Wanted: The North Face Powder Guide Vest

Shed the cumbersome backpack and pick up The North Face’s Powder Guide Vest for your sidecountry excursions this year. The vest, originally designed for ski patrollers, is designed for wear over a skier’s or boarder’s shell to take the place of a pack. Store your shovel in the handle pocket and exterior shovelhead holder, your probe in its own pocket, and your goggles in the external goggle or stash pockets. Adjustable external straps on the vest allow you to lock in your skis or board right to your back. Constructed of bombproof ballistic nylon, the Powder Guide Vest is as durable as it is practical, and with a slew of external and internal pockets, it can more than meet the need of any other sidecountry pack without the added bulk. Vests may not be your thing, but this clever piece of North Face outerwear absolutely caught my eye as a worthy sidecountry alternative. MSRP $249
–Kade Krichko