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Review: Backcountry Access Stash Pro 32 Backcountry Backpack

The new Stash Pro 32 backcountry ski touring or snowboarding backpack is my new go-to non-avy full-day pack. The namesake “stash” pocket is incredibly convenient for accessing necessary items on the go without having to take the time to take the pack off of my back, open it, get in it, get the stuff, close it and put it back on. This does not mean I’m in a rush (usually)—it just makes the process easier and so I can stay focused on what the trip is really all about: skinning up and skiing down.

But, who am I fooling? With my previous mountain search and rescue experience I love on-trail efficiencies to minimize distractions from the mission at hand. And I do like to move fast, mostly to keep warm.

When I’m looking for a backcountry touring backpack, I usually target the 40-liter range. Again, I blame my SAR training, and my “Be Prepared” scouting experience, to take a few extra what-if items. But somehow the configuration of the BCA Stash Pro 32 has worked out very nicely for the gear I normally take.

The main compartment of the Stash Pro 32 has a long asymmetrical zipper to open it up wide. It starts a few inches from the top on the left side then goes all the way down to the bottom of the pack on the right side. The double pull zipper makes it easy to swing the pack from your back, under the right arm to access that compartment. At the bottom of the left side is the short zipper to access the stash pocket. The main compartment also has a strap to hold the main unit of the BCA Link walkie-talkie and offers internal routing of the cable to the remote microphone, speaker, and quick channel selector.

The avalanche rescue gear pocket is pretty standard with sleeves for the shovel handle and probe. The pocket is wide enough to store the shovel blade and is deep enough to hold other emergency items like a small bivy bag and first aid kit. It also has a small internal zippered pocket that fits an avy notebook nicely. This pocket also has drain holes at the bottom to prevent snowmelt from pooling when the shovel blade is put back after use.

The top of the pack has a fleece lined goggle pocket and the external straps offer diagonal and A-frame ski carry configurations as well as straps to accommodate a snowboard or snowshoes. Just below the top on the back of the pack is a small pocket which holds the helmet cary mesh which can go up to put the helmet closer to the top of the pack or down to place it lower on the back of the pack. The pack will also accommodate carrying ice tools and ski/trekking poles.

On the front of the pack at the top a small dual zipper opens to a space where a hydration sleeve can be dropped and that’s where the BC-Link patches through.

The hip-belt has a small zippered pouch on the left side and a gear loop on the right. The sternum strap buckle has a built-in whistle and the back panel is grooved for ventilation.

Nearly all of the straps are connected to the pack via a larks head loop so they can all be moved or removed to the user’s preference. There are also a number of other extra tie-down points.

The harness is lightly padded and simple and it proved to be plenty comfortable every time I’ve used the pack, which included a 3-mile approach to a hut for a 4-day trip (pulling a sled, of course) and then going day-touring from the hut.

The Stash Pro 32 comes in two torso sizes and is only available in black. $220 |

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