Talking about a backpack when you’re “Time and Tours”?

It might seem strange, and it is a bit of an odd expansion of my focus here.

Fresh back from the ISPO Munich 2018, aside from the Land Rover Explore outdoor smartphone, I also want to point to another “tech” product I noticed there, anyways: the Arc’teryx Alpha SK 32 backpack.

Considering how much technological input goes into the materials and construction of such outdoors gear, especially with the design language Arc’teryx brings to it, it also fits, after all.

Evolution

The forthcoming (Fall/Winter 2018) Alpha SK 32 backpack is an evolution of the alpinist Alpha FL, changing it into a freeride ski touring backpack.

Looking at bit farther afield, it is reminiscent of the Arrakis series of Arc’teryx backpacks – of which I still use one as my main pack – and somewhat similar to their luxury Veilance line’s Nomin pack.

Specifications

In its use of AC² nylon ripstop, it is strongly weatherproof, with a weight of 990 grams relatively light, and a good volume not just for ski touring but also for other fast-and-light pursuits or, probably, carry on-only traveling at 32 liters.

Organization

The main compartment is closed with a drawstring and a top which is really the front of the pack extending further upwards.

Between that top, which can also be used to hold a helmet, and the main compartment, a (supposedly) waterproof front pocket runs down the front of the pack.
(I doubt the waterproofing part a bit as it looks to me like water may get in from the side. I assume what the designers/marketers want to say is that the pocket there won’t leak water e.g. into the main compartment. Not what most people would expect from something labeled as waterproof…)

Photo: Arc’teryx

For its intended use as ski touring pack, this pocket is meant to hold snow shovel, saw and probe, but it would appeal to me for gear such as a small drone (like the DJI Spark, in a carrying box) and the waterproof light shell I always carry just in case.

There is also a side zipper for easier access to the main compartment, which is the one thing I really miss from my old Arrakis 40 (where I always end up needing something from the bottom of the main compartment, no matter how well I try to plan what to pack where).

Outside Strap Carry

The outside adjustable TPU straps – meant for ski or splitboard carry in various configurations – alone are a new patent-pending design supposed to make for quick access and easy adjustability, including with gloves.

Photo: Arcteryx

I am not sure how well they would work for anything else, but there typically are alternative uses for outside attachment – and if not, they are easy enough to remove and their attachment points on the pack do not disturb the sleek lines of the pack much.

Overall

All in all, I really like the looks of this pack, have always liked the AC² materials and construction, and think that this particular pack could be good for a much wider range of uses than Arc’teryx’ designers have intended it for.

It probably will be pricey, probably won’t be anything I’ll have a chance to get for myself – but I still find it worth mentioning it here. Like I said, I like it…