Descensionist 40L


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The ski and snowboard variant to our Ascensionist alpine pack—this purpose-made backcountry touring pack is built to go light on the ascent but has all the features to accommodate safety tools for epic descents.

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There’s only one other thing that can put a smile on your face as big as when you finish a stellar powder descent and we all know what that is—going back and doing it again (what were you thinking?). Built for the freedom of the unbound backcountry, our new Descensionist Pack has a lightweight, fully featured design that meets all the needs of core backcountry riders out for a long day in varied terrain. The durable CORDURA® nylon fabric makes the Descensionist extremely light and supple, but still provides burly puncture and abrasion resistance. It has an asymmetrical spindrift collar that opens wide for easy packing and closes with the tug of a drawcord that simultaneously cinches the collar and closes the lid instantly for a secure seal against blowing snow. A handy side- access zipper lets you get the goods in and out of your pack quickly. Your probe and avi tools have their own zip-closing pocket that features internal elastic cording to keep everything organized and allow instant


Made with durable CORDURA® nylon for puncture and abrasion resistance

Asymmetrical spindrift collar opens wide for easy packing; drawcord simultaneously cinches collar and closes lid for a secure seal; side zipper for easy access to main compartment

High-density foam back panel gives pack structure and helps to support heavy loads, but can be removed for lightweight pursuits

Padded hipbelt with stretch-woven stash pocket

Snowboard carry straps and diagonal ski carry loop included

Daisy chains on front provide lashing options; compression straps on sides help manage different-sized loads; zippered pocket on lid offers easy access to small items

Available in two sizes: S/M and L/XL

1,048 g (2 lbs 4.9 oz.) S/M: 27" x 13" x 10.5" L/XL: 28" x 13" x 10.5" 40 L (2441 cu in)

1,046 g (2 lbs 4.9 oz)


Body: 5.5-oz 210-denier CORDURA® 86% nylon/14% polyester ripstop.

Base: 10-oz 420-denier CORDURA 100% nylon plain weave.
Both treated with a polyurethane coating


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Good ski bag!
This bag is a major improvement to the snowdrifter 40L,but still has its flaws. The snow tool pocket is wonderfully simple,and large which is a huge plus. I have found the A-Frame carry,and diagonal carry to work well with a ski strap,given the handy daisy chain on the face of the pack. I have been very surprised with how well the no frame structure works,and have not had any issues skiing with this pack on.

My biggest critique is the lack of ventilation in the back. I dont really understand why there wasn't any effort made to make the back panel breathable. Another big disappointment that I didn't consider until I bought the bag was that there is no helmet holder for the outside of the pack. That is a feature I really valued in my other ski tour pack as it saves a lot of room for packing,and makes for quick transitions.

Overall a good bag,and I am excited by its quality as I know it will be my bag for years to come! I am excited to see if it will work as a summer bag too,but I think that will depend on how warm it makes my back!
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4 star rating
From a travelling perspective...
Bought for travel. Not much of a skier.
Everyone has covered the pro's and some valid con's.
I really like this pack for a travel and adventuring pack. Super lightweight, easy for carry-on. Blah blah blah....
4 main beefs:
1. Side compression straps are too far apart. Really ends up smooshing down top and bottom and leaving a fat ole middle.
2. Cam lock for main compartment usually doesn't lock. Little pull cord seems to hold the wheel from locking.
3. Hydration port is really tiny. Gonna be a big pain to try to fit one of them fancy insulated bladder hoses through the slot.
4. Have not tested, but why not a more waterproofy/ water resistant zipper? especially on the main compartment zipper.

Anyway, cool pack. I like it. Again, great for travel. Oh, documents and full size paper fits super conveniently in the outside pocket, if you're wondering.
Verified Reviewer
What is a Verified Reviewer
A Verified Reviewer is a shopper who has confirmed an email address, or connected a social network with Yotpo, providing an added level of transparency and trust.
4 star rating
Great lightweight ski pack
The Descensionist manages to pack a lot of key features into a backpack that weighs just over 2 pounds in a size large. The closure system works well and is quicker to access than the standard top loader,but still allows overstuffing unlike panel loading packs. The drawcord sometimes gets tangled in the closure strap hook but it's not a huge deal. The side access zipper is clutch for getting at stuff deep in the pack. The tool pocket is large enough to easily fit avy gear,even larger shovels. So glad they added the waistbelt pocket. For such a light pack,it feels surprisingly durable and after using it for 10 days of ski touring and one overnight hiking trip I've noticed no wear or tear. There is no helmet carry which some will be disappointed by,however the pack is voluminous enough that it easily fits inside. If you were carrying a full ski mountaineering or glacier kit,the helmet might have to be strapped on. There are a number of aftermarket helmet slings that could be clipped to the daisy chains.

I do have a few suggestions for this otherwise excellent pack:
-This may be personal preference but I do prefer some sort of internal frame,even something minimalist. Based on the old Ascensionist frame,I got a 6' piece of 1/4" aluminum round bar and made a perimeter frame the same shape as the removable foam backpack. It's only a few ounces but the pack carries much better and maintains shape when empty.
-The bungee cord loops for securing your probe and shovel handle are silly. I doubt they save significant weight over your more typical sleeves,but they are much more difficult to use. I'm used to not using a probe bag,and I managed to get my probe tangled in the cord once which is not good.
-I have yet to use the diagonal ski carry so this may be an unfair criticism,but the bottom tail loop doesn't inspire confidence as it seems pretty flimsily attached by a very small buckle on the daisy chain. Also,owing to it's design I suspect skis might flap about. You also need to figure out a top strap for the diagonal carry unless you want to use the included snowboard straps - which get in the way otherwise.

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* available in two configurations