Backcountry Access Stash Valhalla
Height of Owner: 5'11"
I've used this pack for 2 winters back country skiing. Overall it has been a good pack, I really like the back pocket for easy access to my probe and shovel, the hip belt pockets for holding lip balm and snacks, and it was just the right size for a day trips worth of gear and food. The ski large straps were great, I could easily hook in my Solomon Guns across my back.
The thing I didn't like about the pack was that it didn't have much support in the panel between my back and the gear, so I had to be very careful how I packed or I'd get pressure points, and it was uncomfortable with heavier loads (>20 lb), like when I carry skis. The tube with nalgene lid hook up was also pretty cheesy, if my water bottle wasn't perfectly positioned I couldn't get any water.
After two winters this pack is already coming apart at the seems, so I need buy a new pack this winter. I am going to buy something with a heavier comfort rating and more adjustable shoulder straps. And something with beefier stitching.
Design: top loading internal frame
Size: 2600 cu in / 37 liters
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 15
Height of Owner: 6' 0"
Price Paid: $80
This has been a great pack for snowshoeing and the winter-specific features that BCA built in have been greatly appreciated. Storing the hydration tube in the left shoulder strap really does help to keep it from freezing up. Shovels fit nicely into a purpose-built pocket with well-placed straps and holes. The little pouches on the waist belt are thinly insulated so your snack won't freeze solid quite so fast.
Carrying skis or snowshoes is easy enough. And the hydration tube uses 1-liter Nalgene bottles as a reservoir. (That last one isn't winter-specific, but Nalgenes are easier to clean than a bladder and I already have a pile of them, so it's kinda slick. There is a pouch to hold a regular bladder if you prefer those.)
Aside from the winter-specific stuff, the Valhalla is typical of any decent pack. It's plenty comfortable and very adjustable (it has to be, since it's a one-size-fits-all deal). It's narrow enough that you aren't rubbing elbows against it all day. It has plenty of room for two or three Nalgene bottles, an extra layer of clothes, a day's worth of food, and the miscellaneous accessories you might need (compass, map, wallet, cell phone, whatever else). Check one out of you get the chance.
Where to Buy
The Backcountry Access Stash Valhalla is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may want to check pricing and availability directly at these Backcountry Access retailers:
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Backcountry Access was the first to pioneer the concept of freezeproof winter hydration. Then they made it more convenient with their Nalgene-compatible hydration system. In 2007-08, they've broken new ground by adding Outlast temperature regulation technology. In 07-08, theyﾒre making freezeproof last even longer by adding warmth when you need it most: when youﾒre not producing body heat. The Stash sleeves are insulated with Outlast phase change material, which stores heat when itﾒs produced and releases it when the temperature drops. With the Outlast sleeve, your hose and bite valve now retain heat longer during cold lift rides or when you remove your pack.
The Backcountry Access Stash Valhalla Backpack carries either skis or snowboards with ease and has a freeze-proof hydration system that keeps you from sucking ice as you trek into the backcountry. Stuff your shovel and probe into the Valhalla Backpack's easy-access external pockets and get hiking. Choose between diagonal and A-frame ski carry, or if you're taking a snowboard along, strap it vertically and seek out those virgin lines. The freeze-proof, Nalgene-compatible hydration system holds your bite valve and tube in an Outlast insulated sleeve, which stores and releases your body heat evenly throughout the day. Pack an extra insulation layer, lunch, and first aid kit in this Backcountry Access backpack's top-loading 2600 cubic inches of storage space.
- Backcountry Outlet
Save 30%-60% at REI-Outlet.com! Built for all-around snow use, the Valhalla comes with an innovative configuration for your hydration needs. Classic top-loading design allows quick access to main compartment. Closeout. External shovel/probe pocket keeps essential gear easily accessible. Multipurpose carrying system lets you attach skis, snowboards or snowshoes. Removable plastic framesheet gives the pack form and helps shift the load toward your hips. Stormproof zippers and improved lightweight nylon construction keep gear dry and safe. Unique hydration design lets you attach a 32 fl. oz. Nalgene bottle to a hydration tube, allowing for easy access, refilling and cleaning.