Brand spankin’ airbags, new players entering the sector, expansion and improvements to existing models and ranges – it’s all happening in the world of backcountry packs!
The biggest story for winter 2021 is Osprey’s avy airbag debut – the new Soelden Pro (men’s) and Sopris Pro (women’s) are two technical backcountry-specific packs with the Alpride E1 Electronic Avalanche Airbag. Light, easy to use, travel-friendly and packed full of backcountry specific features, these packs look destined for backcountry greatness next winter.
Elsewhere in the airbag arena, Arva’s Reactor dual-airbag canister packs with new Flex Technology now allow you to create the right backpack for your particular mountain mission. Choose between a 24L, 32L or 35L carrying capacity and get out there in safety.
Regular ski touring packs that caught our eye at this year’s ISPO include the brand new Revolt 25 & 35 from Lowe Alpine (the climbing and mountaineering backpack specialist’s first dedicated ski touring pack), the updated ISPO award-winning Haute Route 40 from Ortovox (with new O-Flex-2 Back System for improved load distribution) and the new and improved Descensionst from Patagonia (now available in 32L and 40L versions with roll-top system and more durable construction).
Other updates of note include Deuter’s overhaul of their Freerider pack series. Our fave is the Freerider Pro – a 34L (men’s) or 32L (women’s) backcountry pack that’s ideal for technical days in the mountains when you need a bit more space to fire in your harness and crampons. It comes with some wicked design features including a brilliant optional roll-top closure that provides an additional 10L expandable storage capacity, transforming it into multi-day touring pack.
Fast and light folks looking for maximum vert will want to get eyes on Black Diamond’s awesome trail running inspired Cirque 22 Ski Vest. Low profile but big on features, it comes with dedicated avy tool storage, diagonal ski carry, easy access skin/crampon compartment and can be configured as a single compartment or divided top to bottom.
At the other end of the spectrum, cliff hucking safety conscious freeriders will be stoked to hear that Evoc are launching a new avalanche airbag with integrated back protector. The new Line R.A.S. Protector pack is Mammut R.A.S 3.0 airbag-ready and comes with a removable Liteshield level 1 back protector.
AND CHECK BACK IN FOR OUR PREVIEW OF THE BEST NEW BACKCOUNTRY SAFETY ACCESSORIES – COMING SOON!
MORE NEW GEAR FOR WINTER 2021:
WINTER 2021 – THE BEST NEW SKI CLOTHING
WINTER 2021 – OUR PICK OF THE BEST NEW BOOTS
UK SKI TEST 2020 – VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS