How Cody Townsend Helped Design the Ultimate Backcountry Ski Pack

For the past five years longtime professional skier Cody Townsend has been on a quest to ski North America’s 50 classic ski descents. The journey, which he documents in serialized YouTube videos, has brought Townsend and friends to peaks familiar and remote, from just outside Aspen to just inside the Arctic Circle. Needless to say, such high-octane pursuits call for gear that’s equal to the challenges involved, putting Townsend in a unique position of knowing what works and what doesn’t, down to stitches and buckles. For this very reason Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear brought Townsend on to help in the design process of its latest ultralight backcountry backpack, the HMG Crux 40, available as of today, 26 September 2023.

Like all Hyperlite packs, the ski mountaineering-focused Crux uses ultralight, ultra-strong Dyneema fabrics as its foundational material—it also includes a suite of clever features requested by Townsend for alpine adventures like his. Features like special strapping for carrying skis or a snowboard along with ice axes, internal sleeves for avalanche gear, a removable lid and hip belt, and an all-important rear-access zippered panel—a first for any Hyperlite Mountain Gear design.