Backcountry skiing is all the rage right now, but sometimes you just want to ride the lifts and find untracked powder beyond a resort’s boundaries. In those instances, you don’t need a full, heavy pack filled with tons of gear to get you through an entire day of touring. Enter the Karve 11 pack from Osprey. This small, functional pack is just the right size to carry your avalanche safety basics (probe, shovel) and still have space for water, food and an extra layer while shredding the sidecountry. I got to ski with the Karve 11 for the past few months, and found it the perfect pack for lift-accessed pow seeking.
The Karve 11 has tons of features that you would expect from a quality company like Osprey, such as a burly padded, reinforced front panel that deflects wear and tear (read: sharp ski edges while hiking,) a removable waist belt that’s low profile and light, insulated hydration sleeve that won’t let your water freeze, Z-shaped compression straps that are quick and easy to use and allow for diverse ways to carry gear, and of course Osprey’s awesome padded back panel that sheds snow and allows back sweat to breathe away.
2012: The Coming Gearpocalypse
The Mayans might have thought the world would end in 2012. We’ll wait and see on all that, I guess. Mean time, a closer onslaught is coming in the form of the season’s biggest outdoor-industry event, the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show, this month, January 19 – 22, in Salt Lake City, Utah, where a literal tsunami of gear will hit. As always, a few “junkies” from our site — reporters, editors, Team GearJunkie athletes — will be on the scene, and we promise comprehensive coverage of the coming swag-storm in SLC. But first, here below we provide a sneak peek at the coming gearpocalypse to preview some of the neatest new gear that will be whirlwinding in to land in stores sometime in mid-2012. Enjoy the ride!
Osprey is the backpack brand that many others aspire to be. It is focused squarely on extremely well-designed high end packs as a primary competence. As such, it can charge more than many other brands can. Because if you’ve ever tried an Osprey pack, you know that it is built like a German car — endlessly engineered for performance, above all. My favorite Osprey feature? The easy-to-grab zipper pulls, shaped like an O. It’s an ingenious tiny little thing that makes them so much easier to use.
With a long-time reputation for performance long-trek backpacks, Osprey also offers packs for the growing segment of backcountry skiers and snowboarders who simply need a sidecountry excursion pack. The Osprey Karve 16 is precisely that: an excursion pack.
Skiers and snowboarders looking for a compact and convenient pack for a day on the slopes will be impressed with the latest series from Osprey Packs.
The Karve Series takes care of insulated hydration delivery, shovels and probes storage and ski and snowboard carrying. The Karve 11 ($88.95) is the mid-size edition in the three model line. It has 11 liters of cargo space for gear and food, plus a zippered front pocket ideal for a shovel blade and ski goggles. There’s also a small zippered pocket for lift passes, money and keys.
The front panel is padded, helping it resist the wear and tear that comes from ski edges.
Like all Osprey Packs, the designers of the Karve series have put a lot of thought into the comfort of the user. The adjustable sternum strap to the removable waist strap help you create the perfect fit. It’s also small enough to be comfortable on ski lifts.
The Karve 11 comes in black, red or white.
Need to compartmentalize your life? The lightweight Flap Jill Courier has enough pockets for all your random loot, reading material, and a change for the gym, plus a separate, padded laptop sleeve to keep your hardware separate from your software. The shoulder strap sits snuggly across your front and a very smart waist strap gives you the option to really lock it in place for longer rides or walks. Three different strap colors come standard to change up this bag’s look and style depending on mood, season, or outfit.