Features: • A-frame and stowable diagonal ski carry straps
• Dedicated avalanche safety pocket
• Stowable diagonal ski carry straps
• Full-length back panel main compartment access
• Oversized top accessory and goggle pocket
• Internal security pocket
• Stowable vertical snowboard / snowshoe carry straps
• Stowable mesh helmet holder
• Dual stowable aluminum toggle ice axe retainers
• Dual-layer HD nylon bottom panel
• Winter- and glove-friendly materials and hardware
If you're like me, your level of organization varies with your mood, somewhere between OCD and a tornado. At any given time the state of your pack may or may not use each of its nooks and crannies to their full potential. I need options. The streamlined 26-liter Targhee splits into three main compartments and houses a collection of other features, like a helmet carry, hip belt pocket, two ski-carry options, and dual ice axe retainers, so I always have at least a couple spots to stash my gear, depending on my mood.
The smallest compartment (which, in most cases, might be referred to as an eyewear pocket, but can hold five to six pairs of goggles) sits at the top and is the guardian of everything important. From goggles to hoagies to hand warmers, I've got everything I don't want to dig for in there with room to spare. Below the small compartment lives a front-access pocket dedicated to rescue tools. The largest and primary compartment is accessible from the back panel. Like an upgrade from coach to first class, the main compartment comes with plenty of extra room you didn't plan on bringing (insert Hermoine's magic purse reference here), easily fitting the two helmets and a puffy I stuffed in to find its max capacity.
It wasn't until I'd collected a decent amount of calorie-burn traveling uphill in Rocky Mountain National Park that I started to appreciate the Targhee's details. Bonus reinforced loops on the shoulder of the pack came in handy for strapping on extra gear and stabilizer straps helped adjust fit and keep weight centered over my hips as the climb got steeper, making the leg burner that much more fun (that is, type-two fun). Well-thought out details set the bar when it comes to features and versatility—now if only the rest of my gear was this adept at dealing with my mood swings.
Skiing Hot: Top of the line features for an average price.
Skiing Not: Shorter skiers will likely find the top of the pack with the base of their helmet, due to a slight rise at the top of the pack that allows for extra volume.
PHOTO BY: Crystal Sagan