Heading out for a quick backcountry ski or snowboard and really don't want to carry a full backpack with you? Now you have a couple of options to ensure that the essentials for your comfort and safety are close at hand without the burden of a heavy pack.
The new Powder Guide Vest from The North Face was originally designed for the Snowbird ski patrollers. The back of the vest has compartments for storing your probe, shovel and shovel handle. Lightweight snowboard and ski carrying straps are available in case of a long hike. A tiny zippered pouch between your shoulder blades is perfect for storing skins.
Padding in the shoulders adds comfort while multiple zippered pockets in the front of the vest provide plenty of storage for snacks, water and gadgets such as your cell phone, camera or GPS. Simply throw the Powder Guide Vest on over your shell and you are ready to head out for the day.
The North Face Powder Guide Vest will retail for $189 and be available next Fall 2011.
The new VestPac is another option for carrying the daily essentials with you on the slopes, trail or in the backcountry. A lightweight, chest centered harness, the VestPac holds your hydration reservoir (included) along with your GPS, phone, camera, keys, ski pass or wallet.
Designed to be worn beneath your outerwear, the VestPac comes in many different configurations. All the front modules can be quickly changed out to a different setup depending on your planned activity for the day. The VestPac is made out of a neoprene and 3D air mesh construction with 4 adjustable straps to ensure the perfect fit.
The VestPac retails for $60-$70 depending on configuration and can be ordered from the company website.