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Gear Review

3 5

Dracula collar

The BCA system where the bag inflates on top of the bag is appealing since the cushon sits in the neck/head area, like a gigant Dracula collar. The system with a rechargable float cylinger is pretty smart if you intend on bringing the backpack on an airplane. Not all airlines are happy about bringing charged cylinders onboard and it might cost some time in hassle and a small fortune in cash to be allowed onboard. Bringing an empty cylinder solves the issue as long as there is a refill opportunity where you are heading.
I have tested this backpack during a few thousand feet of skiascents over easter here on the northwest coast of Norway and have a pretty good feel for how well it performs as a pack. The float32 is easy, got good compartments, it is easy to seggragate safety/rescue stuff from your other normal gear like down jacket/food/goggles/... etc. It is spacious, maybe a bit too spacious for daytrips. I found that there was lots of spare capacity after packing all my gear. Not a problem though as it is pretty easy to compress the pack. One thing we couldn't figure out is why the helmet mesh on the outside is mounted top down rather than down up. Maybe it doesn't matter, but I personally feel better when my headpot lies safely in a meshbag with little ability to fall out. :)
This was the good side, what I'm not too happy about is the lower part of the carrying system. BCA could do some work on improving their cushoning, particularly in the lower back region. The float32 is a bit unstable on the ascent, moving about as you walk, which is uncomfortable. On the descent you can tighten the pack so it's not really an issue, but it still doesn't fit as snugle and comfortably as my favourite winter day pack. Adding some cushoning along the spine and hip region will make it into a daypack of choice. Having tried the pack my conclusion is that I'll use my float32 mostly for descents due to the comfort issue of carrying a load on the ascents.