For the final update on Black Diamond’s new gear for 08/09, I turn to their expanded line of backcountry ski packs with integrated AvaLung’s. I’m a believer in wearing an AvaLung in the backcountry and I’ve been impressed with BD’s pack/AvaLung combos thus far (read my Covert AvaLung review). Combining the two is a no-brainer and reduces the bulk and complexity of wearing multiple items.

Black Diamond AvaLung Ski Packs - New for 08/09 Season

The entire line of backcountry ski packs will be greatly expanded for Fall 2008. The new line includes a sidecountry pack (Bandit), a ski-mountaineering pack (Alias) and even a snowboard-capable pack (Outlaw). Look for more information on these soon. Here are a few pictures and basic info.

Black Diamond Outlaw AvaLung Pack

This pack includes both ski and snowboard carrying functionality. This will be a functional backcountry pack for all-day tours. A great feature of the Outlaw is the zippered back-panel access, which makes getting to the bottom of the pack much easier. MSRP is $229.

Black Diamond Outlaw AvaLung Backcountry Ski Pack

Black Diamond Outlaw AvaLung Backcountry Ski Pack

Black Diamond Bandit AvaLung Ski Pack

Built for fast-and-light touring or sidecountry trips, the Bandit pack’s volume is only 11 liters, so a few energy bars and a shell is all you can pack. But, if you’re going for light touring, cat skiing, heli skiing or hitting sidecountry stashes, this is a great pack. The price is awesome at $169 (AvaLung alone is $99).

Black Diamond Bandit AvaLung Backcountry Ski Pack

Black Diamond Bandit AvaLung Backcountry Ski Pack

Black Diamond Alias AvaLung Ski Mountaineering Pack

This pack sports a much more narrow profile to distribute the load a bit higher on your back. It is also built of more lightweight 210 denier nylon and is a perfect 30 L. size. This top-loading design has built-in diagonal or A-frame ski carrying options and also has an integrated hydration sleeve and zippered pocket on the strap.The Alias is ideal for deep backcountry days or even efficient overnight trips, making it great for ski mountaineering-types. This is a great technical addition to the AvaLung pack line.

Black Diamond Alias AvaLung Ski Mountaineering Pack

Visit for more info on the AvaLung pack line.

Buy Now: See the Latest Black Diamond Ski Packs at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. I like the idea of combining the Avalung with a pack, but to me it seems you have to give up some things since BD’s packs don’t seem to have some of the design features that I like in a pack. For example, many don’t seem to have compressions straps. Or the compressions straps go over the main clamshell-zipper of the pack…making it annoying to get in & out of your pack. For me, I’m fine wearing two items since your pack just goes over your avalung. But I think it’s a great thing that Black Diamond is trying lots of different pack designs, because soon they’re bound to hit on one that I have no complaints with! 🙂

  2. You’re right… if you want a best-of-breed combo, going with the AvaLung and a pack of your choice will do that. I do like the combo, but there are some tradeoffs with BD packs. However, their new lineup seems to cover a lot of bases.

    With the new BD Outlaw pack–though it is targeted at snowboarders–the compression strap doesn’t cover the avie toolkit sleeve. I’m fine with a compression strap covering the clamshell, but I’m not fine with it covering the avie toolkit pocket. That was one negative I pointed out with the BD Covert AvaLung pack. If you are in an emergency situation, you want access to that pocket to be quick and easy.

    The other cool thing about the new BD Outlaw pack is that it has back-panel access, thus reducing the complaint of the compression strap over the clamshell access zipper.

    In the end, if you want a best-of-breed, go with the AvaLung and a pack of your choice. But, I really like the new BD pack lineup for Fall 2008.

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