Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:19 pm Posts: 7 Location: Stanford, CA
I've had a BCA Stash Alp 40 for about a year now. Used it a few days at resorts (to test it out/sidecountry), a few days snowshoeing w/ a board attached and once with a split.
Overall, I'm quite happy with it. The design is pretty simple (one big top loading pocket, one waterproof shovel pocket, a probe/handle pocket and a small pocket in the top flap), but effective. The shovel/probe pockets work great with the BCA shovel/probe I have (I would hope so). I don't find the side loading flap for the main pocket very useful because it isn't quite long enough. You can't get much out the side except small items that are close to the zipper. Not a big deal if you're looking for a top loader.
I really like the drink system. It's definitely less prone to freezing than others I've seen and being able to just pull out the Nalgene if it does freeze (or at the end of the day) is nice.
I don't think the convertible board straps work very well, mostly because they aren't quite long enough. If you have much in the bag it's a real stretch to get them around a board. Maybe it's possible to extend the compression straps with some webbing and same size plastic buckles. Once you do get a board strapped on, it carries it quite well though. Carrying a split in tour mode (A-frame) looks to work without any issues.
Comfort is pretty good. I don't think it 'hugs' your body like a lot of smaller packs, but it doesn't swing around or feel unstable either. The hip belt is designed more for freedom of movement than support. I think it makes a good compromise; others may have different opinions.
That's about all I can think of. Let me know if you have any specific questions.