It doesn’t take an expert to know that the right gear is everything. But it does take an expert to know what to pack and how to pack it. Snow+Rock never compromises with luggage, and neither should you. As the first snow hits, get ahead of the game to ensure you make the most of your precious time in the mountains rather than faffing with kit.
When he’s not hanging out on the crag or heading for the mountains, equipment buyer Will Parkhouse can be found seeking out the best new technologies and styles for fellow mountain-lovers.
Here are Will’s top tips for nailing your packing game ahead of the season.
DURABILITY = SUSTAINABILITY
You need a workhorse that’ll hold all your gear, survive the journey and take whatever the mountains throw at it, season after season. I love a duffel: a do-it-all bag that’s as versatile as it is durable. Check out the Patagonia Black Hole, made from 100% recycled materials and highly weather-resistant. Or for wheels that’ll stand up to it all, look no further than The North Face’s Rolling Thunder. This bombproof number made from Base Camp fabric, tried and tested in the mountains, might just be the last bag you ever buy.
ALL IN ONE PLACE
Alternatively, you can pack it all – hardwear included – into a wheeled ski bag. To keep everything organised and protected (especially from sharp edges), use packing cubes – you can separate electronics and accessories from your toiletries and tuning kit, and leave no space unfilled.
WET AND DRY
You have to make the most of every second on the slopes, so how best to pack wet gear when you come straight off the mountain and hit the road home? I use dry bags to separate wet and dry kit from a brand like Osprey or Exped – it works every time and they cost as little as £8 each.
If you’re heading off-piste, pack everything you need for a mega-day. A shovel, probe and transceiver will be top of your list, along with water and energy bars. First aid is a good idea, along with an extra layer. But what about a decent pack to carry it all in? For a lightweight, low-volume freeride option check out the Dakine Heli Pro, but if you’d prefer an airbag pack for more technical forays, check out the Scott Alpride or the Jetforce Pro from Black Diamond.