You like touring the backcountry but doesn’t want to bring a lot with you. Maybe skis are your preferred method of transportation, and traveling as light as possible is the MO. If that sounds you like, you’ll probably be a fan of the Arc’Teryx Alpha SK 32. New for 2018, this pack is a modified version of the original Alpha FL pack; the brand found a lot of skiers opting for the streamlined convenience of the FL, and decided to create a version specifically for them, integrating the freeride features the Fl was missing.
The result is the Alpha SK 32. It’s a slim, streamlined bag without any large buckles, mesh or exterior drag. There are two TPU red straps on the outside which serve as a modular ski carry, so you can strap your skis on in A-frame, Vertical or Diagonal configuration. The sheer simplicity of the design cuts down on weight, but also prevents snagging on branches or other objects.
But that’s what Arc’Teryx is good at; they certainly haven’t skimped on the details and build quality here. Since backcountry exploring requires heavy-duty gear, Arcteryx used their weatherproof AC2 material for the construction, which repels moisture while remaining ultra-thin and lightweight. The seams are all sealed and taped, as are the zippers. Even the padded back compartment is weather-resistant.
As the name suggests, there’s a total of 32 liters of storage; a slim front pocket stashes your gear while the large main compartment has a drawstring closure. But one cool thing we really like is the side access; there’s no need to open the top to grab anything out of the main compartment – useful when skis are strapped onto the back of the pack.
An ultralight, no-frills pack for backcountry touring. It’s out in Fall 2018.