Monthly Archives: March 2010

Gear Review: Osprey Kode Ski Packs

The Kode series of packs represent the latest incarnation of Osprey’s “snowplay” category.  Designed to handle all the necessary equipment for a full day of skiing or snowboarding, they come chock full of great features that make for easy usability.  Made in three sizes, there is a Kode out there for everyone, whether you are doing laps on the ski area or full-day backcountry tours.

One of the Kode’s greatest attributes is its ability to be a jack-of-all-trades depending on where you want to go and what you want to do.  Gonna spend the afternoon hiking up Baldy??  The Kode will carry your skis 3 different ways.  Racing down groomers early in the morning?  Carry up to 3 litres of water in a hydration reservoir as well as have your camera handy in large hip belt pockets.  Every feature on this backpack in well thought out and easily stored away when not in use, making for a very user-friendly platform.

Besides the ability to carry skis, snowboards or ice axes, the Kode has a few other unique features that are worth pointing out.  As nearly everyone skis with a helmet these days, the Kode is the first pack to come up with a great way to carry a helmet on the pack when hiking so as to prevent overheating.  Anyone who has hiked with a helmet clipped to their backpack, swinging to clunk the back of their head every other step will appreciate this feature.  Another well thought out feature are the two main storage compartments in the pack, the first being an easily accessed front pocket that organizes all necessary avalanche gear in a cinch.  The second, larger compartment is accessed via the back panel of the pack and serves as a great dry storage area, swallowing anything from extra layers to an afternoon’s lunch.  A few other great features include a fleece-lined goggle storage pocket, two generously sized hip belt pockets, a snow-shedding back panel, all in a hydration compatible package.

What’s great about the new Kode series of backpacks is that they are truly an evolution of the ski pack, created by folks who really use their gear.  With Osprey’s headquarters down the road in Cortez, our Telluride area truly is the test-piece for their winter-driven packs, and it shows as they are perfectly suited for the many different types of skiing we have access to.