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Jan 11 2014

Review: Mammut’s Pro 35 PAS airbag pack

 

Mammut's Pro35 is their premier PAS pack - for good reason.

Mammut’s Pro35 is their premier PAS pack – for good reason.

As Mammut’s top of the line airbag pack you expect this to be the best they have to offer. Notwithstanding personal disagreements on what features should and should not be in a ski pack, the Pro 35+ is undeniably the pack with the most compelling feature set, and for a real backcountry ski tour, a good size for a full day or overnight on a hut-to-hut tour.

To begin with, the Pro 35+ uses Mammut’s proprietary Protective Airbag System where the airbag expands around your head, not just behind. This gives the user a bit more lift along the length of the body, and more protection around the head in a simple flow of snow.

Outside panel is configured to hold blade, handle, probe et al.

Outside panel is configured to hold blade, handle, probe et al.

The pack mechanics are well thought out for skiers. The main compartment is easily accessed by a double-zippered clam shell zipper with easy to grab loops on the zipper pulls. At the top of the main compartment lies the removable PAS, which extends down into the shoulder straps. The canister of compressed air is tucked into a zippered pocket along one side. In the center there is a sleeve for sliding a hydration bladder or other device, and the sleeve is also zippered, for storing small, thin objects. This is where the bulk of the storage capacity for this pack lies, for clothing, food, and water. A hydration door for feeding a tube through is located on the upper side panel, just below the right shoulder strap.

Another clamshell style, double-zippered panel gives access to a convenient shovel and probe stash panel. Above that panel, a medium sized stash pocket is at the top of the pack for storing goggles or other small items you want fast access to.

Straps exist on the sides to compress the overall size of the pack, or for carrying skis A-frame style. If you prefer, an adjustable loop is in the lower L corner of the back for slinging your skis to the back diagonally, but the convenience of a dedicated strap in the upper R corner (available with the Pro 35 Light) is not part of the trimmings with this pack. Nonetheless, a simple loop near the top center exists for using a simple Voile strap to hold your diagonal carry skis snug at the top.

Inside panel access means everything can be accessed quickly, one way or another.

Inside panel access means everything can be accessed quickly, one way or another.

Snowboarders will appreciate the pair of straps across the back for holding a splitboard. Finally, there’s a sneaky panel on the very back for stashing more small goodies, and a harness for holding your helment while you sweat your way to the top.

All those are great, and somewhat expected features in a ski pack. What really sets this pack apart from many others on the market is the back panel access to the main compartment. Having double-zips so you can access the main from either side or the top is great, but being able to get in from the inside, especially when skis are lashed to the outside makes access to any item, at anytime, supremely convenient. In my experience, once you get spoiled with back panel access substitutes are not acceptable. In the airbag pack world, Mammut’s Pro35 is a standout.

Mammut
Pro 35, PAS
MSRP: $950
Weight: 5 lbs., 7 oz. (2640 g)
Volume: 35+ liters

Refillable Cartridge (sold separately)
MSRP: $200
Weight (filled): 1 lb., 6 oz. (630 g)

© 2014
 

  • http://ThompsonPass.Com/ Matt Kinney

    That is sooooo expensive. $1000! I realize it’s a specialized piece of gear, but the prices are kinda ridiculous for a backpack that doesn’t seem much more complicated design-wise than a BD Avalung which sells for a much less. Lets hope the prices drop so some of can afford to be like a rock stars. No one should be paying much more that $1500 to get outfitted for BC skiing. The airbags practically double the cost of outfitting someone. Soon the total cost of gear, head to toe, will rival the cost of a ….gulp….sled!