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Favorite climbing pack for ski mountaineering ?

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Hi all, I'm looking for a ski mountaineering pack that will carry gear and be lightweight and easy to carry. Most of the time there will just be water in it but other times it will have skis, pickets etc attached.

 

Also if anyone knows the best way to attach nalgenes for easy access.

 

I'm thinking of using this pack for fast and light ascents on Rainier, Baker, etc.

 

Anyone have any favorites?

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I really like the BD Revelation. It has an insulated hydration sleeve that I've had good luck with well below freezing. Doesn't have pockets for pickets, but I usually don't bring them on ski trips as I always have an axe or pole that could be deadmanned if need be.

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Any idea of the size you want?? That would be the biggest thing to start with. My ski pack of choice: alpine threadworks selkirk pack. its awesome.

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I have a BD Speed 22 that I used on my N Face of Hood trip; overnight gear, some technical climbing gear, rope outside the pack, and the side straps hold skis great. For bigger/long trips I have a BD Axis 33 (same good things as the Speed). If you need something bigger than the 33 you're doing something wrong. If you need something bigger than the 22 for a day trip, you're also probably doing something wrong. For ski mountaineering you MUST be both mega light and mega compact. I also have an Arcteryx Silo 18/30/40 - all of which are great packs, but I find the 22 to be a better size and the 33 to be a better size. If I really needed somthing big, the Silo 40 would probably be my choice, but I would probably reconsider what I was bringing and leave some stuff at home in order to get down to the 33. Both BD packs also have the small (but usable) gear loop on the hip belt (as does the Silo 30, but it's pretty pathetic for a gear loop).

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Hey thanks for the great tips. Size is dictated by the routes. Usually I'm looking for a 10-16 hour day, so it sounds like if it can take a rope outside the pack, ~25 is a good size.

 

Dave and JasonG, thanks for the BD and Arcteryx options, and I'll check them out. I like these companies but just for vanity and gearwhorishness, can you think of anything from a smaller company? Any dyneema options?

 

I'll check out the selkirk pack too Kevino.

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I have the silo 40. I bought it to carry more insulation when we moved out to the rockies. I get cold easily and i may also be "doing something wrong" but I find it about the right size to hold most my clothes (including a down parka) and two liters of water so I can skin up hill without sweating out.

 

I really like how it carries but it isn't quite as easy to stow skins or get skis on and off compared to my previous bd covert avalung pack.

 

Cilogears new ski packs look interesting but I would want to check out the avi tools/skin pocket and ski carry system. Dynafit and camp make some packs for rando racers that really well set up for fast transitions.

 

Instead of a nalgene do what rando racers do and use a bike bottle, platypus soft bottle or bottle with a straw (camp makes one or check out the "raidlight" bottle on amazon) on your shoulder strap. Some rando packs come with a holder or you can get neoprene one camelback makes for some added insulation.

 

I used to use a hydration tube but switched to the raidlight this winter as I couldn't keep the tube thawed on 10 F days. The raidlight is easier to keep warm (stuff the whole thing in your coat) and easier to clear off ice when the tube does freeze.

 

I might try the platy soft bottle next winter as i think it is lighter...I saw a gear list where a racer just had 4 of them in his pack so he could switch them out.

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I won a free Arcteryx Quintic 30 and used it all winter. It's a perfect day tripping ski mountaineering pack, and I couldn't beat the price.

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I have a Powderkeg 32 from Mile High Mountaineering that I really like. Lots of cool features great construction. Unfortunately it won't carry my splitboard in the A-frame mode (boards are about 1 cm too wide) but should carry 99% of the skis out there. Bought it new and used for a 2 hour tour. I would let it go for $100 if you are interested. Here is the info:

 

http://mhmgear.myshopify.com/products/powderkeg-32

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I really like the BD Revelation. It has an insulated hydration sleeve that I've had good luck with well below freezing. Doesn't have pockets for pickets, but I usually don't bring them on ski trips as I always have an axe or pole that could be deadmanned if need be.

 

I'm also in the market. RE: the Revelation: I assume the shovel goes in the back pocket, no?

 

Also - the velcro side straps. Any probs that them coming undone with skis+boots or no?

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I like my Osprey Variant 37 pretty well. It's not perfect, it has quite a few "features" but works great for ice cragging and ski tours. I have a BD Speed 30 from a few years ago that I like better, very simple and light, but it is not very durable and is starting to fall apart.

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I use an Osprey Variant 37 as well. I'm sure most single day pushes I could get by with a pack in the 20 liter range, but the pack cinches down well (you could leave the brain off too if you wanted). Others have detailed other packs to look into...Only issue I've had with this pack is it's not easy to get into any pockets with skis in A-frame (but is possible) and when fully packed for a 2+ night trip, don't try and look uphill with a helmet on. Not happening.

 

I've started carrying a .5L nalgene clipped to my shoulder strap with a biner. It's great... I'll fill it up at each stop after I've had a swig from my platapus inside, then I have quick water access on the go. It could still freeze, but is less susceptible than a camelbak hose given the larger amount of water and lower surface area etc. I've had it get slushy, but never freeze.

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I'm also in the market. RE: the Revelation: I assume the shovel goes in the back pocket, no?

 

Also - the velcro side straps. Any probs that them coming undone with skis+boots or no?

 

Yes, you need to take off the handle from the blade, but most should fit great (mine is a Voile T-wood). The shovel handle and probe have dedicated sleeves inside the back pocket. There is enough room for skins as well. Mine isn't an Avalung version, but it looks like that is all they sell now?

 

Also, mine doesn't have velcro on the straps, just standard buckles that tighten. Looks like the new ones are similar in the photo, but maybe there is a bit of velcro to keep the straps from flapping (hard to see on the website).

 

Great pack, I've used it for a couple seasons now and am impressed for the price point. $130 for the one I have online

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STP has some 35% off coupons floating around which would get you down to 75 bucks or so.

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I've been really happy with the Osprey Kode 30 I picked up two seasons ago.

 

Not a whole lot of extra BS straps and crap, nice division of wet and dry, tough as nails .. it worth taking a look at.

 

I must admit .. looking at the MHM PowderKeg 32 that mtndfndr suggests, which has some very similar design features to the Kode 30, makes me wish I'd known about it prior to making my purchase on the Osprey unit.

 

However, seeing that the PowderKeg 32 is almost double the cost of the Kode 30 ... my guess is that I would have stuck with the Osprey.

 

Good luck and sweet turns ...

Edited by wdietsch

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In my experience osprey packs don't hold up well when used with skis/crampons as they are frequently made of very light materials. Go for a pack either made of burly cordura or that has hypalon reinforcements ski/crampon attachment points. I've had some great luck with mountain hardware ski packs with such features. I also tend to favor packs with the cleanest possible exterior profile, which I think BD has been doing a great job with over the last couple years. Just my .02

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probably doing all sorts of things wrong (frankly i'm impressed with the pack sizes you mentioned Mr. Shultz) but I like the mammut trion guide for a overnighter size.

 

hear good things about the spindrift guide as well.. haven't had my hands on it.

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