More and more skiers and snowboarders are finding their way away from the groomers, ski lifts and off the busy slopes into the back country. Be it lift aided off-piste descents, day long ski tour / split board trips or hut touring. California based pack brand Osprey introduced the Kode series a number of years ago, and has continued to develop these packs. We recently received the Osprey Kode ABS 22+10 with which Osprey combines the great quality, comfort and function that Osprey packs are know for, with the safety that backcountry winter sports demand.

Primarily this is achieved by being able to zip off the Kode’s back panel completely and zip on a ABS Vario pack. Stupid simple. The  way things should be. But also back panel easy acces to a separate compartment with shovel handle and probe sleeves.

You can strap on ski’s of various sizes and thicknesses, either diagonally or vertically to the sides of the backpack. Snowboards are strapped vertically or horizontally as well, (not to the sides obvisouly) and the integrated helmet sleeve finishes off a set-up that is perfectly suited to those epic back country ascents.

What I also like about this pack is that the pack volume can be expanded by 10 extra liters through the expansion zipper. So you can really adapt the size of the pack to what you are going to be taking along on your trip. If you really need to go big, the 22+10 has a bigger brother, the 42 liter version. For ski mountaineering and multiple day tours.

We will be testing the 22+10 version the coming weeks. The pack looks great and feels great, and we can’t wait to strap it on and hit the slopes. There are two things at this time that I am curious to see how they will spell out:

  • The availability of ABS vario packs for rent. I  don’t own a ABS vary pack myself, have rented complete packs before, and hope that the vario packs will be available as well.
  • Also, what I immediately liked about the pack was actually the back panel and the great fitting shoulder harnesses. These also sport integrated and insulated hydration sleeve for the hose of your hydration pack. And also two interesting little zippered hip belt pockets which perfectly fit my action cams. If we do find a Vario pack I will loose the back pannel and the added extra’s for the pannel and harness of the ABS pack.

So we will be using the Kode, certainly without, but hopefully also with the ABS vario pack and reporting back to you with our findings. #winteriscoming!

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Mark Stokmans
Sinds mijn jongste jeugd ben ik een zeer actief sporter in heel veel verschillende sporten: begonnen met honkbal, tennis en paardrijden later nog hockey, voetbal, hardlopen en aikido. Daarnaast sinds twaalf jaar oud into actionsports: als eerste windsurfen, later klimmen, skaten, snowboarden, mountainbiken. Gek ook op video's maken van action sports. Verder al sinds 1990 werkzaam in de sport, en sportmarketing eerste bij de Judobond en tot eind 2016 bij NOC*NSF. Naast GearLimits in het dagelijks leven part-time werkzaam bij digitaal bureau Infocaster.

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