Gear Review: Marmot Backcountry 30 Backpack

The ultimate snow sports daypack

[best all-around]

“Everything I’ve ever wished for is built into this daypack,” reports one Colorado tester, who found its feature set perfect for summit bids off Cameron Pass and powder missions in the Park Range. A dedicated pocket stores avy tools; an insulated shoulder strap keeps a hydration tube from freezing; the tuckaway sling secures a helmet; a huge goggle pocket stashes shades, and the clamshell opening (using a U-shaped zipper on the backpanel) offers speedy access to the entire packbag.

Ski loops are burlier than most, thanks to a two-inch-wide strip of 1,680-denier ballistics nylon that’s tough enough to handle metal edges and points. Even the zipper pulls are standout: Y-shaped plastic pieces hold the pull cords open, forming loops that are easy to grab with gloves on. Two hipbelt pockets hold snacks and a point-and-shoot. A tough plastic framesheet keeps water bottles and lumpy cargo from poking into your back, and deep grooves on the molded backpanel provide above-average ventilation. A curved aluminum stay arches around the pack and transfers 25-pound loads to the hips for good comfort and stability. Bummer: That stay sometimes bumped the backs of testers’ heads, especially when they wore helmets. $149; 3 lbs. 4 oz.; 30 liters; marmot.com