Riding and skiing untracked powder is one of the most profound experiences one can have in the mountains. From long days touring in the backcountry to off-piste lift-accessed ridge lines, scoring fresh turns is an addictive sensation chased by powder enthusiasts for entire lifetimes.
However, it’s essential that when riding unpatrolled terrain, whether you’re in a secluded backcountry zone or riding what is more commonly referred to as “sidecountry,” that you possess the proper knowledge and gear to assess the conditions and react accordingly should a slide or accident occur.
Riding resorts with full avy gear can seem frivolous. Added weight and the cost of avalanche safety equipment deters many skiers and snowboarders from riding with the appropriate equipment for accessing unpatrolled terrain. This is especially prevalent at ski areas, as riders experience a false sense of security being in close proximity to resorts. But the truth is that any time a skier or snowboarder enters unpatrolled out-of-bounds terrain, they need to be prepared with a full avalanche kit.
So for single day tours or yes, riding the resort, there’s this: the Osprey Kamber 22. The Kamber 22 is a low-profile and lightweight option for the backcountry. Comfortable, stylish, and big enough for the essentials, in my opinion, it’s an epic choice for off-piste riding.
Made of a durable nylon, my initial thought was the bag’s hefty feel. I’ve had some backcountry bags that’ve felt thin and poorly constructed. The Kamber 22 is durable without sacrificing weight. The pack has two main compartments, one for slotting your avy gear, including a shovel head. I always prefer bags that have internal shovel storage–the second pocket is big enough to hold some dry gear and food.
The bag–even with its small and streamlined design–packs a number of features into a relatively minimal template. It has a convenient helmet net so you can store your lid while skinning or outside of hazardous terrain (it won’t flop around on the hike). A built-in hydration pocket means you can integrate your hydration system. It also has multiple ski- and snowboard-carry options.
The Kamber 22 definitely shines in its styling: it’s cool enough and light enough to work as a daily commuter despite being designed for the high alpine. The branding isn’t obnoxious and for anyone that likes a bag that has some internal structure, it’s well suited for everyday pursuits.
–Lightweight–it comes in at three whole pounds.
–Large glove-friendly zipper loops.
–Two, large, internal pockets to keep wet and dry gear separate.
–External ski and snowboard straps can be confusing to rig at times
–No airbag option
The Osprey Kamber 22 is one of the best lightweight, single-day or resort-access backcountry bags out there thanks to its versatility and streamlined design, the build of which is executed with quality material. Osprey is best known for its backpacking and camping gear, but with the Kamber 22 and the rest of its ski and snowboard line, the company is coming into its own as a choice for backcountry enthusiasts.