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Ortovox Trace 25 Review: A Lightweight Ski Touring Backpack

Ortovox Trace 25 Review: A Lightweight Ski Touring Backpack

“Fast, lightweight and safe” is how Ortovox describes the Trace 25 and after testing I have no reason to argue. The Trace is as fairly minimalist pack and competes in the ultra-lightweight touring pack segment. It’s a 25 liter pack that weighs less than a pound with a claimed weight of 445 grams. If you don’t need 25 liters of storage you could look at the Trace 20 and the Trace 23 S and Trace 18 S (which are basically…

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Mammut Spindrift 32 Ski Touring Pack Review

Mammut Spindrift 32 Ski Touring Pack Review

I needed a new go-to touring pack this year for day trips and ended up going with the 32 liter version of the Mammut Spindrift. I have a smaller pack for quick trips (the Ortovox Trace 25 – review upcoming), but on colder days with lots of extra layers to pack or on longer journeys 32 liters provides more space. The Spindrift 32 is quite light, but it is not a minimalist pack. If you’re looking for a race pack…

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The Best Avalanche Airbag Packs in 2019

The Best Avalanche Airbag Packs in 2019

Avalanche Airbags are all the rage these days and with good reason. The chances of surviving a slide with an airbag is way higher than without. This article will give readers a bit of background on avalanche airbag packs and then look at the best avalanche airbag packs in 2019. There are options for many different uses, so read on to find out which one makes sense for you. What is an Avalanche Airbag? We’ll go over the basics here,…

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Deuter Rise Lite 28 Pack Review

Deuter Rise Lite 28 Pack Review

The Deuter Rise Lite 28 is a lightweight ski touring pack that is meant for day-long ski touring trips. With 28 liters of volume, it’s big enough to stash all of the necessities for backcountry skiing and has plenty of attachment points for additional gear. At 1180 grams it’s one of the lighter ski-touring oriented day packs available and it still has most if not all of the features you could want in a day pack. I’ve used this pack…

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Osprey Kresta 30 Women’s Pack Review

Osprey Kresta 30 Women’s Pack Review

Last season Mrs. HikeForPow got a new pack for Christmas to replace her aging Arc’teryx Silo 30. The Silo 30 was a good pack, but it was a bit too long in the torso for her. It also had a bit of an odd shape. It narrowed at the bottom, so fully packing it was an interesting challenge. Anyway, enough about the old pack and on to the new. She’s been pretty thrilled with her new pack, so read on…

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The Best Avalanche Airbag Packs in 2018

The Best Avalanche Airbag Packs in 2018

One of the more recent innovations in backcountry safety is the Avalanche Airbag. Airbag packs are particularly interesting because they greatly increase your chance of survival if you get caught in a slide. Update: check out our Best Airbag Packs in 2019 post for updated info. In this article I’m going to take a look at some of the best avalanche airbag packs that are currently available. I’ll give you a summary of the features of each one and let…

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How do Avalanche Airbags Work?

How do Avalanche Airbags Work?

If you’ve ever asked yourself “How do avalanche airbags work, exactly?” then you have come to the right place. This article explains the basics and then some. There are pros and cons to the different designs, and this will give you a good idea of which might be right for you. There are now quite a few options out there (Backcountry Access alone has more models than you can shake a pole at). Black Diamond, Arc’teryx, Mammut and others have…

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