Premier Gear: Osprey Kresta & Kamber Backcountry Packs

Carry Everything You Need Into the Backcountry

Katie Paulson and Daniel Sohner make their way up a couloir in Marble, CO

There are several qualifying characteristics that elevate a backcountry ski and snowboard pack from its less winter-oriented cousins. A streamlined design is a must, as is the ability to carry skis, snowboards, and splitboards comfortably. All things being relative, there are quite a few packs on the market that fit this description. Are there any packs that take these features, and distill them down to perfection?

The Kamber and Kresta are Osprey’s latest attempt.

Obsessively designed with input from guides, patrollers and weekend warriors alike, the Kamber and Kresta are packed with features and come in multiple sizes dependent on the length of your trip: the women-specific Kresta comes in 20, 30 and 40 liter volumes–22, 32 and 42 liters for the Kamber.

All of the sizes of the Kresta and Kamber feature a large, J-shaped zip front pocket to quickly deploy your avalanche shovel and probe, and they all feature a thermoformed, snow-shedding backpanel that also zips open for easy access to your gear and allows for a snowboard to be carried horizontally through it. Reinforced straps abound to carry your skis or snowboard in multiple other configurations.

Glove friendly zipper pulls and buckles allow you to manipulate the Kamber and Kresta when the weather is bitingly cold. Tuckable ice axe loops (one on the Kamber/Kresta 22 and 32, two on the 42) hold your tools for technical ascents. Also, an insulated sleeve keeps your hydration tube and bite valve ice-free–always the bane of any trip outside when the mercury drops.

Osprey’s lightwire suspension and thermoformed hipbelt and shoulder straps allow the different sizes of the Kamber and Kresta to comfortably carry up to 20, 30, or 40 pounds, respectively. No matter how steep your trek is to get to your line, these packs will carry your gear with ease, so you don’t reach the top too exhausted to enjoy the ski down.

Shop the Kamber here!Shop the Kresta here!

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Published:November 17, 2016

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