Each of these daypacks are slim and sleek enough to ride chairlifts while offering enough storage for an extra layer, water, snacks, and miscellaneous items—sunscreen, spare goggle lens, and PB&Js. The packs also carry your skis (either A-frame or diagonally, or both) and include a separate pocket for your avalanche safety equipment. Another common feature they all share is a helmet-carry system, which nowadays is obligatory for ridge hikes and riding the bus.
With numerous pockets for all your trinkets and tools, the Backcountry Access Stash, first released in 2016, defines the category. Its sleek design makes it a resort pack, but its myriad features allows it to function as a backcountry companion. A bonus with this pack, which has diagonal and A-frame ski carry, is that it is compatible with BCA's BC Link two-way radio system (sold separately) for improved communication in the backcountry.
The Dakine Poacher is the one pack in this group that is airbag compatible, designed to accommodate the Mammut Removable Airbag System (RAS, $400). That system is sold separately, but the pack remains a solid choice even without it. With Dakine's trademark for style and having enough pockets to efficiently organize all your gear, the Poacher is an ideal choice for resort skiing and quick laps out of bounds, allowing skis to be carried both diagonally or A-frame.
With top access and a large back panel opening, digging into the interior of the Spindrift is a cinch, even while wearing gloves. Unique to this pack (the smallest in the lineup) are the large hip belt pockets, making small items, such as a phone or camera, easily accessible. They're also sized to stow your skins. A diagonal ski carry rounds out this lightweight pack.
With external rope and crampon fasteners, as well as a map compartment and SOS emergency information panel, the Haute Route 32 is ready for committed tours. But with a comfortable back panel and stylish appearance, it's right at home riding lifts as well. Outfitted to carry skis diagonally or A-frame.