devoured it. Have a look:

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/Zickler1981/BcaPack#5543644481970901362

Edited by JZickler

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is that 2135 cu in?

 

Yep. It's magic!

 

I used it this weekend for an overnighter in the hills and it worked really well. It's noticeably heavier than the pack I was using (54oz. vs. 26oz.) but the added features are worth the extra weight. The hydration system did not freeze all day in temps around 20 degrees F.

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BD Packs suck for carrying a snowboard. Period. Maybe in an a-frame with the split split, but not in board mode.

 

I use a Dakine Poacher which can carry a board in both split mode, and board mode very well. about 38L in capacity, and holds my Voile shovel very well, as well as slots for Ice axe etc. and hydration sleeve in the should strap. I also use a Dakine Heli Pro for day trips which has the same features but a smaller capacity. Sort of heavy, but gets the job done nicely for me.

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