/ Skiing/ski touring rucksack

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Denni on 08 Dec 2012
Afternoon folks,
I have always been one of these people that doesn't need to have a specific sack for every activity but last year my mountaineering rucksack just didn't cut it when I was skiing. Most of the skiing was off piste and all my off kit was just rattling around in my sack and it wasn't massively comfortable.

This year I've sold some kit off to buy a specific skiing/touring sack so any suggestions? 2 of my friends have the Ortovox Haute Route 35 and one has a Deuter something or other, 30 litres.

What size do you recommend? Usual safety kit, shovel, probe, spare kit, scran etc to go in so I was thinking a 30/35 litre one? Will also be used when doing standard piste skiing as well.

All advice appreciated. Hope you're all having a good day.
davy_boy - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: whats your mountaineering pack ? i use my podsacs alpine 40 for everything in the winter always found it good for touring but then i never go to far. might be to big for piste skiing but i never use one on piste.
Doug on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: day trips or hut to hut multi-day trips ?
Denni on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to davy_boy:

Hi mate, was using a Crux 37. I want something a bit more compartmentalised to stash things rather than having to dig around inside.

Doug, mostly long day trips I reckon, maybe the odd overnighter? If it is overnight, then I won't need to carry bucketloads of kit as the huts I was using in Norway had all the kit there.
davy_boy - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: 30l - 40l would work for me, iv got a bigger rucksack with a seperate compartment in the bottom but havent seen anything like this on smaller sacks. might be worth going to a shop and trying a few out see if anything takes your fancy.
Denni on 08 Dec 2012
Martin W on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to : Noticed this http://tinyurl.com/cv3t6ue just the other day. Might be a bit big for you at 40l but does have a separate compartment within the main body of the sac, plus a slot for shovel blade & tunnel pockets for shovel handle & probe.

Or something like this: http://eu.dakine.com/p/ski/packs/mens/arc-34l perhaps? The Dakine packs tend to have the shovel & probe carry features on the outside, so keeping the overall size of the pack down for when you're just piste skiing. (I use a Nevisport copy of an old Dakine 20l design for both piste cycling and cycling, it works very well.)

I'd also agree with davy_boy that the Podsacs Alpine 40 should be OK for ski touring. If the 40l is too large then they do a 30l as well: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=2961
Dave Kerr - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

Cheap and cheerful: Berghaus Arete 35.

Just make sure it has proper ski carrying straps, fixed at bottom and quick release buckle at top. Others are workable but much less convenient.
Calski - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: I use a BCA Stash 35 which is great - very comfortable with a load and great pockets for separating kit. One of the best features I have found is the bladder system - the hose runs inside the shoulder strap so doesn't freeze.

Regards, Calski
mike123 - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:
might be a bit small for you, but:
open to offers
Kimberley on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

Mammut Trion Guide 35+ 7 or 45+ 7 does it all year round.

Make sure you get the newer version with horseshoe front pocket for shovel, the previous version was ok but not as goo

try trek inn.com
girlymonkey - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:
I was looking at this one the other day and thought it looked really good. Should suit your needs?
blurty - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Calski:

Another vote for BCA

I found using my (relatively lightweight)climbing pack with skis on difficult - they waved around and got caught on things when booting up climbing bits. Got a BCA and there are couple of clever ways to carry skis, it all feels very stable
Denni on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to blurty:

Cheers for all the replies folks, much appreciated. Mike, little too small capacity fo me but cheers for the offer.

Had a look at a couple today in Decathlon that were good but back length a wee bit too small.

Our neighbour has a BCA one which is an old model but looks really good. I'll need to go and have a look at a few as the ones I have on my try on list only come in on back size which is frustrating.

Thanks again, Den
Edradour - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

I've got one of these. It's brilliant and I used it in the Alps last summer and it performed fine there too (as you would expect - it's just a bag after all, you put stuff in it to carry). Lots of well thought out features, the best of which is the fact that you can unzip the entire back and get at everything:


macinboots - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:
I use a deuter guide 35 which i find really stable while skiing and i do like the side zip to the main pack rather than faffing with the clips. The lid extends so hut trips have been no problem.

I have always used sacks with ski attachments on the side but i notice a lot more these days with the cross the back attachment, what are peoples thoughts on these? I regularly climb(to grade III) with skis on sack and have to walk 30mins up to the snow and have not found side attachments a problem. I can see that the cross method will be quicker but is that the only advantage?
ben b - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: These are fantastic, but the NZD vs GBP exchange rate means you would have to re-mortgage the house... The slightly square cut is to allow them to be packed with plastic milk bottles full of explosive for avvy control work.


Mrs B has an Osprey, but it's quite heavy and rather fiddly - the zipped openings don't work particularly well, and it's just too full of slightly useless compartments for ease of use. They don't make it any more though so I would hope the newer ones have learnt the lesson.

The Black Diamond ski packs are pretty good and last years models often available at a good discount.


Denni on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to ben b:

Cheers again folks. Am loving the Cactus patrol pack! I have some of their troos and all their kits seems well thought out.

Does your other half have the Switch? Have seen a few people recommend them on the net and they seem relatively cheap.

I do like BD packs and they come in different lengths so may have a look see.

Thanks again.
ben b - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: The Patrol Pack is indeed another "dreadnought" if you like the trousers then I think you will be on the right track...

It was a Switch ?25+5? or similar. Looks great from a distance, bit of a pain in the backside to actually use.

Happy hunting

Cuthbert on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

North Face Off Chute is excellent. I have one and it's packed with features without being cluttered. Tough also.
In reply to Denni: Or James has one of these, but it's not compartmentalised, but looks great:

Denni on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

Thanks for that. The Off Chute is on my list of sacks to have a look at. Looks fairly robust and has all the bits and bobs I'm after.

Had a look on youtube and there are a few good vids showing it which is always helpful.
Denni on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

how are you matey? I tried to text you a couple of months back but my beloved daughter has somehow managed to swap contacts and numbers around on the phone so apologies if you didn't get it!

I have a good friend in BATUS at the mo so that looks a possibility and mymate Jules in Canmore is always happy sending me kit so I might just get him to have a look.

Hope life up north is treating you well and the little un isn't keeping you awake!
Cuthbert on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

it's also cheaper than some of the others. I shopped about a lot and then just bought this one. I've used it on the piste and lots of touring. Takes an axe and shovel really well and the attachment for skis is excellent.
Denni on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

Thanks again. I think the imbuggerance may be the back length as it is just the one size which is frustrating. Will try one on loaded up and see.
Slugain Howff - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

Osprey Kode 38. A well designed ski touring pack which is worth a look.

Frank4short - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: Personally I'm a big fan of the dakine heli packs. They come in 2 different sizes to suit your desired use. However they come with a diagonal ski carry system as opposed to an A-frame which I personally prefer though it's not to everyone's preference.
Shearwater - on 10 Dec 2012
Is it just me, or does "ski pack" seem to translate as "heavy box-shaped thing with straps and pretty colours" to most manufacturers?

If your spare kit is quite compressible and you're not taking crampons you might get away with a smaller bag. This'll be dead useful for piste skiing cos you won't have to take it off every time you load a lift. I've got a Mammut RAS 22l for the coming season; its a squeeze but all the important stuff goes in. Bit of a heavy box, though, and only has diagonal carry.

I've not looked at the Kode, but the Osprey Variant isn't all bad... fair bit lighter, too.

Incidentally, one feature you might want to look out for is 'back panel access' which'll let you rummage around inside even when you're doing an A-frame ski carry and can't get to the normal top opening.
Denni on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Shearwater:

Hi mate,
thanks for the post.
Not planning on taking crampons, just looking to skin up fairly decent slopes and have a wee ski down or up, across a few hilltops and then down.

It would need to have a U shaped type opening for the main compartment and prefer an A frame carry.

galpinos on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

What I have:

Small Pack (14L) – Osprey Switch 14 circa 2003/4
“Big” Pack (35L) – Black Diamond Revelation circa 2006/7

I use the Switch for lift served off-piste and short hikes/tours that don’t need a rope (i.e. non-glaciated). For everything else, pretty much, I use the Revelation. Splitting my shovel and probe off from the main compartment was a god-send the one time I actually had to use them in anger. Being able to grab shovel and probe quickly without losing the contents of my rucksack made a big difference. The back panel access is great (as a poster said above) when in a-frame carry and it’s been used for day tours, hut-to hutting and 2 weeks ski touring in Greenland. The new version looks a bit jazzier and less robust than the old version though.
Cuthbert on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to galpinos:

Great offer here from Glen Coe: http://crankitupgear.blogspot.co.uk/
Denni on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

Its rather weird that you just posted that link, I have just come back from trying an Arva Rescuer on, excellent rucksack but only the one size which is disappointing.

Also tried on an Osprey Kode, bloody excellent piece of kit that is. They had a demo with full avalanche kit, spare kit and a variety of skis/boards to try it on with. Think I may have become smitten with a rucksack!
Denni on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

Back size I meant.
RockShock on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> Its rather weird that you just posted that link, I have just come back from trying an Arva Rescuer on, excellent rucksack but only the one size which is disappointing.

You refer to size of the shoulder pads etc (ie, S, M, L and the likes) or the backpack capacity?
If the second: Rescuer comes in two sizes: 22 and 27 litres. Difference is that the 22L has the emergency pocket on the 'outside' side, and the 27L has the pocket on the inside (ie touching your back).

I just got 27L one, as on first sight it makes a decent impression (plus I bought the whole set: pack, beacon, shovel and probe). However, I read on the forums that the pack is not too resistant to use and the fabric gets damaged pretty easily. That surprised me as I'd expect good performance from the relatively hefty (circa 1.2kg I think) pack like this - so I'll see how it develops over time.


Denni on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock:

Hi mate,
I meant back size. Maybe I've been misinformed but the one I tried on today was a "one size fits all" and the lady said that was the only size.

Is she wrong then?
Cheers, Den
RockShock on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

She was right, as far as I know, both 22L and 27L come in one size. For me that works, but I am fairly 'typically' built, so never had issues with backpacks, clothing etc...
Denni on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock:

Shame really as they are good rucksacks.
I'm 6ft 3 and always need a longer back length.
Still the Osprey Kode looks good.
Young Fox on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

Back Country Access Stash OB 22 for day use and 32 for touring. You wont get better. I confess that I do sell them so I am biased www.crankitupgear.com

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