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Blue Ice Yagi 28 Review

blue ice yagi 28
Overall
3.9
  • Comfort
    (4)
  • Features
    (4)
  • Stability
    (3)
  • Weight
    (4.5)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

A ski mountaineering backpack that combines functionality with great lightness, designed for those who do a lot of elevation gain and setup changes during the tour. The various ski and ice axe attachment systems will make it appreciated by those who like more than just keeping skis on their feet. The lightness of the fabric is paid for with some minor compromises on the durability front.

Pros

  • Low weight
  • Multiple ski locking systems
  • Zippered access from the backrest
  • Quick ice axe removal

Cons

  • Fabric a little delicate
  • Ventral strap closure can be improved
  • Not compatible with hydration systems

The Blue Ice Yagi 28 lt is the ideal backpack for daily ski mountaineering tours. The French manufacturer has reworked the Kume 30 lt model and created a product that is lighter, more compact and at the same time comfortable to wear.

Blue Ice defines it as the classic ski touring backpack, suitable for leisurely excursions with friends to more challenging technical tours.

testing the blue ice yagi 28

Technical Features of the Blue Ice Yagi 28

  • Weight: 840 g
  • Dimensions: 59 x 29 x 25 cm
  • Volume: 28 lt
  • Materials: High density 420D Nylon Ripstop, 420D Robic Air hd Nylon
  • PVC free and BlueSign label
  • Separate pocket for avalanche rescue equipment
  • Wide top access to main pocket with zippered opening
  • Double-zip and magnet access system to main pocket from backrest
  • Convenient top handle for grasping the backpack
  • Side compression straps
  • Vertical (A-Skifix or shed) or Diagonal (D skifix) ski attachment system
  • Possibility of snowboard attachment
  • Compatible with quick ski attachment system (not included)
  • Helmet mount included
  • Fastening system for one or two ice axes with central elastic strap
  • Padded belt with 2 pockets, one of which is zippered
  • Manufacturer link

Blue Ice guarantees for this product the absence of PFCs and Bluesign environmental certification.

blue ice yagi 28 lt

Test mode

The backpack was tested in the period of March – April 2024 in different ski mountaineering contexts, both during day tours of low technicality and reduced elevation gain (700 – 800 D+ for about 4 h of outing), and technical and challenging outings with positive elevation gains of more than 1500 m and/or slopes greater than 45°, with require the use of ice axes and crampons during the ascent.

ski mountaineering test

Blue Ice Yagi 28 on-site test

First impressions and fit

The Yagi 28 with its compact, squared-off design is basic and visually pleasing.

As soon as I put the backpack on, I immediately noticed the comfort and was surprised that although there is no extra padding in the lumbar region, once the shoulder straps and belt are adjusted, the backpack fits snugly against the lower back.

Access to the main compartment

The Blue Ice Yagi 28 is accessed in two ways: from the top, with a zipper that opens the backpack at the flap, and from the back, with a double zipper on the backrest. Clever is the system of locking the backrest “flap” between the two zippers, which is done with a magnet placed on top of the opening.

blue ice backrest zipper
Zipper opening on the backrest

The ice axe holder is made of aluminum alloy, and the elastic parts appear to withstand the stresses of normal use.

ice axe holder
Detail of the ice axe holder

Pockets

The extremely functional concept is the real strength of this backpack: the pockets are designed to make life easy.

First, we find a generous top pocket with a plastic carabiner key ring inside (always useful). Above this pocket is a convenient handle that makes it easy to grab the backpack even while wearing gloves.

Handle located at the top of the backpack
Handle located at the top of the backpack

There is a separate pocket in the front for rescue equipment, which can be placed neatly by the holders sewn inside the pocket.

safety pocket

On the outside we find two ice axe pockets and a unique attachment system with a central elastic band. The special feature of this solution is this: with the head positioned upward, it is possible to take out the ice axe from inside the pocket without removing the backpack from the back. A nice advantage during set up changes.

Ice axe holder

There are also two convenient pockets on the belt, one zippered and the other elasticated suitable for holding small items. A small limitation in my opinion is the absence of a clip for closing the belt, but instead we find a metal hook that requires a little more manual dexterity in opening and closing.

blue ice yagi 28 front

Accessories

Further proof of the functionality of this backpack are the side straps: these allow the shed attachment of skis, the attachment of snowboards and, by integrating them with the loop provided with the backpack, it is possible to attach skis diagonally.

In addition, Blue Ice also offers a quick fastening system-saleable separately-that allows skis to be secured without removing the backpack.

ski holding system
A sistem of ski holding

Finally, to complete the accessories, the elastic mesh helmet holder is also available.

helmet hodler

Blue Ice Yagi 28 uphill behaviour

Going uphill, I appreciated the excellent fit and comfort of the backpack even when fully loaded: the lumbar fascia distributes the weight well to the pelvis, without overloading it too much; the backrest allows good ventilation, letting the worn fabric breathe. In fact, despite the warm spring temperatures, I never had the feeling of a wet back.

uphill test of blue ice yagi 28

Securing the skis in “A mode” with the side straps, personally the shoulder straps did not cause me any discomfort and overall I found it quite easy to carry the skis on my back.

Blue Ice Yagi 28 downhill behaviour

During the descent, I appreciated the Yagi 28’s lightness and compactness: these features allowed me to corner without feeling bulky or unbalanced. In addition, the strap and shoulder straps transmit the twist to the backpack well, even on skipped turns. Very good qualities for the downhill phase, in my opinion.

Blue Ice also offers Yagi 28 for freeriding. I have not had a chance to test it best in this area, although I confirm the excellent downhill feel in terms of stability and control. In the case of freeriding I would recommend a backpack with a stiffer back or with the possibility of inserting a protection plate.

blue ice yagi 28 on downhill

Materials and usage

Blue Ice’s choice is to use entirely Nylon 420D in Ripstop and Robic Air HD versions. This choice, not new for the French company, has the undisputed advantage of reducing the weight of the backpack.

But inevitably the quest for lightness leads to some compromise with durability. In my test, after doing a few outings with significant portage, I noticed some signs of usage. Nothing that compromises functionality, however on an aesthetic level they are noticeable.

signs of usage
Signs of usage

Recommended for

The Yagi 28 backpack from Blue Ice is a backpack suitable for classic ski mountaineering in all its forms, particularly when several gear changes and progression on technical routes are required.

It will be especially appreciated by ski mountaineers who grind a lot of elevation gain and who seek the satisfaction of summit or fast traverses, as well as the pleasure of skiing.

Also available in a 35-liter version, suitable for those who prefer to have more ease for multi-day deployments as well.

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