Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    20

    overnight ski pack

    I am looking for a ski pack that works as an overnight pack as well as a bc skiing pack.

    Would work for 1-2 nights out. Used to haul in gear including sleeping and cook gear as well as BC like skins, shovel, probe, crampons and axe. Overnight gear is generally sleeping bag, bivy and pad.

    The problem here is finding a pack that is big enough to fit all this gear, but isn't so big it is uncomfortable to ski and hike with.

    Some options I am looking at are:
    Lowe Alpine Mountain Ascent 40:50
    Northface Cobra 60
    Northface Cobra 52
    Gregory Alpinisto
    Mountain Hardwear Direttissima 50

    Does anyone have any experiences with these packs? Can you recommend another?
    Is 50 liters enough?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cascades
    Posts
    422
    Whether 50 liters is enough or not depends on the size of your overnight gear. I have used a 40L pack with room to spare on late spring/early summer volcano trips with a single overnight, but I also have overnight gear biased more towards lightness than comfort. Any 50L pack should be sufficient for 1-2 nights if you have a reasonably small sleeping bag, shelter, and stove. A lot of 50L packs are going to feel like way too much pack for day touring, though.

    I have a friend with I Gregory Alpinisto, and it looks sweet. It's very comfortable and has all kinds of winter-themed features, which is all I know about it.

    I also have a friend with an Osprey Variant 52, from the first model run (2010-ish). I sold that pack to her after using it for about 5 years because I eventually took it on a few trips with stupidly heavy loads, and the Variant suspension was destroying my tailbone/bony hips. She likes it as a multiday ski pack, though.

    The 40L pack I used was the Cold Cold World Valdez, which is designed more as a climbing pack. I like that it is very well-made with bombproof materials, is very comfortable for technical climbing, and has almost all the features I want and no more. The main problem I have with that pack is that the waist belt is entirely ineffective for transferring load to your hips (since it's designed to stay out of the way of a harness); a padded waist belt and perhaps a slightly longer torso would be nice for trips that are biased more towards schlepping gear than roped shenanigans. The Valdez also doesn't have load lifters, and I'm still trying to decide if I miss those or not.

    I also have a 70L CCW pack, which carries heavy loads extremely well despite not having a rigid frame, but is much larger than you need. With that in mind, I would recommend the CCW pack in between those, the Chernobyl. Randy at CCW will do basic customizations, such as adding features from a different pack model, for a pretty small fee. The main downside to going with CCW (or another boutique pack brand) is that you are likely to wait much longer for the pack than if you buy from a bigger brand like those you mentioned.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    12,981
    McHale Little Big Pack

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,844
    I would use my Arcterxy bora 40 (on the heavy side but carries gear well ) which is not made anymore but a 40 with a floating top pocket/expandable top will work for a weekend imo/ime but of course it depends on what your idea of overnight is
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Couloirfornia
    Posts
    8,669
    Quote Originally Posted by DIYSteve View Post
    McHale Little Big Pack
    Seems like he makes wonderful stuff and I'd really like to try one of his packs sometime.

    But goddamn I wish he would modernize that website. Damned hard to navigate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Bozeman
    Posts
    719
    I just ordered a Cilogear 45 ski for springtime multiday trips, although it may not arrive for quite some time...

    The other contender I was looking at was the Hyperlite Ice pack, which I think you can get 20% off on backcountry right now. Both are more expensive than the ones you listed, but they're light and geared toward winter use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    20
    Great feedback. I'm adding these new packs to my list to look at.

    I tend to like a pack with a little more feature options like specific gear pockets over the superlight ones. I find the convenience to be a large advantage and I also appreciate a sturdier suspension system as I feel like it makes a heavy load carry better.

    Anyone with experience with the Northface Cobra or the Lowe Alpine Mountain Ascent?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    11,259
    Doesn't mystery ranch have something that would fit this bill?
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    123
    2nd cold cold world products, have used the Valdez and Chernobyl for years and really beat the hell out of them and are still going strong.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by LightRanger View Post
    But goddamn I wish he would modernize that website. Damned hard to navigate.
    Embrace it and disappear into the rabbit hole. There is a wealth of backpack knowledge on his website. The "Letter from Dan" tab is a great place to start.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    South Lake Tahoe
    Posts
    3,498
    I have used a cilo 45 (non ski version) with the shovel pocket add on and my BD Anarchist avalung for this. They both work great for short ski overnighters and cinch down well for day trips. I now have Bca float 32 that might work too. A float 42 definitely would.

    My m/l 55 L BD Anarchist Avalung is for sale, BTW. Pm me for more info.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    12,981
    Quote Originally Posted by permnation View Post
    Embrace it and disappear into the rabbit hole. There is a wealth of backpack knowledge on his website. The "Letter from Dan" tab is a great place to start.
    Dan is a master packbuilder, the best in the world AFAIK. He likes to give his packs cute names, e.g., Little Big Pack, SARChasm, Speed Bump, and that confuses some people. But it's not that complicated. Here's a brief primer:

    1. McHale packs are custom made for the user based on body measurements. Buyer chooses fabric, size and features. Most people I know who buy a McHale use if for a few trips, then say "I wish I would have bought one years ago."
    2. 2 kinds of belts: Guide belt for most uses. Critical Mass (CM) belt for very heavy loads.
    3. SARC packs (Guide belt) come in an wide range of sizes and features. Dan's numbers (33, 34, 36, etc.) refer to pack circumference in inches.
    4. Standard SARC packs are fixed height packs. Shoulder straps attach at top of pack stays. Custom fit so that shoulder straps gently break over traps with full load. They carry great, very comfy and super stable.
    5. Bypass straps/bayonet system aka "plug & go" aka "P&G" allows pack height to be extended above top shoulder strap anchor point. Bayonets connect to top of pack stay to extend height of pack. Bypass straps are anchored at bottom of shoulder strap (near hip belt) and run through tunnel in shoulder strap, attaching to top of Bayonet stay, allowing shoulder straps to gently wrap around shoulder while Bypass strap is in tension keeping pack close to back. Far superior to common "load lifter" straps fixed near top of shoulder strap.

    Some sort of fixed length SARC (e.g., Little Big Pack 36) is ideal for overnights and 3-day trips. Larger diameter pack or SARC P&G is nice for longer trips. See Dan's Ultra Light Alpine Pack page.

    IME, getting fitted and choosing pack size, fabric and features is easiest per an appointment with Dan, who is a bit N of Seattle, although he sells many (most?) packs via internet and mailing out sample packs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
    Posts
    722
    I have a full custom McHale pack which is amazing. It weighs like 3.4# stripped down & climbs well, but also carries 65# and about 80L comfortably when necessary.

    That said, I hardly ever use it any more. Mostly i use my Osprey Mutant 38. It's light & simple. If your gear is cutting edge you could do a couple of nights with 40ish L in winter, but 50 is prob more realistic.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Donner Summit
    Posts
    688
    I like my Deuter Rise Tour 45+. Carries well and big enough for a 3 day trip (for me at least) but cinches down nicely if you have less. Has a dedicated avy tool pocket unlike a lot of the more mountaineering oriented packs.

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