Brand: Osprey Gear Reviews
Model: Kamber 42/Kresta 40
Ski packs, perhaps more so than any other piece of winter gear, boast an incredible number of features. The Kamber is no exception, and for the past 11 years—since it was first introduced as the Kode—it’s proven time and again that its feature set is the most dialed one on the mountain.
Every buckle, strap, and pocket on the Kamber (the Kresta is the women’s version) puts exactly what you need within easy reach. The avalanche tool pocket has three zipper pulls—one of which is red for visibility—so you can access it in seconds no matter the current ski, ice tool, or strap configuration on the pack’s frontpanel. “My favorite detail is the helmet carry,” our gear editor says. “You can stretch it to sit over the toplid or the frontpanel, depending on preference and where your skis are. Along with the strippable toplid, which I take off for shorter day missions, it gives the feeling of a customizable pack.”
The Kamber is also one of the best load-bearing ski packs we’ve used: Its wire perimeter frame and plastic framesheet let us schlep 35 pounds into Colorado’s Lost Wonder Hut on Monarch Pass. Thick side straps and webbing keep skis and snowboards secure in every possible carry (A-frame and diagonal for skis, vertical and horizontal for boards), and the no-budge buckles mean everything stays put and close to your back for steep bootpacks.
To top it off, the Kamber’s 420-denier nylon fabric and rubberized sections on the tool and board carry straps mean it held up well to rock walls, sharp edges, and rough helicopter rides. Which is great, because it’s the only ski pack we ever want to use.
42 liters/40 liters; m’s S-L, w’s XS-M;