Are you looking for a splitboard specific backpack designed for carrying larger loads into the backcountry? If so this year’s Burton Incline 40L Backpack is a must have for your winter touring kit.
Burton [ak] Incline 40L Backpack Review
So why does this backpack work so well for touring. First of all, it’s got 40L of storage space on the inside. You might be able to get away with a smaller backpack however if you’re planning ahead for emergencies and repairs in the field the 40L size allows you to stuff a ton of stuff inside this pack.
With the Burton AK Incline Backpack, there are 2 ways to access the main storage compartment. A top drawstring entry found in backpacking packs and a side zippered entry that allows for grabbing quick items without having to shuffle through the backpack.
On the bottom of the pack, I put the gear that will, in theory, be used the least. A first aid kit and repair kit. My repair kit is one of the heaviest things in the pack, so it’s a good idea to put the heavy stuff towards the bottom to avoid that monkey on your back feeling.
On top of the emergency/repair gear, I’m able to store a set of mittens and sometimes even extra gloves depending on the days objective and weather conditions. But when the shit hits the fan and your hands are cold and wet, a nice warm pair of mittens will go a long way in keeping you comfortable, warm and sane.
As we move up the pack I like to store gear that is more commonly used like an extra down layer, water bottle and at the very top when not being used my skins. Although skins seem to be happiest when stored against your body when doing multiple laps to keep the skin glue in its best-performing state.
When it comes to going downhill there are sleeves on both sides of the backpack that are able to store collapsible touring poles securely.
The Burton 40L Incline backpack works great for holding just about all your avalanche gear. One of the reasons this backpack got 4 stars instead of 5 is it’s hard to fit my full-size shovel blade inside the emergency sleeve. I can easily get it out, but when it comes to putting it back in a game of Tetris issues. I do carry an oversized blade, so most likely this wone be a problem for you.
However, I do notice the zipper getting a little stressed by trying to stuff everything into the sleeves. Burton if you’re reading this, and you should be. Try extending the sleeve lengths a few cms and everything with fit nicely with a little extra room.
There is a dedicated sleeve for your probe, shovel handle and I even carry snow saw with me that easily slides into the sleeves. Along with that some paracord for snowpack stability test.
One hiccup with this backpack is when all the buckles and straps are secured you CAN NOT access the snow safety gear without unbuckling the buckles. This added step should be eliminated as in an emergency we want to be fast, yet efficient.
One of the other cool features this backpack offers up is the large hip belts with pockets that are deep enough to carry a cell phone. It’s best practice to make sure your phone is a foot or more from away from your beacon and should always be kept in airplane mode when your beacon is on, so basically all the time.
The backpack is hydration compatible, can carry a snowboard helmet on the outside, comes with a goggle lines pocket inside which I found sort of hard to use. Instead, I just toss a couple extra pairs of goggles into the main compartment.
At the end of the day, it will be hard to find a better fitting snowboard specific backpack on the market. In fact, I liked the way the Burton AK Incline 40L Backpack ($219.95) fit so much I opted to take it with me not only splitboarding, but heli-skiing and snowcat skiing in BC this winter. One of my favorite backpacks of all time.
This backpack is a little bigger and taller than other snowboard packs, keep in mind it’s made for touring first and foremost