Charging by means of fluffy, wild snow that you simply’ve climbed for is a outstanding feeling. It’s a kind of pure out of doors experiences the place nature is the medium; easy gear allows your motion and expression inside it. It’s akin to browsing (so I’m instructed, I’m afraid of water). Your gear should fade into the background to maximise the expertise. It should perform flawlessly however not distract from the second; it should work in concord along with your physique.
The Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 is subjectively probably the most aesthetic pack on the market proper now. And on prime of that, I discovered that its minimalist design translated to minimal distraction from powder snowboarding in Colorado’s Mosquito and Gore Ranges.
However the SK 32 is extra than simply beauty and skiability; it’s loaded with revolutionary options that mix seamlessly into the design.
In brief: The Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 pack is purpose-built for backcountry ski touring in moist circumstances. Above all, it skis nice. On prime of that, its waterproof roll-top design expands the capability to 40 L, its aspect entry zippers are beneficiant, and the pack is constructed to final. The one factor it doesn’t excel at is carrying a piolet or ice instruments with out an extra ski strap. (For ski mountaineering, this pack will fall quick.)
210D Cordura nylon 6,6 w/ 6.5 twisted 200D LCP grid
A-frame or diagonal
Taped seams, roll-top closure, WaterTight zippers
Goggle pocket, elastic hip pocket
Technical instrument attachment
Ice instrument decide loop, hip belt ice clipper slot
Rope carry compatibility
Waterproof zipper entry to security pocket and essential compartment
Modern and waterproof
Expands to as much as 40 L
Goal-built for ski touring
Beneficiant side-access zippers
Ergonomic for snowboarding
Does not match an ice axe effectively (with out an additional ski strap)
Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 Overview
Pack in Motion
The Rush SK 32 skis exceptionally, even when the powder disappears and sastrugi begins tossing you round. A uniquely inflexible again panel suspends the pack’s weight and its curved profile matches properly towards your again. The compression straps cinch the whole lot down tight, together with the primary compartment, which interprets to a compact and predictable snowboarding companion. Nothing flops round. The load rides in your hips and near your again, proper the place you need it.
Inevitably the run ends and it’s time to transition. Usually meaning donning skins and pointing it again uphill. However when meaning boot packing, the SK 32 carries skis very effectively, particularly A-frame ones. Its comparatively inflexible construction offers loads of assist to maintain your skis upright and stops them from swaying, hitting you within the head, or detaching from one another on the ideas.
Diagonal carry, so far as I can inform, requires one ski strap hooked up to the underside loops to make it work. Most packs have an built-in ski carry loop close to the skin backside of the pack, however I don’t thoughts the ski strap technique. It omits an additional webbing loop that’s vulnerable to snagging.
Construct and Options
The roll-top closure is probably the most distinctive characteristic of the Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 Backpack. Though it requires some fiddling to get it closed, it provides important quantity capability to the pack. When absolutely stuffed, it holds no less than 40 L inside. The roll prime, together with taped seams, additionally retains the contents of the pack dry even in dumping snow and rain.
I used to be pleasantly shocked by how purposeful the 32L+ capability turned out to be. Usually, I battle to suit my helmet inside a pack this measurement, which is my choice. Nonetheless, my Petzl Meteor slotted properly into the highest of the pack, together with all my different day-touring necessities. For individuals who favor exterior helmet carry, the detachable helmet carry system is efficient and frees up house for large days within the backcountry.
Pockets, Pouches, and Straps
I’m an enormous fan of the 2 burly weatherproof aspect zippers — one to entry the avi instruments pocket, the opposite to entry the pack’s essential compartment. I discovered myself pulling my shovel and probe out way more usually to dig hasty pits, have a look at snow layers, and probe snow depth as a result of the instruments had been really easy to entry and exchange.
The principle compartment aspect zipper is beneficiant. I accessed layers and water completely by means of the aspect, which diminished the necessity to roll and unroll the highest entry. It additionally retains the pack’s contents extra organized than accessing the whole lot from the highest (and subsequently pulling each very last thing out of the bag to get to these gloves stashed within the backside).
Except for the aesthetic, the characteristic that garnered probably the most gear envy amongst my ski companions was the huge goggle pocket on the prime of the pack. It’s sufficiently big to hold all your miscellaneous issues: keys, snacks, sun shades, sunscreen, and so forth. There’s additionally a low-profile elastic hip pocket that I instantly wrote off as a result of it lacked zipper safety. After stuffing it with snacks, I got here round. I wouldn’t put a telephone or leatherman in there, but it surely’s good for snacks or a glop stopper.
Radios are a important piece of drugs for backcountry snowboarding. Though the Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 backpack doesn’t have a devoted radio attachment level, my Rocky Talkie sat properly on my shoulder, albeit a bit excessive, hooked up to the pack’s load adjustment straps. The sternum strap daisy chain and the hip belt’s ice clipper slot are further clip choices.
I used to be curious to see how this ski-touring pack would carry out in a mountaineering or ice-climbing context. So I took it out for a number of days of backcountry mountain climbing. What shocked me probably the most is that the Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 Backpack carries weight considerably higher than every other pack I’ve tried on this quantity class. All these kilos of climbing metal, aluminum, and nylon journey sustainably on the hips. The load adjustment straps mean you can disperse the load as wanted.
I didn’t notice how elegant the pack’s rope-carry system is till I had a coiled rope in my hand. After draping it excessive, the roll-top closure’s aspect buckles tuck across the coiled rope and direct it by means of the compression straps on the aspect of the pack.
Right here’s the catch: This pack doesn’t accommodate an ice axe very effectively or ice instruments in any respect with out an extra ski strap. I’ve stared at it for no less than an hour, and if there’s an built-in instrument grip or piolet shaft attachment level, I can’t discover it. It does maintain an ice axe. The decide passes by means of a webbing loop on the backside of the pack the place the bungee dogbone can wrap across the shaft close to the pinnacle. However the spike aspect of the shaft is left unsecured.
The detachable splitboard carry strap can maintain the shaft from falling outward. But it surely doesn’t safe it laterally. It really works. However a easy Velcro loop, like these included on the Alpha AR pack, would safe it higher with much less fuss.
Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 Backpack: Conclusion
The Arc’teryx Rush SK 32 Backpack is a superb ski touring pack for skiers or splitboarders who enterprise into the backcountry within the harshest circumstances. It is going to additionally pull year-round responsibility for adventurers in wet climates. It carries weight a lot better than different packs of its measurement and skis with outstanding composure.
The pack additionally protects its contents from something nature throws at it whereas remaining extremely accessible and purposeful. If ice instruments or an axe are a part of your every day package, be ready to DIY some easy attachment loops. Most significantly, your touring companions might be jealous of what number of snacks slot in that goggle pocket.