Now specifically for touring.
Inspired by user hacks and modifications to the Arc'teryx Alpha FL alpinist pack, the Alpha SK 32L Backpack has been created to cater to the use needs of ski touring and ski alpinism. The designers at Arc'teryx saw both athletes and employees modifying a pack to suit their needs, and in true Arc'teryx style, they took those user hacks and created a pack that not only met the needs of the consumer, but added additional features to make a comfortable, burly ski touring daypack. The Alpha SK has two 50cm ski straps included, a burlier face fabric than the FL, and thoughtful ski touring pockets while still maintaining the same Gore-Tex jacket inspired seam taped construction that the Alpha FL had for maximum weather protection.
For hiking up, the Alpha SK features two different ski carry options, diagonally for an easier transition, and the traditional A-frame. The two 50cm included quick-release straps allow for the diagonal carry and additional straps can be added at lash points for an A-frame style. To carry snowboards or split boards, 65cm straps can be added to secure the boards. The carry system design reduces weight and minimizes potential snagging by eliminating excess straps. A very durable 400 denier ripstop face fabric will hold up to the abrasions of carrying skis and is weather proof with the Arc'teryx AC² construction thanks to a urethane coating.
Thoughtful, ski touring specific pockets were designed to simplify the day out on the skin track. A front pocket can be utilized for snow tools, skins, and wet gear while a top pocket with clasps can hold a rope, bulky items or stash a helmet. The main compartment has a drawcord on top and a side zipper for easy access to your things. For comfort when carrying a loaded pack, there is an adjustable sternum strap and a forward pull waistbelt that was designed to be easily adjusted with gloves on. To go above and beyond what users were modifying about the Alpha FL pack, a padded back with a close to body profile was added. The Alpha FL pack is quite round and can be slippery against a puffy or Gore-Tex jacket, so the Alpha SK was designed with a more streamlined, close to back profile for natural movement. Arc'teryx also added a different textile against the back so the pack isn't sliding all over the place during ascents and descents.
- Durable, weather resistant day pack for ski touring
- Seams are taped for ultimate weather protection
- 32L of storage is divided into thoughtful pockets
- Top pocket can stash helmet, skins, ropes, bulky items
- Top drawstring or side zipper for access to interior
- Two 50cm quick-release straps for attaching skis diagonally
- Skis can also be carried A-frame style with additional straps
- Snowboards can be carried vertically with 65cm straps
- Item #ARC00UY
- Q & A
Best BC pack in its class
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Out of the box I was impressed with the quality and feel of the fabrics. Which was a thing I didn't like about some previous Arc ski packs since the end of the Silo series.
I love the history of the design, Taking a proven pack and making it sport specific to skiing. It didn't take long to get familiar with the opening of the lid and how best to organize gear inside.
The Alpha SK 32 wears like a climbing pack and moves with you while skinning and riding. While keeping the features to a minimum yet all the features most people want in a BC ski pack. The expanding lid is great for stuffing puffies and helmet inside for quick transitions.
All in all this a great backcountry ski and splitboard pack exceeded my exceptions.
These are some things I believe could be improved, but in no way negatively effect the pack as it is.
Add a few more slots for adding ski straps to be able to carry ice axe\tools.
Adding a single loop inside the pack to hang a stuffsack to help organize small gear.
Include some more straps with the pack..
All in all this pack is perfect for backcountry users that like quick access to gear and will put they're gear through the ringer.
After 100 days of use this winter, mine barely has signs of use.
Arc'teryx winning again!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
As if the Alpha FL 40 wasn't "good enough", Arc'teryx has come out and created a touring-specific version of my favorite climbing backpack! Everything I need fits exactly where it should. The outer pocket allows me to keep my emergency shovel and probe accessible while keeping my layers dry in the main pack. The size zip is an upgrade from the packs I have used with a back zip opening because I can now ask my partner to grab me a snack without having to remove my pack at all. Excited to take this outside and play this winter!
I would recommend buying an addition set of the ski straps if you want to be able to carry skis A-Frame style!