Ask Ski Canada editor Iain MacMillan what happens when you don’t carry-on your ski boots when flying and you’ll hear a terrifying tale of woe. Just imagine arriving in Japan to the kind of conditions everyone tells you about: none-stop dumping, no one skiing off the runs, waist deep puffy powder. But none of your luggage made your connection so you’re still inside the lodge renting ill fitting boots, crappy skis and a ski outfit that the ‘90s would love back. Moral of the story: carry-on as much of your ski gear as you can.
That’s exactly what the Osprey SnowKit ($150) is designed to do. It’s one of the first packs dedicated to helping skiers schlep their essentials from one end of the airport to the other. The 45 Litre pack has two large, watertight compartments at one end, designed for carrying boots. In between, a large U-shaped zipper opens the main compartment. In here I squeezed in all my soft kit, including base layers, socks, gloves, jacket and pants, toque and goggles, with enough room for a book and a copy of Ski Canada. There’s a couple small pockets for other essentials and I clipped my helmet to a grab handle. All that’s missing is a laptop sleeve.
The SnowKit is set up to carry backpack style with a padded flat back, cushioned shoulder straps and a waist belt. But the straps all unclip easily and tuck away if you don’t want them.