The Ultralight Snowboard and Ski Carrying Systems by Function are undoubtedly a good idea. They’ve been positively reviewed in Outside magazine and by Gearjunkie. They’re basically just nylon straps reinforced with hypalon to protect the webbing from sharp edges. Buyer Brett Cassidy and I took their ultralight snowboard and ski carrying systems up to Mt. Hood to see how this good idea worked on the mountain. Here’s what we found.
Brett Cassidy: Ultralight Ski Carry System
Packability – The best thing about Function’s Ultralight Ski Carry System is that you can store it in your jacket pocket, and completely forget that it’s there until you need it. I skied groomers with mine stashed in a pocket all morning, and then took it out when it was time to do some inbounds bootpacking. The packed system takes up no space at all, and the tyvek pouch seems really durable.
Purpose-Built – This is a truly stripped-down system that does one thing and does it well: it carries your skis. With a lack of superfluous features, the ski carry system is simple and easy to use. A lot of gear on the market these days is over-engineered, but does not solve a real problem. This is not that gear – it is purpose-built for serious skiers who like to explore the fringes of inbound terrain, and it’s very easy to use. It’s even great for carrying your skis to the lift from the back of a deep parking lot.
Design – You can tell the guys at Function geek out on good design. From the printed instructions inside the pouch, to the magnetic closure, to the brightly colored tyvek (mine matches my orange Patagonia ski bibs – BONUS!) and color coded buckles each design detail is thoughtful and thorough. This is functional gear, elevated through great design.
Tim Gibbins: Ultralight Snowboard Carry System
Usability: I didn’t watch the instructional video on how to use it properly because I wanted to see how easy it was to figure out. Even with the straps flapping in a strong wind, it made immediate sense. The one colorful Function logo on one of the backpack straps let me know which way was up, and after that I was golden. It’s a super intuitive lightweight system.
How it felt: When backcountry riding I’ve always used a backpack. I was really impressed by how much lighter the board felt when it’s snugged flush against my back instead of on the outside of a backpack. Also, with it being tight to my back, the board didn’t catch much wind. It was the most secure feeling carrying system I’ve ever used.
Best use: This is a side country dream. I kept the system in my jacket pocket all day long and never once noticed it. Then once we decided to hike, we strapped in and were ready to go.
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