Best Buys

Best Snowboard Backpacks 2018-2019

Chosen by the Whitelines Test Team

  • UPDATE: Check out our review of the Best Snowbaord Backpacks for 2019/2020 by clicking here.
  • Snowboard backpacks fall broadly into two categories: those that are meant for casual use (on and off the hill) and those that are built for serious powder riding. Either way, the best backpacks will be sturdily constructed, with well thought-out features, and they should last you a lifetime – or at least, a good few years.

    The first thing to decide is how big you need it to be. Backpack volume is measured in litres; a 10 litre bag will take little more than your packed lunch, whereas a 30-40 litre model will offer plenty of space for spare layers, safety gear, first aid kit or even a helmet (at the obvious price of weight and bulk). As a rule of thumb, 25 litres is a nice sweet spot for anyone that doesn’t own a splitboard or a bunch of camera gear.

    If you want a backpack that feels natural to snowboard in then look for one with a slim profile; it will hug your back better and won’t tip you off balance when it’s full of swag.

    “Consider what you’re really going to be using this ‘snowboard’ backpack for. Is it 100% riding? Or is it going to double up as carry-on luggage and a work/school bag?”

    Backcountry-specific models will have dedicated pockets and clips for keeping your safety kit safe and secure – think shovel blade, shovel handle and probe. They also often come with metal waist buckles (which are obviously tougher) and straps for carrying your board – either vertically or horizontally. Airbag inflation systems – which deploy in case of avalanche – are a whole other level; if you’re interested in one of these then you’ll need to do your research, but you can start by looking for ABS compatibility (which uses gas cylinders) or checking out the battery-powered Pieps Jetforce range.

    Metal frames, which keep the bag’s shape and help it sit up comfortably on your back, are a feature of some of the best backpacks – though they do add a little weight. Fleece-lined goggle pockets, rain covers and Camelbak connectivity are just a few more extra selling points that can swing your decision.

    As we mentioned at the start, however, consider what you’re really going to be using this ‘snowboard’ backpack for. Is it 100% riding? Or is it going to double up as carry-on luggage and a work/school bag? If it’s the latter, then having a stylish laptop sleeve might be more important than an extra loop for your ice axe.

    And one last piece of advice: make sure your new backpack has got a chest clip! Whatever it is you’re carrying, those things are life savers for your shoulders.

    Scroll down to view all the best snowboard backpacks, or skip to a particular model using the links below

    Burton Booter | Burton Day Hiker | DaKine Boot Pack | DaKine Poacher | DaKine Team Mission Pro | Horsefeathers Bolter | Horsefeathers Bourne | Jones DSCNT | Jones Minimalist | Nidecker Summit | Patagonia Descentionist | Rome Insurgent | Rome Park Pack

    Burton Booter 40L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £75/€85

    Ever headed home from your local hill/snowdome/dryslope clutching all your belongings in a bundle, or shoving them all into a disheveled bag for life? No longer! The Burton Booter is a backpack for all your daily snowboarding needs. You can jam boots, a helmet, outerwear and gloves into specialised compartments – there’s even a fleece lined pouch for your goggles. When your stuff ends up minging at the end of the day there’re even wet/dry storage options to keep your clean stuff fresh.

    There’s also a board strap on the outside to finish off an all-in-one (40L is a lot of storage) solution for getting your shit to and from wherever you’re getting changed, leaving your arms and hands free to gesticulate/SnapChat/partake-in-some-heavy-petting as you choose! It’s a bit too big and cumbersome for an actual riding pack, but like all of Burton’s luggage it comes with a lifetime warranty for slinging it in and out of your car boot.


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    Burton Day Hiker 31L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £155/€129

    Whatever type of riding you like to do, there’s a Day Hiker pack to suit you. With the largest capacity of the lot, the 31L version is ideal for the backcountry.

    As well as allowing you to take loads of stuff with you, you’ll be able to keep it all organised thanks to the DH’s impressive array of pockets and features.

    Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2018-2019 Burton Day Hiker here


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    DaKine Boot Pack DLX 55L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £65/€80

    For when the amount of kit you have to drag around to go snowboarding get ridiculous, there’s the DaKine Boot Pack DLX. A whopping 55l of storage space means not only is there a completely separate compartment for the rest of your stuff, the actual boot area even folds out into a tarp-lined changing mat, so you can nip in and out of yer boots in the carpark without doing that weird wrestle with your car seats, free from the fear of getting your toesies damp.

    The other half holds individual compartments for clothes, outerwear, your helmet, as well as a specially soft goggle pouch for the accessories you want scratch-free. Being as it’s at the very top end of what you could realistically carrying on your back, the backpack straps can be hidden away, turning the whole assembly into a more traditional hold all. More for the aspiring pro who needs to bring a spare change of clothes and/or gym kit with them as well as their shred gear, this will absolutely hold everything you need for a day minus your board itself.


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    DaKine Poacher RAS 26L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £160/€190

    Pretty much the perfect backpack for a day splitboarding with an airbag, 26L is just enough space to stash away skins, snacks and your jacket with a clever storable for your helmet if you don’t fancy hiking up with it. The external straps also give you two ways to carry a splitty should you need to: assembled as a board and strapped to the back, or split into skis carried on either side of the main sack. From our own experience this is pretty great, as you don’t have to mess around with your set up should you wish to quickly sling it on your back.

    You can reach the main storage either from the top or from a large fold out back panel, making it easier to find stuff without messing up your own system. Of course there are heaps of pockets for all your extra gubbins, goggles etc., but the avalanche safety pocket has its own special, easy to spot zippers so you don’t get muddled in an emergency. The airbag and canisters come separately, and there is a version without the option. If you fancy taking a drone, camera, stove or anything more than basic kit we’d recommend you size up to the 32L version, or even go for the 42Lif you’re looking to use it on overnight/mountain hut missions.


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    DaKine Team Mission Pro 25L Women’s Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £109/€125

    While this has all the necessary bells and whistles for negotiating the backcountry a la Leanne Pelosi (whose signature design this is), it’s perfectly suitable for day-to-day use too.

    All-rounder packs don’t get much better than this.

    Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2018-2019 DaKine Team Mission Pro here


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    Horsefeathers Bolter 26L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: €75

    Whilst it won’t work that well as an actual snowboarding backpack, the Bolter will do just fine for all your traveling or skating around town. With two main compartments as well as internal dividers there’s heaps of spaces to keep all your belongings organised, including a special laptop sleeve with extra side padding for those inevitable knocks and drops.

    There’s a bunch of exterior zipper pockets as well for tools, bolts etc, a softer top pocket for sunnies and of course two hefty straps on the back for keeping your skateboard tucked out of the way. Built from polyester and with a reinforced bottom, the whole pack feels sturdy, more than ready for the abuse that dragging a pack around a city entails. 26L is a good size as well, big enough to stash a hoodie, laptop and a few gubbins, but in no way too bulky.


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    Horsefeathers Bourne 24L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: €75

    Do you like latte art, avocado toast and working on your screenplay in cafes? Then you’ll need a roll top backpack like the Horsefeathers Bourne to move your MacBook around in. The padded internal laptop sleeve should be perfect for this, and with 24L of storage space you’ll still have plenty of room for you beard grooming kit and man bun scrunchies.

    Like the Bolter this isn’t exactly a shred pack – it lacks the requisite waist harness and dedicated space for avalanche kit, plus it’s just a bit too bulky – but that ain’t what it’s designed for. Snowboarders can be city slickers too, and the Bourne is the perfect way to support an indie snowboard brand off the hill as well.


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    Jones DSCNT RAS 32L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £230/€269

    The most serious backpack from the most serious brand, the Jones DSCNT RAS 32L will pack just about everything you need for a long day splitboarding in the backcountry, including an airbag, though you will need to buy that separately from Mammut. You can also fit a hydro pocket or radio system, with not only the right pockets to do so but space in the shoulder straps to thread them out to your mouth. Clever!

    Side and back carry straps will hook a splitboard whether it’s in one piece or as skis, and there’s a hidden helmet sleeve that hooks up to the front panel as well. There’s even ice axe loops should you be feeling extra gnarly!

    The back panel opens up to reveal the main compartment, also accessible from the top, so can get in there to find what you need even if your board is still strapped on. 32L is just enough space for a well thought out backcountry kit list – you could fit crampons, extra layers, food and even a compact camera in here if you wish, alongside essentials like skins, poles, avi kit (in a dedicated space) and goggles in their own a fleece-lined pocket. It’s made from recycled materials and the whole thing has been engineered to spread weight across your back as evenly as possible, great for moving around the mountains as efficiently as possible.


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    Jones Minimalist 35L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £155/€179

    Jones’ Minimalist series differs from their main DSCNT line of backpacks by trying to keep as many essential features as possible whilst shedding weight. Thus even the 45L version is lighter by 300g than the DCSNT RAS 32L, and this, the Minimalist 35L, clocks in at just 1.2kg.

    It does this by swapping out the back panel zip for a smaller side entry, as well as ditching a lot of the compartmentalisation seen in the smaller packs. Ideally you’d use this for all day tours and overnighters, making good use of the space and keeping things organised yourself, but there’s still the same external rigging for you to hook up your splitboard, helmet and ice axes, plus some hooks for tying on sleeping bags etc. If you really need to ditch a few critical grams the top lid is removable, but if you’re buying this pack you’ll probably be doing so for the extra space anyway.


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    Nidecker Summit 16L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: €119

    For shredding powder in bounds the last thing you want is a bulky backpack swinging around or getting in your way on the chairlift, so the 16L Summit pack from Nidecker could be a perfect choice for most riders. It’s got room for avalanche kit, water (you can fit in a hydro-bladder if you want) maybe a lightweight layer and not much else, but the chest and hip straps along with the back webbing will let you get it compressed and snug to your back without it feeling tight.

    In a pinch it’ll do for carrying a snowboard on short to medium boot packs – at just 900g you’d barely feel it without something bulky like a board fixed on. The avi compartment will fit a probe and shovel blade, the handle has a dedicated external fastener, handy for something like the Ortovox Pro Alu II.


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    Patagonia Descentionist 40L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £159

    Patagonia applies the same principles of quality and sustainability to its backpacks that it does to its outerwear.

    Lightweight and as tough as old boots, this backcountry-specific pack is ideal for the bigger, longer expeditions.It can also be compressed down to make it more suitable for resort riding.

    Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2018-2019 Patagonia Descentionist here


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    Rome Insurgent 30L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £106/€119

    With the features of a backcountry pack mixed with the stylings on something more suited to cruising skate parks, we can see the Rome Insurgent backpack appealing to quite a few people. It’s got everything you’d expect from a powder-facing, resort-shredding bag – separate avi gear storage, hydration pack compartment and compression straps – but it does away with the (let’s face it) kinda nerdy look that a lot of backcountry kit can have, especially to the uninitiated. While it might not be as specced-up as the packs available from DaKine **link** and Jones **link**, if it appeals enough to persuade a few young riders to start carrying safety gear more often that’s a win in our book.

    Because of its stylings, it wouldn’t look that out of place off the hill either – it’ll fit a laptop quite easily as well a few belongings, and a skateboard could fit in the board straps. It might even be a good idea to get one for hand luggage on the way to a shred trip, meaning you don’t have to bring a separate avi bag with you.


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    Rome Park Pack 26L Snowboard Backpack 2018-2019

    PRICE: £55/€65

    If you’re not planning to head off piste, you probably won’t need a dedicated backcountry pack, but you might want something to bring up to the park to stash your hoodie/GoPro/VX1000/beers in. Should you wish to carry your board around resort, it has some straps to do so as well as the necessary chest straps to keep everything stable, but we predict you’re more likely to want to store a skateboard on the back for pump track sessions after the lifts close.

    It isn’t just for the hill though – with a laptop sleeve and waterproof compartment it’ll more than do for running round town or even taking to school, though the insulated pocket might not be so appropriate to stash beers in if that’s the intended use. Whatever though, for park laps to after parties, Rome’s got you covered with this one.


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