Thule are another in a line of manufacturers bringing out airbag-ready packs.
This 25-litre model takes works in conjunction with Mammut’s Removable Airbag 3.0 system and cartridge, which are sold separately.
This is a good idea as it allows you to upgrade at a later date if you’re not sure you can afford the expense of an ABS system right now, and it also makes the pack more versatile since even if you incorporate the Mammut ABS system with it you can easily take this out and use the pack for piste skiing or summer hillwalking etc. without lugging around all the extra weight of the ABS system (removing the system also increases the capacity of the pack too).
The Upslope itself has a rugged construction which includes metal buckles for the chest straps, harness and crotch loop, and an unfussy external design with all the essential features of a well-made ABS pack.
A clever design sees the harness incorporating large zipped pockets which wrap around your hips for a comfortable, stable carry at the same time as allowing on-the-go access to things like goggles, skins, food and water bottles (although the pack is also hydration system compatible, and this includes an insulated hose sleeve in the left chest strap; the right strap holds the ABS system handle if being used with the pack).
Skis can be carried diagonally, boards vertically via adjustable loops that can be stowed away to prevent snagging, and there’s also a helmet harness which stows away in a zipped pocket in the bottom of the pack.
Top and side compression straps help to keep everything secure inside the pack, which is accessed via a generously-sized zip on the outside of the pack, outwith of which is – of course – an easily and quickly accessible avy gear pocket.
FOR Very well-designed and well-made, with all the essential features of a good ski pack.
AGAINST Pretty expensive.