I'm looking for a pack to use for multi-day...
I'm looking for a pack to use for multi-day ski mountaineering trips. The pack must be able to carry a large load on the approach to base camp, but it must also be able to compress down to a reasonable size for the summit push. It needs to carry skis well, and it would be nice if it could keep my avalanche gear in a convenient location. Does this pack meet all or most of these needs?
It depends on your definition of a "large load". 40-45 lbs or so - somewhat comfortable. If you need something that is a rather large pack your going to sacrifice some comfort for the technical features and the ability to strip the pack down for a summit push. This pack is a good compromise between something very minimalist and overkill.
It does not have a shovel holder but there is plenty of room outside the pack to attach that to. You can take the lid off and compress the sac for play time and the waist belt does tuck around the pack nicely if you have a need to get it out of your way.