Gear Review: The North Face Off Chute 18 Ski Pack

The Off Chute 18 Ski Pack was designed for daylong excursions to the slopes by backcountry skiers and snowboarders. Snowshoers will also benefit from the award winning backpack from The North Face.

It is an oversized technical daypack with 1100 cubic inch volume and numerous compartments of varying sizes. The innovative Fly-Trap Carrying System sets itself apart from competitor gear carrying or fastening systems by compressing the load and integrating the user’s center of gravity to improve balance and movement.

The new shovel sleeve offers enhanced security and is easy to access. You will be able to safely transport snowshoe poles and related backcountry gear thanks to its intuitive attachment system. The padded straps and waist-belt, torso adjustment capability, and streamlined design provided a glove-like fit whether I was running trails, riding a mountain bike in city traffic, or ‘shoeing parallel to a bike path. The pack did not shift—vital to muscle economy while trudging in the snow.

The water-resistant, heavy-duty nylon exterior repelled the rain and snow showers that I had encountered, and its three-pound weight was easily manageable for its size. Its durability and lifetime warranty proved its worth when the pack was struck an infinite number of times by branches during multiple ascents/descents and repeated veers on-and-off high country trails. It successfully padded my thundering downhill crash and 12-foot slide on asphalt when I lost my confrontation with black ice in the moonlight: North Face 1 – Mother Nature 0.

The pack is hydration compatible and sports a mesh back panel with ventilation. It has dual front stash pockets, dual tool loops, a fleece-lined optics pocket, a tapered, stitched anatomical back panel, safe T whistle on the sternum strap, and a hip belt that can be tucked away. The North Face has improved its main zipper with the resilient #10 YKK® designed for those of us who regularly abuse zipper systems.

The Off Chute 18 Ski Pack comes in Indian Clay Red and Tungsten Gray and its suggested retail price is $79. For additional information visit


  • Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, wellness consultant and philanthropist advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine. Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete credentialed in bioenergetics, biomechanics, metabolic efficiency™ testing, sport nutrition, and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ empowering others to harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life." He is the wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications. He is a US-based ultra-endurance athlete and philanthropist for the 100 FOR 100 Movement ~ Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to transcend health, performance, and potential in life and sport from the inside out via the principles of Performance Medicine™ ~