5 Best Backcountry Ski Backpacks [UPDATED 2021]

Backcountry World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Thank you for supporting us.

Are you looking for the best backcountry ski backpacks for your next adventure? You’re in the right place.

A good quality ski backpack is one of the most important pieces of equipment that can have with you when you hit the slopes of the backcountry this winter. Your ski backpack allows you to carry vital supplies that you need to have with you when you are exploring the wilderness environment of the backcountry. You want to have access to necessary supplies when you have need of them in the wilderness and having the right backpack helps.

The types of supplies that you carry in your backcountry ski backpack can include everything from avalanche rescue gear, extra layers of clothing, trail rations, crampons, and a survival first-aid kit. Good backcountry ski backpacks will also often include straps that allow you to carry your snowboard or skis more easily. All of these items can end up being essential since you never know what unexpected circumstances the wilderness can throw at you. It is crucial to prepare yourself when you head into backcountry environments and your ski backpack is a major part of that overall preparation.

This guide is designed to help you in finding the right backcountry ski backpack for your adventures this coming season. These ski backpacks are all top sellers that have been rated highly by those who have purchased them and put them to use in the rough terrain of the backcountry. They are notable for their quality of design and durability. If you are looking for the right ski backpack to help you on your wilderness adventures this year, you are in the right place. These are the top 5 best backcountry ski backpacks currently available on the market this year.



1) Osprey Kamber 42 Ski Pack

We kick off our list with the Kamber 42 Ski Pack from Osprey. This backpack is designed specifically for use in backcountry skiing and mountaineering situations. It is a medium-capacity ski backpack that comes with many technical features that are great for both short and mid-length adventures in the backcountry.

Features and Specs

  • Hydration compatible
  • 42 L capacity
  • Weight – 4.1 lb
  • Fleece-lined pocket for goggles
  • Avy Gear compartment
  • Attachment points for ski poles, skis, and ice axes
  • Well-padded shoulder straps


Q: Would this ski backpack work well as a summer pack as well?

A: This ski backpack is designed specifically for use in cold weather conditions and is not an ideal choice for summer use.

Q: Can I use this ski backpack to transport my snowshoes and cross-country skis?

A: Yes you can use this backpack to transport your skis and snowshoes. There are several strapping options that you can utilize to carry this type of equipment.

Q: Can this backpack be taken on a plane as a carry-on?

A: It depends on the flight. You should always check the individual requirements of the airline before flying.


  • A strapping system that allows you to carry equipment such as skis, poles, and snowshoes
  • Outstanding comfort
  • Ideal for cold weather conditions
  • Ergonomically designed shoulder straps


  • Not ideal for use outside of the winter season

2) Dakine Heli Pack 12L Backpack

This Heli Pack 12L Backpack from Dakine is great for outdoor enthusiasts that are looking on the lower capacity end of things. It is the perfect choice for those who do not carry a lot of gear with them and are only going out for a shorter amount of time.

Features and Specs

  • Padded back panel
  • Made from water repellent material
  • Countered shoulder straps
  • Snowboard/skiboard attachment points


Q: What is the weight of this backcountry ski backpack?

A: The weight is 1.6 lbs.

Q: What are the product dimensions?

A: The product dimensions are 20″x12″x4″.

Q: Is the hydration sleeve insulated?

A: The hydration sleeve is not insulated.


  • A highly affordable option
  • Sternum strap doubles as a whistle
  • Goggle pocket is lined with fleece


  • Not ideal for extremely wet conditions
  • No snowboard straps
  • Breathability is not great

3) Osprey Soelden 32 Backpack

The Soelden 32 Backpack from Osprey is the ideal backpack for day touring use. If you are into exploring the side country and love to take dawn patrol laps, this is the backcountry ski backpack for you. It is well-designed and can be easily transitioned between downhill use and skin track.

Features and Specs

  • 32 L volume
  • Backpanel access to the backpacks main compartment
  • Dual-position helmet carry
  • 2.5 mm light wireframe
  • Single zippered hip belt pocket
  • Large front panel


Q: Is this backcountry ski backpack designed for backcountry snowboarding and skiing?

A: This high-quality backpack is specifically designed with these uses in mind.

Q: Can this backpack be used for other purposes beyond skiing and snowboarding?

A: It is a versatile pack that can easily be put to other backcountry uses.

Q: Is this a good backpack for multi-day excursions?

A: It is not an ideal choice for multi-day excursions and is better suited for shorter ones.


  • Excellent fit
  • Easy to keep organized
  • Comfortable suspension
  • Includes ski and snowboard carry


  • Not ideal for oversized loads

4) Patagonia SnowDrifter 30L

The SnowDrifter 30L from the team at Patagonia is a great backcountry ski backpack that comes at a reasonable price tag. It offers excellent versatility and is suitable for use in the backcountry or for dawn patrol ski sessions.

Features and Specs

  • Dimensions – 22.52″x15.2″x4.25″
  • Ski and snowboard carry system
  • Made from recycled nylon material
  • PU coating
  • DWR finish
  • Foam shoulder straps
  • Hip belt
  • Adjustable sternum straps


Q: Does this backpack have a drinking tube attachment?

A: The backpack does come with a drinking tube attachment.

Q: Can you carry heavy loads with this backpack?

A: The shoulder strap and hip belt are designed to effectively distribute weight for carrying heavy loads.

Q: Is there more than one ski/snowboard carry option with this ski backpack?

A: There are multiple ski/snowboard carry options.


  • Two ways to access the ski backpack’s main compartment
  • Weight – 2 lbs, 10 oz.
  • Multiple ski-carry options
  • Secure snowboard carry


  • No helmet-carry system

5) Everest Oversized Lightweight Woodland Camo Backpack

This Oversized Lightweight Woodland Camo Backpack from Everest is the final entry on our list of the top 5 best backcountry ski backpacks. It is an outstanding option for long journeys into the backcountry due to the extra space that it offers. The multiple zippered pouches of this backpack make it easy to keep it organized.

Features and Specs

  • Bag width – 20 inches
  • Woodland camo colored
  • Made from polyester material
  • Dimensions – 20″x8″x13.5″
  • Side zippered pocket
  • Side mesh pocket
  • Front zippered organizer pocket
  • Multiple compression straps


Q: Does this backpack have chest straps?

A: It only has shoulder straps.

Q: Can pins be attached to this backpack?

A: Pins can be attached to the backpack.

Q: Does this backpack have a laptop compartment?

A: It does not have a specific compartment for this use but is big enough to carry one.


  • Lightweight
  • Great affordability
  • Great for heavier loads


  • Might be a bit too bulky for shorter trips

What To Look For

There are some key attributes that you should seek out when you are looking for the best backcountry ski backpack for the coming season on the slopes. One of the most important functions of a backcountry ski backpack is as a place to store your avalanche safety gear. You want this gear to be easily accessible if a situation arises where you need it quickly. With this in mind, it is recommended to look for a backpack that offers a separate storage area for this vital equipment so that you can access it quickly in an emergency.

Another thing to look for in a good backcountry ski backpack is a carry feature for your skis or snowboard. A good carrying strap can make it far easier for you to hike up the slopes of the backcountry while having your hands free. You also need to consider the length of time that you will be spending on each trip into the backcountry. Some backpacks are designed for multi-day excursions and these are recommended if you are planning on extended adventures. Other ski backpacks are more suitable for short and mid-length outings and are recommended for those uses.

What To Avoid

There are also some things that you want to avoid when purchasing a backcountry ski backpack for the coming season. You must avoid purchasing a ski backpack that does not fit properly. Fit is one of the most important factors associated with pack choice. It is important to remember that the fit of your backpack is affected by factors such as what you have packed inside it as well as the clothing you are wearing. It can become a significant annoyance, and a liability if you purchase a ski backpack that does not fit properly. Avoiding this issue should be one of your chief concerns.

I hope you liked this post on the best backcountry hunting ski backpacks. If you liked this post, you may also like our guides on the best backcountry skis and our guide on the best backcountry hunting packs.


Choosing the right backpack

How to choose backpack

Backcountry bag buying guide