Roaring Fork Valley, Telluride
I've had several pairs of Costas, different styles. They have good optical quality, and some do well at speed without causing your eyes to tear (biking, skiing). That being said, they seem very fragile and prone to breaking. One pair broke when I received the most gentle of hugs. Two other times they broke simply by putting them on. When I contacted Costa for warranty repair, every time they refused to honor their 'lifetime warranty' and charged me to 'warranty' (repair) their product. I am used to and prefer dealing with reputable companies that steadfastly stand behind their goods. I will never buy another Costa product, I'm going back to Ray Ban. Same good optics, real warranty protection!
I have older 115L models of this bag without the hip strap for rafting trips. They work great, even on a flipped and pinned boat. Plenty of room for all of a person's personal gear for several days, and the shoulder straps make getting your gear from the boat to camp much easier. For the price I would recommend, and they've held up well over a few years of good use.
Another fine Black Diamond product. 100% effective at keeping snow out, even in very deep conditions and over long periods. They run small, so make sure you buy them large enough. I'm 6'1" with a size 11 foot, and it's tight getting a XL to fit over pants and snow boots.
For a piece of equipment that I hope never to use for real, I sure train with this a lot. It's function is smooth and reliable, and light weight to keep pack weight down. The real deciding factor for me was the longer warranty period that Ortovox offers, especially for a carbon probe.
Anyone familiar with Black Diamond knows they make a good product. This is no exception. Nice, sturdy feel, good sized blade, and fairly compact. Fully extended handle gives good leverage. My only complaint would be that the handle could slide further into the blade with a slightly different design, making it very compact without disassembly.