Best Ski Backpack

The Best Ski Backpacks: Top 5 of 2024

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

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.

Ski backpacks come in a range of different shapes and sizes. Every option has different features, so finding a product that suits your style can be a tricky task

In this guide, we review the best backpacks for skiing. We have outlined the key features and assessed the pros and cons, helping you make an informed decision.

Best Ski Backpack At A Glance

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Summary

Price

    • Ski and snowboard carry capability

    • Practical fleece lined goggle pocket

    • Hydration system compatible

       

       

    • A-frame and diagonal ski carry capability

    • Insulated hydration sleeve

    • Glove friendly buckles and zipper pulls

       

       

    • Helmet and tool carrying capabilities

    • Versatile ski and snowboard carry options

    • Insulated hydration sleeve

       

        

    • Ski and snowboard carry cabability

    • 'Form fitting' suspension for a stable feel

    • Exterior attachment for helmet and tools

          

          

    • Dedicated tool pocket and dual axe carry

    • Insulated hydration shoulder sleeve

    • Ski and snowboard carry capability

          

          

    Why Do I Need The Best Ski Backpack?

    Being prepared for every ski slope eventuality is important. In order to be ready for anything the mountain might throw at you, you will need to carry a lot of stuff.

    Using a backpack is a great way to carry all the things you need for a day on the mountain. It allows you to store the items required in case of temperature change, hunger and emergency situations.

    Regular backpacks are not designed for the rigours of skiing. They often lack the weatherproofing, durability and functionality required on the slopes.

    The best ski backpacks are designed to be durable. They are manufactured with the mountain weather in mind, along with a host of useful features that can significantly improve your ski slope experience.

    Best Ski Backpacks
    The Best Backpacks For Skiing Are Durable And Practical

    How To Choose The Best Ski Backpack

    Capacity

    When choosing the best ski backpack, one of the first things you should establish is the capacity you require. Backpack capacity is measured in litres, with options for skiing generally ranging from 10 to 40 litres.

    Smaller backpacks (10L – 20L) have more than enough space to last most individuals for a day of resort skiing or basic off-piste. They have the capacity to store enough food, water and extra clothing to keep you out on the mountain all day.

    Larger backpacks (20L and above) are well suited to anyone heading backcountry skiing, but can also provide enough space to hold the supplies of a small group or family. These backpacks have the capacity to store enough nutrition for a longer trip, while also being a great way to carry first aid and avalanche equipment.

    Best Ski Backpacks
    Ski Backpacks Can Come In A Range Of Sizes

    Hydration System

    Staying hydrated is a vital part of ski performance. With this in mind, many of the best backpacks for skiing come with hydration system compatibility.

    Typically, a hydration system will use a ‘bladder’ this is connected to a long tube (acting as a ‘straw’). The bladder is then stored in the backpack, with the connecting tube finishing along the shoulder strap.

    Many backpacks offer insulated sleeves that help to keep your water from freezing, which is an important feature in the colder resorts.

    Some backpacks will come with the hydration pack included, while others will require you to purchase it separately. If you need to purchase the hydration pack separately, be sure to assess the total cost when making your decision.

    Ski Carry Compatibility

    Many ski backpacks offer the ability to carry your skis. This is ideal if you plan on hiking into the backcountry, or just want an easy way to carry your skis from your hotel to the lift station.

    Ski carry compatibility is added using straps on the back or side. They will generally offer three methods of ski carry: A-frame, vertical or diagonal.

    Additionally, many backpacks offer the ability to carry a snowboard. This adds to their versatility and can come in handy for skiers who wish to try snowboarding in the future.

    Special Features

    Ski backpacks can have a wide range of features. Many of these features are designed to make your life easier, both on and off the mountain.

    Some of the most common features include easy access pockets, helmet carry capability, avalanche tool attachments and item specific compartments.

    Some features are best designed for backcountry, while others make your life simple on the slopes. Take the time to look through the key features and assess which options work best for your ski slope needs.

    Hint: If you’re heading deep into the backcountry, avalanche risks are always present. If you want to maximise safety, we suggest you purchase an avalanche airbag backpack.

    Best Backpack For Skiing
    Every Backpack Has Different Features, So Choose Wisely!

    The Best Ski Backpacks Reviewed

    Dakine Heli Pro Ski Backpack

    Key Features

    • Capacity: 20 Litre
    • Hydration System: Hydration Compatible
    • Ski Carry: Ski & Board

    The Dakine Heli Pro Ski Backpack is one of the most practical and durable options on the market. It comes with a 20 litre main compartment, fleece lined goggle pocket and organised front compartment for added practicality.

    This durable backpack is made using a polyester weave that is water-repellent. In addition, it has ski carry capability and hydration compatibility; making it great for backcountry skiers.

    If you are looking for a durable and adaptable ski backpack, the Dakine Heli Pro might be your best bet. Its combination of build quality and mountain features make it a great purchase for any skier.

    Pros

    • Hydration system compatible
    • A-frame and diagonal ski carry
    • Snowboard carry
    • Fleece lined goggle pocket
    • Organised front compartment
    • Water-repellent shell
    • Spine protector compatible
    • Rescue whistle

    Cons

    • Stitching can come apart

    Osprey Kamber 32 Ski Backpack

    Key Features

    • Capacity: 32 Litre
    • Hydration System: Insulated Hydration
    • Ski Carry: Ski & Board

    Osprey have produced the Kamber 32 Ski Backpack to provide practicality in all mountain conditions. It has a 32 litre main compartment, avalanche safety pocket, stowable helmet carry and hipbelt pockets; all of which make it extremely practical.

    This backpack is designed with backcountry in mind, offering ski and snowboard carry capability. It’s also extremely durable, with a thermoformed backpanel and reinforced wear points for added strength.

    The Osprey Camber 32 Ski Backpack is ideal for backcountry adventures. It also has the adaptability to be useful away from the slopes, making it one of the best ski backpacks around.

    Pros

    • Stowable helmet carry
    • Practical hipbelt pockets
    • Ski and snowboard carry
    • Snowshoe carry
    • Durable reinforced wear points
    • Glove friendly buckles
    • Tuckaway ice tool loop
    • Insulated hydration

    Cons

    • Backpanel fabric can show wear and tear

    Thule Upslope 35L Ski Backpack

    Thule Upslope 35L

    Key Features

    • Capacity: 35 Litre
    • Hydration System: Insulated Hydration
    • Ski Carry: Ski & Board

    The Thule Upslope Ski Backpack aims to make life easy on the slopes by providing convenient storage for all your items. It uses a unique design that makes it easy to carry your helmet on the outside of your pack.

    This backpack has plenty of functionality; with an insulated hydration sleeve, tool storage and ski carry capability making it a great choice for backcountry skiers. It’s also one of the most stable options on the market, using internal compression to stop your items shifting while you’re skiing.

    Thule are a known producer of quality products and this Upslope ski backpack is no exception. It is packed full of useful features and is one of the most accessible options available.

    Pros

    • Easy access compartments
    • Dedicated lash points
    • Ski and snowboard carry
    • Convenient side pockets
    • Stable wrap around fit
    • Internal compression
    • Stowable ice axe loop

    Cons

    • Water bottle pocket lacks insulation

    Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32 Ski Backpack

    Key Features

    • Capacity: 32 Litre
    • Hydration System: Insulated Hydration
    • Ski Carry: Ski & Board

    This Dawn Patrol Ski Backpack by Black Diamond is designed to be lightweight and versatile. It has a 32 litre main compartment, ice tool pockets, helmet holder and avalanche tools organiser pocket.

    This pack is designed with an active, form-fitting suspension that hugs your body for a secure and stable feel. It also has an insulated hydration sleeve, along with ski and snowboard carry capability.

    This Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Ski Backpack is uses an adaptable design and is built to last for many years. It’s capable of storing everything you need for the mountain environment and is one of the best backpacks for skiing.

    Pros

    • Lightweight construction
    • Avalanche tools organiser pocket
    • Helmet holder
    • Ice tool pockets
    • Insulated hydration
    • Ski and snowboard carry
    • Form-fitting suspension

    Cons

    • Lightweight build sacrifices some durability

    Backcountry Access Stash Ski Backpack

    Backcountry Access Stash 20

    Key Features

    • Capacity: 20 Litre
    • Hydration System: Insulated Hydration
    • Ski Carry: Ski & Board

    The Backcountry Access Stash 20 Ski Backpack has a wide range of features that are ideally suited for a day on the mountain. It comes with a 20 litre main compartment, snow safety tools pocket, fleece lined goggle pocket, hipbelt pockets, stowable helmet sling and dual ice axe carry straps.

    This backpack uses a insulated hydration system, along with ski and snowboard carry straps for backcountry adventures. In addition, it has a highly adjustable fit and compression straps to reduce rattle while you’re skiing.

    If you’re looking for a highly adjustable and versatile backpack, the Backcountry Access Stash is one of your best options. It has a wide range of features that are sure to improve your time on the slopes.

    Pros

    • Snow safety tools pocket
    • Fleece lined goggle pocket
    • Stowable helmet sling
    • Ice axe carry straps
    • Insulated hydration system
    • Ski and snowboard carry straps
    • Height adjustable waist belt
    • Hipbelt pockets

    Cons

    • Square shape not the most comfortable fit for some

    Summing Up

    Backpacks are a great way to improve your mountain experience. They provide a practical method of carrying everything required for a day on the mountain.

    Each backpack in this guide has its own advantages, disadvantages and key features. Take the time to assess your needs in order to make the best decision possible.

    The best ski backpacks are more than capable of keeping you prepared for any situation the mountain can bring. If you choose one of the options on this list, you are sure to have a convenient way to store your gear for years to come.