Whether you’re hitting the slopes on your skis or your snowboard it’s rarely as simple as snapping on your boots and catching the next chair. Whether you’re going to spend the day surfing powder at the resort or exploring chutes in the backcountry you’re going to need snacks, a place to put clothing items as you warm up, a place for your mobile phone, emergency tech, an emergency blanket or two and water, plenty of water. For all that you’re going to need a great backpack and below we’ve lined up the best ski backpacks on the market today.
The Best Ski Backpack
The Oasis 1100 2-Liter Hydration Backpack fulfills all the criteria for a great ski backpack and then some. Not only does it have plenty of room for all your essential gear, it has a built-in 2-liter hydration pack that brings water right to your mouth when you need it so you don’t have to keep stopping to open bottles. The Oasis 1100 features a nice low profile, comfortable shoulder straps that won’t let you down on those long days, numerous exterior and interior pockets for your wear and gear and an anti-shock chest strap to make sure the pack doesn’t throw off your balance, even when it’s full.
The 2-liter bladder features a lightweight sip tube, a 2-inch opening for easy filling and cleaning and it’s 100 percent BPA free. Inside the pack itself you have all the room you need for extra socks and hats, an avalanche shovel, a tactical flashlight, snacks, a first aid kit and more. Outside there are multiple straps and loops for attaching your helmet and other peripherals and it’s all underpinned by a 600D ripstop nylon shell that’s both handsome and water-resistant.
70 oz (2-liter) hydration bladder is good for the whole day.
A variety of attractive colors available.
Fully adjustable waist belt.
Overall storage volume of 1100 cubic inches.
- BrandTETON SPORTS
- Weight1.9 pounds
The Vibrelli Backpack with its 2-liter hydration bladder is another super-comfortable, low-profile, lightweight small ski backpack that will provide you the ways and means to take along the things that matter. The shell of the Vibrelli Backpack is fashioned from durable, ripstop 420D water-resistant nylon fabric and features a quick access mesh pocket, reflective tabs for added safety and side stabilizers to ensure the pack is never the cause of a balance problem.
The bladder itself is crafted from medical grade BPA-free plastic that’s been treated with special antimicrobial agents to ensure your health and well-being. The high flow bite valve stays out of your way until you need it and doesn’t leak all over you when you’re done. The water won’t have a plastic flavor or smell and will stay fresh and bacteria free from sunup to sundown.
Accommodates everything you need for a full day on the slopes.
2L hydration bladder helps you avoid cramping up.
A variety of storage options for sunglasses, tech, snacks and more.
Hydration bladder is BPA free.
Plenty of reflective material to keep you safe.
- Weight14.4 ounces
Dakine makes some of the most noteworthy outdoor backpacks on the market. They do their homework and understand what it is skiers, snowboarders, climbers, hunters and more are looking for in a backpack and then they deliver it. Their Mission Backpack is a more robust trail companion than either of the first two entries on our best ski backpacks list, (which means it’s not going to be for everybody), and it doesn’t have a built-in hydration bladder either. So, what’s it doing here?
The Dakine Mission 24 liter backpack is here because it provides all the storage capacity you’ll need for a full day on the mountain or on the trail – including plenty of room for a day’s worth of water in whatever form you choose to bring it – because it lets you stow your skis or snowboard under the burly horizontal straps across the back and because it’s big enough inside to hold your helmet until it’s time to head down the trail.
Perfect companion for downhill or cross country skiers.
Includes padded laptop sleeve and tech safe pockets.
Well-appointed shoulder straps provide day-long comfort.
Vertical straps for snowboard or skis.
- Weight1.5 pounds
The Osprey Packs Talon combines the compact effectiveness of the Oasis 1100 with the increased volume and versatility of the Dakine Mission in a single low-profile ski backpack that is a pleasure to behold. Every aspect of the Osprey is remarkable from the dual zippered main compartment to the stretch-mesh panel sleeve for various collapsibles to the ice tool loops that can be used to transport your ski poles and the dedicated helmet attachment.
Although the Talon 22 rides incredibly close it doesn’t just stay there by way of some magical force. The ergonomically designed shoulder straps mold themselves to your body and the wide, comfortable, fully adjustable biostretch hip belt makes sure any superfluous motion is stopped dead in its tracks. That hip belt also happens to have 2 built-in gear pockets for snacks, emergency whistle, tactical flashlight, GPS device or whatever else you decide you need to keep at hand.
Fully adjustable torso and shoulder straps.
External hydration sleeve prevents internal spills.
Multiple bungee loops for attaching gear.
Water resistant exterior shell.
- Weight1.79 pounds
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Dakine makes another appearance on this list of best ski backpacks. Their Heli Pro 20-liter Backpack is another practical workhorse that also happens to be durable, comfortable, stylish and (relatively) affordable. While the Heli Pro 20L is designed for snowboarding it’s not the least bit out of place on the ski slope or the cross country trail. It will hold everything you need including your helmet, headlamp and avalanche shovel and there’s a convenient port to run your hydration pack tube through as well.
Unlike standard backpacks that are going to wind up sopping wet at the end of a long day the Dakine Heli Pro 20L is fashioned from tough, water-resistant ripstop nylon. As such your smartphone, GPS device, batteries and other tech will be safe and sound no matter how much powder is thrown your way or how many times you wind up on your back. The fleece lined top pocket is also going to make sure your ski goggles and sunglasses emerge scratch free when you need them.
Vertical exterior straps hold your skis or snowboard.
Goggle pocket is fleece lined to prevent scratching.
Compatible with a variety of hydration sleeves.
Rides in close to the body to prevent balance issues.
Ideal for cross country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding.
- Weight1.7 pounds
The Black Diamond Bullet 16 is a backpack after the frugal skier’s heart. It’s not only affordable and well built, it will also allow you to bring along everything you’ll need for a full day on the slopes or a full day at school. The Bullet 16 is not as big as the marketing makes it look but it is large enough to accommodate all your gear, including your ski helmet. While the exterior is bereft of pockets, straps and clips the interior is actually rich in mesh pockets and has an easy clean, waterproof polyester lining.
Some of the many discrete features of the Bullet 16 include a removable foam back panel and a removable hip belt. There’s also an emergency whistle, a port to accommodate a hydration hose and tuck away shoulder straps. If all of those features are beginning to sound mighty familiar to rock climbers who may be reading this it’s because Black Diamond has designed their pack to be equally at home on the expert trail at the ski resort and that 5.14d in the Colorado Rockies.
Plenty of dedicated internal pockets for food, tech and more.
Carry your avalanche shovel, helmet and extra clothes with ease.
Built-in port for hydration hose.
External zippered pocket for must-have items.
- BrandBlack Diamond
- Weight1.16 pounds
Dakine keeps winning spots on our best ski backpacks list because they’ve put so much thought and effort into covering all the bases for outdoor enthusiasts. Their 12-liter Heli Pack is a model of efficiency that won’t leave you wanting as you head out for your day on the slopes. Every cubic inch, every strap and pocket has a purpose and as a result you’re able to bring a comprehensive survival kit with you while looking like you’re carrying nothing more than a couple of power bars and a spare set of gloves.
We love the way this pack is set up. Although it’s a close haul, small ski backpack it covers just about everything. Want to take along an avalanche shovel? No problem. Just slide it into the flexible exterior sleeve and tighten the straps. Need to bring along a hydration bladder? No problem. There’s a purpose-built sleeve inside that will accommodate your bladder along with a conveniently located port at the top. Want to carry your skis to the trailhead? Unbelievably, that’s not a problem either as the pack provides a diagonal hold for your skis and a vertical hold for your board.
Exterior shell fashioned from durable 600 Denier polyester.
Diagonal ski and vertical snowboard straps.
Fleece lined pocket to protect your goggles.
Internal sleeve for carrying hydration bladder or laptop.
- ModelD10001470 BLACK
- Weight1.5 pounds
The first thing you’ll notice about the Osprey Packs BigKit is that it’s – surprise! – big. This is not a ski pack that can double during the summer as a rock climbing backpack. This is a duffel bag for every last piece of downhill or cross country gear you can think about bringing on your big trip into the Hokkaido backcountry or for mountain hopping in Chamonix this winter. In fact, at 75 liters this is one of the biggest ski backpacks on the market. It’s designed strictly to get your stuff to the destination, including the smaller 12 or 20-liter pack you’ll actually be using on the mountain.
That said the BigKit has a lot of small bag features that allow it to rise above the duffel bag landscape. It’s not just a ginormous canvas bag to stuff your dirty laundry into. It’s serious outdoor gear that will let you arrange things in a logical manner so that when you need something you can find it and it will emerge from the bag unscathed. There’s an end compartment for quick and easy access to ski boots, a lined pocket for goggles and sunglasses, plenty of robust handles, a discrete helmet carry mechanism and a zippered mesh pocket inside for your tech.
Tuck away helmet carry.
75 liters of total storage.
Internal compression strap in main compartment.
Multiple external loops and straps to secure gear.
- Weight2.67 pounds
CamelBak backpacks are really good looking and none more so than the SnoBlast Ski Hydration Pack. Thankfully, the SnoBlast is more than just a pretty face. It’s large enough to hold all your downhill or backcountry gear and provides easy access to everything via the innovative tri-zip design. The SnoBlast also just happens to have one of the most convenient hydration mechanisms in the business with the feeder tube delivered down the right shoulder strap directly to your mouth. So there’s no more fumbling for the bit when you’re parched.
While the SnoBlast has big ski pack capabilities it’s actually quite compact with a nice low profile that won’t throw you off balance on sudden turns even when it’s fully loaded. Certainly, the adjustable sternum strap helps in the regard but the main reason the pack is so stable is because weight is evenly distributed between shoulders and hips and the back panel is gently contoured to conform to the human back. In addition, there’s an expansion panel down the side for when you need a bit of extra space and the Snowshed back panel makes sure you don’t wind up with a layer of snow between you and the pack.
2-liter Crux Reservoir with ergonomic handle.
Innovative 3 zipper design for quick access.
External helmet carry attachments.
Easily carry your snowboard or snowshoes.
- Weight2 pounds
We wind up this list of ski backpacks with one of the most practical packs for outdoor activities on the market today: the Thule RoundTrip Boot Backpack. To call this just a ski boot bag doesn’t begin to do it proper justice though, as this pack is really so much more. Will it handle the biggest ski boots with aplomb? Sure. But it will also accommodate your helmet, your gloves, your hat, extra socks, the clothes you shed, the water you need and the emergency kit you should have in case things go bust.
Although we understand that taste is subjective we’re going to go out on a limb anyway and say the RoundTrip is arguably the best-looking full-sized ski/boot/snowboard backpack available today. It’s tight, taut and as stylish as a double-breasted suit. And whether you carry it over your shoulders or at your side it’s well balanced and cuts a handsome profile.
Two large exterior pockets for gloves, hats and more.
Exterior attachment points for skis or snowboard.
Crush-proof “safe zone” compartment for goggles and more.
Rear-loading compartment for your boots.
- Weight3.02 pounds