Adventure Projects is hiring an Android engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

The Winter Pack


Original Post
Gnomestyle McKinney · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 15

I need a new pack and I'm appealing to the collective knowledge here on mountain project for expert advice on what to buy. I will be using it for ice climbing and ski patrol. Here are my desired characteristics for this pack:

1) 25-40L. Internal gear will be a full EMT med kit + food and extra clothing (or ice climbing gear when not patrolling)
2) Separate pocket for snow shovel and probe
3) Dual ice axe carry
4) Lid (brain as I call it) to stash random, accessible stuff like a headlamp and another pocket for keys and phone
5) Side access (optional but desired) for access to medical supplies when packed on the side of the pack
6) Hip belt with at least one pocket
7) Hydro-pack compatible, ideally with insulated hose but that can be bought separately
8) Durability is desired as well as a daisy chain or 2 to strap random stuff to

Anybody advice?

Reginald McChufferton · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 0

I've had one of these for a little less than a year now. Probably the most comfortable climbing pack I've ever owned. Don't know how it'll hold up long term but mines seen a fair bit of abuse including a couple of epic back country skiing yard sales with it loaded to about 45-50 lbs.

Just looking online it looks like the new model for this year got rid of the outer expandable pouch. I thought I was gonna hate that thing but it now one of my favorite features of the pack. My only complaint about the thing is that the water bladder pouch inside is too damn small.

Kevin · · California · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 0

Get ahold of Randy at Cold Cold World and see if he has a shovel/probe pocket design or will work something up for you. A Valdez is just up your alley.

CiloGear meets your criteria, too. Their 30L would be ideal for you.

DannyUncanny · · Vancouver · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 100

I've got a north face patrol pack that fits all of those criteria except for dual tools. But that's an easy mod to make.

Superclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 1,435

my next pack will very likely be a Valdez.

harpo-the-climber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 300

Look at the Black Diamond Anarchist or Alias. The Anarchist is big enough for short overnighters and has back panel access. The Alias is smaller and doesn't have the zipper access. Both have a avi tool pocket, a brain, and an avalung option. Highly recomended.

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,759

I would say Black Diamond packs are not that bomber anymore and stay away unless maybe you need the integrated avalung. One brand that is often overlooked since it's Euro brand is Vaude. They are amazing packs (though maybe a bit weird looking), bomber, and decently priced.

Paul-B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 115

I have the BD Alias, great pack, has most of your desires. I have to agree with the previous poster, not that bomber. The ski carry system broke on my first trip out, pack was warrantied, but carry is wearing out again after only a couple of trips.

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

Get what fits best its that simple ;)

Gnomestyle McKinney · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 15

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm currently comparing the Vaude Sentinel 30+8, the millet peuterey 35, and the deuter guide 35+. Any opinions on these?

deuter.com/en_US/backpack-d…

montgear.com/gear-reviews/c…

vaude.com/de-DE/Produkte/Au…

Kilroywashere! London · · Harrisonburg, Virginia · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 285
mountainhardwear.com/Via-Ra…

awesome pack, has everything your looking for but the hip pockets, its just a smaller version of the direttissima which is an amazing pack.
cjon3s · · Sterling, VA · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 5

I have the Deuter and it's pretty awesome. I use it for cragging, but the materials are bomber. It easily holds a full 60m rope in its tarp, my full trad + sport rack, harness, shoes, chalk, lunch, and a layer. It has side zip access and the lid raises to give extra space. The axe attachment seems solid as does the ski carry system. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it.

No separate pocket for shovel however.

gcap · · Tuxedo, NY · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 25

Couple to add:

Osprey Varient
no side zip or hip belt pocket though. what they call the 'crampon compression pocket' holds a shovel blade well. wand pocket works for for probe and handle

REI Pinnacle
Might be slightly larger than you want, but pretty much everything you're asking for. Check out the 37L too - roll top, no top lid.

Wade J. · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 25
DannyUncanny wrote:I've got a north face patrol pack that fits all of those criteria except for dual tools. But that's an easy mod to make.
I have one as well, the 34L. You can fit two ice tools through the single loop. Fits all your criteria besides that, even has side access. It's a comfy pack.

rei.com/product/836612/the-…
NickinCO · · colorado · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 155
Kilroywashere! wrote:http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Via-Rapida%E2%84%A2-35/OU4056,default,pd.html awesome pack, has everything your looking for but the hip pockets, its just a smaller version of the direttissima which is an amazing pack.
+1 for that or the direttissima (46L).
Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 229
gcap wrote:Couple to add: Osprey Varient no side zip or hip belt pocket though. what they call the 'crampon compression pocket' holds a shovel blade well. wand pocket works for for probe and handle
What the Osprey Variant does have is real gear loops on the waist belt. Useful if you ever have to climb while wearing the pack over a harness (or for glacier travel where you need to have crevasse rescue gear handy).

It also holds a lot more than its stated size (37l or 52l).
kevino · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 0

I went on a similar search to you recently, lots of feedback here:

ski mountaineering pack

If you get that vaude i'll be interested to hear more about it. Like I said in that thread, I went with the handmade custom fit canadian pack. The owner/only worker, Neil, communicates very good via e-mail and can do custom work if you desire.

With that being said, I'd go to cold cold world for my next alpine climbing pack.

And for what its worth, I really like cilogear packs for climbing, but found they are unsuitable for skiing.

Richard88 · · Sheridan, WY · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 65
kevino wrote:I went on a similar search to you recently, lots of feedback here: ski mountaineering pack If you get that vaude i'll be interested to hear more about it. Like I said in that thread, I went with the handmade custom fit canadian pack. The owner/only worker, Neil, communicates very good via e-mail and can do custom work if you desire. With that being said, I'd go to cold cold world for my next alpine climbing pack. And for what its worth, I really like cilogear packs for climbing, but found they are unsuitable for skiing.
Really? I really like my cilogear 30l worksack for skiing. When I bought it I also bought the shovel pocket and have been extremely pleased ever since. I guess that's proof that everyone has their own preferences.
akafaultline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 225

I would go for the arc'teryx silo 40-Ive used mine extensively and it has held up very well. It doesnt have a floating lid nor hip belt pockets but otherwise a great pack. It does carry gear well and has the ice tool holders or you can use them for shovels. And the interior is a bright yellow so you can see your gear in low light. It is hydration compatible.

The material is similar to the modern bora 80-so very durable. And the roll top makes it very weather resistant-never had anything wet for me atleast.

milesholland Holland · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 0

I've been using the black diamond axis 33 recently. It has everything your looking for except for the separate avy tools pocket. Also, it doesnt have a typical hood, but it has straps/flaps that can secure stuff to the top of your pack like ropes, helmets and tents. Worth checking out at least

Bill Sacks · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 395
gcap wrote:Couple to add: Osprey Varient no side zip or hip belt pocket though. what they call the 'crampon compression pocket' holds a shovel blade well. wand pocket works for for probe and handle REI Pinnacle Might be slightly larger than you want, but pretty much everything you're asking for. Check out the 37L too - roll top, no top lid.
I wouldn't recommend the REI Pinnacle. As a matter of fact, I haven't had good luck with my past two REI packs and I recently bought an Osprey Variant 52 to replace it. Hopefully I am more satisfied with the Osprey, I've heard good things. The zipper on the front of the Pinnacle tore and jammed up on me. Also, one of the haul loops on the front of the pack randomly fell off.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "The Winter Pack"
in the Climbing Gear Discussion

Log In to Reply