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When Peak Performance designers and athletes aren't tearing it up in-bounds, they're bagging peaks and laying down signature skin tracks. With all that experience, you can bet they know how to make the R&D Backpack juuuuust right for a beautiful jaunt into the backcountry. A spacious main compartment stashes your puffy, food, and H2O, while its organizer pocket securely stashes all of your rescue gear.

  • Durable fabric, robust zippers, and waterproof tarpaulin protect your pack and gear from the winter weather
  • Padding throughout the back, shoulder straps, and waist-belt for comfort and convenience
  • Versatile ski carry system allows you to strap your skis diagonally or A-frame
  • An insulated hydration channel helps keep your H2O from becoming a block of ice
  • A chest strap with attached whistle allows you to alert the rest of the crew to danger
  • An internal pocket stashes your spare goggles
  • A top external pocket stashes your headlamp, lip balm, camera, and other small essentials
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Great pack for sidecountry/in-bounds hiking.

    Great pack overall.

    First, I will describe the ski carry, because it is unclear from the pictures. The pack has a ski loop that pulls out of the bottom center. It also comes with a ski strap that can be looped through the upper left or right of the pack. This enables diagonal ski carry. It carries pretty well, despite the lack of compression straps. Padded back and waist belt are nice. (I do not understand why so many companies (*cough* black diamond *cough*) put a wimpy little waist belt on their packs, it sucks if you are carrying skis.)

    This is clearly a well thought-out design with lots of attention to detail (e.g. the zipper pulls). The clam shell design opens nicely, even when skis are attached. Materials are very burly. Pack is slim and low-profile for riding chairlifts. It's very nice that all straps can be stowed, and the exterior of the pack is very clean -- there's nothing that can get snagged or caught.

    Internal dividers/pockets are okay, but not great. They don't do the best job holding my four main bulky items: shovel blade and handle, probe and water bottle.