Best Backpacks - Ski Mag

Best Backpacks

Whether you're schlepping gear for an all-day tour, or loading up on layers and snacks for an inbounds day, the right pack is important. Here are some of our favorites, from small sidecountry packs to huge haul bags.
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When the snow melts, you don’t quit playing outside, and neither should your pack. Ski straps and glove-friendly zippers make the Direttissima a true winter warrior. But when summer rolls around, unobtrusive ski features mean it’s hike- and climb-friendly. The TopFlap design lets you remove an entire compartment to shed weight. Two built-in toggle bottle openers on the tool loops bring a whole new meaning to double-fisting. 42-, 46-, and 50-liter models; 55, 58, and 61 ounces, respectively.  [$200; mountainhardware.com]

Backcountry Packs

Why endure an ill-suited pack? Get organized and stay safe, comfortably. haul these packs up the hill; they’ll carry you through the day.

$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.

If you ride switch a lot, this may be the binding for you. The Deadbolts zero ramp angle keeps your boot level underfoot and puts your shins in a neutral stance, which is ideal for switch riding, and 180-degrees of release range relieves pressure to your knees during a regular or switch twisting crash. A 5-15 DIN range and psychedelic styling complete this limited-edition binding.$374.99; 4FRNT.com.

Best Bindings

A binding is a binding, right? Wrong. Binding technology has come a long way in the last few years. Here is a look at what's new.

voleur

Best of the Web

Not sure what to do with your days now that the mountain is closed? Thank goodness for the Internet.

Everything at Deer Valley is luxury, from the ski valet to the limited number of lift tickets sold. So of course the food is going to be top-notch. At the Snow Park Restaurant, located in the Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley's base, for breakfast you can get made-to-order homemade cinnamon challah French toast drizzled with banana butter and Vermont maple syrup or a house-smoked salmon omelet. For lunch, try the house special enchiladas, made with roasted butternut squash, shiitake mushroom, anasazi beans and corn or chicken, cheese and cilantro. On a budget? Get a bowl of their signature turkey chili, which comes with all-you-can-eat bread.

10 Best Ski-Resort Cafeterias

Of course, you go to a ski resort for the good snow and terrain. But you've got to eat while you're there, right? We've done our research—eating at ski areas all over the country—and have selected the 10 best on-mountain restaurants in ski country. To call these places cafeterias simply doesn't do them justice.

Merino with a touch of Lycra to give it stretch, the wicking, quick drying Sprint Crewe, from Icebreaker’s GT line is the perfect layer to wear on uphill-downhill missions, especially if you want everyone to be able to see your muscles.  $100; http://icebreaker.com

Best Baselayers

Baselayers are probably the most crucial, least interesting, part of your ski kit. To shorten your selection process, here are our faves.

Pancake

An Olympic Guide: Best Breakfasts in Whistler

Whether you’re recovering from a late night of revelry or gearing up for a big day on the hill, here’s a guide to Whistler’s best breakfast spots. Check them out if you're heading to the Winter Olympic Games later this month.