Backcountry Access Stash Squall: Hydration Packs Reviews

The Squall seems spartan. It isn't. Well, except for the hipbelt, which is simply unpadded webbing, but that's all you really need. Plus what's on the inside is equally important. Within this top-loading, 27-liter pack, everything has its place: There are sleeves for your probe, shovel handle, hydration bladder, and blade. All of which can be accessed by our favorite winter-pack feature, a single zip down the middle of the back that gets you into the main compartment, even when your skis are attached. In lieu of the traditional top compartment, you'll find a roll-up, drybag-like closure (which you'll either love or hate) and a padded pocket just big enough for goggles and a gadget or two. The diagonal ski straps are burly and quick on the draw; it takes about 45 seconds to lash your skis. But the real clincher is the price, especially when you consider the Squall's 70-ounce bladder, which, thanks to the removable neoprene-insulated sleeve, can be used year-round in any pack. The only bummer? It isn't set up to carry snowboards. 2.5 lbs;
COMFORT: 4.5 (out of 5)

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