I am sure this pack is great for those of you lucky enough to actually heli ride regularly. as far as being a pack that you can use to bootpack/snowshoe through the backcountry, it is not. It has plenty of room for a days worth of safety gear and really is large enough to use as a pack to hike from a base camp of some sort. However it is not built to withstand such use. I usually have no complaints with Dakines products in the durability field, but I feel as though this pack was designed more to hop on the big yellow bus than it was to haul a board, crampons, and axe to a summit and then shred down with snowshoes in tow. After 1 use the snowboard strap on the front was frayed almost all the way through, I was using it for a 3 mile ascent from basecamp. I had my Nidecker Ultralight strapped in and the edges from the board chewed up the low grade board strap in no time, I was almost forced to carry my board luckily it held on long enough to get me to the top, though it will never be able to hold a board properly again (may be sending this one back BC, sorry :(. ) I do like the ease of use with the axe loops however even those are not quite big enough to easily/quickly get a axe with a floating leash, a straight handled leashless axe may fit better. the front pouch is not easily accessible when loaded down and the goggle pouch gets crushed by the board strapped to the back of the pack. The interior of the pack leaves a lot to be desired as well though at this pricepoint I was not exactly expecting a high end organizer. For what it is, you get a pack that would likely hold up to years of heli riding, with the occasional short bootpack, for a school pack this would be just fine though the lack of interior organizing would be a negative for me it is not for many people. I will say that this pack LOOKS great. I dont like to leave negative reviews but I couldnt get over the short comings of this rig.