The North Face Forecaster 35 Pack
The Forecaster 35 is a lightweight, high-volume ski pack designed with snow forecasters and ski mountaineers in mind. The pack features a large carry capacity in order to hold all of the necessary equipment for snow analysis or technical ski mountaineering, but still maintains a light weight. The pack itself features a removable PE frame sheet, pocketed hipbelt, helmet holder, and top lid. These components can be removed to customize the pack for your exact backcountry needs. An internal avalanche-tool pocket stores all equipment in a separate compartment for easy access. A unique feature is the pack's ambidextrous diagonal and A-frame ski carry. This pack is thoughtfully crafted to serve the everyday backcountry professional or advanced recreationalist. If you want a backcountry touring pack with a utilitarian yet svelte design, look to the Forecaster 35.
Best alternative to a BD cirque pack I've found, wanted to stay with a simple lightweight pack but wanted a dedicated tool pocket. Perfect size for even big day missions without the lid, with the lid I could see it easily meeting my needs for multiday hut trips. Lots of room for improvement though. Tool pocket does not really fit a primo snow saw, it has a weird corner of the pocket that goes up into the bag that it will go into but it is really difficult to get the saw in and out with the bag loaded. Really wish they made the tool pocket another 1.5"/2" taller. Main compartment bag size is perfect, fits 2l of water, large FA/repair kit, Ski and boot crampons, large puffy, cord, spare pair of thick warm gloves plus food and small tools. Helmet carry is a little small if using a full size ski helmet and goggles (works fine with smaller skimo/climbing style helmets). If they made the straps a little longer and were smart about how they mix up the m/f strap ends they could easily accommodate vertical snowboard carry. Its also missing a whistle on the sternum strap.