RucksackL TNF Off Chute 18
30th Nov 2005
OK, for an 18 litre day pack the Off Chute weighs in at a pretty hefty 1360g and is a bit of a heavyweight for its size. That said, one needs to remember that it is designed with skiing in mind, necessitating sturdy construction to cope with tumbles and strapped on equipment, and also the fact that most skiers use lifts to gain height, as opposed to their legs. So it's a bag designed for skiing. What sets it apart from other bags I wondered?
For starters it features what TNF call a fly-trap carrying system. This consists of 4 highly adjustable buckle straps on the back of the pack which you can fit your skis into (via various symmetrical or cross-over configurations). The straps are meant to allow you to strap a board on to the pack, but I am not too sure how this would work. The trick that TNF have seemingly mastered is that these buckles are integrated into the compression system for the pack as a whole - i.e. you pack your stuff in, attach your skis, and tighten up the straps to have one nicely balanced, solid, load. Other packs in the past have simply allowed you to strap on your skis, and then flopped around if you didn't have a full sack. The downside to this is that should you need to access something in the bottom of your sack whilst the skis are loaded you will have to loosen off the straps and go digging. I guess that cunning packing will avoid this, and if that doesn't work, the big buckled straps are pretty user friendly, even with gloves on. Also worth pointing out is that the sack opens up all the way down its sides to allow very easy access. The fly-trap system also includes a panel for storing a snow shovel, and a couple of loops for axes or poles. In case you are wondering, inside the pack are a couple of tubes for storing a multi part shovel handle (they have thought of pretty much everything!).
Other neat little features include a fleece lined goggle pocket, as well as a couple of easy access side opening pockets for stashing lunch, hats and gloves. There is a cute little plastic whistle built into the buckle on the chest strap (this seems to be an ingenious invention that features on most TNF packs these days). It is hydration pack compatible for those warm days! The hip belt tucks away, but doesn't detach.
All in all a solidly built sack that is suited for skiing, but definitely not my number one choice for a day out on the hill because of its weight.
DIMENSIONS: 53 cm x 33cm x 15cm
Reviewed by Matt Heason on behalf of planetFear