- Buyer's Guide
Noteworthy New Release: Arc’teryx Alpha SK 32 Backpack
In years past, Arc’teryx’s Alpha FL climbing pack was a pack that appealed to more folk than just climbers. Its lightweight yet durable construction, streamlined design and excellent weather resistance, piqued the interest of backcountry skiers too. But a pack designed for alpine climbing isn’t really ideal for freeride touring. So skiers took it upon themselves to make it more suited, coming up with hacks and tricks to tailor the pack to their needs. And in 2018, inspired by users’ creativity and feedback, Arc’teryx challenged themselves to design a backpack specifically intended for freeride touring, using the FL DNA.
They’ve excelled in that challenge with the Arc’teryx Alpha SK 32 Backpack.
Sleek and strong for the slopes
The Alpha SK 32 is built with lightweight durability, weatherproof protection and adaptability in mind. A bag that lets you move agilely, quickly and comfortably, whether you’re out for a couple of hours or an extended day of backcountry exploration.
The pack is made with Arc’teryx’s tough, weatherproof and lightweight AC2 nylon ripstop material. The clean design reduces the risks of snagging the pack. Great for avoiding branches on the go or storing it with other gear in a tight space. And coming in at just 1 kg (35 oz), it won’t weigh you down when you want to keep things light and fast.
Straightforward ski and board carry
Speaking of staying snag-free, the pack also partners with Arc’teryx’s Alpha SK Straps for ski and board carry. The patent-pending TPU straps allow for both diagonal and A-frame ski carry, as well as vertical snowboard carry. The Alpha SK strap system helps reduce pack weight, minimizes snagging by avoiding excess strap lengths, and makes adapting to different gear setups straightforward and effective. The straps utilize a quick-access, side entry stainless steel buckle that can be easily operated even while wearing gloves.
The pack includes two 50cm straps for diagonal ski carry. For A-frame carry three additional 50cm straps are required (sold separately), while vertical board carry requires 65cm straps (sold separately).
Secure storage for snow essentials
The pack offers just enough space and organization to keep essentials in order, while retaining a compact and sleek form. With its 32L volume you can store everything you need for the day, from safety equipment to small valuables, snacks and additional clothing. The water-resistant front pocket includes a drain and stores safety equipment, skins and other items you want quickly accessible, while keeping the main compartment contents dry. The main compartment is accessible through the top as well as a handy WaterTight™ side zipper. And smaller essentials? A top front pocket stores items such as your phone, keys and snacks. Additionally a rope, helmet or other bulky items can be stored under the lid. Secure and out of the way when not in use but easily accessible when you need them.
Stability and comfort for all-day exploring
A comfortable pack is key when exploring in the backcountry, and the Alpha SK 32 doesn’t let you down. It carries close to the back for maximized comfort and stability, with an adjustable sternum strap, waist belt with forward pull adjustment, and padded back panel with an HD80 foam frame sheet. In addition to enhancing carry comfort, the padded back panel adds some traction, helping prevent the pack from slipping and sliding against outer layers.
Evolution inspired by ingenuity
The Arc’teryx Alpha SK 32 is a pack inspired by skiers, honed to meet their needs with technical precision, and ultimately offering exceptional performance (check out our review). Sure, it’s expensive at US$325. But the carry experience it delivers is pretty priceless. A laser focus on effectively and reliably delivering what you need for freeride touring with essentials. Stripping back what you don’t to keep weight down and maintain a super-clean form. And letting you focus on your surroundings rather than distractions from your carry. And ultimately, that’s just the kind of snow buddy you want at your back.