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Our take This pack has all the characteristics of a good ski partner: safety-oriented, up for anything, and always supportive. Credit that latter trait to a contoured fit, which made the lightweight Soelden (and Sopris, the women’s version) our go-to option for long tours. EVA foam hugs the back without swaying or inhibiting mobility, and a lightbulb-shape wire frame and HDPE framesheet transfer weight to the padded hipbelt. One Montana tester, who knocked off 30,000 vertical feet in the Sopris over the course of the season, reported all-day comfort under 20-pound loads.
The details The Soelden has a diagonal ski-carry strap and a helmet-carry net that stows into its own hidden pocket. Glove-compatible buckles keep transition times blessedly short on cold days.
$160; 2 lbs. 9 oz. (m’s); one size each, m’s and w’s