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A timeless ski patrol pack with revolutionary fabric and a versatile carry system.
Refreshed and revitalized for fall, the Arc'teryx Khamski 48 Backpack is catching the eyes and interest of snow patrollers, touring enthusiasts, and backpack geeks everywhere. It also already won an ISPO award. It is lightweight and stable, waterproof and durable, and offers more options than many new cars. Whether you patrol in Little Cottonwood Canyon (UT), explore Montana backcountry, or spend the weekends hiking, you'll be glad the Khamski 48 shoulders the load comfortably and gracefully.
The body consists of two different fabrics to provide a lightweight, waterproof, and durable shield for your gear. The front consists of 420D ACT nylon fabric treated on both sides with urethane, creating an impermeable barrier for air and water, while the remainder of the pack is constructed from durable 420D plain weave nylon. Removable aluminum M-bar stays offer versatile, lightweight stability; keep the stays in when you're schlepping a heavy load up the mountain and need support, or take them out when you're off on a day hike and your lunch doesn't weight 40 pounds.
Despite being a generous (and expandable) 48 liters, the Khamski pack could be a puppy given how close it stays to your body due to AC2 construction. Advanced Composite Construction takes high-density polyethylene foam and a quick-dry back panel, and fuses it to the durable front fabric. The end result is a lightweight, stable, and sleek pack. Spacermesh and Hypercell foam shoulder straps are the icing on the backpack cake, providing moisture management and a custom fit.
If the Khamski were a cupcake, there would be sprinkles galore. Carry your skis diagonally or in the traditional A-frame formation. Organize away with the numerous and varied pocket options: secret pocket inside bottom of pack, snow science pocket along the side, front kangaroo/shovel pocket, removable lid storage with zippered compartment, plus the entire main compartment.
- Advanced Composite Construction
- Spacermesh and Hypercell foam shoulder straps
- Removable 6005-T6 extruded aluminum M-bar stays
- Top loading, double-pull easy open cordlock
- Removable lid, extendable collar
- 420D ACT fabric, waterproof and airtight
- A-frame or diagonal ski/split board carry
Share your thoughts
Not as Great as I'd Hoped
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
1. Not Hydration Hose Capable
Many skiers like hydration hoses because it's easy to take a drink without taking your gloves off, rummaging through your bag, and messing up carefully-packed items (this is especially important for a pack such as the Khamski 48, which is meant for multi-day ski traverses, and in which items are often carefully arranged). Also, as you drink, the bladder deflates and space opens up in the bag.
2. Velcro Straps Slide off the Stays
This is a significant flaw. After hiking or skiing for only a few minutes, the velcro straps slide off the aluminum stays. This is quite frustrating as I have to constantly stop and try to re-align the velcro straps, but they keep sliding off. Did I get a lemon? Or are all Khamskis this way?
3. Avvy Gear Compartment Hard to Access
You can't access the avvy gear compartment without undoing the buckles that attach to the top-loading lid. This defeats the whole purpose. I should be able to quickly access the my avvy gear (with gloves or mitts) without opening anything else on the pack. Other packs do this (such as the North Face Patrol) but not the Khamski. This is a big design flaw.
4. Bad Ski Carry
Since you only end up carrying skis on your pack on really steep terrain, it is very important to get the ski carry right. Unfortunately the Khamski centres the attachment point for the skis, when really they should be diagonally carried. As a result the skis bang against the back of your legs. The North Face Patrol pack is much better in this regard (it attaches off to one side, making it a much better diagonal ski carry).
5. No Option For Strapping Extra Gear to Pack
Would be nice to be able to strap extra gear to the outside of the pack. On the Silo 40, for example, you can strap a rope to the outside of the pack. You can't do that with this pack.
How to store your crampons on this pack
I struggled to find the best way to store my crampons in (or on) this pack when touring. There's an adjustable clip strap that comes up over the main compartment pack closure (but under the lid) that I previously thought was useless until I took my ice axe and crampons. This is what I came up with.
My new favourite pack!
Whilst it's primarily a ski touring pack, I also use it inbounds as it cinches up quite flat when not bulked out.
Out on the Razorback
Out splitboard touring on the Razorback near Mt Hotham, Australia
Are the Aframe\compression straps opposing?...
Are the Aframe\compression straps opposing? As in can they be used to carry a snowboard vertically? Are they long enough to reach the opposing buckle?
Reid, not quite long enough to carry a snowboard vertically, at least with a decent amount of gear in the pack. I use this pack split boarding so whenever I have to boot it, I split the board and a-frame. I had a nasty experience doing this the other day when someone mis-took me for a skier!!! Seriously though, If you're talking about a solid board, there's 3 choices:
1 - horizontal under the pack closure straps (which probably aren't designed for this load and could fatigue rather quickly); or
2 - horizontal between your back under the shoulder straps and the pack; or
3 - Macgyver a vertical solution with 2 ski straps (you'd probably want 24 inch straps).
I'll take some photos and post an update for you soon.
Thank you Richard, I splitboard fulltime, there are just some situations where carrying in a solid is a fast option out of a hairy situation.
Is this bag small enough to be taken on a...
Is this bag small enough to be taken on a plane as a carry on? I know they make a 38 liter too but I'd rather have the 48 liter if possible. Also just to be accurate, according to the size chart, I'd be a regular.
A 35-38 is about the limit on a plane, so I can't imagine you'd get by with a 48. You could just choose to not fill it and cinch it down to a smaller size -- or, fill it but have a big part of the contents in a duffel that you can remove for under your seat and/or gate check.
I used it as carry on travelling around the USA with no problems, maybe don't fill it up to bursting point though. I even fit it into the overhead locker on a Dash 8 (small commuter turboprop) with the application of some force!
Any women using this pack? How far apart...
Any women using this pack? How far apart are the shoulder straps?
Would this pack carry weight pretty well?...
Would this pack carry weight pretty well? For example, a 70meter rope, 20 quickdraws, lunch, water, and extra layers. Or would the Kea 45 be better suited for that task?
Should work great for that. The pockets and design are more focused on skiing than climbing, but it'll handle the weight well.
Angus is spot on, this pack is for ski mountaineering. For that reason look to a more climbing orientated pack. Anything over 35L will be enough for that amount of gear. Personally I like the Osprey Variant 37 and the Black Diamond Speed series. That said, the Black diamond Epic 45 will fit all that gear and has their Ergoactive suspension that pivots with your hips and shoulders while hiking, making it very comfortable to carry heavy loads.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I really dig this bag, it handles all my needs.
The fabrics are great, very durable and waterproof.
The extra compartment for shovel and everything is essential for me.
Ice axe carrying system works well.
Side sipper access is great, I need that in a bag over 30 l, otherwise what you need is always on the bottom.
I find that the straps are too long and have either cut some shorter or used a velcro piece to keep them organized. Otherwise in a windy moment you can get slapped.
Color is also great.