Hoping for something that's >60l capacity, <2kg weight and has straps (and hopefully side panel reinforcements) for an a-frame ski carry. Internal frame preferable. Wouldn't really be used outside of snowy season.
I've had a bit of a look around the internets and not turned up a vast amount of stuff... the Blue Ice Yeti 60 (which has a big main compartment zip, which isn't ideal), the Cilogear 45Z Ski Pack (don't know how easily it expands, bit expensive, manufaturer a bit overrated), and the Cold Cold World Chaos (no frame).
The ski carry seems to be the real problem, but its a must-have.
In reply to Shearwater: Macpac Ascent ? - slightly over 2kg but good solid sacs (I've used one for ski touring for years, including multiday trips in the Alps & the Rockies - the later with food & fuel for 10 days)
Doug: I'm very keen to keep the weight down... my winter camping setup already tends to be a bit heavier than I'd really like! That extra half-kilo goes a long way on a tent, for example.
KellyKettle: That AK70 seems to be out of stock in normal-person-size pretty much everywhere. That nice, lightweight, unobtrusive hip-belt would be wasted on me, as I'm more of a hiker than a climber. Maybe it would be possible to swap in a more comfy hipbelt from a different manufacturer though.
ice.solo: I'd looked at the MHW site and scanned through a few of their bags and totally missed that one. It looks pretty good... few grumpy reviews, but it sounds like it would suit my needs. Seems pretty hard to get hold of in the EU though... I can only find one for sale in medium, from Trekinn, who I'd rather avoid if there were alternatives.
Carolyn: don't care about quick release. If I have to carry a big bag, I shan't be hurrying anywhere ;-) Pod make some nice gear, but it is a little heavier than I'd like. Stripping it down to a beltless, frameless sack doesn't really help me either.
What exactly do you mean by ski carry then? Just about any 60 ltr mountain oriented pack can probably carry skis in A shape just fine. I'd done that plenty with my old Macpac Ascent and various other packs.
My current big pack - which I bought mainly for backpacking with kids - does have the upper compression strap on a quick release buckle which makes strapping skis to it pretty easy. It's an Osprey Kestrel 68 and its lighter than your 2 kg requirement. They're also pretty cheap for big packs too. www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/kestrel_68 You could probably fit a snow shovel in the front stretch pocket too - although that's not what its designed for.
> (In reply to Shearwater)
> What exactly do you mean by ski carry then?
I suspect we were talking about different things. When I think about quick release ski straps, I'm thinking about the skimo things that Dynafit and Camp et al use. Apologies for the confusion.
You make a reasonable point about just using compression straps, however, so long as the side panels aren't too delicate and there aren't any mesh pockets that might not survive many brushes with a burred edge.
I was thinking similarly to Toby - my old Macpac just has compression straps on the side, which don't have a releasable buckle on, but it's possible to slide skis into from the top and set up an A-carry. I think the new ones may have standard releasable buckles, though - I had a look a year or two back, although was probably looking at slightly smaller sacs.
But it is worth checking they're actually long enough to get the binding through to the level you need it reasonably easily, particularly once rucsac is fully packed. Can be a tight squeeze with touring bindings, and on at least one of my sacs it's just that bit too short, so seems fine in the shop, or even when first setting off from the car, but too much faff once you have cold hands, gloves on, and everything's covered in a layer of snow.