By Brian Niles Explorebigsky.com Videographer
A perfect day in the backcountry means good friends, fluffy and stable snow, a two hour hike, 10 minutes of fall line bliss, and a celebratory beer. The right gear is key for this kind of enlightenment. Dakine’s Pro II 26 liter backpack has a dedicated shovel/probe pocket, an insulated hydration sleeve, and a whistle rigged into the chest strap for emergencies (or annoying your friends indoors).
Even with skis strapped to it, I found the Pro II rigid and comfortable, and top and back entries make it easy to get into when there’s a perfect photo-op. Specs: retractable ski carry; vertical snowboard carry; deployable helmet carry; fleece lined goggle pocket; ice axe sleeve; 3 lbs.