Slytech may be a company you are not familiar with but you will certainly know one of the athletes they sponsor. Tom Wallisch now rides for Slytech and their sister company Shred Optics.
One of Slytech's founders is a ski racer you may also have heard of. Ted Ligety won two gold medals in the Torin Olympics and it was his passion for skiing but also his own personal needs that promoted him to start Shred Optics and Slytech Protection.
You may wonder what protection a backpack could offer but the Nobound is one of the new generation of packs which feature a built in back protector.
A back protector was the one piece of protection I wore quite often but they can be somewhat uncomfortable to wear, especially on warmer days where you are touring. Incorporating the protection into the pack is a great solution in my opinion. It maintains the protection but is a more comfortable way to wear it.
Another of the Nobound's selling points is it is a â€œno seasonâ€ backpack meaning it can be used for both winter and summer activities. This is a nice feature as a few ski backpacks I have used are not suitable at all for summer use as they are far to warm. Having to only buy one pack could potentially save you quite a bit of money.
For a smaller pack the Nobound 10 still manages to pack allot of features into its design.
The back protector is removable and with the additional purchase of a waist belt and shoulder straps it can function as a back protector in its own right. Straightaway this gives the pack great value for money in my eyes. If you were to buy a pack and back protector separately you would for sure end up spending more.
The protector its self is nicely enclosed in the back of the pack and it does not add too much weight or bulk. Wearing the pack you would not really no it had a protector, it still conforms and shapes well to your back and is as comfy as any pack I have used.
There is an internal sleeve for a hydration pack and the hose can pass up through the top and a simple band holds it in place on the strap. It easily fits my 2L bladder and could fit a 3L I'm sure.
The rest of the internal storage is one main compartment and I can fit skins, shovel, probe and water inside but that will be about it. If you are going on longer tours Slytech also offer the Nobound 25 which along with offering more storage is ABS compatible.
There is a large goggle pocket with a soft fleece lining at the top and there is a second fleece lined pocket on the right side which is useful for a GoPro or wallet etc.
On the front of the pack is a helmet carrying system. You will fit a ski helmet in no problem and full face MTB helmets can also be secured. The straps holding the helmet are firm and attached to the main body of the pack so the helmet stays in place well.
There are also bungee straps to attach poles and this is something I have found very useful.
This is the smallest of the packs I have but I have actually been using it a lot. Being smaller makes it a bit easier to use in resort and also means I pack lighter.
I have never really struggled to get everything I need in the pack and most importantly it passed the test of being able to carry a six pack of beer.
The straps are soft and comfortable yet offer a firm fit something which is helped by the back protector.
Although I have not really fallen heavily on the pack to test the protection I do like knowing its there if I need it.
I have used the pack on my bike a few times and its certainly better then nearly every dedicated ski pack I have used. I do have an Evoc MTB pack and I would say that is slightly better overall as a MTB pack but the Slytech is a great option if you only want one pack.
Off the hill it has also become my go to pack. Its easy to wear and the ability to remove the back protector when not needed makes it a very light weight and functional pack.
I really think this is a great ski pack. If you have been considering getting a back protector then this makes perfect sense, look at it like almost a free pack when you get the protector.
The fact you can use the pack year round only increases its value for money in my eyes.