Alpkit's Orion is not a pure snowsports pack but versatile and good value.
The Orion 40 is not a ski-specific pack - it’s actually designed for winter climbing and mountaineering – but it will certainly meet the needs of most skiers heading into the backcountry as well as working perfectly well for everything else from climbing (obviously) to summer hillwalking.
Build quality is excellent (it comes with a three-year guarantee) as is fit - thanks to a well-padded back system with an internal stiffener, for load bearing, and equally well-padded shoulder straps and hip belt (which is hinged so it can be clipped out of the way when climbing).
The top loading main compartment is extendable and inside it you’ll find a separate hydration sleeve, although there’s no specific compartment for avalanche gear. There are also generously-sized inner and outer zippered compartments in the lid, so you can quickly access stuff like gloves, goggles and snacks whilst on the go.
Although the Orion doesn’t come with a ski/board carrying system you can easily attach skis via the compression straps on each side, although this would be trickier with a board. There are also anodised aluminium ice axe retainers and a central pick guard to keep your ice axes safe when not in use, along with gear loops on the hip belts for additional attachments, haul loops on the front and back and daisy chain webbing for additional attachment options.
The Orion also looks really nice with its blue and orange colourways, and for anyone who enjoys a range of mountain sports it’s a good value daypack that’s well worth checking out.
FOR Versatile, well-made, good value, good looks.
AGAINST Not specifically designed for skiing/boarding so may not appeal to purists.
Where to buy:
Alpkit Orion 40l daypack r.r.p. £70 - Alpkit.com