The Mountains of Colorado
I love them. I was one of those guys that just bought the cheapy target polarizer glasses, and after breaking pair after pair, I went and picked these up. Miles of a difference. I use mine for hiking, driving, backcountry snowboarding, and pretty much any other time I walk outside. They seem really well made and super strong.
My backpacking buddies are envious of this super comfy pad. Everyone always warns about it taking a long time to blow up or whatever, but its BS. Seriously, if you are in mildly decent shape, you can spare a few breathes to blow this up. The ability to sleep through the night while out in the wilderness is really worth any shortness of breath you may experience.
The only complaint I would have is really with the Big Agnes line in general - the lack of insulation on the bottom of the bag and on this pad makes for a chilly night if the temp is below 40 outside (which happens a lot when you camp at tree line in the rockies)
But otherwise, its a great pad! Can't be beat if you want to sleep through the night when on the hard ground.
Deploys in seconds, locks pretty well, and is super light. I really can't complain.
I think this size probe is the minimum people should be taking out in to the backcountry, but that just me....
If you skin up on two planks, and ride back down on one, you really have one option for poles. These are light, strong, and collapse down to nothing. Mine don't ever slip or anything, even when using them as propulsion on the flats.
Deuter is a great company, and I have had nothing but good things to say about their packs. This pack is no exception. The guide series is built super tough, and after having used it out backcountry skiing, I can honestly say its one of those packs you could do pretty much anything to and it would be just fine.
Some things may turn a few people off. First of all, there is no hip pocket at all, just the two tool/carabiner loops. Not a huge deal, but some people like to keep small things in those pockets that get lost easily, or need to be handy (cameras, chapstick, small snack)
There is one giant internal pocket, and two pockets on the top, and thats it. If you like just having a large space to stuff things into, and don't need to be super organized, then its no biggie. But, for backcountry skiing, I noticed having to dig around a little bit for things that fell to the bottom. And carryign around avy gear reuired some advance thought on how best to pack it.
Those are really, in my opinion, minor matters, that to most people that would liek this bag are irrelevant. However there is one thing that really dings this pack, and ended up requiring me to return it. If your use it for backcountry skiing, and more specifically, backcountry splitboarding, then you are out of luck. Your board is too wide to fit into the ski loops. And there are no buckles and little room to make it bigger. No matter how we tried to do it, my board would not fit in the little loop. Its wide, but not quite wide enough for a Venture Helix 163cm. Which is too bad, as its a great bag. But i ended up needing to boot pack part of the tour we were on, and being in a high alpine environment, with really strong wind, it was not a fun trek up to the summit carrying a heavy board in my hands.
If you are a skier, it looks like it would work for most skis, but if your ride fatty's, be cautious.
Otherwise, if you are using it for climbing or overnights or whatever, its a great pack. Just not for the single plank riders among us.
It can hold up to a 3L bladder no problem, and probably even more if you can find a bigger one than that
I love Deuter products. Hands down, they fit the best, are intelligently designed, and get the job done no matter what. This pack is no different. I used this pack for about a year, hiking and backcountry skiing, and it did a really good job.
It feels great on your back, to the point that you never really notice it there, even when you have a heavy load. But as great a bag as it is, there are a few things I didn't like so much about it.
The first is something another reviewer made a comment on: its really stiff in the back. Like...REALLY stiff. A more contoured, or at least more flexible, shape would help with some minor fitting issues. It still fits great (I'm 6 foot 170 lbs), but it is noticeable I think when you are doing some bouncing around, say when doing a fast descent on skiis and you hit some chop, the pack moves around way too much. Now, the bag wasn't really designed as a ski pack per se, but still. If you have all the straps cranked down and its still jostling around, thats not good.
The second thing is the lack of a hip pocket on the left hip belt. On some of deuter's other bags there is a gear loop there, which is handy for all sorts of things. But on this pack there is nothing there. Its just empty. Sort of a waste of space in my opinion.
In my time with the bag it always ended up not being the right size. Its too small for most people as an overnight bag, its too big for a day pack for hiking (what are you carrying if you need 32L for a few hours!?), and it doesn't have any ski attachments, so its sort of a mixed result in the backcountry. If you are looking for the all in one bag (overnight camping, long range day hikes, ski touring) then look at the Guide 35+ from deuter.
I would say that ideally, this pack is built for a guy with younger kids going out for day hikes who needs to carry food and water for a few people. Anything else, its just not quite the best option out there.
Solid construction, lightweight, and quick to assemble. It cuts through solid snow and debris like any good avy shovel should.
I am six foot tall, and its just a little short for my liking. I noticed it when our digging got below two feet down, and trying to lift up heavy snow blocks was a bit more work. Nothing major. Just something I noticed.
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