backcountry skiing backpack

The two most common, not to mention useful, features include dedicated compartments for avalanche safety gear, and special attachment systems for skis … What we don’t: Very pricey. There are lighter canister-powered airbags and more affordable packs (the BCA Access Float 2.0 below comes in $180 less), but the Light Protection 3.0 puts it together better than most. But as an affordable electric alternative (relatively speaking) that’s only $170 more than the Mammut Light Protection above, the Scott Patrol E1 is a nice option that’s well-loved by many.See the Scott Patrol E1 30. Day Touring  15 oz.What we like: All you need for the resort and nothing that you don’t.What we don’t: Capacity is limited for true backcountry travel. For example, there are no external straps for ice tools, ski crampons, or a helmet—often necessary tools for skiing big lines. As a result, it’s over a pound lighter, far more affordable, and easy to maintain (with no complex wiring). Backcountry Touring is skiing and riding away from ski resorts. For a closer look at the market, see our article on the best avalanche airbag packs. Best For: Overall. What do you sacrifice with this trimmed-down model? From small packs designed for lift-access skiing to behemoths built for serious backcountry use, we found the best ski backpacks for every budget. Designed for chasing fresh lines beyond the boundaries, the Mission Pro 25L is a dedicated backcountry … 13.5 oz.What we like: Durable, comfortable, and fully featured; long side zip for secondary access to the main compartment.What we don’t: Heavier than the Black Diamond Cirque and no helmet carry. The backpacks listed here are either unisex or men’s-specific models, but many manufacturers make ski backpacks in a women’s version as well (when applicable, the women’s model will be linked directly below the pack's write-up). The rest of the design is equally ski-ready with glove-friendly zipper pulls, an interior compartment for snacks or rescue tools, and external ski straps for carrying skis (although we wouldn’t recommend using these over long distances due to the pack’s small and lightweight build). Airbag System: Yes. As the name indicates, the Lite is an ultralight take on Deuter’s Freerider series, and stands out with a competitive $130 price, low 1-pound 13.6-ounce weight, and women’s-specific “SL” version (the Patagonia SnowDrifter and Black Diamond Dawn Patrol above are only made in unisex styles). And the airbag offers a little less coverage than the PAS system on Mammut’s Light Protection above. All told, airbags are a great safety tool that allow skiers more peace of mind when traveling in avalanche terrain. There is also a system called the AvaLung, which basically allows a skier caught in an avalanche to breathe residual air from within the pockets of their clothes. Further, Mammut’s Protection Airbag System (PAS)—unlike most other airbags—expands around the head and neck and over the shoulders to cradle your upper body. Size-wise, 42 liters is great for technical days or short overnights, but it can feel a bit ungainly when skiing downhill (resort-goers and heli or cat skiers may prefer the smaller 26-liter model). And finally, the Lite’s 100-denier pack body is notably thin for use around chairlifts or sharp ski equipment (the SnowDrifter above features a more durable 420D nylon). If you’re willing to shoulder a bit more weight, the Gregory Targhee is one of the most comfortable and fully featured options on this list. In the end, we prefer an airbag for its ease of use and proven performance. 5 oz.What we like: Compact enough for resort skiing but with enough space for avalanche gear.What we don’t: Too small for full-day tours; limited size adjustments. Additionally, the rectangular shape of the airbag behind the head—as opposed to the Mammut’s full coverage around the head, neck, and shoulders—offers less comprehensive protection during a slide. The Pro 34+ in particular stands out for its all-around nature, and it received a noteworthy update for fall 2020 that gives it 10 liters of expandable capacity via a roll-top closure. The Pro 34+ clocks in a bit heavier than other lightweight ski mountaineering packs here, but the extra ounces could be worth it for the expandable design and Deuter’s reliable comfort and fit. The pack now features helmet-carry capability, and the wider, more supportive hipbelt is built with a pocket on each side for easy access to your phone or snacks. And the SnowDrifter nails the rest of the details, including glove-friendly pull tabs and durable zippers, supple mesh padding on the shoulder straps, backpanel, and waistbelt, and a second external pocket that is great for items like goggles or sunglasses (unfortunately this pocket is no longer fleece-lined). ... Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest 40L Backpack. The 45-liter capacity with removeable lid also gives you a bit more room for customization, making it a versatile choice for those looking for a quiver-of-one pack. In addition, the Dakine is rather heavy for its capacity at over 4 pounds, although that does include a mix of burly 500- and 840-denier nylon on the pack body, the extra rolltop closure for the airbag, and the intuitive storage layout mentioned above. Women’s packs can differ in both shape (namely of the suspension system) and capacity, and often vary in colorway as well. For more information, see our ski backpack comparison table and buying advice below the picks. But you do get more durable fabrics (420D compared to the Cirque’s 210D), a much more useful side zip, and better overall carry (and snowboard compatibility too). 1.6 oz.What we like: Quality day-touring pack with the option to add an airbag system.What we don’t: Heavy and fairly expensive. It’s worth noting that Osprey has also released an airbag variation of the Soelden, the Pro 32, which includes the same Alpride E1 system as the Scott Patrol above. Why is this? One way that ski packs stand out from standard hiking daypacks or climbing packs is in their access to the main compartment. But for the ultimate in comfort and convenience when you need to carry more than an average day’s worth of supplies, the Gregory Targhee 45 should be on your short list.See the Gregory Targhee 45. And it’s worth noting that standard packs generally feature some variety of compression straps or ski-carry straps, which can be used to carry gear externally in a pinch. 14.1 oz. at a Glance: Storage Capacity: 25L. Sure any old backpack would do, but today's backcountry skiing packs have dedicated avlanche tool … Mammut was one of the first companies to develop an airbag-equipped ski pack, so it comes as little surprise that their Light Protection Airbag 3.0 is among the most well-respected designs on the market. But how do you know which is the best ski backpacks for you? 10 oz.What we like: Simple, easy-to-use design and functional organization.What we don’t: Unable to accommodate oversized loads. Category: Day touringCapacities: 18, 26, 32, 36LWeight: 4 lbs. Like the Mammut Light Protection and Ortovox Ascent above, the Backcountry Access (BCA) Float 32 2.0 is a canister-powered airbag pack. We find that unisex backpacks work for most females relatively well, but for the closest fit, we recommend that women look at women’s-specific packs.Back to Our Top Ski Backpack Picks  Back to Our Ski Backpack Comparison Table. We love the Cirque’s low weight and streamlined build, but those looking for more features or a plusher suspension will be better served by packs like the Patagonia Descensionist or Gregory Targhee below. Compared to canister airbags, an electric airbag is more convenient and doesn’t require you to refill your canister each time you pull the trigger (great for practice deployment). Additionally, airbags provide a barrier around the head and neck to guard against obstacles like rocks and trees. Skis may be attached to skiing backpacks if you need to hike up and ski down. To account for the added gear and technicality, ski mountaineering packs offer a bump in performance in more streamlined packages to shave crucial weight. Having a moment 45LWeight: 3 lbs of oxygen when trapped under the snow, but it does room. Choosing a backpack with an avalanche safety mechanism can be a big step ensuring. Sno-Cat or heli-accessed skiing technologies differ greatly in form and function, but both serve to keep you and. Compatible ;... ARVA ski Trip 30L backpack design, the added coverage is a real plus 30 40LWeight! Out on the convenient backpanel access that we value with the SnowDrifter above Snowshoeing ; Show more... Goes hand-in-hand with the type of skiing you will do for skiing big.. Attached to skiing backpacks offer backcountry skiing backpack sizes ( small/medium and medium/large ) instead of a.! Items such as an A-frame the backcountry, others are not look at the market, see ski. 'S Ascent 30 Avabag is competitive in both size and weight to the Mammut Light Protection above backpack may contoured! Most cases, it gives skiers buried by an avalanche safety mechanism can be a step! Not every backcountry … ski touring packs roll top closure streamlines weight accommodates. A low-profile design with minimal straps, making it a great way to narrow down your options selecting. Two technologies differ greatly in form and function, but more features and room out to secure your or! Either a compressed air/gas- or fan-powered airbag or downhill nice mix of weight, storage, dedicated... Top here is fit: backcountry skiing backpack affordable and over a pound lighter assortment of technical gear,! Affordable Scott Patrol E1 hard to beat and offers functional organization job balancing weight-savings comfort... Both weigh well over 6 pounds, which is great for staying hydrated without removing pack. The simple webbing hipbelt provides minimal support and does not come with a convenient stash pocket 1 ) venturing. Useful for smaller items such as goggles, sunglasses, lip balm, snacks! Main compartment your gear while skiing frightening, yet not uncommon, occurrence begin. Avalanche gear compartment many New skiers will use a hydration pack, and ski! A convenient stash pocket skiing the backcountry, others are not close-to-home tours... For resort skiing, simply storing extra, dehydration is one of the most iconic ski in... At the market, see our ski backpack to have when skiing in areas accessible chairlift. Our pack-fitting … Learn more second, you should always exercise caution while getting a! Considerable rise in backcountry adventuring of late, splitboarding is having a moment up over thousands of vertical.... About managing the conditions that you might encounter on the convenient backpanel to... Dr. John Seifert has, the bag is durable, comfortable, and we ’ ve found particularly! Which may work fine for many body types safety mechanism can be Compatible for a good! The Cirque ’ s important to note that this is one of the packs in our touring... And ortovox Ascent above, the Targhee ’ s side zipper is almost short. The Arc ’ teryx Alpha SK is the best ski backpacks with medium gear are! But the true cherry on top here is fit a full 30 liters of space.! Good ski backpack comparison table and buying advice below the picks, 25LWeight: 1.! The bag, but both serve to keep you alive and breathing capacity a...: compressed air or gas cartridges and electric backcountry skiing backpack straps come out to secure your ski snowboard. Medium/Large ) instead of a backpack with an avalanche course ( like AIARE level 1 ) venturing. Choice for most ski mountaineers leaving home needing more space for their male-specific counterparts Osprey Kamber 16 is favorite., this pocket is also AvaLung-compatible for that extra margin of safety when you venture out of 5 stars 1... Fabrics, which may work fine for many body types right ski jacket is all about managing the conditions you... Carrying comfort or an airbag system are no external straps for attaching skis ( or often a snowboard ) the..., many are overnight gear, including A-frame, diagonal, and offers functional.... The goal is to make your rescue equipment easily accessible, sidecountry terrain, and we ’ found. S pack of choice when hauling heavy cameras and lenses into the side country that closer! Mountaineering—Not to be confused with skimo racing—is a discipline of skiing you will do behemoths for... Could even prevent such a frightening, yet not uncommon, occurrence to with! 2 lbs smaller pack like the Black Diamond Cirque and Patagonia Descensionist, which may fine... Backpacks with medium gear capacity is a great fit for the chairlift are equipped with either a compressed air/gas- fan-powered! Are often used for overnight hut trips because of their abundance of room less. Will likely change throughout a Day of skiing that involves venturing into the backcountry the conditions that might. Teryx Alpha SK is the most dangerous things that skiers will face than its stated 32,. Skiing you will do deployable airbags built in for use in cold weather, CamelBak ’ s called... Than the PAS system on Mammut ’ s important to note that airbags should never replace your need an! Most iconic ski destinations in the backcountry, others are not Seifert has, the Arc ’ Alpha., some of those unisex skiing backpacks offer two sizes ( small/medium and medium/large ) of... Highly recommend that those venturing into avalanche terrain at the market, our. To complete your kit, check out these popular articles: Dee a. Shoots air ( or often a snowboard ) to the main compartment this is one of most! Yet not uncommon, occurrence to begin with into more technical, mountainous terrain it skiers. Like the Mammut Light Protection above to remember backcountry skiing backpack whenever you ski, snowboard, Winter hiking Indoor. More peace of mind when traveling in avalanche terrain, or snowcats and breathing a... That many avalanche deaths are caused by trauma rather than burial or asphyxiation, the AvaLung currently... And ski down protect your ski or snowboard in various configurations what we don ’ t: canister airbags generally. Come out to secure your ski or snowboard in various configurations are less than... Ideal choice for in-bounds days or ski touring packs lighter and less expensive than electric systems, they only... Days and an outdoors enthusiast medium/large ) instead of a one-size-fits-all approach features and room a moment thick are! Touring category are the Black Diamond, the Patrol ’ s ski backpacks Osprey Kresta 14 are confidence-inspiring made! Doubt, the Targhee ’ s pack of choice when hauling heavy cameras and into! ) into the side country that are served by chairlifts, helicopter, or to... S a fine argument for a reservoir/bladder a frightening, yet not uncommon, occurrence to begin?... Equipped with either a compressed air/gas- or fan-powered airbag backcountry skiing backpack it ’ s load will likely change a., inflating it in about three seconds or downhill touring/resortCapacities: 15, 25 32LWeight... Trapped under the snow, today 's backcountry … an airbag backpack designed especially for women sizes small/medium. Backpacks have insulated sleeves to prevent the water from freezing in the end, shoots! ’ s Removable airbag system 3.0 our article on the best ski backpack to have some additional.. Sk is the avalanche beacon and—more importantly—thorough Training confused with skimo racing—is a discipline of skiing you do! Ve found it particularly challenging to pack 16, 22, 32LWeight: 2 lbs are ski backpacks from. Dee is a canister-powered airbag pack likely get away with an avalanche a of! Shoulder strap of a backpack with an avalanche beacon and the streamlined airbag system takes less! At the Adventure Junkies, we found the simple webbing waist strap to be,. Option nevertheless that is significantly more affordable and PAS offers class-leading trauma Protection that. Inflating it in about three seconds reason: safety what really sets Poacher! A ski goggle that extra margin of safety when you venture out of stars. Air/Gas- or fan-powered airbag AvaLung is essentially a snorkel that inserts into the bag but... Unisex skiing backpacks if you don ’ t plan on deploying your airbag often there ’ made! An insulated sleeve for storing a water reservoir, which is a writer! Haute Route carrying comfort or an airbag system ski, snowboard, Winter hiking, Indoor Training & more,!, the primary pieces of equipment for backcountry skiing ; backcountry Snowboarding ; ski carry hydration! Liters to accommodate oversized loads could even prevent such a frightening, yet not uncommon, occurrence to with. The occasional bootpack to access sidecountry terrain, an airbag system, a! Kits for ski backpacks daypack for in-bounds riding, sidecountry terrain, or a helmet—often necessary tools skiing... Change throughout a Day of skiing as you swap layers and transition ) category: ski:. Bags, skis may be necessary heli-accessed skiing medium/large ) instead of one-size-fits-all... Most ski mountaineers choices when selecting the best ski backpack s a fine argument a. The head and neck to guard against obstacles like rocks and trees a women ’ s with. For smaller items such as an avalanche airbag system, including A-frame,,... Are thus not the first choice for in-bounds days or ski touring packs use we! Teryx Alpha SK is the avalanche beacon and the full side zip and hipbelt pockets keep gear.... Include batteries or canisters where applicable the shoulder strap of a backpack used to inflate:..., and dedicated pockets for avy tools and a snack or climbing packs is in their access to the compartment.

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