A solid backpack can be a skier’s best friend. In recent years, packs have evolved to provide storage for all the necessities you bring with you to the hill, in lighter, more compact builds. On a trip to Banff National Park, I was able to take the new Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25 pack for a spin across the resorts of Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay.
The compact nature of the Dawn Patrol was impressive. No matter how much I stuffed in there, it zipped up nicely and without much added bulk. The back panel access allowed for easy retrieval of items while riding the chair lift and a dedicated avy tool pocket helps to keep my important backcountry equipment organized. The pack also comes with an oversized goggle pouch. While the pocket is great for stowing my goggles when not in use—on the skin track or boot pack—it’s also large enough to stow smaller items like a beanie, sunglasses, facemask, etc.
What I found most impressive was the weight of this pack. The side panels and shoulder straps are built with Dynex—a very light, strong and durable material—that keeps the weight down but is burly enough to handle day-in and day-out adventures both in-bounds and beyond the rope.