Tag Archives: backpack reviews

Gear Review: The North Face Banchee 65 Backpack

March 17, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
The North Face Banchee 65

The North Face
Banchee 65

Backpack
The North Face Banchee 65
$239, 65L/3,967 c.i., 3 lbs. 12 oz. (L/XL)
Sizes: men’s S/M and L/XL, women’s XS/S and M/L
thenorthface.com

On the second afternoon of a tough, three-day backpacking trip with my 10-year-old daughter in the Grand Canyon, I had to load up with 17 pounds of water for the final 24 hours of our trip—bumping my pack weight up over 50 pounds for the uphill grind to Horseshoe Mesa. I wondered how comfortably a sub-four-pound backpack could carry that load. But even with 50 pounds inside, the Banchee 65 floated on my back. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Osprey Reverb 18 Snow Pack

March 11, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Osprey Reverb 18

Osprey Reverb 18

Snow Pack
Osprey Reverb 18
$100, 18L/1,098 c.i., 2 lbs. 2 oz. (S/M)
One size
ospreypacks.com

You’re skiing or snowboarding at a resort, riding lifts, but the groomers have been totally carved up and even the off-piste snow in the trees is hash. So the only remaining option for finding untracked powder is to go where most skiers and riders don’t go: to the slopes not served by lifts, where you have to climb uphill under your own power. For that, you’ll need a lightweight, compact backcountry snow pack—one that has enough space for your safety gear but isn’t too cumbersome to wear while lift-served skiing. A pack like the Reverb 18. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Exped Glissade 35 Snow Pack

March 3, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Exped Glissade 35

Exped Glissade 35

Snow Pack
Exped Glissade 35
$229, 35L/2,136 c.i., 3 lbs. 2 oz.
One size
exped.com

Making a pack for backcountry skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing day trips that’s lighter than most competitors is difficult to pull off without sacrificing support or features. But several days of backcountry skiing with the streamlined Glissade 35 in Idaho’s Boise Mountains and Galena Summit area convinced me that it makes few sacrifices while delivering all you’d want in a snow pack. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Gregory Targhee 45L Snow Pack

October 29, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Gregory Targhee 45L

Gregory Targhee 45L

Backcountry Skiing/Riding Pack
Gregory Targhee 45L
$199, 4 lbs. (medium)
Sizes: S-L in 45L/2,746 c.i. and 32L/1,953 c.i. versions (fit torsos from 16-22 inches); one size in 26L/1,587 c.i. and 18L/1,098 c.i. versions
gregorypacks.com

For a multi-day backcountry skiing, riding, or snowshoeing trip to a hut or yurt, you need a pack with a split personality: It has to be big enough to fit all the food and gear you need for at least four days, yet morph into a smaller pack when you fill it only partially for day tours. The new Targhee 45L assumed both personalities convincingly on a four-day, backcountry skiing trip to the Baldy Knoll yurt in Wyoming’s Tetons, thanks to superior stability and a highly versatile design. Continue reading →

Gear Review: REI Flash 45 Backpack

September 19, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
REI Flash 45

REI Flash 45

Backpack
REI Flash 45
$129, 45L/2,745 c.i., 2 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: medium (fits torsos 17-19 inches) and large (50L/3,051 c.i., 2 lbs. 4 oz., fits torsos 19-21 inches)
rei.com

For most backpacking trips, when I’m not carrying gear and food for my family, I pack as light as possible and walk long days: I like to see as much wilderness as I can. For those trips, I prefer a backpack that’s light but still has decent support; I find that the virtually frameless ultralight packs with minimal support pull on my shoulders too much over the course of a 10- or 12-hour day of hiking. On a recent three-day, 65-mile hike in Yosemite, carrying a max of about 25 pounds, the Flash 45 hit that nice middle ground: lightweight, yet comfortable with the amount of weight I threw into it, and very functional. Continue reading →

← Older posts