BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS FLOAT 27 SPEED
OUR TAKE The “Old Faithful” of avy packs gets an upgrade this year, making it both lighter and roomier. The biggest changes come in its internal system: a more efficient ejector and 300 more psi in the cylinder, both of which are smaller than in previous iterations. The full canister setup now fits inside the lunchbox-size airbag compartment, increasing space in the packbag for layers, tools, and water. (Note: The new system is also available in a 17-liter pack.) The pack has a clamshell design with a single opening (an internal divider separates your avy tools), and allows for diagonal ski carry.
TRAIL CRED “I’ve been using the Float 32 for years, and I can fit just about the same amount of gear into the new Float 27 Speed,” a Colorado tester says. “It’s a bit small for mountaineering, but I’m able to carry water, an extra layer, some snacks, a shovel, and a probe if I strap my helmet to the outside clips.” $630 (pack), $200 (cylinder); 5 lbs. 11 oz. (with full cylinder); backcountryaccess.com