Best Snowboard Backpacks

10 Best Snowboard Backpacks in 2023 – Buyer’s Guide

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Winter is still in full swing, which is great news if you want to engage in any cold-weather activities like skiing and snowboarding. And while everyone knows the basic equipment that you need to get out there and hit the slopes, there are a few things you might not consider. Or you may be a seasoned professional looking for some new equipment. Either way, it is a pretty smart idea to pick up a backpack as part of your winter sports loadout.

On the mountains, a decent snowboard backpack is extremely important. Whether your skiing or snowboarding. This helps you to easily and securely move your gear around. Without a purpose-built pack, it’s much harder to carry your transceiver, probe, and shovel around the slopes, not to mention your board wax. What’s more, when you’re on the move, the snowboard carry system and waist straps that make the board easy to carry and navigate.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 8 hrs of research

Burton Day Hiker 25L Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • It has a lifetime warranty
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Lightweight
  • The straps give you a nice secure feel

SALOMON Qst 30 Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Very light, but carries very well even with a pretty good load
  • Thermo-molded back panel (designed to shed snow) and curved hipbelt for improved comfort and stability
  • Designated snow tool storage
  • Easy-access zipper pulls and wide-opening main compartment

Best Snowboard Backpacks – Overview

Generally speaking, snowboard backpacks fall into two categories: those designed for recreational use (on and off the hill) and those made for serious powder boarding. Either way, the best backpacks with well-thought-out designs will be sturdily made, and they should last you a lifetime or at least a few years.

Snowboard Backpacks Reviews

1. Burton Day Hiker 25L Backpack – Best Value

Burton Day Hiker 25L Backpack

The Burton Day Hiker 25L Backpack has evolved over the years and has been modified to perfection, and the product of this refinement is obvious when you see how much they have stuffed into this pack. It is not only appropriate for snow due to the vertical board carry and flexibility of the hydration system, but also suitable for the street due to the laptop sleeve and internal structure. No matter where you are taking it, this pack won’t feel out of place.

Its lightweight, low-profile design has evolved for an even more sophisticated look, while still offering the ride-ready function of a super secure board carry system, ergonomic shoulder harness, and dual water bottle pockets – everything you need for the outdoors. And because school and work just stop on the way to the mountain, the Day Hiker’s padded laptop sleeve creates one highly versatile pack that truly rules them all.

Key Features:

  • Ergonomic shoulder straps with adjustable sternum strap
  • Webbing board carry with molded wings for superior grip and fit
  • Hydration compatible laptop sleeve
  • Fleece-lined goggle/accessory Pocket
  • Internal zippered mesh pocket with key clip

Specifications:

  • Brand: Burton
  • Capacity: 25L
  • Dimensions: 22.8″ H x 14.9″ W x 2.8″ D
  • Weight: 1.31 lbs
Pros
  • It has a lifetime warranty
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Lightweight
  • The straps give you a nice secure feel
Cons
  • It’s not heavy fabric in case that’s something you like

2. Dakine Heli Pro Backpack

Dakine Heli Pro Backpack

Take the lift, the chopper, or the skins to the top of that mountain, anyway, you’ll need your gear to get down the fun way. The Dakine Heli Pro Backpack was designed with the committed shredder in mind, with space with a BC gear pocket and ski/snowboard carry for a full day’s riding adventure. The 20L (1,200 cubic inch) pack accommodates skis in either a diagonal or A-frame configuration, while snowboards attach vertically. It has a main compartment with a zip closure as well as a non-padded sleeve that fits up to a 15″ laptop.

Essential internal features that are welcome on or off the snow include a hydration sleeve, a fleece-lined goggle/sunglass pocket, plus an organized front compartment. The Heli Pro benefits from years of continual upgrades resulting in a clean design that easily meets all your expectations.

Key Features:

  • Made with 600D Polyester
  • Diagonal / A-frame ski carry
  • Front pocket with organizer panel
  • Side compression straps
  • Adjustable shoulder straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: Dakine
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 20.5″ H x 10.5″ W x 5″ D
  • Weight: 1.63 lbs
Pros
  • Pack fits comfortably and has a fairly slim profile
  • Lightweight and minimal
  • The back-entry option is amazing
  • Small items go into the lined goggle pocket
Cons
  • No outer straps or pockets for a shovel or helmet

3. CamelBak SnoBlast Ski Hydration Pack

CamelBak SnoBlast Ski Hydration Pack

The CamelBak SnoBlast Ski Hydration Pack’s tri-zip design lets you choose between opening the top of the pack or unzipping it down the side to instantly access all of your gear. This versatile, compact pack is perfect for carrying your lunch, shed layers, helmet and 2 liters of hydration for a full day on the slopes. Unzip the side panels, and the SnoBlast expands to offer an extra 6 liters of storage for additional gear.

When you really want to load up, the external attachment points let you carry a helmet and snowshoes on the outside of the pack. The Therminator harness also keeps your insulated drinking tube zipped securely into the shoulder strap, which keeps it from freezing in cold weather.

Key Features:

  • Tri-zip access makes it easy to reveal the entire contents of your pack
  • Expansion panel adds 6 liters of additional storage capacity when needed
  • Helmet carry attachment points
  • Snowboard and snowshoe carry
  • Four-point compression

Specifications:

  • Brand: CamelBak
  • Capacity: 21L
  • Dimensions: 19.1″ H x 9.4″ W x 2.8″ D
  • Weight: 1.65 lbs
Pros
  • The tri-zipper really helps if you need to grab something deep in the pack
  • The quick link for the bladder is great
  • The straps are very comfortable, and they velcro into smaller pieces that don’t flap around
  • The mouth piece tucks away so the water doesn’t freeze and prevents it from getting dirty
Cons
  • The tube still freezes after a while with the weather in the teens

4. Osprey Packs Kamber 32 Men’s Ski Backpack

Osprey Packs Kamber 32 Men's Ski Backpack

From avy gear to goggles, the Osprey Packs Kamber 32 Men’s Ski Backpack is a mid-sized ski pack big enough to carry your backcountry essentials. Made from durable fabric and featuring quick and easy ski and snowboard carry straps, this pack gives you carrying versatility for convenience and comfort in the backcountry. The main compartment separates wet gear from dry gear, and it’s accessed from the back panel (even with your skis or board attached). A J-zipper with an extra-large opening gives you quick access to avalanche safety gear. 

The dual-position helmet net quickly and securely stows your helmet for a cool and comfortable climb. The Kamber 32 features a LightWire peripheral frame and provides natural torsional movement for comfort whether you are hiking up or skiing down. Padded shoulder straps adjust to sit comfortably against your shoulders, while the padded hipbelt allows you to carry your load with ease. Tuckaway loops allow you to easily attach ice tools, while zippered pockets on the hipbelt give you easy access to essentials. Compression straps keep your load secure as you move.

Key Features:

  • Stowable helmet carry
  • Internal hydration sleeve with a hanger and a fully insulated
  • Glove-friendly zipper pulls and buckles
  • Back panel access
  • Lower reinforced ski carry loops and upper side carry straps provide secure and comfortable A-frame ski carry

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 32L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 12″ W x 12″ D
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
Pros
  • The helmet carry no longer overlaps the avy pocket so your helmet can rest out of way to getting to your tools for rescue or for digging pits
  • Big gauge zippers make it much much easier to open and close the bag with gloves on
  • Waist belt is a breeze to adjust with only 1 strap on each side
  • Main compartment zips all the way down the back to the base of the pack so you can fully open
Cons
  • No waterproof zipped pocket for your phone, keys, etc.

5. Osprey Packs Kresta 30 Women’s Ski Backpack

Osprey Packs Kresta 30 Women's Ski Backpack

As most women know, backpacks are often the unfortunate victim of the pink-and-shrink laser beam. However, designers over at Osprey heard the call for a functional, women-specific touring backpack, and answered with the Osprey Packs Kresta 30 Women’s Ski Backpack. And in typical Osprey fashion, the Kresta has just the right amount of features necessary for a day of touring in the alpine without skimping on the overall fit or functionality. More specifically, this pack is fashioned with a women-specific Light Wire suspension system that when combined with the padded help belt and stabilization straps, provides a comfortable and pressure-free haul.

The thermoformed, contoured back panel sheds snow easily, and ultimately reduces the build-up of frozen precipitation on your backside. Not to mention, a deployable helmet net makes carrying your helmet a breeze, and the tuck-away ice tool loop ensures you’re able to haul technical tools without worrying about losing them en route. In keeping with its versatile construction, the Kresta boasts a horizontal snowboarding carrying feature, or if you’re off the dual-planked nature, it also touts an A-frame or diagonal ski carrying design. Though, perhaps most importantly, the Kresta has a J-shaped avalanche gear compartment, complete with dry pocket, so you’re not only able to access your safety gear in a flash, but you’re also able to separate your sensitive avy gear from wet skins or damp clothing.

Key Features:

  • Glove-friendly zipper pulls and buckles
  • Stowable helmet carry
  • Internal hydration sleeve with hanger and a fully insulated
  • Dual zippered harness router with a stretch garage proves ice-free hydration
  • Dual zippered access to dry storage and hydration compartment
  • Lower reinforced ski carry loops and upper side carry straps provide secure and comfortable A-frame ski carry

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 12″ W x 12″ D
  • Weight: 3.16 lbs
Pros
  • Super compact and well made
  • The zipper pulls are easy to get to with gloves
  • You can separate sweaty/wet layers from dry when needed which is great
  • Compatible with a hydration system
Cons
  • The zippers on the hip belt pockets are awkward to open/close when wearing the pack

6. SALOMON Qst 30 Backpack – Premium Pick

SALOMON Qst 30 Backpack

Salomon, the world-renowned ski/snowboard brand, has been around for quite a long time so its a killer backcountry backpack that can be completely relied upon. And if anything they make qualifies, it’s the SALOMON Qst 30 Backpack. Made specifically for use while wearing gloves so you don’t have to risk frostbite to get your hands inside your equipment as well as a thermo-molded back pad for excellent stability

This pack also offers sleek and lightweight construction with a range of features. These include a hydration bladder compartment, a snowboard carry, diagonal and side ski carry, and front pocket storage for snow gear. This also includes large zipper pulls for easy glove entry, as well as the main compartment with a wide opening.

Key Features:

  • U-zipped top opening
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Load lifter straps
  • Bladder compartment with hanging system
  • Helmet carrier

Specifications:

  • Brand: Salomon
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 20.4″ H x 11.8″ W x 11″ D
  • Weight: 2.73 lbs
Pros
  • Very light, but carries very well even with a pretty good load
  • Thermo-molded back panel (designed to shed snow) and curved hipbelt for improved comfort and stability
  • Designated snow tool storage
  • Easy-access zipper pulls and wide-opening main compartment
Cons
  • No shoulder strap insulation for a hydration tube

7. Thule Upslope Snowsports Backpack

Thule Upslope Snowsports Backpack

If we talk of Thule, it’s usually because of their top-tier roof racks and cargo boxes. But it turns out they know how to make a stunning killer ski and snowboard backpack too. Called the Thule Upslope Snowsports Backpack, this useful pack was specially designed to carry all the gear you may need on the mountain including a glove pocket, snow tool slots, a helmet connection point, and either a snowboard or a ski carry straps.

This pack offers great access thanks to a zipper that coils around the entire pack, letting you get to gear in the main compartment without having to take the pack off. The pack carries skis diagonally and a snowboard vertically, with stowable straps to prevent snagging. An insulated hydration sleeve helps prevent the hose freezing, and interior compression keeps your gear secure and stable on the move.

Key Features:

  • Versatile carry options include diagonal ski carry or horizontal and vertical snowboard carry
  • Three ways to access your gear – traditional top load, sling style side access, and main compartment access
  • Internal compression cinches down your load
  • Stowable ice axe loop
  • Insulated hydration sleeve

Specifications:

  • Brand: Thule
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 19.3″ H x 11.8″ W x 10.2″ D
  • Weight: 1.76 lbs
Pros
  • The lining is nice and the pockets to keep things secured (like water bottles) in the pack to allow room for other items is a plus
  • Carries both snowboards and skis, with an adjustable loop to suit different widths
  • Access the main compartment without having to take the pack off
  • Interior compression to help keep the load stable
Cons
  • Exterior lash point for helmet carry but won’t prevent it moving around on the go

8. Dakine Men’s Heli Pack Backpack 12L

Dakine Men's Heli Pack Backpack 12L

While there is a time and place for huge heavy bags, it’s good to have something lightweight to hold all the essential things without throwing off your balance while you ride. The Dakine Men’s Heli Pack Backpack 12L is the perfect low-volume backpack for all the essentials. Designed as a compact technical snow pack with a diagonal ski and vertical snowboard carry system, external shovel carry, and waist and sternum straps to offset the load.

Interior pack features include a hydration/laptop sleeve and a fleece-lined pocket for goggles or sunglasses plus DK spine protector compatibility. The Heli Pack 12L is your go-to light and ready pack for year-round outdoor adventure from snowy trails to dirt trails and beyond.

Key Features:

  • Waist and sternum straps
  • Hydration/laptop sleeve
  • Fleece-lined pocket for goggles or sunglasses
  • Rescue whistle on sternum strap
  • Diagonal ski and vertical snowboard carry system

Specifications:

  • Brand: Dakine
  • Capacity: 12L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 13″ W x 4″ D
  • Weight: 0.92 lbs
Pros
  • There is an open compartment that can hold a helmet or bulky jacket
  • The backpack has a thin profile which makes it almost unnoticeable in the the chairlift
  • Decent insulation
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • The shoulder straps does not have holders to keep straps from hanging loose

9. Jones Snowboards DSCNT 25L Backpack

Jones Snowboards DSCNT 25L Backpack

The Jones Snowboards DSCNT 25L Backpack is a mid-size touring pack designed to hold everything you need for a basic backcountry mission. The pack’s contoured profile is purposefully designed for ascent/descent performance and keeps the weight of your gear evenly distributed in the center of your torso.

The pack’s features include a main pocket with dual internal accessory pockets and a hydration sleeve, a dedicated avy tools pocket, a fleece lined goggle pocket, dual hip pockets, a stow-able front panel helmet holder, a thermo molded back panel, reflective strap accents and a removable safety whistle. When it comes time to bootpack, vertical board carry straps plus side ski-carry straps allow multiple options for carrying your board. The DSCNT 25L is built with recycled and PVC-free 450D nylon for added ECO-performance and durability.

Key Features:

  • A-frame split-ski carry mode
  • Ergonomic comfort shoulder straps
  • Avy tools pocket
  • Dual hip belt pockets
  • Hip belt gear loop

Specifications:

  • Brand: Jones Snowboards
  • Capacity: 25L
  • Dimensions: 22.6″ H x 12.8″ W x 3.4″ D
  • Weight: 2.64 lbs
Pros
  • Pack is lightweight but felt supportive and stable
  • Lots of space and multiple interior pockets
  • Great weight distribution
  • Dual hip belt pockets
Cons
  • The shoulder straps does not have holders to keep straps from hanging loose

10. Deuter Freerider Pro 30

Deuter Freerider Pro 30

The Deuter Freerider Pro 30 offers a range of useful features to support you on the slopes, from a helmet cover and easy-to-access goggles pocket to compatibility with a hydration bladder and a removable sitting mat. The front storage compartment keeps snow equipment clean and accessible, and the main compartment can be reached via the top or back panel.

The detachable hipbelt helps you to adjust for added comfort or reduced weight and is flexible enough not to obstruct mobility. The 30L kit is fitted with vertical, horizontal and A-frame ski carry along with vertical board carry. And you can add additional gear if needed with a variety of exterior attachment points.

Key Features:

  • Full back-entry hemispherical zipper
  • Removable pivoting hip belt
  • Large front shovel compartment w/ handle sleeve
  • Fleece-lined goggle top pocket
  • Detachable full-face helmet holder

Specifications:

  • Brand: Deuter
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 12″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 3.93 lbs
Pros
  • Choice of ski and board carry options and exterior attachment points
  • Flexible and removable hipbelt and comfortable back panel
  • Top and side access to main compartment
  • Dedicated snow tool storage
Cons
  • No insulating pocket to store hydration tube on the shoulder strap

Buying Guide

Size

How long will the trip be? Where are you going? How much stuff do you need to carry? Understanding these questions will help you determine which pack size is best suited to your needs. For minimalist carry setups and fast excursions, up to around 20L of pack capacity should be good enough. If you need to pack a little more for longer day trips, find snowboard backpacks that range from 20L to 35L. If you are planning for overnight or hut tours (around 35L to 55L) or multi-day trips with equipment such as a tent and cooking gear (around 60L to 70L).

Fit

If your pack doesn’t suit properly then it won’t be easy to carry for long hours. So it could potentially reduce your travel flexibility and mobility – not a position you want to be in while you try to stay safe on the snow. Note, once you start filling the bag the fit will change. So if you can, try the pack in person before you buy it, and load it with snow gear. Just make sure it fits the shape of your torso (some packs provide interchangeable torso lengths). Furthermore, some packs come with gender-specific options that will fit both male and female customers.

Access

Rummaging for gear is both exhausting and time-consuming, so consider ensuring that your pack provides easy access to the contents inside. Access to the main compartment by the back panel is useful to enter throughout the compartment, plus it helps to avoid snow off the back panel when laying down the pack to get to gear. Aim preferably for at least two entry choices (such as top and back, back and side, etc.) to optimize effective gear access across the bag.

Weather Resistance

You will be in icy, wet conditions. So it makes sense that your backpack should have some water resistance to it at least. Consider features such as water-resistant coatings, snow shed designed back panel, water-resistant zippers, sealed seams, and storm flaps over zippers. The degree of waterproofness you need will be unique to your trip, equipment, and climate. Generally (but not always) assume the more weatherproof a pack will be, the more expensive it will be. If you’re on a budget though, you can pick up any dry bags to provide extra protection for important items like clothes and gadgets that you don’t want to get wet.

Snowboard Carry

Various packs can carry different types of skis and boards. For starters, some may offer a vertical or horizontal board carry, diagonal or A-frame ski carry, or a combination of options. Ideally aim for a pack that gives you more choices than fewer, as this will allow you more freedom to bring in a variety of conditions. A-frame carry, for example, will make the load more secure but will be a challenge in areas with low-hanging branches or rocks. If you can, try to get measurements of the attachment strap before you buy the pack, so that you can verify that they will fit your skis or board.

Airbags

It is important to note that backpacks with airbags do not ensure that you will survive an avalanche, or that you will not get hurt. These can however significantly reduce the chances of injury (particularly to the head and neck), as well as provide the added bonus of holding you as close to the surface of the snow as possible. This will encourage and accelerate the rescue operation, thus improving the chances of survival. There is, of course, no requirement to get an avalanche airbag, as they will be more expensive than snow packs without an airbag system.

AvaLung

An AvaLung is an item that you might want to consider adding to your carry system. Made by Black Diamond, and available in various versions, it allows you to breathe when trapped under the snow in an avalanche. This works by extracting oxygen from the snowpack while exhaling carbon dioxide away from your face, which maximizes the pre-asphyxiation time. An AvaLung is not guaranteed to save your life like airbags but it could buy you precious time while waiting for others to dig you out.

Frequently Ask Questions

Do I need a backpack for snowboarding?

We’d advise you to try to avoid wearing a backpack for novice to moderate snowboarders since wearing a backpack can interfere with your body balance and muscle coordination. And frankly, you may take quite a number of pointless things to the mountain for novice snowboarders, since you really don’t know what’s required. A decent backpack would make your journey so much smoother if you want to go on a backcountry trip. Generally speaking, it’s a smart idea to get a decent snowboarding backpack, just remember not to carry it while riding when you’re still a novice.

Will my snowboard be secured when attached to my backpack?

Snowboarding would certainly be secure while fitted to high-quality backpacks. Normally, the snowboards are placed in the available loops and then fastened in by heavy-duty straps which keep them securely. But even though there’s an object blocking your snowboard, like a tree branch, the gear would always stay connected to your backpack. Velcro or rubber is the safest strap type.

Will a snowboard backpack help me at a resort?

Yes. Staying at a resort isn’t negating your backpack’s features. Backpacks are always useful even at a resort, You’ll still go backcountry skiing and you’ll have to bring your stuff. If you’re wearing a little snowboard backpack to hold your gloves, extra scarves and a cell phone on your snow car trip, or pulling a huge backpack to your long ice hiking session, backpacks are still useful in resorts.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best snowboard backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a snowboard backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.