By Matthew Mallory
As sledders we ask a lot of our gear. Take our backpacks we expect them to hold everything we need for a day of riding along with all of our safety kit. Then that safety gear needs to be quickly accessible and easy to pull-out if the need ever arises for the probe or shovel. Add in a camera and we could be talking some real weight that will be resting on your shoulders. And to top it all off now we also expect the pack to be a functioning life vest in the case of us getting caught out.
This season I was lucky enough to have ABS North America hook me up with one of their Powder Snowmobile Airbag pack. At 5’10” I fit the large size and was provided with the 15L and 22L Zip-Ons. This is just one of many features I really liked about the pack. The Zip-Ons are a two birds with one stone solution, they allow you to have the flexibility of two pack sizes in one while staying affordable. I’ve found over the years that I prefer a small pack for everyday riding, it fits better and there is less sway and movement but then as a photographer I also need a larger pack for many days when I’m hauling my camera gear around or doing longer missions. The reality is we are not going to be out purchasing two packs, most riders make do with what they have so ABS have come up with an affordable option for us to have the best of both worlds. The Zip-Ons are quick and easy to zip on and off, a matter of a minute and you can have the size pack you need for the day!
Two packs in one is all fine and dandy but how they fit and feel over the course of the day is another matter. Over the past several years I’ve used several different packs and the Powder ranks up their as one of the most comfortable if not the most comfortable I’ve had the pleasure to rock. The hip belt does it’s job well taking most of the weight off your shoulders and I found I could ride all day with a heavy pack including active, tech tree riding with minimal fatigue. The shoulder straps are very adjustable and comfortable and looking at the numbers it would appear that the ABS Powder is about the lightest airbag pack on the market.
After a season of use the pack is still looking good with no damage. So would I recommend the Powder? Heck yes! Not only is it a comfortable pack, the Zip-Ons feature and extremely competitive, affordable pricing should have the ABS Powder Snowmobile at the top of your must check out list.
- External emergency compartment
- SOS label with international emergency numbers
- Ski mount directly on the Powder Base Unit
- Snowboard/snowshoe mount directly on the Powder Base Unit
- Removable helmet net
- Daisy chain for convenient mounting option
- Hydrobag compatible
- Compression at the bottom
- Valuables pocket
- Top compartment
- The Powder SB 22l zip-on can easily be zipped onto the Powder Base Unit with TwinBag system.