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If you tend to tumble, consider the Borracho, with a molded outer shell that protects fragile cargo, such as your phone and mp3 player. But the real convenience is a hydration system (included) with a drink tube that can be disconnected from the reservoir for easy filling and cleaning. $100.
With its super heavy-duty nylon fabric and reinforcements, this pack (1,300 cubic inches) defends against punctures from tree branches, rocks or ski poles. And its clamshell-style opening lets you get to your gear and hydration system (not included) without a lot of digging. $100.
The SnoBlast has a secret: The slim pack expands from 1,000 to 1,400 cubic inches. A padded pocket protects your mp3 player, and a headphone port prevents cord tangling. Bonus: The original hands-free hydration company includes a drinking system with every pack. $70.
A detachable mesh net clips to the front of the pack to hold a helmet, so you can reserve internal storage space (1,700 cubic inches) for the hydration system (not included) and other gear. Should you get stuck in a tree well, the built-in whistle on the sternum strap could come in handy. $80.
For out-of-bounds travel, you need an integrated carrying system that keeps skis and tools stable, holds extra layers, food and a hydration system (not included) and is comfortable all day. At 1,200 cubic inches, the Drift is intuitive and easy to use – crucial in the backcountry. $129.
Even when your skis are strapped to the outside, a double-zip back panel provides access to the main storage compartment (2,000 cubic inches), while an internal pocket holds the hydration system (not included). A perimeter frame helps the pack support heavy loads. $120.
The hip belt stashes under the padded back panel, so loose straps are out of sight and mind when not being used. The flytrap carrying system compresses the weight of your skis toward your center of gravity for superior balance. 1,100 cubic inches, hydration system not included. $80.
Thread your drink tube (hydration system not included) through the insulated shoulder strap to prevent freezing. A handy side zipper accesses an interior “dry” compartment without requiring that you remove the pack (2,200 cubic inches). Generous hip belt pockets offer extra storage. $150.
Answering the call for a light and fast daypack, the Houdini is just big enough (700 cubic inches) for a hydration reservoir (not included), an extra layer and maybe a light lunch. Unlike other packs that use heavy nylon fabric, the Houdini is made from light, quick-dry ripstop material. $100.