Burton Audex PTT AK 40L
Burton introduces its Audex series this season, incorporating technological gadgetry into functional outerwear and packs. The Audex PTT AK 40L pack integrates a two-way radio (sold separately), with controls at the shoulder strap. The result? Almost hands-free communication, eliminating fumbling in and out of your pack or jacket for the chute report from the heli pilot. We used the radio to talk to a guide on a blustery day off Telluride, Colorado's backside. His voice was clear, even with the loud gusts. The pack also features vertical board carry for long hikes and horizontal board carry for riding a sled (sorry, no provisions for carrying skis). The extra-cushy back panel and support were comfortable all day long, while the capacity was more then enough for a day out and compressed if necessary.
Gripes: Internal shovel blade pocket isn't made for those big booter builders. The Psycho Stripe fabric pattern gives anybody following you a headache (no altitude needed). Good thing it also comes in black.