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From cirque to summit, the Pierre Menta to the Grand Traverse, the SkiMo 28 makes it a lot easier.
Huge capacity while maintaining minimal weight. Shovel/probe pocket is well designed- keeps these out of the way but very accessible. My full sized avy shovel fits great. Vest design is super comfortable and adjustable. Good pockets for snacks. Crampon pocket is very handy for quick access - with other packs I'm stuck digging around for gear that's at the bottom of the bag. Have been using this pack for backcountry splitboarding & general winter mountaineering & it has worked very well for both. Rugged materials, simple yet functional design. PB on Feb 2nd 2017
Finally a great bag for long adventures ! The Ultimate Direction Skimo 28.
Well, ok - it is supposed to be a skimo bag. But you can remove a lot of the gizmos and get down to a pretty streamlined design suitable for running.
When would you need this bag if you a runner?
I have been pretty happy with the largest running bags for multi-day adventures (including crossing Corsica over 5 days), but that is the next step when you need to carry sleeping bag, bivi bag, sleeping pad, crampons and all your 3 layers. The mountain is at his best in Fall, but a lot of the huts in the Alps are closed at that time and hence the need to carry a sleeping system.
The bag really holds a lot ! You can spend days in the mountains in sub-0 temperatures and still be very comfortable. While rated at 28l, it feel really bigger than same other 26l I have.
Once you have been spoiled by running vests, it is a bit difficult to use a mountaineering bag again - I thus have been lurking for this new product from Ultimate Direction since last January and did not get disappointed at all.
The bag is very soft, no rubbing, wraps very well. Fully loaded at 7kg, you can actually run all the downhills and flats.
It has a holster for a 500ml Body Bottle Plus in front (to be bought separately), and you can drink from it directly. Unfortunately, only one 500lm can be used - the second holster on the right can only accommodate a 250ml slim flask. To be fair, the Bottle Plus has a great locking mechanism so you can store your 2nd one in the bag without too much risk of leakage - but you will not have the weight in front.
The bag is very easy to adjust while on the go. I typically keep it a bit loose for the uphills, and tighten it up for the downhills. Curiously the medium strap above the belly is very short even on the M/L size - I cannot close it with a fleece and a shell on top.
It has a inside pocket with a zip, but not very easy to access if the bag is packed. However, it has a back pocket with a very large opening from top to bottom: you can put there a midlayer or a pair of gloves (or also a water bladder, if that is your thing) and access them without having to put the pack down. Slim pockets on the belt will let you put gels, but no "real food" (eg. a pack of dried apricots).
The crampon box - with side access - is the best place I have found in any bag to put my big camera ! Maybe that is where you want to put this bag of dried apricots. If you don't like the crampons box, you can remove the inside liner and have just one big central compartment.
As it is a skimo bag, it is not really supposed to handle rain I guess. While it would be nice to have a raincover for it for extra safety, I tried in my shower and content stayed dry apparently.
PROS: The best mountaineering bag I have found for running. It is a bit pricey, but can do double usage.
CONS: only one 500ml bottle holster in front. No mid-sized pocket to store items while on the go (crampons box can be a workaround). Middle strap is too short. Rain cover option would be nice. Missing the accessory system that older lines have (see what people have on the Marathon Des Sables for instance).
loic on Nov 18th 2016
I bought the SkiMO 28 for back-country skiing; since it's a new / revised product for 2016, I was not able to see one in a store.
First Impressions: SkiMO 28 is well made with top quality materials & is light weigth. The blue / gray /orange trim (standard colors) is pleasing.
Form Factor: The pack has broad shoulder straps to distribute the load evenly. I like the separate Emergency tools compartment: shovel + probe. It's easily accessible; only draw back is my G3 Speed TECH probe is about .5 inches too long for the probe sleeve! Shoulder straps are adjustable via straps on either side.
There is a nifty crampon bottom compartment w/ side access to store my Grivel crampons & keep wet / snow away from the main compartment. Main compartments holds sufficient gear for a day out in the back-country. An easy access, center zipped compartment behind the pack allows for carrying water bladder or easy to get to shell outer layer.
Materials / Workmanship: The stitching on the pack is precise & well sewn. The materials are abrasion resistance and strong.
Gear Mounting: two pairs of skis can be carried. One quick side mounted & other A-frame. Quick side mount is truly quick; skis can be dismounted w/o taking the pack off & in short order. Snowboard mounting is done with compression straps on the front of the pack. Four side compression straps allow for tight loading & keeping gear secure inside & outside the pack.
Loading: Fully loaded SkiMO with shovel, probe, crampons, ice axe, one ski (side carry), poles, a liter of water (bladder), helmet (attached on the outside), day gear/clothing was pretty stable due to three body attachment point: Sternum, chest & waist straps. Each of these straps can be tightened. The sternum & chest straps can be move up & down along the body - NICE.
Looking forward to taking SkiMO out for a day in the back-country. So far, I am happier camper.
Kaz on Oct 11th 2016
I bought SkiMO 28 for back-country skiing & as it's a new design for 2016. I had not seen it until it arrived in the mail.
- Quality / Workmanship: The materials are of high quality and workmanship is very good (Except zipper stitching see details below)
- Form Factor / Design: Well thought out. Ability to quickly hook on pair of skis is a plus or carrying skis in an A-frame. Plenty of pockets & easy access to them. Well placed compression straps to keep gear from shifting around. Dedicated emergency gear section: shovel, probe, etc. is excellent (Except the probe pocket is too short to fit my G3 Speed Tech probe!!)
- Fit: I'm 5'8" M/L size fits just right, close the body. The chest & an additional sternum straps are up/down adjustable and help the fit with layered clothing.
- Price: Bit on the pricey side.
- Probe pocket is too short to fit my G3 Speed Tech probe!
- The zipper's slider loop for the crampon compartment has been accidentally stitched to internal seam of the pack, rendering it useless. Not able to close the crampon compartment from inside of the pack. Have to return the pack.
Overall: Great design with many useful features. Poor Quality Control, crampon compartment unusable. Have to RETURN the pack.
Kaz on Oct 5th 2016