Taos, New Mexico
I've seen a lot of avy packs that have this type of design. My guess would that it makes the probe easier to access; you wouldn't need to unzip anything to grab it.
It is categorized as a men's pack. Check the size chart for sizing assistance.
Patagonia and the retailers that sell their products are currently clearing out the 2013 models to make way for the 2014 clothing. So there will be more in stock eventually...a Backcountry employee may be able to give you a better idea of when.
Everything should easily fit in the 157 bag. These bags are designed to hold not only a board, but your other gear as well.
I have the 2012 version and there is about a 1/2 inch gap when they are placed inside each other.
Percent indicates amount of battery remaining.
I would size up to large, just to be safe.
Yes, it could be. While it is not the most waterproof jacket out there, it will be able to repel a fair amount of water. Also, it's not super insulated so you could use it for warm spring days with just a light layer underneath.
I would go with size large. Flow bindings are pretty adjustable and you are within the recommended size range.
I am also 5'5" and slightly heavier. I usually wear a small in North Face clothing and a medium in Patagonia. Their clothing in my experience usually has a slimmer fit.
A clear or yellow lens would be the best for night riding.
I'm 5'5" as well, skinny/athletic build and medium is what I would order this jacket it. Large enough to layer underneath, but not so huge that I'd be swimming in it if I wore it alone. She may outgrow it in a few seasons, but I do think medium would be the right call.