ISPO HIGHLIGHTS : TOP 5 PACKS AND BAGS

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You can splash the cash on all the latest breathable, waterproof, lightweight apparel on the market but if you’re carrying a donkey of a storage system on your back your mountain adventure can turn into an endurance epic in no time. If you’re into comfortable, practical and straightforward journeys and are on the lookout for a new pack for next winter, then read on…

Lowe Alpine Descent

Lowe Alpine Kulu

1. LOWE ALPINE DESCENT AND KULU PACKS

How old? Lowe Alpine turns 50 this year and to kick off the celebrations, the crew released two new backpacks for AW 17/18 at this year’s ISPO – the Descent and the Kulu. The Descent is a snowsport-specific pack designed to take skiers and boarders into the steep and deep stuff. Well thought-out and packed (sorry..) full of features such as rear entry access, diagonal and A-frame ski carry system, a removable insulated hydration system, and a decent-sized google pocket. The Kulu is a tough, affordable 50-65L backpack that will take you on an adventure without costing the earth. The new FlipBelt allows easy storage of the hip belt when in transit and with an adjustable back system, stow-away rain covers and plenty of well thought out storage features, the Kulu looks like an ideal travelling companion. RRP Descent 35 – £120. Kulu 55/65 £140

Patagonia Descensionist

2. PATAGONIA DESCENSIONIST

Inspired by their popular alpine pack, the Ascensionist, the Descensionist is the culmination of all of Patagonia’s technical backpack know-how channelled into a backcountry ski touring-specific pack. All the features you’d expect from a backcountry pack are evident in the lightweight yet extremely robust Descensionist. Pair it with the new Descensionist touring apparel for an optimised backcountry travel.

Osprey Transporter

3. OSPREY TRANSPORTER SERIES

The Transporter duffel bag is back for AW 17/18 and this time it’s even tougher. Available in a range of sizes, the iconic lightweight travel companion has undergone a significant technical overhaul and includes a range of new features such as a stowable backpack harness, comfort-oriented yoked harness and carry system. The new Transporter is perfect for every trip whether you’re hauling gear on a multi-day mountain expedition or simply stuffing in the essentials for an overnight micro-adventure. Durable yet malleable. We like it.

Salewa Ultra Train

4. SALEWA ULTRA TRAIN 18

The new Ultra Train 18 backpack from Salewa picked up an ISPO Gold Award at this year’s show. Designed for speed hiking, the Ultra Train fuses the worlds of trail running and hiking into one innovative, lightweight, stable and lightweight pack. With the fit of a race vest and the volume of a hiking pack, the Ultra Train 18 is destined to become a favourite with the fast and light mountain fraternity.

Pieps Packs

5. PIEPS SUMMIT AND TRACK PACKS

AW 17/18 sees the launch of two new winter sports packs from the Austrian backcountry specialists – the Track and the Summit. The Track is a general snowsports backpack and comes in a variety of sizes and a couple of women’s specific versions. The Summit series is a more professional affair, optimised for winter alpinism, ice climbing and ski mountaineering. The Summit incorporates all the technical features you could need in a backpack of this kind – from ice axe holders and ice tool attachments to ski and snowboard carrying systems, hydration system compatibility, removable helmet carry, map compartment and glove-compatible buckles. Choose between the 30 L or 40 L version depending on the style of your mountain mission.

REPORT BY SOPHIE NICHOLSON

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