Review: Saddle Peak Backpack

Introducing: the sweet-spot pack for both resort and backcountry skiing. When looking for the ideal ski pack, I wanted versatility. Some days I feel like ripping laps on the chairlift, and other days I seek solitude by working for my turns. The Mystery Ranch Saddle Peak is a 25L pack that's sleek enough to wear comfortably at the resort, but still roomy enough for all the essentials on most backcountry-touring outings.

The pack has an external helmet-carry harness and glove-friendly buckles, so there's no need to take your gloves off to open the pack. The goggle compartment has soft felt for scratch resistance. There's a dedicated avy-gear pocket right at the front of the pack with long, bright-orange zipper strings, and a full-length zipper so you can peel the entire panel off for quick access to shovel and probe. The main pocket also has a full-length zipper, which I find useful for accessing items at the bottom. And of course, there are several options for carrying skis.

I’ve had my fair share of packs that didn’t fit right on my hips or made me feel like I couldn’t cinch down enough. Gone are those days. This pack allows for full adjustment of the back panel, with velcro that allows for moving the entire pack to sit above the hips. Its hard plastic frame wraps over the shoulders for a snug fit that hugs my shoulders. Hats off to the folks at Mystery Ranch for this beauty of a pack.

Available at; $219.