12

Are there backpack types/systems that would allow to both conveniently carry snowshoes and ice tools?

I always find that packs with good ice tool attachment system simply have no place for snowshoes. In the scenario when you walk in crampons or micro-spikes, the only place for the snowshoes is on top of the pack blocking the access and also making your profile wide. When the rope is thrown into the mix, this makes for a logistics disaster.

This is not an uncommon scenario though and there must be a solution. Nevertheless ski-mountaineering packs for example have good attachment for skis/snowboard, but are usually too small, climbing packs have no room for snowshoes etc.. Perhaps there is a category of packs for the application or there are features that help to identify possible candidates?

More details about the pack requirements:

Day-trips, not extended expeditions. Current pack Millet Axpel 42, a couple of Petzl ice tools + ice axe, MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes, 50m Petzl rope, crampon bag, ice screws. Lots of things to be kept outside the pack. Winter conditions can be very cold and windy, so have to carry a serious down jacket.

A PROPOSED ANSWER, LOOKING FOR FEEDBACK

I believe that in a climbing specific pack, the single most important extra feature that helps carrying snowshoes, ice tools, rope etc. as described above, is long compression straps with reversed buckles; see for example or some photos I made for this purpose. When configured this way, the compression straps can be lengthened and wrapped around the pack to attach snowshoes, pickets and what not. To my knowledge at least two companies (Gregory and Mountain Hardwear) make packs with reversed buckles and many other do not. Not sure why and what the downside of reversed buckles is.

Other such features are having a side access to the pack (because the top is blocked by the rope) and two lid straps so that the lid buckle doesn't get blocked when the snowshoes are attached.

  • Could you tell us about where in the world you are located just so we know what kind of stores or options there are? – Ice76 Apr 11 '18 at 18:51
  • 1
    I don't think this is location specific. I believe a helpful answer would describe the configuration of packing tools, snow-shoes and a rope as well as give an example pack. From there it should be possible to find a similar pack wherever one is located. Size of the pack might be more important: If it isn't a daypack, many packs have additional straps at the bottom for mattresses and the like, which would also work for snow-shoes. But I am guessing this is about day-packs. – imsodin Apr 11 '18 at 19:04
  • White Mountains, New Hampshire, USA. Day-trips, not extended expeditions. Current pack Millet Axpel 42, a couple of Petzl ice tools + ice axe, MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes, 50m Petzl rope, crampon bag, ice screws. Lots of things to be kept outside the pack. Winter conditions can be very cold and windy, so have to carry a serious down jacket. – Tnatsissa H Craeser Apr 11 '18 at 19:38
  • 1
    Sounds a bit close to a shopping question (Off topic). An edit asking about features to look for would be better. Happy for it to stay as is provided answers avoid product recs. – user5330 Apr 11 '18 at 23:32
  • Rephrased the question to make it more about features/category of packs. – Tnatsissa H Craeser Apr 12 '18 at 15:33
3

I believe you should search for backpacks that are specifically marketed for snow-shoeing/ backcountry skiing and check if they allow carrying ice tools as well. I haven't tested it myself, but it looks like Osprey Kode 30 could be a good fit for you. Well, at least if you don't require a bigger bag. Also, the post seems a bit old, not sure if they still sell those backpacks. In any case, from my experience most of backcountry skiing backpacks do offer a possibility to attach ice tools in one way or another, but I have no idea if they are any good for carrying snow shoes.

  • Maybe along these lines, a large snowboarding pack with those straps across the back to attach the snowboard and with decent ice tool attachment points. Not sure how something like Jones Minimalist 45 works for ice tools, but the configuration and volume seem adequate. – Tnatsissa H Craeser Apr 13 '18 at 0:42
3

Look for a pack where the ice axe is on the side of the back. Strapping snowshoes to the back of a pack is fairly trivial: usually I rig a loop at the bottom of the pack about 4" in diameter. Run the tails of the shoes through the loop, and a bungie cord areound the body of the pack hooking into the toes. (I'm using Ojibway style wood and babiche snowshoes)

If using the current metal tubing style, instead of a loop at the bottom just use a short lanyard with a mini-biner on it.

We used to run cross country team orienteering. Everyone had to have snowshoes, but you didn't have to wear them. Depending on the day, snowshoes would be taken off/put on 6-8 times a day.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.