Based in Colorado, Osprey has long been an innovator not only in backpacks that suit a wide range of outdoor adventure, but also a leader in the design of backcountry specific ski packs. The new Soelden 32 offering hits the sweet spot in size and accompanying features for those looking for a such a ski pack. As the name suggests, the Soelden 32 offers a generous volume of 32 liters, more than enough space to carry your essentials and a few extras for a day of ski touring. My recent history of ski pack selection included carrying a pack of 40 liters or even larger for day tours, which often led to bring additional and unneeded weight by filling it with stuff I’d rarely, or never use. Once I started sizing down to a slimmer 32 liter bag, I found that it is more than enough space for the things that I would truly need/use. Readily apparent is the weight of the empty pack, it instantly is lighter due to the construction with lightweight materials that are at once heavy duty and durable. An accessible front pocket has dedicated space for a shovel and probe with enough room for a larger spade, snow saw and other study implements, or any additional accessories such as extra gloves or a puffy. A stashable helmet carry attachment hides out on the exterior near the top, and secures your bucket securely without flopping around. I’m a big proponent of packs that provide access to the main compartment through the back panel which the Soelden 32 does; not only does it allow for a leaner and cleaner storage of gear inside, it also means no wet skins get shoved in from the top during a transition, and your crampons, sandwich, extra layer, first aid kit are all right there where you put them without digging around from a top opening. Dividing interior sleeves allow for separation for your thermos of hot tea or salami chub. A small exterior pocket on top of the pack allows for quick access to a dry hat, use as a goggle stash, or for other items that need quick access. Another small exterior pocket is on the hip belt for sunscreen, chocolate, or any items needed without removing the pack. Skis or a snowboard are easily lashed to the exterior in either A-frame or diagonal configuration for fast transitions to carry mode.
The harness and hip belt suspension system is typical Osprey comfortable with a wide range of adjustment, and shoulder straps are contoured for a comfortable fit that is stable under any load. The hip belt and back panel are likewise made from a lightweight, thermoformed die cut EVA foam panel to ensure stability on the longest descents. Ice axe attachments, an interior hook for a water reservoir, a chest strap with an attached whistle, and a hip belt gear attachment loop are all standard. The Soelden 32 has everything you need and nothing you don’t to carry everything you need and nothing you don’t. As with every Osprey pack, the build is backed by a lifetime warranty in the unlikely event that something should fail on the construction.
Available in Dustmoss Green (pictured) or Black. $160 Osprey.com