Our take This pack provides the quickest access to avalanche gear of any in the test. The Sisu’s long, rectangular front panel peels back via a hook-and-loop closure and easy-to-grip pull handle. “A sluff with a 9-inch crown caught my buddy outside Aspen, Colorado, and I had my probe and shovel out before he stopped tumbling,” one tester says. (His friend escaped, and the only thing they dug out were skis.) Testers also praised the packbag’s main zipper, which bisects the backpanel doctor-bag style to make loading and unloading a snap. (The zipper tucks into the backpanel so you can’t feel it.) The packbag’s large, 38-inch-circumference also makes loading from the top a cinch.
The details The Sisu is built to haul. “Its molded EVA backpanel and stiff nylon framesheet spread out my nearly 50-pound kit so that it felt balanced,” reported a tester after trekking through the Dolomites. Two vertical stays add support to big loads. Quibble: There are gear loops on the hipbelt wings, but no pockets.
Trail cred “I traveled more than 14,000 air miles with the pack stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, and then hiked and skied another 150. Neither luggage belts nor sharp limestone scarred the Sisu’s TPU-coated, 630-denier nylon,” one tester says.
50 liters; one size