Just because it’s May 18th doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still bring your BCA Airbag Pack with you into the backcountry. Snowbird is reporting 8″ as of noon today and it’s still dumping so avalanches are still of concern. Backcountry Access’s Airbag Pack will help keep you safe when things don’t go as planned. With a built in airbag that is triggered via a pull string positioned on your shoulder strap the Float 32 pack will greatly increase your chances of survival when caught in an avalanche. By increasing your buoyancy and protecting your head from debris this pack offers a huge advantage over most packs. The pack also comes with all the standards you expect from traditional packs including external shovel and probe pockets, hydration sleeve, mesh helmet carrier, and lined goggle pocket.
If you’re thinking about traveling with this pack remember to deploy the airbag prior to departing as airport security will not let you through with the cylinder loaded. But, don’t fret as BCA has many refill locations all around the U.S. and Canada. For more information including survival statistics be sure to check out Unofficialnetworks.com’s report.
The Under Armour Unchained Jacket combines performance and value into one. It’s 10K rated waterproof Armourstorm fabric and tapered seams keep you dry on the wettest of days. And it’s $132.99 price tag will keep your wallet full all winter. Not only will this jacket keep you warm and dry but with Under Armour’s hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs cold wrists from snowy sleeves will be a thing of the past. You’ll also never have to worry about losing all those important ski items as Under Armour included a pocket for just about everything including your ipod, goggles, pass, and cell phone. Under Armour also gave you the ability to zip off your hood and powder skirt for when the season starts to wind down and temps start to rise. If you’re looking for a jacket that can do it all and for a reasonable price look no further than the Under Armour Unchained Jacket.
The Armada JJ could certainly fit the bill for a one ski quiver setup. An extremely light and maneuverable ski the JJ absolutely slays it on and off the groomer. Even if you’re looking for a new backcountry board the JJ will impress. With it’s tapered tip and tail Armada was able to shave a ton of weight off the ski while also eliminating swing weight. The JJ’s dimensions (126 / 136 / 115 / 133 / 123) seem odd but this is becoming more and more common as ski manufactures catch on to the benefits of tapered tips and tails.
Armada also put plenty of rocker in the ski guaranteeing you won’t sink in the deep. The flex is pretty soft and poppy making for a very playful ski in the pow but not necessarily the ski you want when bombing down straight-lines. The ski also has plenty of sidecut making it very easy to rail around on groomers with. This ski could truly be your quiver killer.
The Black Diamond Expedition Pole is a great option for any backcountry enthusiast ready to ditch their resort poles for a much more functional touring pole. Reasonably priced at $89.95 you won’t find a sturdier pole for shredding outside of the resort boundaries. With the flick of a lever the Expedition Pole quickly adjusts to any length for those steep climbs. The grips are super comfy and the large diameter shafts ensure you won’t break this pole even on the most aggressive pole plants. Also, check out Black Diamond’s Carbon Probe Pole. It comes with the same burliness as the Expedition but includes a built in probe for easy access when things don’t go as planned.
If you haven’t given Patagonia’s line of thermo underwear a chance yet you’ve been missing out. Their trademark Capilene material is unmatched especially for individuals who have sensitive skin. Unlike a lot of other thermowear out there Patagonia’s Capilene material doesn’t itch your skin when you sweat, especially if you wear their silk-weight line as your base layer. Their thermowear also does a great job of masking those dingy B.O. smells that thermo underwear tends to attract over time. I’ve owned an array of different thermo’s and the only ones that don’t make even my dog want to puke are my Patagonia’s. A little bit pricier than the competitors but with a life-time warranty and unbeatable comfort you’d be silly not to give these a try.
The Dakine Poacher Backpack is a great option for any skier/snowboarder interested in heading into the backcountry. A bit large for resort shredding, however the extra space comes in handy when heading out for a slacker Rocky/Patsey lap. If you heat up quick while hiking like myself you’ll be stoked you have extra room for all those layers you’ll be stripping.
With the ability to carry both skis and snowboards this pack doesn’t discriminate. The outside pocket gives you quick access to your shovel and probe and the back-access allows you to grab those hard to reach items without unloading your entire pack.
The insulated hydration sleeve works ok but, I still found my water tube freezing on the colder days. The waist straps come with a tiny pocket for your camera or cell phone which I found extremely convenient for snapping those all important hero shots of your buddies. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced pack to get you off the chairlifts and into the backcountry then look no further. The Poacher pack will not disappoint!
Marker’s Duke touring binding has been on top of the game for years now but with this years release of Salomon’s Guardian binding, Marker had to make some adjustments in order to stay competitive. New to this year Marker widened their frame by 28% as well as widened their screw holes. This helps tremendously with edge transfer when mounted on the ever-so-popular wider powder skis. Marker also improved upon their heal riser, making it easier to switch in and out of the three different height settings using your pole. Unfortunately, you still have to rip your skis off to lock the binding back to it’s downhill mode; something Salomon improved upon by giving their Guardian binding the ability to lock back into place simply by stepping down with your heal. Although Marker has not improved upon this feature my experience with the Duke has been great. I’ve skied it everyday for the past two seasons in and out of the resorts and have never had a problem. If you’re looking for a binding that can get you down High Boy and back up Patsey Marley then look no further.