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Pack in Style: Unpacking the Best Ski Backpacks in the Industry

Pack in Style: Unpacking the Best Ski Backpacks in the Industry

Skier with ski backpack

TL;DR – In this article, I will be covering the best ski backpacks for resort and backcountry skiing/snowboarding.

Ski backpacks are a great way to store essentials neatly and conveniently for when you need them most. While many resort goers opt not to wear backpacks on the slopes, seasoned skiers and snowboarders know how useful a backpack can be. Whether you are skiing in your favorite resort with the family or traversing the backcountry with your friends, wearing a ski-ready backpack is the best way to be prepared for any situation.

Ski backpacks are perfect for carrying snacks, goggles, first-aid kits, helmets, cameras, and other essential items. There are many types of ski backpacks, but, for the sake of keeping things simple, I have organized them into two categories: resort and backcountry. Resort backpacks are the daily drivers of the skiing and snowboarding industry. They are designed to hold common items such as sunscreen, phones, water bottles, and that smushed PB&J sandwich you always pack. Backcountry backpacks, also referred to as touring backpacks, are typically packed with a first aid kit, retractable shovel, headlamp, ski skins, and various avalanche devices.

Best Backpacks for Resort Skiing and Snowboarding

Whether you like to hit double black diamonds or like to stay in the terrain park, here are some backpacks perfect for the resort.

Outdoor Master 18L Travel Backpack

Simple yet versatile, the OM 18L Travel Backpack offers skiers and snowboarders a durable pack made with water-resistant and environmentally friendly recycled material. Notably, this backpack has a compartment dedicated to a 2L water bladder (bladder not included with bag).  With numerous compartments to store items in, this backpack is perfect for skiers who pack light. Its velvet-lined top pocket is designed to protect sunglasses and goggles from scratches.

Although this bag is small, it has external straps that are capable of carrying skis or a snowboard. While this is an excellent resort backpack, it should do the trick for short, close-to-home backcountry excursions.

Osprey Glade 12 Hydration Pack

This resort pack is an ideal alternative for those who don’t want to wear a big, bulky backpack while skiing. This backpack comes with a 2.5-liter reservoir by Hydrapak so users can stay hydrated anywhere on the mountain. This pack offers top-of-the-line comfort and durability and might work well as a side-country companion.

This backpack is small and lightweight. Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy its unobtrusive design while carving up the hill. This is the perfect solo resort goer. If you are looking for a backpack to carry items for the family, I’d recommend this next one.

Outdoor Master 35L Backpack

The OM 35L backpack is heftier than its predecessor, offering users more space and versatility. While it might weigh heavier on the shoulders, it holds lots more. With multiple internal compartments and zippered-pockets, there is room for just about anything you can think of. With a backpack volume of 35L, this backpack is perfect for those who might be skiing or snowboarding with little ones (aka kids).

This pack is made with water-resistant material to keep belongings safe and dry. Users will feel comfortable with this pack’s adjustable waist strap. This pack also has external straps so users can carry their skis or snowboard if needed.

Best Backpacks for Backcountry/Touring Skiing and Snowboarding

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Backpacks are essential for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Backcountry skiing can be dangerous without the proper gear. With no ski patrol to call during emergencies, it’s imperative to carry a pack when making fresh tracks off-piste. The best touring backpacks are lightweight, comfortable, can hold all your essentials, and come with features fitting for the backcountry.

Outdoor Master Ski/Snowboard Travel


Outdoor Master’s touring pack is perfect for lengthy excursions in the backcountry. This lightweight pack offers comfort, accessibility, and versatility. With straps to carry skis or a snowboard, this is a quality pack at a fraction of the price.

This is an ideal pack for those who pack light. Perfect for day trips in the backcountry, this pack will keep your gear safe and dry no matter the conditions. This practical pack is perfect for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and even biking.

Black Diamond JetForce Pro 25L

The Black Diamond JetForce Pro is one of the best touring backpacks in the industry. It might cost an arm and a leg to buy, but it just might save you from certain death. The JetForce has a built-in airbag that can be deployed in case of an emergency. This type of backpack is suited for those who chase the extreme and ski in destinations that experience frequent avalanches. Its deployable airbag ensures skiers and riders stay above the snow in case of an avalanche.

It's nice and small too, which means users can ride in peace. It’s the perfect pack to hold rescue gear such as a shovel, beacon, and probe. I recommend buying this bag if you are an adrenaline junkie who understands the dangers of skiing in volatile terrain.

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32

This is the best alternative to the pack above and it’s manufactured by Black Diamond too. The Dawn Patrol 32 comes at a fraction of the cost, and includes everything that skiers and snowboarders might need while skiing off-piste. It has a simple yet effective design. Its convenient hip belt makes sure the bag feels secure while wearing, and has a metal buckle that is more durable than most. The bag has plenty of pockets, too, which makes storing essentials easy.

This pack has straps to carry skis or a snowboard for those who might need to walk to desolate locations. This pack is perfect for anything between day trips and multi-day excursions in the mountains.

Dakine Poacher R.A.S. 36L

The Dakine Poacher is a great option for those looking for a touring pack that can do it all. It’s not the most impressive pack, to say the least, but it gets the job done. This durable pack might be on the heavier side for some, but it comes with the option to add an airbag system, which is pretty unique.

This is a good backpack for those hoping to progress in their backcountry endeavors. This pack is more expensive than some in its category, but users pay extra for this bag’s versatility and durability.


You might notice that not all backpacks on this list are Outdoor Master-made. That’s because we truly care about your needs as a passionate skier/snowboarder. Check us out on Instagram and stay tuned for our constant gear giveaways!