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samski360

CiloGear 30z Ski Pack Review

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I picked up one of CiloGear's relatively new 30z ski packs a few weeks ago. There's not much online about the pack so I figured I would shell out my two cents. The link below is to my blog. I wrote up a review with my first impressions (including photos of the shovel pocket and that sort of thing). I'll be posting an updated review after I get a few more tours with the pack (maybe next week?) Let me know if you have any questions about it.

 

http://kickturner.blogspot.com/2013/06/0-false-18-pt-18-pt-0-0-false-false.html

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Thanks for the detailed review! A couple questions/thoughts:

 

No insulated hydration sleeve? This seems problematic for the winter.

 

Only one snack pocket on the hip belt?

 

Seems like the wet stuff is packed with the rest of your stuff, without a way to get to it separately from the rest of your gear? Can you cram skins in that same pouch with the shovel?

 

Personally I much prefer the style of the BD Revelation. But, like most good packs, they've stopped making the non Avalung version. Still, you can find them online for not much. A little bigger than the Cilo pack, but I've found it often welcome when carrying an SLR and climbing gear. I've had it for a few years, and I've yet to see anything I like better. It's a fantastic ski pack.

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I have the 30z and have about ten days on it so far.

 

No insulated hydration sleeve? This seems problematic for the winter.

No, and I prefer it that way. Everyone has bladders of different size and in summer why carry insulation you don't need. You can wrap a bladder in a down vest or something else that has dual use in winter.

 

Only one snack pocket on the hip belt?

Yes, and I find it a bit annoying as my right arm hits it. I can't bear to cut it off so I'm trying to get used to it. Handy place for nav gear for me.

 

Seems like the wet stuff is packed with the rest of your stuff, without a way to get to it separately from the rest of your gear? Can you cram skins in that same pouch with the shovel?

Avy gear is only wet if you have to use it which hopefully is never. Yes you can cram skins in there, but I prefer to keep them in a front pack where they are easy to get to.

My only beef about putting avy gear inside is if you have to get to it you'll have to peel gloves/mittens first so you can operate the zipper that holds the brain down. It's fairly well protected by a weatherproof cover and not real easy to grab.

 

Overall it is very burly and appears to be more weatherproof with the permanent brain that peels back with a covered zipper.

However, this makes the zipper somewhat hard to get to under the cover and this design doesn't allow for cinching things down like the typical Cilogear pack which has a drawstring on top underneath a removable brain. I'm starting to get used to this.

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Well, I was talking an insulated sleeve for the hose as it travels down the shoulder strap. I've never had the bladder itself freeze in the pack, but hoses are an entirely different story in the winter.

 

"Front pack" for skins? Like a separate pack?

 

I often use my shovel on tours, it comes in handy to investigate the snow pack- but I've never had to dig anyone out, thankfully.

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I always blow the water back out of the tube and into the bladder after drinking, so there is nothing in the tube to freeze.

Yes, I carry a separate front pack to hold things I access frequently.

Yeah if you regularly dig pits (I don't) then you'll need to wipe shovel dry before sticking it down in the pack as the material in the pocket is not waterproof so any moisture will soak through to other parts of the pack.

When I took Avy 1 we were taught to keep avy gear outside the pack where it could be immediately accessed, but I have heard they are teaching differently now - not sure what the reasoning is, but I am happy to have the clutter off the outside of the pack and not have to worry about things falling off, catching on tree branches, etc.

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Interesting to see why there are a range of ski packs made. To each, their own . .. .

 

Over the years, there were enough avalanches where the surviving members' avi gear was ripped from the outside of their packs to warrant the change in instruction. Pack designers took heed as well, making for an easy change in behavior.

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Thanks for the review. I'm interested to see if your thoughts / expectations have changed post Shasta.

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Hey all, I didn't realize this thread had gotten activity! Thanks PCG for fielding questions. I'm heading up Mt. Washington Saturday and I'll post my updated review early next week. Maybe I'll see some of you good folks out there?

 

So far the lack of insulated hydration sleeve hasn't been a issue for volcano season. I have always been skeptical of insulated sleeves anyway.

 

For me the Avy gear pocket is great, though I wouldn't mind it in an internal pocket on the outside of the pack (a la the BD alias). Sandwiching soft gear between the back panel and avy gear has always produced the best compression for me.

 

The reasoning for having the avy gear inside the pack is to avoid any of it getting lost if YOU are taken for a ride. Shovels, probes or anything else are likely to be lost if they are attached to the outside of your pack. In a multiple burial situation, you might be called to help search for someone else after your buddies have pulled you out.

 

CiloGear also offers an aftermarket shovel/probe pocket that attaches to the outside of your pack. If you like a different model that they make and want to be able to transition the pack from alpine/rock to alpine/ski, then maybe thats the solution for you. Or if you want your avy gear on the outside of the pack.

 

As PCG mentioned, the hip pocket is the weakest part of the design. I have a whole bunch of gripes about it. It might be worth asking Graham to throw in the standard 30L worksack hipbelt instead of the 30z hipbelt if you order. Or maybe they will fix the hip pocket design before next season.

 

 

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