CamelBak’s Backcountry Tour Pack

Stay hydrated in the backcountry with CamelBak's Phantom, designed specifically for skiers

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Price: $130

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CamelBak in the backcountry. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller
CamelBak in the backcountry. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller

CamelBak Phantom 20 LR Ski Pack
MSRP: $130
CamelBak.com

When you’re out hiking, biking, and running, you see CamelBak packs everywhere. You almost never see one on the skin track. That might soon change, thanks to the new Phantom 20 LR pack, which is specifically designed to haul water, avalanche safety gear, and powder boards up snowy mountains to your favorite backcountry stash.

To accommodate skiers, CambelBak designed the 3-liter lumbar reservoir so it sits horizontally at the bottom of the pack instead of having it run up and down. This helps keep your center of gravity low when you’re climbing couloirs or making steep turns.

A front pocket for easy access to all your avy gear. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller
A front pocket for easy access to all your avy gear. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller

The Phantom will carry your skis in an A-frame or diagonal position and dedicated avy and goggle pockets sit on the front of the pack. The main center pocket is roomy enough for extra layers and has a zipper that allows it to fold open so you can see everything in there at once instead of having to pile through the top.

A thick hip belt helps distributes the weight when the pack is loaded with skis and H20, and extra large zipper pulls are designed to work with gloves. Resort skiers will appreciate the way it compresses if you want to ride the lift, and like all CamelBak products, the Phantom 20 LR is reasonably priced at $130.

The only ding against the Phantom is that it won’t work when temperatures drop past a certain point. The hydration hose is insulated, but as many of us know, insulation does nothing if it’s really cold. But that’s fine. If you know the mercury is going to hover around zero, take the bladder out and stuff a water bottle in with your extra layers instead.

A horizontal bladder keeps your center of gravity low, ideal for climbing up steep couloirs. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller
A horizontal bladder keeps your center of gravity low, ideal for climbing up steep couloirs. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller