[backcountry ski days]
Powder hounds who carry the essentials—and nothing more—loved the Daytour. This streamlined top-loader has a zippered front pocket that’s designed for an avalanche shovel and probe, while the interior compartment is just big enough for a hydration bladder, an extra layer, goggles, and snacks.
“It’s broad and shallow, so it hugs my back and rides stable and trim,” said our tester after skiing on Wyoming’s Teton Pass. A detachable, X-shaped helmet strap features a rubberized surface that firmly secured her brain bucket for skinning, and the padded backpanel enhanced ventilation by channeling air between the shoulder blades. Downsides: no hipbelt pockets, and the shovel pocket was too narrow for some blades. $125; 1,525 cu. in./24 liters; 3 lbs.; vaudeusa.com