2008 Burton Gear - Burton AK 30L Pack (Spring 2008) - New Gear

April 26, 2008

Why in the world would Burton release a new snowboard backpack in the Spring? Well, the name should give it away: the Burton AK 30L Pack. That's "AK" as in Alaska. With such short days during the winter in Alaska, the great skiing and snowboarding starts ramping up in the Spring. So this pack was built for the lucky few who get to ride helicopters all Spring in the Chugach. And some of the features tell that tale pretty well. You can tell that this pack was designed by folks that not only like to ride a lot, but they like to ride outside the confines of the ski resort. There are features to accommodate any type of avalanche gear you may need, as well as particular design elements that better allow for easy snowmobile-accessed riding. Basically, it's a pack for riders designed by riders. And isn't that what Jake Burton and his company are famous for? Ever since he broke his collarbone & couldn't make the ski team, I think it was fate that sent him down the road to building killer snowboard gear that even skiers get jealous of. If it weren't for his vision, we wouldn't have snowboard gear like the Burton AK 30L to drool over. First cool feature: A survival whistle on the sternum strap. I have one on my pack whenever I go into the backcountry, and I think it should be standard issue for anyone stepping outside of a ski resort boundary. Ever tried to get cell phone reception on Mt Rainier? Pretty dicey. What about just yelling to your friend? Doesn't work so well when the wind is ripping. You need a whistle, and this Burton gear just includes it. Second cool feature: Board carrier that orients your snowboard horizontally. Why? Well, have you ever tried to drive a snowmobile with a snowboard strapped vertically to your pack? Third cool feature: Storage pockets on the waist strap -- which makes it sooooo easy to stow your digital camera or sunglasses or a Clif Bar. It's like your Batman belt! Just like what I love on the DaKine Ridge pack. However, there is one key feature that I have my reservations about. That is the internal shovel blade and handle pocket. I would welcome your comments below if you disagree, but I think that in an avalanche situation you want your shovel blade & handle as accessible as possible so you don't have to be unzipping your pack and rummaging through things to pull it out & put it together. Same with your avalance probe, if you can. The Burton AK 30L Pack does have at least an external location for your probe and/or poles. So that's good. But I personally am a fan of having the blade/handle on the outside of the pack. All in all, it appears to be another killer piece of Burton gear that is out just in time for all you lucky shmoes who are headed up to AK for the Spring. Click here to learn more about the Burton AK 30L Pack and purchase it from Moosejaw. Check out more backpacks at

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