Not everyone wants or can afford the expense of a pack with an in-built avy protection system, and if that’s you then you should check out the great value Backcountry 30 from Marmot.
The Backcountry 30 has, not surprisingly, a capacity of 30 litres and as such is big enough to carry all you need for a day or overnight backcountry tour at the same time as not being too unwieldy for a few hours of side country or even piste skiing.
Build quality is reassuringly rugged and the fit is comfortable and secure, although I would have liked the zipped hip belt pockets to be further forward on the belt for easier access.
The pack has a diagonal ski carry system and vertical board carry system so works for whatever kind of rider you are, and comes with an easy access front tool pocket for all your avy gear.
The main compartment is accessed from the back panel which initially I wasn’t keen on but once you get used to it it’s actually very effective and gives quick and easy access to all your kit.
There’s also a small organiser pocket and an hydration sleeve in there, and your drinking tube slots into an insulated hydration sleeve on the left shoulder strap to help prevent it freezing up.
Other features include a stowable mesh helmet carrying system, top compression straps and – my favourite – a huge microfleece lined goggle pocket on the top of the pack which was so snug and capacious I was tempted to try and get into it myself.
All told, the Backcountry 30 is a great backcountry ski/board pack and will also double up just fine in summer as a regular hiking pack, making it even better value.