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North Cascades, Olympics, Mt. Rainier, B.C.

Col's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Col's Bio

I grew up winter camping in Maine, so the PNW climate is really quite pleasant in comparison. I moved here in 1996 to live among these mountains and glaciers where I now climb, ski, snowboard, backpack, flyfish, and more. I am especially fascinated by avalanches, and have dedicated myself to learning and teaching snow safety with the intention of sharing amazing and safe backcountry experiences with others.


Colwrote a review of on October 27, 2009

3 5

I've been looking for a new small ski pack since the seams started separating on my old favorite. There are so many pack options, with many "special features" that it's been a tough choice. I like this one in concept, but when I received it and filled it with my day-touring gear, it just didn't feel right.

First of all, I expected it to have back-panel access like the Kode 30 (I had asked the salesperson at about this over the phone), but it does not.

Second, the avy gear pocket has a pretty short zipper, making it challenging to get to the bottom of things (maybe not necessary when pulling out your probe, but it's hard to get a shovel blade or skins out when the pack is full.)

The hip belt pockets are small, and don't have great ergonomics. I really like the stretch pockets on the GoLite Jam2 waistbelt.

The strap system seems to work for skis or snowboard, but is not as simple and clean as I would prefer. The pulley-like features that are cool but unneeded.

And finally, it just didn't feel great on my back compared to my old pack. It looks like a good product, but it's not for me...

The Kode 30 seems better in some ways, but is too large for what I want. I'm so picky!




Colwrote a question about on October 4, 2009

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!