Brand new. Quintic 28. Gear of the Year award from backcountry mag.
â€œIâ€™ve never worn a pack thatâ€™s so unobtrusive on the downhill,â€ raves one of our veteran ski tourers, who reports that the Quintic felt unusually trim and balanced when cranking turns in narrow couloirs or crusty snowâ€”situations that call for absolute stability. Credit the unique teardrop shape, which places the bulk of the load at the hips (for less impact on oneâ€™s center of gravity) and tapers toward the top. The lack of upper-end capacity gives the Quintic its â€œbarely thereâ€ feel and enforces a novel approach to access: Instead of using a top lid or clamshell opening, the Quintic has a 12-inch side zipper that opens to the main compartment (which our tester accessed on the go by swinging the pack around to the front of her body). On top, a smaller compartment stashes gloves or goggles.
A dedicated safety-tools pocket stores a probe and shovel (even oversized blades), and a side pocket holds a water bottle or skins. Some testers loved how the compartmentalized layout makes finding stuff fast and easy; others griped about shoving bulky items (like a puffy jacket) through the smallish side zipper. All, however, praised how those pockets remain accessible when carrying skis (diagonal or A-frame) or a snowboard (horizontal or vertical). The suspension (a molded foam backpanel) ably supports up to 20-pound loads. Says one tester, â€œFew sub-three-pound packs offer so much.â€ $200; 2 lbs. 10 oz.; 28 liters