evo Size and Buying Guides
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A necessary part of your gear for any ski or snowboard backcountry trip, a backcountry backpack holds all your safety equipment and gear in a single compact setup.
Things to consider when buying a backcountry backpack include:
Where are you going? How long will you be gone? The length of your trip and the amount of gear you need to pack will determine your size of backpack.
10-25L (side country from the resort)
30-55L (longer day tour)
Why not just wear your hiking backpack you ask?
Backcountry packs vary from traditional hiking packs for distinct reasons:
Separate Storage of Avalanche Safety Gear: Backcountry backpacks should store your avalanche safety equipment separately and provide easy access when an avalanche situation arises. Avalanche safety gear should be stored inside the backpack, not strapped on the outside, usually in a “wet-room” compartment that has pockets for your probe and shovel.
Ski/Snowboard Carry: Ski/snowboard carry on your backpack is a must when going into the backcountry. A strap carrying system allows you to hike with ease.
Vertical carry vs. Cross carry
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The style of carry is usually a personal preference. Keep in mind how you will be traveling. While an A-frame carry and vertical carry may be more balanced, they can get in the way on certain terrain or if riding on snowmobiles.
Fit also plays a part in what type of pack you’ll want. Consider the layers and outerwear you'll be wearing when using this backpack. Some backpacks come in different lengths. Your pack length should match your torso length to ensure the most comfortable fit.
Important backcountry extras such as airbags and AvaLungs® can make or break a successful rescue should you face an avalanche.
Airbag packs are built to keep avalanche victims on or near the snow’s surface. Research on avalanche airbag system packs indicates greatly reduced mortality by wearing one. In the early stages of an avalanche the surface snow moves much slower than the deeper debris, therefore the skier with an airbag is usually taken for a shorter ride and experiences less trauma.
An AvaLung® is a breathing apparatus that allows a victim to pull oxygen from the surrounding snowpack. The AvaLung® can extend the time the victim can be buried before asphyxiation occurs.