This is the second heli pro deluxe I have had. The other one I had for 5 years, and just changed it for color. I backcountry ski 5 days a week.. usually 3-5 miles, so short trips. I did wear a bigger pack on a hut trip. I do carry avy gear when I need to. The shovel does fit in the front pocket with the handle inside of the main compartment, and I usually put the probe in the ice axe spot ( I am usually 25 degree slopes, so don't need the axe). I love this pack. My friends love this pack. Awesome new color.