Welcome to our review of the best ski backpacks of 2021. Spending a day on the slopes requires a lot of gear. Water, snacks, spare gloves and avalanche equipment are all items you might need during a mountain adventure.
If you’re going to take a lot of gear, you will need a way of carrying it. Thankfully, this is where the best ski backpacks come in handy. A backpack designed for cold weather and mountain activities makes your ski or snowboard experience a million times better!
This is precisely why you want to do your homework before actually spending any money on buying one.
And so, here are the best ski backpacks you can buy today.
List of Top 10 Ski Backpacks of 2021 – Reviews & Comparisons
1. Dakine Mission Pro 18L
The Dakine Mission Pro 18L Backpack is compact with affordable design. The pack features a dedicated avalanche-gear pocket and padded hipbelt and shoulder straps, and tacks on a fleece-lined goggle pocket. The material is 420D semi-dull nylon ripstop with water repellent finish and the backpack comes with a rescue whistle on sternum strap.
Best Ski Mountaineering Pack
2. Black Diamond Cirque 45
Black Diamond takes mountaineering packs to a whole new level with the Cirque 45 Pack. This pack features all the necessary trimmings for technical missions including two easily deployable ice-axe loops, diagonal or A-frame ski-carry straps, a helmet flap, and a rope strap under the top lid. Plus, it includes an internal sleeve for rescue gear that’s separated from the main compartment by a flap.
3. Mammut Light Protection Airbag 3.0 30L
The Mammut Light Protection Airbag 3.0 Backpack is a lightweight 30L airbag with Mammut s trauma-protection equipped Protection Airbag System. The airbag wraps around your head for additional impact protection in the event of a slide. At 30 liters, this is a great pack for full shred days and comes with plenty of carrying capacity and a thermoformed back panel for all-day comfort.
4. Patagonia Descensionist 40L
The Descensionist Pack 40L is super comfortable and durable backpack designed for going fast and light in the mountains without sacrificing the essentials. The backpack includes a breathable harness and backpanel that keep you cool on the skin track, and on the boot pack an innovative strap system carries skis or a snowboard in a wide range of configurations.
5. Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25L
The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25 Pack is a mid-sized pack that comes with a sleek design for minimal bulk and easy outer gear storage as well as a large zippered opening to the main compartment. Compatible with both AvaLungs and hydration systems, you can wear the Dawn Patrol as a day pack inbounds or equip it for all-day, backcountry preparedness.
6. Ortovox Ascent 30 Avabag
the Ortovox Ascent 30L Avabag is ultra light and durable backpack. It is the perfect day touring pack for those wishing to move quickly in the mountains, with the added security of an inflatable Avabag airbag system. Built of 100 denier Robic ripstop nylon, with provisions for both A-frame and diagonal ski carry and removable snowboard carry straps, the Ascent 32L Avabag performs flawlessly and simply weighs less than other airbags.
7. Dakine Poacher RAS 36L
This one is a great day-touring pack with the option to add an airbag system. You get a range of carry options, including A-frame, diagonal, and a vertical snowboard set-up. With the Poacher RAS 36 you have plenty of room for potentially life-saving clothing and nutrition.
8. Deuter Freerider Lite 20
The Deuter Freerider Lite 20 is ultra lightweight bacnpack that is perfect for performance-focused alpine enthusiasts heading out on quick backcountry tours. The backpack includes modular attachment options to fix skis, a snowboard or snowshoes to the pack. In addition, its narrow profile and U-shaped frame help keep everything locked into place.
9. Arc’teryx Alpha SK 32
Arc’teryx Alpha SK 32 is a very light backpack that comes with a lot of features such as a waterproof front pocket for avalanche safety gear and a large top lid pocket with room for ropes. You’ve got a large side zipper for quick access to the main compartment, while the forward pull waistbelt adjustment lets you easily tighten with gloves on. The Alpha SK provides weather protection in extreme alpine environments and a sleek design that moves with the body.
10. Patagonia SnowDrifter 30L
Built for a full day in the backcountry, this great pack has a dedicated compartment for snow safety tools and back-panel access that lets you easily get to your gear while the pack is still loaded. This bag is durable, comfortable, and provides functional organization. Made with 100% recycled fabrics.
Ski Backpacks: A Buying Guide – How to Choose Ski Backpacks
A backpack is not just a bag for carrying things. A ski backpack designed for skiing and snowboarding has a design with features that work to make your journey lighter and easier. The two most common features you usually find in ski backpacks are special compartments for safety gear, in case of an avalanche, and a special attachment system for ski equipment.
Here are a few things you should consider before you buy a ski backpack:
Separate storage of safety equipment
When skiing, you should have easy access to the shovel and probe. That is a vital point. In an avalanche, the speed and accuracy of the rescue are very sensitive. The time available is also very tight, so there is a risk if you still have to sort through your backpacks to try to find safety equipment. Most ski backpacks have a compartment for ski safety equipment. Usually, the backpack has a separate sleeve to hold the probe and shovel handle securely while keeping all equipment organized and easily accessible at any time.
Look for a backpack with a waterproof safety compartment and drainage holes
Such a bag is a great place to protect the equipment in the main compartment from getting wet. You should always keep your landslide safety equipment in your backpack and not be tied on the outside where you risk getting caught or lost when you fall.
Choose a backpack that has a carrying strap
When skiing, you often have to travel to the ski area and sometimes require you to take off your skis and store them so you can get over the steep terrain. Carrying your skis can be a big problem, so it’s important to attach your skis to your backpack. The carrying strap allows you to climb while letting your hands move freely. Ski backpacks usually have two types of carrying systems. The first type is the diagonal. The diagonal is a system which carries the skis at once vertically or at an angle at the back of the bag. The second is the A-frame. That is by tying the skis separately to the two sides of the bag, and sometimes the ends are connected with straps. So when you go skiing, make sure you check the terrain and your luggage. The A-frame carry technique is indeed more balanced, but you will still face the risk of getting stuck when you walk or climb rocks. The risks are also bigger if you use boots on bindings. Some backpack designs allow you to use more than one carrying style so you can more easily carry your ski equipment.
The size of the backpack
There are several different types of ski backpacks to choose from based on size. Usually, determining the size of a backpack is based on the terrain you are going to go through. There are backpacks with a minimalist design that has room for less safety equipment. Usually, this type of bag is for those of you who don’t plan to ski too long or to places with difficult terrain. There is also a backpack with a large capacity that can accommodate your equipment for several days of the expedition. To determine which size you need, you need to pay attention to several things, namely, the vehicle you use to go to the ski location, the terrain of the ski location, how long you will ski, and what equipment you need. The volume of a ski backpack is usually in liters (L).
Pay attention to your layers and outerwear
When you use a backpack, consider the lining and outer clothing you are wearing at the time. Some ski backpacks come in different lengths. So, for you to feel comfortable when carrying a ski backpack, the length of your bag must match your body length. You should check in advance for each brand to determine which bag is the right one for you. When you measure the length of a ski backpack, try putting some weight in it to simulate the skiing backpack carrying weights. You should also check that the strap and belt fit your body. It is important that the backpack feels snug and comfortable so that it is safe for you to carry, even with ski equipment.