Optimized for fast travel, big days and efficient transitions over any terrain, at any time of year - winter alpinism, spring ski traverses and speedy summer rock assault are all in a day's work for this ultra versatile pack.
• Material: High Tenacity 210d Nylon 6.6
• High performance hybrid carry system, with chest pockets
• Zipped lid pocket with 2L of storage
• Under lid internal valuables pocket
• Full length side access zip
• Stashable waist belt and Hip pad
• Easy access stretch side pocket
• Dual icetool carry
• Quick ski carry system with stainless steel hook
• Removable avalanche tools pouch
• Helmet carry compatible
• Available in two back lengths (S/M & M/L)
• Also available in 38L
• Weight: 840 g and 748 g without ski parts
• Ideal for mountaineering, ski mountaineering
Probably user error. Went out for a ski with the new backpack, there the skis on the skimo carry hook, got to the top of our boot and saw that between the shovel and the skis I had worn a hole. I flipped my shovel around in the avy pocket so there would be less contact and maybe that will help fix the problem.
The pack is a lighter duty fabric than I generally want in a ski/ mountaineering pack as well as the webbing. I appreciate that they made an effort to make a spot for avy gear but unfortunately put it in the back of the pack, as most do, for extra floppy skiing and poor weight distribution when packed. Im a bit frustrated that the lid closes in such a way as to make it impossible to put a butterfly coiled rope under it. Although it appears one could rig a rope to the top of the lid. I like how easy the pack is to open and I like the simplicity of the ice tool holders. I also like the soft flask holder and zippered pocket on the shoulder straps. I get the appeal for the side access zipper but I’m not really into it because it’s just one more thing to blow out when you have your pack filled to the brim, and they eventually always blow out. I was pretty pumped about the euro ski carry system but wish it had an adjustable strap on it to secure the skis better rather than just the bungee. I like that it doesn’t have a bunch of extra bells and whistles. A descent amount of options for carrying equipment and somewhat simple.
I've done a couple days of touring with the bag, and overall I love it. The chest pockets are convenient, letting me store easy to access snacks and water. I have tested the ski carry at home, and it works well with my 100mm skis. It does bag things well. A few nitpicks:
1: The hook to secure the lid is a bit finicky when wearing thick gloves. And the lid doesn't tighten down enough. If you are only carrying 15-20 liters of gear, the lid will flop around because you can't cinch it down.
2: The waist and chest strap buckles ice over *very* easily. When skiing on a day with fresh snow on the ground, I spent 10+ minutes clearing snow out of the buckles to get them to clip. The snow gets in, and then when you try to clip the buckles you just pack the snow into little crevices and they no longer work. I've never had this issue with other buckles. After a while I stopped putting my bag on the ground without first re-buckling the buckles so snow couldn't get in. Very annoying when friends and powder turns are waiting after a transition.
3: The avy gear compartment is not exactly quick access. In particular, the shovel blade pocket has a full strip of Velcro at the top closing the blade off, which is hard to open with gloves. And the pocket is much deeper than necessary. So getting to the shovel requires: undoing the lid's hook, then undoing the main cinch, then undoing the Velcro, and then digging to get the blade out from the bottom half of the pack, where it has inevitably ended up. I'm going to sew a line across the shovel pocket so that my shovel blade sticks out of the top and I don't have to deal with the Velcro.
I realize I'm sort of mis using the pack. Ski touring on powder days with avy gear and digging pits is not its primary focus. But I love the chest pockets and overall simplicity. This bag with a dedicated avy pocket and better buckles would be an instant re-buy for me. As is, I'll use it for spring touring days.
I have been using the Firecrest 28 for a full season of summer alpine rock climbing in the Cascades, and I'm very impressed! There is just enough space to bring what you need for a big day of mountain efficiency in the alpine. Pair the water bottle pocket on the right shoulder strap with a squeeze filter, and you never have to carry water on your approach hikes in the Cascades. Speaking of shoulder straps...these things are perfectly cut and so wide that it feels like your getting a soft embrace from your pack the entire time you wear it. Comfort to the max! The cell phone pocket on the left strap allows me to approach in shorts without pockets and still have my phone accessible for photos.
I look forward to testing out ski features this winter, though the shovel pocket will require a smaller shovel blade than my winter shovel so this may be best for late spring ski mountaineering.
Had a climbing pack and a ski pack I acquired in 2007. Both were working flawlessly to this day. Packs have transformed from 15 years ago as gear has become lighter and stronger. This pack takes all those advances and finds a place for them, everything you need, nothing you don't.
Ironically, the person responsible for the first two packs, was also behind this pack.
This is a philosophy, not a hard and fast rule. These advances are all around us. The two packs from 2007 have been replaced by the Firecrest 28, but the two packs will keep being used and not tossed aside. Suddenly, my "state of the art" 40L pack from 2007 is a load hauler with these advancements.
Can't wait to see what my 28L Firecrest is doing for me in 2032.