“It’s the best organized big-day backcountry ski pack I’ve used,” says a tester who hauled the Plecotus from the northern Rockies to Iceland. A dedicated exterior pocket for avalanche shovel and probe opens with one yank, making access to safety tools faster and easier than with packs that store them inside. A stretchy net holds a helmet snug against the pack (where it doesn’t catch snow). Waterproof zippers and a waterproof pocket inside the lid keep valuables dry through wet snowfall, and super-sturdy ski straps (backed with Velcro for adjustability) secure even the fattest powder boards in an A-frame configuration. (It carries a snowboard too, vertically.) A side zipper makes it easy to reach gear stored in the bottom or middle of the pack without exposing contents to precipitation, and ice-shedding metal hooks (rather than plastic buckles, which can freeze and lock up) secure the side compression straps and stretchy shove-it pocket. A framesheet and cushioned foam backpanel, with a pronounced lumbar pad, made the pack feel secure even with 20-pound loads.
Fully loaded, the pack didn’t bother our tester even when she was making short, fast turns. The 1,000-denier Cordura fabric and Hypalon attachment points showed no wear after a season of rough treatment.