When I first laid eyes Thule's Upslope 35L pack I immediately dismissed it for lack of pockets, water bottle sleeves, gizmos, etc. That was my bad. When I was encouraged to take the Upslope for a rip on a backcountry skiing day trip in northern New Mexico, the full potential of this pack was demonstrated to me. No water bottle sleeves? No problem. The fact that the waist belt pockets hold a standard nalgene or a pair of skins still doesn't seem possible to me, but it is. The adjustable straps to carry skis of various widths in A-frame or diagonal position is an example of the incredible flexibility of this pack. Another would be the helmet storage option on the back or below the pack. I also snowboard and the system easily rigs to carry a single plank as well. Add in the goggle pocket, avy safety gear pouch and ice axe loop and this is an incredibly well designed and thought out pack in an economical package. This past April I used the Upslope 35L (I bought one after the first time I tried my girlfriend's) on the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. The full rear zipper to access everything in the pack without unpacking it was a HUGE advantage over my previous top loading pack. When we stopped at huts for the night, I could just pull out my pillow and liner without removing crampons, tech clothing, etc. and easily repack to head out in the morning. Bottom line: for backcountry skiing this pack has everything you need and nothing you don't. Great design.
Los Alamos, NM