Why choose a snowboard-specific backpack? It’s simple: they make life easier.
If the slopes are nowhere near your accommodation, then having somewhere to stash a bottle of water or an extra layer can be a godsend. You can also keep your costs down by packing some sarnies and snacks. A fleece-lined goggle pocket gives you somewhere to stash yours safely when taking a break, and it's always better to use something that's designed to withstand the worst conditions.
"Why choose a snowboard-specific backpack? It’s simple: they make life easier"
If you’re a powder-hound, a backpack is a must. Carrying (and accessing) your transceiver, probe and shovel is easier in a purpose-built pack, and you’ll certainly appreciate having a snowboard carry systems and waist/chest straps when you’re on the move.
It doesn’t stop here; check out our backcountry products guide to see the latest ABS packs, which can keep you near the top of an avalanche. For everything short of serious freeriding, however, something from this list – including a couple that we take a closer look at in The Snowboard 100 - will do the job.
Scroll down to view all snowboard backpacks, or skip to a particular brand using the links below
All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi
Production: Tom Copsey / Andrew Duthie / Tobias Grünwald / Sam Oetiker / Sami Tuoriniemi
Amplifi Solo 18L Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
- PRICE: €120
- CAPACITY: 18 litres
If you’re the kind of snowboarder who likes riding backcountry but takes only the bare necessities, the Amplifi Solo 18L backpack would be a solid choice.
Dialing back the volume reduces both weight and bulk for a less-impeded shredding experience, but it doesn’t cut any corners on the comfort or stability front: the flyweight back panel is 3D-moulded, while the ergonomic straps and hip fins (one of which has a zippered stash pouch) are super cush and have plenty of adjustment options too.
Externally, the back is made from a combination of 201 ripstop Nylon, Hypalon and Neoprene to shave off the grams without compromising durability, and you get a vertical board-carrying system along with a mesh stash pouch for your water bottle.
The main compartment has an internal gear storage system for your avalanche gear, a smaller pocket for organising other essentials and a fleece-lined pocket for your goggles with a water-resistant zip. The main pocket also houses a sleeve for a hydration system, the tube of which passes out via an insulated sleeve on the shoulder strap.
When you add the chest strap alarm whistle, snag-free zippers and extra hooks for tagging on additional gear, you have a minimalist backpack that’s still ideal for near-resort pow laps and splitboard day missions.
Burton Day Hiker 25L Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
- PRICE: £55
- CAPACITY: 25 litres
The Day Hiker from Burton neatly straddles the line between your on- and off-hill exploits, meaning it has enough snowboard-specific thinking put into it for it to do what you’d conceivably need it to for a day’s riding, without it being so tech that you look like you’ve just returned from mounting the north face of the Eiger when using it around town.
25 litres of volume means that you get ample room for your spare layers, foodstuffs, goggles and anything else you want to cart up the mountain, but the lightweight, low-profile design means it will sit neatly on your back when riding with minimal interference.
The ergonomic shoulder straps, chest and removable waist straps and cushioned back bear your load comfortably and securely, while there are even straps to carry your snowboard vertically (or your skateboard) for short hikes - though of course this isn’t as effective on the more backcountry-orientated bags.
In the Day Hiker’s main compartment, as well as a whole bunch of space, you’ll find a storage sleeve that can be used to hold a hydration system (like a Camelbak) when in the mountains, or a laptop when you’re out and about in the city. The bag’s side-mounted dual mesh water bottle pockets are perfect for stashing your h2o or anything else you want to easily grab, and in addition to the main section the Day Hiker also has a front storage pocket for all that essential stuff you don’t want buried by your sweat-soaked hoodie.
There’s a reason why the Day Hiker has been in Burton’s bag range since god was a boy – it’s dependable, affordable and built perfectly for the majority of snowboarders’ day-to-day lives, whether on or off the hill.
Burton Day Hiker Pro 28L Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
- PRICE: £85
- CAPACITY: 25 litres
As mentioned above, the Burton Day Hiker serves the needs of home-to-hill snowboarders wanting a solid backpack for all occasions, but being a well-priced jack of all trades means, inevitably, there are trade-offs. The Day Hiker Pro was introduced to address them – if you’re looking for more storage space, improved fit and comfort, or a better array of pockets while still keeping your snowboard backpack street smart, this could be up your alley.
Boosting the bag’s volume to 28 litres means that, unless you travel like a Roman emperor, you should have no gripes about the stash space for any kind of alpine or urban day trip. The large main compartment hosts an internal laptop storage with an additional fleece-lined tablet pouch, plus Burton have also added a stretch front pocket replete with useful areas to store a variety of items that you might need to lay your hands on quickly, plus dual stretch mesh water bottle pockets on each side and a fleece-lined goggle/accessory pocket, too.
Outside you can find two straps that allow you to carry your snowboard vertically for a spot of backcountry hiking, or if you’re downtown your skateboard will fit in here perfectly too. Whatever your load, the Day Hiker Pro’s padded, ergonomic shoulder straps and removable waist belt carry it with comfort and stability, while the Airflow back panel adds more comfort and is designed to keep your back as chill and sweat-free as possible.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, mid-sized, multi-purpose backpack to take you from downtown to drop-in, Burton’s Day Hiker Pro is well worth checking out.
DaKine Mission 25L Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
Not all backpacks have to scream 'I am a snowboarder'.
This versatile offering from DaKine has everything you need for days on the hill, but fits into the rest of your life nicely too.
DaKine Mission Pro 18L Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
- PRICE: £70
- CAPACITY: 18 litres
Though still straddling divide between snowboarding and day-to-day life, the Dakine Mission Pro backpack has its emphasis trained a little more on the hill than the hood. The reduced volume compared to its non-’Pro’ counterpart is still suitable for all the gear you’d conceivably need for a regular day’s riding and it means you get a lower profile, more streamlined bag that you’ll notice less when riding with.
Inside, the bag is divided into two main sections with a bunch of pockets and pouches for organising an array of items, along with the more lifestyle-facing laptop sleeve that’s also designed to hold a hydration reservoir when riding, the tube of which can be fed down one shoulder strap to emerge from a zippered opening. At the top of the backpack, there’s a fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses or goggles, too.
Hands-free hiking is made a cinch thanks to the Dakine Mission Pro’s vertical snowboard carrying straps – the bag has small, reinforced flaps to hold the board more securely – and if you need it even allows skis to be carried diagonally (hey – some snowboarders used approach skis, you know?!). The waist belt is more padded than many of its peers in this price bracket for improved comfort and the sternum strap clip has a whistle engineered into it should you need to attract attention or spontaneously start hardcore raving.
DC Ravine II Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
- PRICE: £42
- CAPACITY: 29 litres
A solid, dependable backpack for day-to-day life, DC’s Ravine II is a durable, well-built workhorse that will easily hold all you need.
The DC Ravine II features a well padded back panel with grooves to let air circulate more easily, a durable, reinforced water resistant bottom, two large zippered compartments and an internal laptop sleeve.
If you’re looking for a backpack to cruise round town with, but that will also hold all your essentials for a day lapping the park, this day bag would certainly fit the bill. It’s not as snowboard-specific as others, but if your backpacked riding only consists of the runs to- and from the park then dispensing with board carrying systems, hydration bladders and spots for avalanche equipment in favour of a couple of large compartments to cram stuff into makes sense.
After all, most of the time it will be dropped in the chill zone so eliminating features you don’t need in favour of larger, easier access storage can make sense.
Nitro Slash 25 Pro Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
- PRICE: £100
- CAPACITY: 25 litres
Geared towards riders who spend their time out of bounds, Nitro’s Slash 25 Pro backpack packs in a host of features designed specifically to deal with the demands of riding off piste.
As you’d expect there are solid straps to vertically hold your snowboard securely for longer hiking missions, a fleece-lined goggle pocket for scratch-free storage, and an internal pouch for a hydration bladder alongside the main storage compartment, but the Slash 25 Pro also has a separate, well thought-out pocket for your backcountry gear – your shovel, probe and whatnot. There’s also an internal dry gear sleeve for keeping the water away from your h2o-intolerant possessions, while outside the pack there is a stash spot for your hiking poles and gear loops for anything else you might wish to clip on.
The bag’s straps and back panel are fully adjustable, ergonomic and well-padded to ensure fit and comfort, with adjustable waist and chest straps to bolster its stability, and if you’re not riding fully loaded there are compression straps to pull everything in thus reducing the bag’s bulk.
The Slash 25 Pro even boasts a size-adjustable system on the back, meaning you can tweak the length to get the bag sitting perfectly on your spine. This back system also benefits from what Nitro call Cross Winds ventilation to help all that clammy hiking sweat evaporate more quickly.
Oakley Guntower SnowboardBackpack 2016-2017
- PRICE: £75
- CAPACITY: 25 litres
The Oakley Guntower backpack has a capacity of 25 litres and is built using 450 Dernier ripstop polyester on the body with 1680 Dernier polyester on the bottom, making it both roomy and hard-wearing for snowboarders looking for a dependable day bag.
From fleeces to sarnies to bottles of water or GoPro equipment, everything you need to lug up on the mountain will find its happy place within the main top zip-accessed pocket that’s covered by a clip-down flap for keeping the elements out. It’s compatible with your hydration system of choice and additionally you will find a front pocket, a fleece-lined goggle pocket and a zippered hip pouch on the waist for further swag storage.
The Oakley Guntower backpack will happily carry your snowboard thanks to the side-mounted vertical straps and the shoulder straps, waist- and chest belts are all fully adjustable and padded to achieve the perfect, comfortable fit.
Patagonia Snow Drifter 20L Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
The 20-litre version of the Snow Drifter pack is just one example of how Patagonia are the kings of no-frills design.
There's enough features to make it serviceable, but what really this one stands out is its low-profile, lightweight simplicity.
Selected for The Snowboard 100 - take a closer look at the 2016-2017 Patagonia Snow Drifter 20L here
Quiksilver Travis Rice Platinum Snowboard Backpack 2016-2017
Big and badass, just like the riding of its water-chasing patron.
The Platinum pack has all the bells and whistles required for serious days in the backcountry. It's a high-capacity, high-durability model that will suit the dedicated powder fiend down to the ground.