Dakine Poacher 26L R.A.S.

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Dakine's flagship Poacher has long been a snowboard pack standard. Like Jones, Dakine collaborates with Mammut to incorporate removable airbag technology (R.A.S.) into its pack design. At 26 liters, this is a daypack through and through. According to testers, the women-specific fit is key for shorter torsos, narrow waists with wide hips, and smaller body profiles. Ample padding on the shoulder straps and waist belt earned the Poacher praise for comfort and stability when carrying a full load.

The Poacher packs a lot for its size, and key pockets—avy tool, goggle, hip belt—keep gear accessible and organized. Back-panel access to the main compartment is key, according to testers, especially with a board strapped on. The Poacher provides vertical snowboard carry as well as A-frame and diagonal carry for splitboards when in touring mode.

Not to be overlooked, the stowable helmet carry zips into a small side pocket. There's a hydration pouch in the main compartment, and the right shoulder strap doubles as an insulated hydration sleeve. A rescue whistle is integrated into the sternum strap buckle, and an ice axe loop is easily accessible on the right side of the waist belt.

The Mammut Removable Airbag System 3.0 is sold separately ($395), as is the compatible spine protector ($35) in case you're getting extra gnarly out there.

Price: $200.00
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RAD: Spacious for a 26-liter pack. BAD: Only one hip-belt pocket.

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RAD: Spacious for a 26-liter pack. BAD: Only one hip-belt pocket.

Tested And Approved 2017 Presented by evo.com

Best snowboard gear of 2016-2017? We've got you covered. Going into winter, we want to know what gear can be trusted when put through the wringer. But testing over 500 boots, bindings, goggles, gloves, helmets, splitboards and powder boards, and other backcountry gear and accessories in every snowy corner of the country was a massive undertaking that the TransWorld staff couldn't handle alone. So we sent the latest developments in snowboarding goods to our team of testers spread across the country. With so many unique features in the lineup and different opinions from each tester—both compliments and complaints—there was plenty worth discussing. Some gear broke. Other pieces spoke volumes to functionality and durability. So here you have it: the most inclusive, all-encompassing gear test in snowboarding. If it's in here, it's been beat up and bent every which way – and tested, and approved.

Meet Our Testers:

Adam Broderick

As Gear Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding, Broderick spent last season directing tests around the country when he wasn't testing gear himself. He administered the Good Wood board test, powder board test, and backcountry test, while leading the glove test and coordinating the others, plus editing all Gear Guide text. He is the point of contact for all things gear-related at TWSNOW.

Mike Horn

Mike Horn's first backcountry pack had bungee cords for snowboard straps. That's a far cry from the innovative gear he tested in his Crested Butte backyard this winter. Mike's been writing about snowboarding for a decade-plus, and he tends to get crusty when reviewing gear that's not quite up to snuff.

Devin Silverthorne-Lillie

A New Hampshire transplant, Devin's Ice Coast roots provide superior edge awareness, and with Breckenridge's Park Lane in her backyard, she practically falls from bed to her board. She put freestyle bindings on trial in and out of bounds—from frozen mornings to spring slush, backyard rail jams to sidecountry booter sessions.

Billy Brown

Billy Brown covered new tech for this year's guide. The California native grew up riding the terrain parks in South Lake Tahoe, but for the past few years his career as a freelance editor has allowed him to snowboard around the world—from heliboarding in Whistler to riding post-storm powder in Valle Nevado, Chile.

Alex Showerman

A freelance writer based in Vermont, Alex took his powder hunt on the road last winter. He schlepped freeride boots, backcountry boots—and enough shells, puffies, and base layers to open a small gear store—around the globe in search of snow in locales like Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iceland.

Morgan Tilton

Reared in the San Juans of Southwest Colorado, as soon as Morgan could walk her dad strapped her in, and Telluride Ski Resort became her babysitter. Over the past 13 years, snowboarding has taken her through Wolf Creek's whimsical powder days, USASA Slopestyle Nationals, and the cliff-riddled backcountry of Colorado and Wyoming.

Heather Hendricks

From the jagged peaks of Jackson Hole and the Canadian Rockies to the overt opulence of Aspen, the steeps of Alaska, and the striking faces of the La Sals, our contributing editor spent the season traveling to summits near and far. Heather toted along a bin full of boots and tested them all along the way.

Chris Brunstetter

From loitering shop kid to 22-year industry insider, Chris has spent most of his life in the snow and skate industries in Utah, even experiencing firsthand the rise and fall (and second rise and fall) of Forum. He tested freestyle boots and bindings in the man-made and natural parks at Brighton, Snowbird, and Jackson Hole.