I think Osprey packs are one of the finest out there and the switch 26 is no exception. This is a well thought out winter day/skiing pack. Ive used this pack about 6 times. Its the perfect size for a day trip in the back country or some resort skiing. Ive carried my skis diagonally once without any issues. Havent carried them A-frame style yet, except to test the setup, but they feel even more secure that way so Im not expecting any issues there either. It has a top loading front pocket for your shovel and probe. I think the rear panel access for your lunch or an extra layer of clothing is a great feature. It opens completely for easy access to anything stored there and it works well to keep the snow out of that compartment. Also, if your resort skiing and dont have a lot of gear in the pack, the straight jacket style cinch straps work great to compress the pack and hold contents in place. This pack is hydration bladder compatible and is insulated. I havent had the tube on my bladder freeze yet. I also really like the two zippered pockets on the waist belt. They work perfectly for my camera and a snack. The top pocket works well too. My helmet actually fits as advertised along with my goggles. Im 59 and the medium size fits me perfectly. I highly recommend this pack.