Ready for dawn Patrol.
- The North Face-exclusive Bombastic nylon—the same stuff they use in airbags— provides ultimate abrasion resistance and features a PU/silicone DWR finish
- Improved skin/crampon pocket holds bigger skins and keeps the snow out
- Extra-large avy tools pocket includes organization sleeves and a backcountry essentials checklist to help you keep track of necessities when packing before adequate caffeine intake
- Large side zip gives you easy access to the main compartment when you're fully loaded
- Large tricot-lined pocket protects your valuable optics
- Single tubular aluminum stay is removable for maximum flexibility
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Share your thoughts
The backpack is very narrow and fits closely to your back so its not too bulky. Plenty of straps and pockets to put your gear.
I basically love this pack, but have observed two serious problems that seem easy to fix for future revisions:
1: My ski bindings tore a hole in the fabric while I was carrying the skis diagonally. Something tougher probably needs to go there.
2: The bungee cord used to secure the ice ax at the top is too flimsy. I recently took a long fall and my ice ax nearly put my eye out after it came unhooked on the way down. Maybe a velcro strap? Check out BD Predator, that thing has a great ice ax carry system.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This bag is unbelieveable. Takes care of all the stuff you would expect from a great day pack but in that above and beyond way that North Face gets you to expect. The hinch system is just amazing - and the amount of exterior space on this thing for cinching up gear is spectacular. I spent the last week accompanying a friend and his two young kids through Samoens and it was great being able to get multiple skis onto the backpack plus multiple poles - my friend was blown away! The weight is so well distributed and customizable via the different shoulder strap adjustments that it's like walking with nothing on . I can't wait to test it out every which way!
Are there any sizing recommendations? I'm 6' 0" tall. Also in some pictures pack seems so tall that it will your helmet. Any comments on that?
You will probably need the Medium/Large. It won't hit your helmet unless you tip your head all the way back.
To any industry gurus out there: when are we getting a Patrol 34 ABS? The Patrol 24 ABS looks great. but I really like the 34 for a long day in the backcountry, especially for us non-pro athletes who don't have helicopters and snowmobiles following us with all our extra gear.
I've taken this out on a number of backcountry day trips so far. I know I've said this about a few other things, but this pack is just about perfect. Let's get the bad out of the way first. The bombastic material on the shovel pocket ripped on day one. I'm thinking of just ignoring it until it gets worse (it hasn't so far so i'm guessing this was an isolated incident). I have no idea how this happened; we were on a 3 mile hike and I had my skis with dynafit bindings strapped on the whole time, so i'm guessing the toe wings just dug through the fabric. Like I said, the whole hasn't worsened and the shovel isn't going to fall out of it, so maybe it's no big deal. Were it not for this, i'd have given it 5 stars. On to the good stuff. 1) The Hinch 2.0 is a vast improvement over the straps and buckles used in last year's models of these packs. It's easier to get on and off, the the straps are more limp making it easier to adjust their length, and finally they don't tend to fall off when you're just walking around without the skis lashed down. 2) The diagonal ski carry on this year's model is slanted at a slightly more up-and-down angle, given you greater balance and helping to the skis from getting tangled on every tree to the left of you. 3) This pack carries better than any pack I've ever owned. I think this is mostly due to the very slim profile they managed to get out of it and the elongated torso. The weight just rides really close to your body and distributes well. 4) The crampon pouch is the perfect size for my BD Sabretooth crampons; I store the crampons in the BD mesh case and then slide the whole thing into the crampon pouch. Have not used it for skins thus far. 5) The interal storage capacity is perfect for a long day trip. Apart from avy tools, I store MH Compressor Pants, MH Compressor Jacket or 800 Fill Down Jacket depending on the weather, extra gloves, water, snacks, my shell jacket and extra layers when not in use. There is a small mesh pocket toward the top for sundries (car keys, wallet, whatever). Nice to have. 6) The goggle pocket has been moved from the front panel to the lid which makes much more sense to me. It's a great place for anything delicate (GoPro accessories etc...). I typically store my goggles on my helmet, in turn strapped to the helmet lash loops on the top-front. This system works just fine. 7) The right hip belt has a pocket just big enough for a point-and-shoot camera, though if it's cold out you'll want that on your body somewhere. 8) The left hip belt has a loop for any kind of rock or ice rack you may be carrying. I use it for an altimeter which has a carabiner loop on it.
Bottom line - this is the one. I'm selling my Off Chute 26, switching to this for virtually all backcountry, and getting a Chugach 12 for resort / sidecountry.
can you put a ski helmet in the main compartment?
No. There are two loops just above the avy tools compartment which I think they expect you to loop your helmet straps through and buckle. That's what i've done and it works reasonably well.
How well would this fit on a woman? Other unisex packs I've looked at have hip belts that don't cinch small enough and shoulder straps that sit in too far in.
Yeah that's generally the problem and why there are women specific packs or changeable hipbelts, etc... without trying it on yourself you will be hard pressed to get a specific/correct answer here to satisfy...
I'd get the S/M size unless you're tall. The sternum straps are on 'rails' and can be slid up and down through a pretty good range which should help.