Osprey Kode ABS 22+10
The Kode ABS 22+10 was an absolute winner with us - it's a daypack that you can use year-round, with the added benefit of being ABS compatible, so as and when you can afford a system - or if you just want to remove it for piste skiing or summer hiking - you can reduce the weight and bulk of the Kode and use it as a normal pack thanks to a removable zip-off section that is compatible with the ABS Vario Base Unit.
Also, although ostensibly a 22-litre pack it can be expanded by 10-litres, thus making it a feasible option for multi-day trips into the mountains.
For winter use a large front panel provides zipped access to an avalanche safety kit compartment with shovel and probe sleeves, and glove-friendly zipper pulls and quick release buckles allow for quick and easy use in foul weather.
There's an internal goggle pocket lined with a heat embossed, scratch free material, along with a stowable helmet carry system, while the stable EVA foam harness/frame/framesheet has an insulated hydration hose sleeve, adjustable sternum strap and rescue whistle buckle along with a very comfortable EVA foam waistbelt with two small zippered mesh pockets.
There are carry straps for skis or board, with strategically placed reinforced wear points to protect the pack from metal edge abrasion, and you also get an ice axe/ski pole/walking pole holder.
Access to the main compartment is easy via a dual zippered backpanel entry system, where you'll also find a hydration sleeve - this is especially useful with gloved hands when you don't want to be fiddling about trying to dig out stuff tucked away at the bottom of the pack.
Add to all this great build quality and good looks and it's hard to imagine who wouldn't find the Kode a very desirable bit of kit.