Size: One size
Weight: 1240 grams / 2 lbs. 12 oz.
Dimensions (height x width x depth): 24 x 11 x 10 in. / 61 x 28 x 25 cm
- Diagonal Ski Carry
- A-Frame Ski Carry
- Snowboard Carry
- Ice-ax Carry
- Hipbelt Pockets
- Gear Loops
- Dedicated Snow Safety Pocket with YKK QBZ Zipper
- Hydration pack compatible
- Adjustable height chest strap
Arva is a French brand that has established itself as a leader in avalanche safety gear with more than 20 years experience and a worldwide following. The brand’s popularity here in the U.S. hasn’t really hit the mainstream yet, but with highly functional yet simple products like the Rescuer 27 and a few other items I’ve been testing over the past couple of months, I believe Arva deserves some big-time attention.
My experience with the Rescuer 27 has been fantastic. This pack was comfortable when loaded with my typical gear, had a quick and easy ski and ice axe carry system, and stored my avy gear in one easy-to-get-to location—all key elements I look for in a pack, especially one I’m going to use for ski touring. Although I have a couple of small gripes, overall I am highly satisfied with this pack.
When I first received the Rescuer 27, the first thing I noticed (besides it’s bright red color) was an odd plastic zipper on the back access storage area. Opening the zipper in the traditional fashion, I discovered that this section of the pack was devoted strictly to avalanche safety gear. This compartment has individual sleeves for your avi shovel blade, shovel handle, and probe, and a zippered mesh pocket for beacon storage (when you’re not wearing it, of course). There is also an internal compression strap to make sure everything in there stays put.
The plastic zipper is a YKK QBZ, intended for even faster access to your avi gear than a traditional zipper. By pulling a short strip of Velcro and yellow loops, the zipper blows apart, instantly revealing the shovel and probe.
I do believe the feature is great in theory, and actually does work very well, but I did run into a glitch. With the pack full of gear, it didn’t take much of a jolt (especially of the yellow straps) to peel away the Velcro and initiate the back panel blowing open. Although it rarely opened far enough to worry about gear falling out, it still was a pain, time and time again. I also worried that opening the zipper repeatedly in this fashion would cause it to wear quickly (it is plastic, after all) and pop open easier and easier over time.
The Velcro seemed to be the weak link. If something more robust (a buckle, perhaps?) were used instead, it would work perfectly fine. Although in that case, I’m not sure if you would gain any time over a regular zipper system.
The Osprey Kode 30 is one of the most comfortable, versatile, and organized backcountry ski backpacks on the market. Robin Abeles argues that, with a few tweaks, it could be perfect.
The Osprey Kode 30 pack has a ton of great features. Even bettter? When skiing, the Kode 30 feels small, simple, and barely there.
Airbag packs are a phenomenal piece of backcountry safety gear, but the problem's always been their substantial weight and price tag. BCA's Float 18 Airbag, however, reduces both. If you like to play beyond the ropes, you should certainly take a look.