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Arc'teryx designers poured untold amounts of energy into perfecting the lowered, wide, and flat shape of the Quintic 38L Backpack. This shape specifically accommodates the movement patterns of skiers and snowboarders. Stable and predictable when fully loaded with your avalanche safety gear and winter kit, this bag serves as the ideal companion for medium-range backcountry tours and skin treks that are a little closer to home.

  • Hypurcel foam and LD60 foam back panels cushion your upper and lower back in order to reduce stress under heavy loads
  • Low, wide, flat, streamlined shape keeps the bag's center of gravity as close to your body's center mass as possible so the bag moves with you while you ski or ride
  • Horizontal frame stays help this pack retain its shape, provide additional support for heavy loads, and improve frame strength
  • Side zip access allows you to reach into the main compartment while you're on the move
  • Top pocket designed specifically to hold skins and goggles for quick access
  • Tool kit compartment loads from the top and offers individual sleeves for each item
  • Highly durable shell materials resist heavy abrasion and punctures
  • Hydration hose slit and internal reservoir pocket makes it simple to carry water and route your hydration system (water bladder not included)
  • External carry straps offer multiple configurations for carrying skis or a snowboard
  • Helmet attachment accommodates either a full-face or half-shell helmet
  • Internal and external zippers are made from high quality #5 and #8 zippers, both designed to withstand heavy forces
  • Pro skier Eric Hjorleifson had a part in designing the Quintic 28, which is the smaller version of this pack
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Poor - Better alternatives out there

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

My girlfriend have this backpack and we've tested it on about 5 alpine ski tours this season. Bought it for about 100 USD on a special offer, but she still regret it. I'm generally pretty satisfied with arcteryx products, so if anything, I should be biased towards liking this backpack, but I really don't. I'll shortly list my biggest issues:

1) No hood
I would never buy a backpack without a hood. Always nice to be able to cram stuff in or attach it under the hood.

2) Lack of possibilities
They call it minimalistic, but I'm more tempted to call it vain. Although it may look a bit more tidy than let's say a kestrel 48l, the lack of possibilities in regards to attachments is drawback. The wind, temperature and general exposure to the environment will demand that you adapt your layers. This is easier if you don't have to open overstuffed zippers in the process. Not all of the

3) Poor design for ski-carrying
This was the biggest issue we had with this backpack. It's trying to cater both snowboarders and skiers needs, but ultimately fails. When moving through vegetation in the lowland, you don't want to have the skis horizontal as it will snag. Having the skis at the side with the top angled towards the center of the backpack and over the persons head is the consented preference where i'm from. This way you can see the top and adjust to branches or other obstacles, and you don't hit the back of the skis with your heals or other stuff while walking. There's no way you can do that with these. Even if you tighten them at the side they will still wiggle back and forth. The lack of straps will make it impossible to fixate them in the position you want, and that's pretty s**t for a backpack made for skiing. For some reason the ability to carry a snowboard isn't really that comforting while you're struggling through the woods.

You only need one!
I call bull-shit on the whole concept of ski-backpacks, as there are plenty backpacks that are great for all kinds of activity. That's just the industry trying to play you. You don't need a "ski backpack", you just need one well-designed and adaptable 30-50l backpack. I personally use osprey kestrel 48l and I love it. It's not perfect. The attachment of the hood isn't adjustable, but otherwise pretty close. Highly recommended as an alternative in this segment.

Poor - Better alternatives out there

I'm not sure if you're aware but there are some pretty big problems with this picture:
1) the skis aren't secured at the tips with a handy ski strap, this isn't A frame carry going on here - it's gapper carry. We've all been there before but I'd suggest trying A frame with a ski strap, it works fine with my split board and should help stabilize those skis from flopping about.

2) The pack isn't being carried properly and is far too low on the back. It could be the wrong size or simple the shoulder straps and then the load lifter straps haven't been properly tightened, you can spot this from a mile away.

3) Short of some magical disappearing skis I'm not sure what backpack would help you carry skis through brush with ease? If they are a burden on your back then have 2 or three ski straps handy, strap them together along with your poles and carry them in your hands. This will make ducking under branches a whole lot easier.

Also regarding ski backpacks - there is a difference, yes the occasional user may not notice and it's not a big deal to them and they may be wasting their money buying a ski-specific pack. However to the person who spends 25+ days a year touring, hiking, climbing with their skis/board little details make the difference.

Having separate, dry, pocket for you shovel and probe, saw, etc. may make the difference between digging your friend out in time or emptying out the contents of your pack in a debri pile because you're frantic and can't get to your shovel to your avy gear in time. Being able to access different items; gloves, goggles, radio, 1st aid, puffy without digging through contents is essential on a ski tour.

So yes, for the occasional backcountry user don't waste your money on a ski pack. If however you spend a lot of days in the backcountry and appreciate the savings in time, hassle and potentially life saving benefits of a ski-specific pack then yes try on and educate yourself about the the many great ski packs that are on the market - this pack being one of them.

Awesome backpack

    As I'm not using this backpack for ice climbing, I don't really find the problem mentioned by other users. On the other hand, I use it for trips and I find it give me a lot space and made very organized. I can get my drinking bottle and camera very easily without taking off The backpack. Moreover, I find the material is quite premium and tough. Although it may not a "perfect" backpack, I will say it is still a very good one!
    Very happy can own it!
    The only unhappiness is that I find the price dropped after I brought!

    Bomber, not perfect but awesome

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Over 2.5 years, probably close to 100 days touring with it and I love it.

    My only reap gripe is the weight, it's a heavy, burly pack. I have the 38L and I wish it was 1lb lighter.

    - Feels like its welded to your back , carries awesome and rides awesome. Cinch it down properly and you just don't notice that it's there.
    - Climbing icy colouirs with a snowboard on a windy day is akin to having a sail on your back. Cinch your board to this properly and it's a breeze.
    - Throwing the skis on in split mode is a breeze, I use the cross pack carry. Splitters take notice and have a couple orange voile ski straps in your pack. Have a 24" so you can easily go through around your binding baseplates to keep them from banging around.
    - Design, takes some getting used to but it's so nice to have everything where you need it and not to have to fumble around to find something.
    - Snow tool pocket design: awesome! I often ride with a Petzl Quark and a 58CM Grivel Air Tech Racing, with the big snow pocket design I can ride with these inside my pack, I like having the weight closer to my center of gravity and I also like not worrying about losing a tool should I take a 50mph ragdogll. It's nice to just let her rip and not have to worry about any razor sharp steel points on your back. +++ It's easy to just unzip and pull an axe/tool out if you need to, no need to unstrap anything.

    - Hydration bladder holder + the exit for it could be better, there should be a loop to hold it
    - Heavy, I mentioned this.
    - It's heavy, for the weight I'd like it to be 42L, it seems as if this could be accomplished by adding just a little extra (light weight) fabric here and there.

    Overall I'd buy it again, no regrets on this one.

    arcteryx fail

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    3 main issues:

    1. The hydration pocket is super poorly designed! Arcteryx seems to have an issue with this - I bought the Arcteryx Bora 80L off BC a few years ago, and its hydration pocket is wacky too (in the lid of the pack. Why would you want your heavy water up so high?) In the Quintic, the hydration pocket doesn't have a strap to hold the top of the bladder up high, so the whole thing just kind of slumps to the bottom of the hydration pocket. Also, the hydration pocket has a vertical zipper along it, and no hole for the tube to escape! This means that you have to run the hose out of the top of the zipper, and over the course of a few hours, the hose works the zipper open.

    2. The snowboard carry is poorly designed - there are no compression straps that actually cinch down on the width of your snowboard. It just kind of hangs in the loops, and can wiggle freely.

    3. The A frame ski carry is poorly designed too! The bottom ski carry straps tie directly in to the waist belt (presumably to transfer more weight to your hips as you hike.) The non-adjustable-length ski carry straps then attach to the center of the back panel of the pack. If you fully stuff the pack with gear, the un-adjustable straps aren't long enough to allow you to wrap the hip belt around your waist! (It ends up pulling the hip belt away from your waist, and it bunches up, all ugly.

    redeeming qualities: looks like the fabric is waterproof. looks cool. don't buy this pack.

    Ronen, you seem to have missed the hydration hole/slit on top of the bag - you don't need to route the hydration tube out of the zippers. I do agree there should be something inside that could hold/pin/stabilize the hydration pack. Can't comment on other negatives, but the sturdy straps seem to work for my skis ok.

    so, I apparently missed the fact that the hydration pocket is on the side of the pack, not down the middle of the main pocket (as in other bags.) correct me if I'm wrong, here. If, however, this is the case - why the hell would Arcteryx put a hydration pocket on the side? Anybody who's packed a pack knows that you want heavy stuff in the center, right against your back. Otherwise, you enter a frustrating struggle trying to find heavy stuff to place on the other side to balance the pack.

    Does this have attachment points for ice...

    Does this have attachment points for ice axe?

    apart from the ski carry loop, there are not separate loops. the ski carry loop is big, you could fit two axes in it at the same time. If you wanted axes AND diagonal ski carry at the same time, you'll have to rig something up yourself. Just buy some webbing and tie your own axe loop at the bottom of the pack!