What's in Your Pack? - Ski Mag

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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.

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbags Explained

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbags Explained

Skiing Winter Lab Bro-tologist Ryan Dionne talks about the different avalanche airbag systems including what's used to inflate the bags, how easily they are to refill after deployment, and more.

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.

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Life-Saving Gear

Skis and boots will only get you so far in the backcountry. Don’t forget all the other stuff you’ll need to get you in and out safely.

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What Ski Guides Carry

This is the gear Arc'teryx athlete and ACMG assistant ski guide, Christina Lustenberger, trusts for long days of ski guiding in the hills. Photos by Bruno Long.