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Featured Image: Drew Clark
Welcome to a special Buyer’s Guide feature from FREESKIER. Here’s a close-up look at the best ski packs of the year. Click here to explore the entire 2021 FREESKIER Buyer’s Guide.
Black Diamond Cirque 22 Ski Vest
The all-new Cirque 22 melds the capacity of a day pack with the low-profile versatility of a utility vest. Internal storage can be separated to organize essential rescue gear while removable helmet and diagonal ski-carry systems allow total customization for the uphill. Easy-to-access skin pocket on the lower back and collapsible front chest pockets are thoughtful touches. The Dynex body material ensures durability—Dynex ripstop yarns are ten times stronger than steel by weight—and keeps the Cirque 22 lightweight for hard use, not just hitting a vape on the lifts.
Scott Mountain Pack 35L
The Mountain Pack bridges the storage gap between big days, multi-day hut trips and light overnights, with a sleek outer construction concealing multiple internal pockets. Avalanche gear fits in its own easily accessible compartment closest to the front, separate from a deep main area with enough room for a couple days’ worth of supplies. External hitches, including dedicated straps for A-frame or diagonal ski-carrying as well as helmet and ice axe straps, save coveted dry space inside for an extra layer or other necessities within this pack’s protective polyamide external fabric.
Backcountry Access Stash 30 Backpack
If you’re not sure where the winter season will take you—day trips, resort laps or overnight tours—the Stash 30 is a do-it-all option for the do-it-all skier. It features multiple ski-carry options, a dedicated rescue equipment pocket, compression straps for a close fit, outer tool and gear slings, ripstop nylon exterior and drain holes, and the whole deal is lighter than a six-pack of your favorite beer. Quick over-the-shoulder access to hydration will ensure you stay quenched and compatibility with BC Link radios makes certain you’ll stay in cahoots with your crew all day long.
Ortovox Free Rider 28
Optimizing functionality was top-of-mind when Ortovox designed this carbon-neutral pack, implementing minimalist design for unencumbered movement. Oversized hip belts and an easy-to-use compression system streamline the pack against your body and its brightly colored interior makes it easier to sift through your stash in the field. Featuring diagonal and A-frame ski straps, two axe fixations, a helmet net, rope fastenings and separate rescue tool pocket, everything has a place. Insert the optional spine-protector made of Sas-Tec foam to cushion against nasty tomahawks.
Db The Duplex 70L
Tried and tested by athletes Michelle Parker and Nikolai Schirmer, The Duplex is engineered to replace shapeless “black hole” duffels. Thanks to its dual-compartment design with integrated, zippered mesh pockets, you can say sayonara to haphazard packing—but organizing your gear is just half story. Hauling this pack couldn’t be easier: Ergonomic shoulder/sternum straps ensure it sits comfortably and, for longer walks through the airport, it can be easily hooked up to any of Db’s roller bags. Its 100-percent recycled extra-tough nylon outer fabric is primed for big excursions
Arc’teryx Rush SK 32
The all-new Rush SK 32 squeezes plenty of storage space into a small enough volume for day travel or backcountry tours. Constructed with tear-proof ripstop nylon with taped seams and waterproof zippers, its outer materials hold strong against sideways storms and mid-winter blower. Carry skis in a diagonal or A-frame position; stow avalanche rescue equipment in its own accessible pocket; and keep your goggles safe in their own soft-lined pocket. Comfortable, lightweight, durable and built with Bluesign-certified materials, the Rush SK simplifies single-mission days.
Dakine Poacher RAS 18L
Thanks to its intentional, low-profile fit and airbag compatibility, this Poacher is an ideal side- or backcountry day pack with sufficient room for avalanche safety gear and other essentials. Diagonal storage for skis, front helmet attachment loops, plenty of external straps and secure pockets for poles, tools, goggles, food, hydration and communication equipment leave no stone unturned. The 100-percent recycled, nylon face fabric makes the Poacher RAS 18L an ecologically responsible choice that’s best suited as a daily driver for resort laps, single-objective missions or dreamy heli-skiing trips.
RMU Core Pack 35L
Take the Core Pack anywhere—from skiing to climbing, a road trip, jet setting adventure or the daily commute. This heavy-duty, thick-skinned bag makes a good choice for the multi-sport athlete jumping from one activity to the next. Avalanche gear, snow equipment, ropes, hydration and valuables all claim their own place, while the coated nylon exterior and aluminum buckles keep everything tightly under wraps. Compact dimensions make sure the Core fits in overhead compartments and tight travel spaces marking it as an ideal go-to for globe-trotting skiers anywhere in the world.