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Packs for Carrying Snowshoes

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  • Packs for Carrying Snowshoes

    All, I posted a query on this topic about 6 years ago -- and received many thoughtful comments. My needs have changed so here is a re-query. I am looking for recommendations for winter packs that allow me to attach both snowshoes, together, to the back of the pack -- I do NOT want to put one snowshoe on each side. It would be great if the pack had a comfortable waist belt that carried some of the load and if the pack size was in the range of 34-38 liters.

    For the past 10 years I have used a 28 liter Arc'teryx Quintic pack that is tough as iron and lets me strap both snowshoes together on its back. It is, however, a bit small for the longer winter trips, and does not have a proper waist belt. Obviously, putting shoeshoes on the back means that the pack must be able to be opened from the top and/or accessible from the sides. (As is the case with the Quintic.)

    Thanks for any thoughts or comments you might have.

  • #2
    My osprey talon 33 is amazing for the winter IF I am going with my 22" MSR Evo Ascents. The talon has a little "sleeve" of sorts on the back, I put the msr's together crampons into each other, slide them in the sleeve and there is small buckle to secure them with, and then I put my pouched crampons on them towards the outside secured with the outer snowshoes straps (and crampons and spikes fit right in that sleeve easy when 'shoes are on my feet). great system, but the sleeve is too small for sure for my bigger snowshoes (for them I use a different style teton bag). the talon 33 is great for winter, has top opening so 'shoes can stay in sleeve secured on back but i can still get into the bag itself, it easily holds all the extra gear/puffy/clothes/bottles-thermoses (in side mesh pouches or main bag), top zippered pouch for easy access, hip belt pouches for goo/trail mix/other food.
    If your snowshoes are a little big/longer might still fit in the sleeve, and you might be able to strap them to the pack out of the sleeve, but my Tubbs just seem to big for that bag. My teton is a Canyon model, 35l, and I am able to strap the Tubbs to the back of them rails-in using the big Tubbs Velcro strap run through the bag's back daisy chains. That bag seems a little big for me now so I prefer the osprey, but the teton has a nice separate zippered bottom compartment for sleeping bags, which is good in the winter for crampons/puffy/etc stuff you might want to keep separate out of main compartment. super comfortable padded hip belt with strap wider than the ospreys but no pouches on the hip belt.
    "Only those who risk going too far can possibly know how far one can go"
    T.S. Eliot


    • #3
      Take a look at the Osprey Kamber series. They have snowboard straps on the back that will accommodate most, if not all, snowshoes on the market. The Kamber series is more of a ski pack, but works very well for winter hiking due to a supportive hipbelt. I own the Kamber 42 for backcountry skiing and it's great, however, a little heavy at 4+ pounds, but both sizes offers a very nice, full back-panel zip into the main compartment. Osprey offers a 32L and a 42L size. I recommend trying the 42L as you can always strip the top lid off to save weight & unused space.


      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        LOVE my Kamber!

    • #4
      Thanks to both bikerhiker and ChrisCNY. I like Osprey and have two of their packs now (one for heavy duty backpacking and one for ADK dayhiking in non-winter conditions). Will look more carefully at the Kamber and Talon.


      • #5
        I've got maybe 12 different packs (yes I have a gear problem but that's not why we're here) and thanks to the magic of gear ties, my snowshoes will attach to all of them. You really don't need a special pack for this, just some of these:

        edit: you can also buy that stuff by the spool now, which is very convenient to have around.
        My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          Velcro straps accomplish same though this twisty stuff looks easier to fiddle with when your hands are cold.

          I agree you don't need a special pack, just an eye for where the snowshoes will strap securely to your existing pack and not flop around.

      • #6
        I use a Mystery Ranch (formerly Dana Designs) Scree. Itís 32 liters so itís just a touch under what youíre looking for but my MSR Lighting Ascents strap to the back center of the pack with no added lashes or bungees. My MSRs are 30Ē and I can still access the contents of my pack from the top, although it is a little more arduous to get things from the bottom.

        I have a left shoulder issue so I needed a back that displaced weight to my hips well and this pack definitely fits that bill. I had an Osprey Talon 33 before this MR and I loved it, but it didnít keep the weight of my shoulders as well.

        Admittedly, I havenít had a ton of different packs in my lifetime, but I love the Scree and would absolutely recommend it. Although it does not breathe well when hiking in the summer, so I do get a sweaty back.

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


        • #7
          I have an older version of the Deuter Rise 34+.

          Scroll through the pictures until you see how they attached a snowboard. It works perfectly for snowshoes, and I've used this on many winter hikes. I think I bought mine in fall 2015, and it's holding up well so far.
          46/46 12/46W


          • Ebbinghaus
            Ebbinghaus commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks. That is the sort of thing I am looking for. The Kamber looks like a good solution as well. Will try to get one of each and play around with them at home before sending one back.

        • #8
          Originally posted by Ebbinghaus View Post
          Thanks to both bikerhiker and ChrisCNY. I like Osprey and have two of their packs now (one for heavy duty backpacking and one for ADK dayhiking in non-winter conditions). Will look more carefully at the Kamber and Talon.
          - The Kamber 32 is the model of the blue pack I have been using.
          - It has two horizontal 7/8" straps on the back top and back bottom. I carried my MSR Evo's just fine with the top strap.
          - I also carried a pair of Tubbs 30" Mountaineer snowshoes but then I used the top and bottom 7/8" wide straps.
          - I like the wide waist belt. The pack is heavier however. But the waist belt makes up for it because it can transfer the load off the shoulders and onto the hips.



          • Ebbinghaus
            Ebbinghaus commented
            Editing a comment
            Lol -- after all of these months and years staring at the back of that pack guess I didn't recognize it in all of those other views of it online!

          • Hear the Footsteps
            Hear the Footsteps commented
            Editing a comment
            Well it hasn't been years. It was a Christmas Present

        • #9
          I mostly use an older GoLite Jam pack (about 45 liters) and it's extremely versatile, comfortable and lightweight. The founder of GoLite started a new company, My Trail Co., which offers the same style of pack in 35 liter and 50 liter options. A few features that I really love are 1) the straps that can secure across the front of the pack (to carry snowshoes), but also can strap across the sides instead; 2) the large hip belt pockets that carry lots of snacks, hand warmers, phone, etc.; and 3) the ability to reduce the volume of the pack by about 50% to a "day pack" size (50L compacts to 20L and 35L compacts to 15L) using the clips on the bottom of the pack.

          This year, I tried using my Osprey Tempest 40 (the women's version of the Talon) as my winter pack, but there aren't any convenient places to lash straps on to hold my snowshoes, and I don't want to damage the front pocket with snowshoe crampons.
          We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige


          • FlyFishingandBeer
            FlyFishingandBeer commented
            Editing a comment
            GoLite stuff was awesome. Light, durable, and dirt cheap compared to most brands. The new GoLite just isn't the same; its basically a yoga pant company now.

            My method for attaching snowshoes to Osprey packs is essentially the same for all of them. I use a nylon/velcro strap to fasten my snowshoes to each other (crampon to crampon) and then use Gear Ties (linked in comment above) to attach the snowshoes to the pack's side compression straps. It keeps them snug and secure and takes less than a minute to rig up.

          • debmonster
            debmonster commented
            Editing a comment
            Agreed about the new GoLite, but this is a different company, called My Trail Co. The founder of GoLite bought the design patents and started the new company, so the packs are almost identical to the old versions. I'm just waiting for a women's pack.

            Thanks for the gear tie suggestion. I use one for my hydration hose and will try your technique for snowshoes.

        • #10
          I have a Osprey Talon 22 which I've kind of used for everything, all seasons, etc. I just added some D clips to the side compression straps and run 3/4" nylon webbing across the front of the pack and I carry my Northern Lites on them (crampons out). Has worked for years, I'll take the top strap off in the summer sometimes, that is just a loop. the bottom strap are mostly permanent to the pack unless I want to fuss with them whcih I generally do not


          Life is a short, warm moment
          And death is a long cold rest.
          You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
          Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
          -Pink Floyd


          • #11
            Ortovox Peak 45. End of story.

            they also sell a 35 and a 42short

            I bought it this past winter and used it 7x in the Catskills to finish my Winter 35. Replaced my old Osprey Kestrel 48 from 10 years ago which was like 5lbs

            love it. Rides well. Looks sharp. Neat features.
            2 zippers that go all the way around 2 different compartments on pack for easy access.
            comes with additional buckles that help you cinch down snowshoes, snowboard, or skis
            i use for snowshoes
            actually 2 different sets of buckles
            1 set has double female ends
            the other has a male and female end

            i use double female ends buckles for my Tubbs Mountaineer 30"
            you unclip your side compression straps on pack. Hook females. Run it through snowshoes, clip on other unbuckled compression strap and pull both outward to cinch down tight. Neat and easy. No fuss

            i think they have pics of a snowboard attached to pack but you can easily swap that for snowshoes
            carrying snowshoes was never so easy

            Mont Bell makes a similar style pack or 2 but I never tried them. I think the Mont Bell Landner 33 & 40.

            I bought the Ortovox peak 45 and never looked back

            swisswool backing. Nice finishes. $200 I think. Lemme know what you think.....
            Catskills: 39/39, 35W/35W
            ADK: 46/46