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Backcountry Packs - Ski Mag

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Setting up camp for a few nights (or longer), but need a pack for a summit push? The Arc’teryx Cierzo 25 is a great choice. Super lightweight—one ounce shy of a pound—and minimalist, the unisex Cierzo can easily haul a down puffy, outer shell, lunch, a camera, sunscreen, climbing harness, extra pair of shoes and more. It has plenty of lashing options including ice-axe loops and a compression cord that wraps the entire bag and pulls the load close to your body. Plus, the entire pack stuffs into its top lid, compressing down to the size of a football. The thin foam frame sheet is removable to make it even lighter and less bulky—though you sacrifice back comfort—or, as the company touts, it can be used as an emergency sleeping pad. But it is a minimalist pack. That means neither an internal bladder hanger nor hose port, and no external water bottle pockets like you’d find on more full-featured packs. www.arcteryx.com; $99

Summer Gear List: Packs

Here are five packs—from multi-day schleppers to light and fast daytrippers— that’ll get you through the summer.

Let’s start with the obvious: the pack. Built in back protection, organized pockets for every possible piece of gear you could want, and a well-thought-out ski carry system make this a super smart choice. Ortovox Freerider $160; http://www.ortovox.com/

What's in Your Pack?

Bottom line, there are some things you must take with you into the backcountry. Here are ten things that you definitely need, plus a few extras that'll make your day much better.

$435 We love the Marker Baron so much that we borrowed a fleet of them from Marker to mount on all of our backcountry test skis. When the Baron's predecessor, the DIN-16 Duke, debuted in 2007, it was the only alpine-touring binding that truly skied like a real alpine binding. Word spread, and shops literally could not keep it stocked. Marker released the Baron in 2008. It has the same alpine-style performance as the Duke—solid, secure, and confidence-inspiring—but is 150 grams lighter (thanks to the use of nylon instead of magnesium), and $60 less expensive. And with a DIN range of four through 12, it's more of an everyman's binding. If you're skiing the resort most of the time, but want touring capability for occasional side- and backcountry laps, you won't find a better binding.

Backcountry Bindings

Whether you're going on a day-long tour or just heading out the gates, you need a binding that works as well going uphill as it does going down. Here is a collection of some of the best AT and telemark bindings out there.