Prized Possessions is a space for riders - both pros and Joes - to wax lyrical about their favourite pieces of gear from over the years. We promise you these are genuine and in no way paid for by the brands behind them.

This week our in-house filmer Sam McMahon is here to tell you about, of all things, his most favourite bag.


I have a problem. My problem is bags. There, I've said it now. That was my first step.

I get a lot of flack from friends about the amount of snowboard gear that flows through my flat - hey, it comes with the territory - but even my nearest and dearest probably don't know the scale of my problem. I have a lot of bags.

Bags to go places, bags to take snowboarding, bags to haul cameras up mountains, bags I don’t really need but do one specific thing so well one time I can’t not use it. Small bags, big bags, giant bags, bags for other people, bags for the dog, bags to go in bags.

I'd like to think it's down to finding the perfect bag for each situation rather than having some sort syndrome common amongst lonely heiresses and divorcees, but the reality is probably as simple as that.

"Even my nearest and dearest probably don't know the scale of my problem. I have a lot of bags"

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However, there is one that transcends them all: the Dakine Helipro. I got mine just before moving to the mountains almost seven years ago and bar a few tears and fixes it's done me proud ever since. It's as lightweight as you could hope for and so compact that even with a shovel and probe I barely notice it on chairlifts. Having that gear is paramount, even for resort riding, so having something that makes it so easy to keep that kit on you could literally be a lifesaver - these days I rarely ride without it.

It fits great, and has that hard-to-achieve, near-perfect balance of adjustability and minimal faff. It's snug, so snug that I'm never picking snow out from between myself and sack, a killer for most cheap imitators.

It's probably also the reason I still have a spine after our oversized gear editor crashed into my back heels a few years ago, and whilst it plays second fiddle to my camera bags for most adventures, off the clock it's had my back all the way from Tignes to Niseko. There are memories in those stitches.

So, this is my bag. I have many like it, just none as good.

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