Review: Patagonia Descensionist 40L

Patagonia knows a thing or two about outdoor recreation, and the 40L Descensionist backpack is a culmination of that expertise. Tailored for those who thrive in the backcountry, this pack is my new go-to for a long day out, or even a few. With its burly construction and thoughtful design, it's built for those who demand quality materials and design.

What sets this backpack apart is its remarkable adaptability and functionality. As both a skier and snowboarder, my complex palette requires a versatile backpack that can accommodate both activities—sometimes in the same day. Whether skiing or snowboarding, the multiple carry options provided by the Versatile Strap System offer the kind of flexibility that any avid winter sports enthusiast can appreciate. Between the A-frame, vertical, or cross-carry configurations, the backpack adapts to whatever style nature calls for. Simplifying the pack is also easy for more weight-conscious endeavors. The choice is in my hands—depending on the day's conditions, that is.

Of course, the pack has the usual isolated pocket for safety tools, but also another pocket for smaller snow-science essentials. A full-body zipper enables side entry throughout the main compartment of the pack, allowing easy access to all my goodies on top of the mountain. All in all, this pack blends durability, comfort, and versatility into a single backpack. Whether a seasoned summit-seeker or just beginning the journey into the backcountry, this backpack will surely elevate the experience. $219;