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Black Diamond Covert Ski Pack with Avalung

covertavalungBlack Diamond Covert Pack with Avalung—panel loading avalung pack perfect for day-trips off-piste

Any backcountry skier already knows about the virtues of the Avalung, a breathing device designed by Black Diamond that can help you breath in and potentially survive getting buried in an avalanche. The Black Diamond Outlaw pack with Avalung has a breathing tube, which is deployed from a zippered pouch in the left shoulder strap. The idea is to keep this tube handy when skiing avalanche terrain and in your mouth if you are skiing especially dangerous terrain (i.e. a touchy slope you fear might go).

While there are debates on the effectiveness of the Avalung (you have to get the mouthpiece in your mouth and have it stay there for it to work), this new technology has saved some lives, including Dan Morisey of my home state of Colorado who was buried by an avalanche and whose Avalung probably saved his life (read this interview with Morsiey about the Avalung).

The Covert pack is built to have a low-profile and is streamlined so it won’t weight you down too much on the slopes. The pack is made from a durable, water shedding 420d nylon (so your back won’t end up soggy as your rip through fresh powder fields) and the clamshell design makes for easy access to your gear.

On the exterior of the pack, you’ll also find an adjustable ski and snowboard attachment system for when you unbuckle from those bindings and have to hike as well as ice tool loops and compression straps. A front pocket makes it easy to organize your gear and the right shoulder strap has a zippered hydration pocket.

There is also a great tuck-away helmet sling and a fleece lined goggle pocket. Plus, the 22L size makes it the perfect, compact size for day-trips into the backcountry or for slipping off-piste and skiing the sidecountry.

The Covert pack also has some great safety features that make it a good pack for skiing those potentially dangerous slopes. The construction of the bag allows you to organize you rescue shovel, probe, and beacon, making them easily accessible in case of an emergency.

>>Check more of the best ski and snowboard packs, or if you are interested in a different Black Diamond pack, read about Black Diamond AvaLung packs

The Quick & Dirty:
Where you can get one:
( Buy Black Diamond Covert 32 with AvaLung Pack $129.99)

Why it Rocks:

    • AvaLung apparatus can increase the time you have to breathe if trapped in an avalanche
    • Exhaled carbon dioxide is directed out the exhaust tube, extending the time available before an ice layer builds up and seals out oxygen
    • User must be able to get the mouthpiece inserted before avalanche debris restricts movement; snowpack or injury can prevent its use
    • Apparatus is built into pack, with the breathing tube enclosed inside the left shoulder strap so the mouthpiece is readily available
    • Exhaled carbon dioxide exits through a special port at the bottom right of pack
    • Features large main compartment with sleeve for water reservoir (sold separately); drinking tube routes through insulated right shoulder strap
    • Also features a dedicated, zippered pocket with sleeves for storing avalanche probes; has room for shovel and related safety gear
    • Carries skis or snowboard vertically
    • Keep large gear handy with dual high-and-low ice axe loops and twin elastic cords with cinching cordlocks; upper ice axe loops are reinforced
    • Features comfortable padded waistbelt, shoulder straps and backpanel; reinforced handle lets you grab and carry when time is critical
    • As with avalanche beacons, the Covert AvaLung pack is not a substitute for wise assessment of hazardous avalanche terrain
    • Volume : 22 L
    • Fits Torso Length : 47-55 cm, 18.5-21.5 in (Size M/L)
    • Average Stock Weight : 1.57 kg, 3 lb 7 oz (Size M/L)
    • Materials : Tough 420d nylon and 840d Ballistic nylon

Seat-of-the-pants rating: 9 out of 10

If you are looking for a great, low profile pack with an Avalung and the ability to strap on your skis, than the Covert is a great choice. It’s small and sleek enough that you’ll barely notice it on the chair lift for those resort-accessed backcountry runs, but big enough that you can pack up enough gear for a day on the slopes. The separate organizer area for your avy tools means you’ll be able to access your gear quickly in case of an emergency and the helmet sling is great for letting your head air out on the hike up. The diagonal ski carry system also works great for even big fatty powder skis. Add in the Avalung and the ability for this pack to potentially save your life and this is a great pack for those days hitting the off-piste powder.

Looking to Buy? Here’s where you can get one:
( Buy Black Diamond Covert 32 with AvaLung Pack $129.99)