I have a Ceres 38 that I love for for ice./rock climb approaches - after I modifed it to not rely on the lid for part of the support of the pack. Regarding that for BC riding, I was not impressed w/ it. It does not carry a board very well - you need to McGuyver a strap at the top of the pack to keep the board tight against the pack. Also, 2800 ci is way too big for a day in the BC w/o ropes, crampons, climbing hardware and the like.
I have an Osprey Switch 25 that I love (don't use the Ceres 38 for anything other than climbing now). It carries a board (or skis) very well & has a top strap for optimal carrying comfort. It's 1800 ci which is fine for a thermos, down jacket, sandwiches and a 100 oz bladder 'o water, headlamp, etc, etc. You can also access the pack if you have your board strapped to it which is pretty cool.
Being 6'4", it wasn't easy to find a <2000 ci BC pack in a "L." I have the Osprey Ceres 50, 38, Switch 25 and a Aether 60. I'm way sold on the Osprey packs. I work PT at a shop and have access to deals on any brand, but prefer Osprey due to fit & features.
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:50 am Posts: 327 Location: hippy pow turns
I have a couple Dakine packs that I like. I use the Poacher most of the time for daytrips on the splitboard. I also have an older Guide that I use for self supported Back Country stuff on the Mountain Bike.
I have no complaints about the Poacher, it carries weight well, isn't so big that your tempted you over load it, but will pack a full compliment of supplies. the rear entry makes it easy to get to things like water, which I like to carry low in the pack.
besides that neat feature, this pack has all the reqirements your looking for.
I'd also check out Ark'teryx. they make some realy nice stuff.