Mammut Spindrift 32 Ski Pack Review

I have been using the Mammut Spindrift 32 as my primary ski pack for 3 seasons. Because I love using different gear and trying to find perfection, I have bought several different packs in that time that I have used, but I have always come back to the Spindrift 32. Most of the people I tour with are skimo nerds who use smaller packs, and some use bigger packs, but 32l is a great size for my purposes on most days. I often have some extra space, but that doesn’t bother me. The pack weighs 1190g which is an excellent weight considering its construction and features, but you can definitely find lighter packs around the same size. For me, the weight is worth it because it is very durable and carries weight very well with its rigid back panel and robust shoulder straps and hip belt. My Blue Ice Firecrest is a bit lighter but the Mammut feels better on my back when they have similar loads because the back panel gives the pack more structure and the straps have higher quality padding. 

On an average ski tour, my pack usually contains a puffy jacket, shell jacket, shovel and probe, 2 pairs of extra gloves, first aid/repair kit, extra food and water, large headlamp, chemical hand warmers, extra glasses, and a thin foam pad. I could easily fit this kit into a 20l pack or maybe even a 15l pack, but I often carry extra stuff and its a pain to move my kit between different packs depending on the day’s objective. On colder days I like to throw in big mittens, a bivy sack, and other warm gear. The pack can easily carry a simple ski mountaineering rope kit. I often use Verts to help with booting in soft snow, and if I don’t have other extra kit I can fit them inside the pack. 

My favorite feature of the pack is the diagonal ski carry, which feels very balanced on the back. The tails of your skis will stick out a bit so they never interfere with your steps, even with ascent plates on. It takes a bit of time to set up because you have to take your pack off and the upper strap is hidden inside the top zip pocket. It is clear that having a strap system that visually disappears when not in use was important to the designers of this pack, which makes sense because a lot of its users probably never used the feature. I didn’t even know the pack had a diagonal carry system until I had been using it for over a year. Had the designers been more focused on a quick ski carry system perhaps they would have used a bungee for the top strap but ultimately its not that big of a deal. When I transition to booting my pack is usually coming off anyways to put on or remove ascent plates or crampons so an extra second of strap fiddling isn’t the end of the world. Having a full skimo race carry system is much faster but most of them feel unbalanced, the ski and binding can rub against your ribs and shoulder, and the tails can interfere with your steps. Some skimo race carry systems are better than others, but I haven’t found one that works nearly this well on a pack this large. It is easier to have a balanced skimo race carry system on a smaller pack. 

A very unique feature in Mammut Spindrift packs is the stretchy shoulder strap bottle holder. Camp, Dynafit and others make shoulder strap bottle holders because it holds the bottle very snugly against the shoulder strap, and it zips into its own little pocket when not in use. I rarely use this feature in winter because bike-style bottle nozzles will ice up in cold temps, I would rather not deal with a screw top, and my winter ski touring jacket (Ortovox Col Becchei) has excellent chest pockets that fit a soft flask inside where it doesn’t freeze up. I have tried Poler, Specialized and Camelback bike bottles and the nozzles will all freeze in cold temps, but I am open to suggestions for others! I use the shoulder-mounted bottle holder a lot on warmer days in the fall, spring and summer. The bottle holder works best on hard-sided bottles, soft flasks will not be held as snugly in my experience. 


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