Cold Storage

From a superstable ski hauler to a heated hydration system, these winterized packs do it all

    Photo: Jens Mortensen

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1. Gregory Targhee
CONTROL FREAK
Choose this pack for grueling hikes: It stabilizes skis and snowboards three different ways and supports the load with unmatched control. Credit the suspension, which transfers ski weight directly to the frame. An insulated hydration garage in the shoulder strap fights hose freeze, and ski straps tuck away so they don't snag on branches or whip you in the wind. $180; gregorypacks.com

2. Lowe Alpine Fall Line 35
CHAMELEON
Want a one-backpack quiver? This quick-change artist is for you. It's deceptively compact, so you don't feel overburdened on small-load days, yet it easily swallows a full array of backcountry gear. The fit adjusts with a quick pull of a single strap, making it great for pack-sharing. Features are spare but dialed: A fleece-lined goggle pocket is big enough for skins, zipper tabs are glove-friendly, and reinforcements prevent cross-carried skis from cutting into the pack. $150; lowealpine.com

3. The North Face Snowday
WATER HEATER
Ice belongs in your G&T, not your hydration pack. The Snowday prevents freeze-up with a built-in heater powered by four AAbatteries: After three hours at zero degrees, water was still flowing. An internal sensor activates the heating element only when temperatures demand, conserving battery life. A Polarguard-insulated compartment holds an included 100-ounce Nalgene reservoir. Thesmall Snowday is best for light loads. $150; thenorthface.com

4. Backcountry Access Stash Valhalla
KILLER VALUE
Planning a hut tour? Pack an extra bottle of vino without payinga penalty in weight, space, or price. The largest pack here (2,600 cubic inches), the Stash Valhalla is also one of the cheapestand lightest (less than three pounds). And BCA's new winterproof hydration system—with a screw top that fits any wide-mouth Nalgene water bottle—lets you drink from the jug even if frigid temps sabotage the hose. $130; backcountryaccess.com

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