How well does this pack carry avy gear?...
How well does this pack carry avy gear? It seems like a shovel would have to be broken down (handle/blade), and even then might not fit into the outside pocket when the pack is full. Is there a pocket inside for probe/saw/shovelblade? Would you recommend this or a Silo 40 for hut touring & icefield traverses? I wish they hadn't put the side zipper on the Arrakis 50!
The Arc'teryx Arrakis 40 carries avy gear quite well. Shovels, skins and avy kit will all fit in the front pocket (yes, you need to break it down). There are wand pockets internally for probe and handle. The Silo 40 is also a good option, but doesn't have the waterproof fabric or the super nice suspension that is featured on the Arrakis.
I would wager I look through at least 8-10 packs before finding this one that would hold all my avy gear AND a full load inside.
In the shovel pocket I have:
Full Size version of this D-handle, square blade shovel | http://www.backcountry.com/voile-mini-telepro-shovel-t6
300cm Probe | http://www.backcountry.com/black-diamond-quickdraw-guide-probe-300
And an AIRE notebook / map / snowcard, and a few smaller essentials.
First Aid Kit
Small camera block from Mountainsmith
Stoic packable down jacket
Backup BD mitts
Lunch / snacks
Nalgene wide-mouth water bottle
Everything you'd need, with room to spare.