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Thoughts On Ski Packs

October 8, 2009
tags: ,

So I’m looking at buying a new day-touring pack this season. I’m basically decided on either the Osprey Kode 30 or 38, or the Osprey Variant 37. Here are my thoughts that I just put into a post on TTips (on what I want out of an ideal BC pack) that I thought I’d repost over here:

“Backpanel access isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker for me, but it’s a major plus. To me it’s more helpful on smaller packs when I’m lapping something and not skinning for long periods of time without stopping.

Weight is important too. Dakine packs often have a great feature set, but they’re heavy as shit–redundant straps and material that’s needlessly heavy.

Fit is obviously important. That’s why I haven’t bought a BD Avalung pack. I don’t know if I’m too tall (and I’m really not that tall) or what. I have an Avalung II, so that’s a non-issue. I’d rather deal with the mild annoyance of having to pull it off when I change a layer than dealing with a pack that doesn’t fit.

I’m rocking a Frenzy 18 (an older BD pack that fits) for slackcountry/short day tours and an Osprey Exposure 50 for overnights/ski-mountaineering stuff (this has essentially all the features hemas [TTips poster] mentioned except the avy tools pocket, but it still has a good shovel-carry and the probe goes in the wand slot easily).

I’m thinking I want to buy a new full-day pack (i.e. volume in between the two above) and I’m looking at the Osprey (because I know they fit and I trust the brand) Kode 30/38 and the Variant 37. The issue is whether I’d rather compromise the features I like for skiing (backpanel access, hipbelt pockets, dedicated tool pocket, helmet-carrier, insulated shoulder strap hydration sleeve) vs. the features I like for climbing (less weight, two tool carriers, removable hipbelt, gear loops on the hipbelt, maybe a removable foam backpanel piece for insulation, crampon pouch, closer fit). I’m thinking Kode 38, but still undecided.

That’s my pack thought process.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2009 5:25 PM

    The Variant 37 looks like the ticket IMHO. Seems like a great pack w/ great ski-specific options. I use the DaKaine Blade 30L for day trips – great construction but I agree it is on the heavier side. With that said, I have trimmed virtually everything unnecessary off of it (e.g., all the straps are cut shorter as the originals were excessively long).

    • grindingmygear permalink*
      October 20, 2009 5:37 PM

      Yeah, I’m still debating. It’s going to be either the V37 or the Kode 38.

      I really like the back-panel access and avy compartment on the Kode. The diagonal ski carry and helmet pocket are cool too. So are the hipbelt pockets.

      I may have to swing by Marmot at some point and check them both out. We only have the Kode 30 and Variant 52 at Concord.

  2. October 20, 2009 5:45 PM

    Regarding my first post, I actually meant to say the Kode, not Variant! This is the one I was talking about:

  3. grindingmygear permalink*
    October 20, 2009 5:47 PM

    Gotcha. Yeah, exactly. I’m thinking that’s the guy I want. But I still like the Variant for different reasons. Avy tool carry might be a deal-breaker though.

  4. December 3, 2009 9:48 PM

    Hit up the SF store for the Kode 38 (assuming they have it) and do the REI ‘rent til you own’ program

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