You may already know that a quality backpack should be durable, lightweight, and comfortable. But for ski excursions, you'll want one that also boasts special features that everyday packs lack. When looking for the best ski backpacks on Amazon, consider the following elements:
- Carry system: You’ll need a convenient way to carry your ski equipment while hiking. These specially designed straps will typically be diagonal or A-frame for skis and vertical for snowboards.
- Hydration sleeve: Staying hydrated is important, so look for a backpack that comes with a built-in hydration sleeve or at least has the compatibility for one.
- Tool compartment: A dedicated tool compartment will allow you to adjust your bindings easily while on the mountain.
- Goggle pouch: You can stash an extra lens when you're skiing at the resort or store the full setup when hiking in the backcountry.
- Helmet holder: Your helmet will take up a lot of space in your bag so a special compartment is a great way to free up extra room.
- Shovel holder: A shovel is a critical safety feature whether you're digging someone out of a tree well or responding to an avalanche.
- Avalanche safety pocket and ice axe retainers: These backcountry-specific features will come in handy when trekking or mountaineering.
The right backpack for your needs will largely depend on whether you're skiing in the backcountry or just resort riding — safety features will be more important for the former. But my list of the best backpacks for skiing has something for everyone.
1. The Best Overall
I personally have this Gregory ski backpack and it's one of my favorites. The tough fabric is made from dual-layer nylon and the hydration sleeve is built into an insulated shoulder harness. It has a range of extra features, including a stowable mesh helmet holder, soft goggle pocket, dedicated avalanche safety pocket, safety whistle, aluminum toggle ice axe retainers, and four carry systems (including A-frame ski, diagonal ski, vertical snowboard, and snowshoe). Best of all, the whole thing only weighs four pounds.
2. The Runner-Up
This Dakine ski backpack is another one that I've tried out personally. It has fewer bells and whistles, but it's less expensive and still fantastically well-made. Intended primarily for resort use, the durable backpack is made from 600D polyester and boasts a vertical snowboard carry, plus your choice of A-frame or diagonal ski tote systems. The 20-liter pack is the perfect size for riding the chairlift, and it has a special pocket for tools and shovels. Available in 10 colors and styles, this high-quality bag is specifically designed for skiing but works great for other activities, too.
3. The Best No-Frills Option
This affordable TETON backpack isn't a ski-specific bag — it's actually designed for hiking and general use. However, if you don't need the ski-specific features, it's a great way to carry some gear around the resort without spending a lot of money. The popular backpack, which boasts over 270 reviews on Amazon, features a low-profile athletic cut that's adjustable. The straps feature high-density foam stabilizer, as well as mesh covering for additional comfort. This pack is lightweight and even comes with a hydration pouch, including the bladder and kink-free sip tube.
4. The Best For Backcountry Trips
I haven't tried this one myself, but I'm familiar with the brand and can vouch that they make excellent packs. The backcountry ski backpack is designed for trekking, mountaineering, ski touring, heli-skiing, cat skiing, and other out-of-bounds adventures. The high-performance pack is equipped with all of the emergency features you might need, as well as comfort accessories. It has an avalanche safety pocket, ice tool attachment, stowable helmet carrier, soft-lined goggle compartment, hip belt mountaineering loops, and an SOS label with emergency instructions. The carry system can hold diagonal or A-frame-rigged skis and the snowboard carrier boasts an adjustable stabilization belt to offer your legs more freedom of movement. It is lightweight, comfortable, and durable.
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