Best Buys

Best Snowboard Backpacks 2019-2020

Chosen by the Whitelines Test Team

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 (have a look at our Best Backcountry Gear 2019/20 for more of the latter ones). 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 AK Incline 20L | Burton Skyward 18L | DaKine Jamie Anderson | DaKine Team Poacher 22l Elias Elhardt | DaKine Team Mission K25L Kazu Kakubo | Patagonia Duffelbag | Quiksilver TR Platinum | Rome Honcho

The Best Snowboard Backpacks For Winter 2019-20

Burton AK Incline 20L Snowboard Backpack 2019-2020

PRICE: £160/€180

Burton’s AK range is known to produce high quality products that last more or less a lifetime, and this AK Incline Backpack is no different to the rest of the line.

Everything from waterproofing and breathability is top notch here, and it’s about as lightweight as a backpack of its size could be.

  • Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Burton AK Incline Backpack here


    Burton Skyward 18L Snowboard Backpack 2019-2020

    PRICE: £100/€110

    There are all sorts of techy/fancy backpacks out there, backpacks that cost a small fortune and serve a mind-boggling list of purposes. Then there’s this, Burton’s Skyward Backpack – simplicity in its most beautiful form. If you want a lightweight and nice-looking backpack, where you can throw in all the necessities like sandwiches, sun cream and beers, this 18L pack will definitely do a job for you.

    Despite appearances, it isn’t as basic as it looks. This solid piece of kit fits everything from a tent to a bunch of extra layers, making it ideal for a quick splitboarding adventure. The back panel has also got a built-in ventilation system, meaning your back will avoid drowning in sweat. Thanks to the side zippers and the bucket top, you’ll have easy access to the main compartment, and there’s also pockets on the side where you can place your water bottle.

    If you’re on a hunt for an everyday adventure backpack, the Burton Skyward is built for that. It’s tiny enough to not be in your way, but big enough to fit everything you need.

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    DaKine Heli Pro 20L Snowboard Backpack 2019-2020

    PRICE: £90/€100

    The Heli Pro is as recognisable in snowboarding as Jamie Anderson herself, albeit not quite as heavily medalled. This is Jamie’s signature series Heli Pro, and follows the same aesthetic as the Free Spirit (link) and her mittens (link).

    The women’s specific fit is slightly shorter in the back, wider in the hips and narrower in the shoulder to accommodate for the smaller rider.

    A 20L pouch is the main portion of the bag, which is enough for day trips or a few hours shredding up the hill. It’s joined by a fleece lined goggle pocket and a separate zipped front pocket.

    The hydration sleeve leads out the top of the bag, and down one sleeve, and for the days when you’re having urban adventures it doubles as a 15” laptop pocket.

    Keeping it snow sports relevant a helmet buckle loop sits on the front of the bag; it doesn’t discriminate against which sport you prefer though. You have a horizontal snowboard/skateboard carry option, plus diagonal and A-Frame Ski carry.

     This is a bag to stand the test of time, there’s probably one older than you kicking around your local resort somewhere. 

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    DaKine Team Poacher 22l Elias Elhardt Snowboard Backpack 2019-2020

    PRICE: £155

    A good backpack is an essential piece of kit for any dedicated shredder, and when you find one you love, you’ll want to make use of it as much as possible. The Team Poacher from Dakine is the perfect sized bag for days shredding, casual use, or even short backcountry missions.

    When you’re carrying equipment that could save lives, you need to make sure it’s well protected and easily accessible. The Dakine Team Poacher has a dedicated front pocket to store your shovel and probe so you can get to them quickly when every second counts.

    Versatility is paramount and with this bag you have the ability for diagonal ski carry, vertical snowboard carry or ‘A-Frame’ when you’re using a splitboard. There’s even a separate gadget so you can carry your helmet on your bag when it’s not on your noggin.

    Ski and snowboard edges are sharp and accidents can happen, to stop your bag getting more holey than the Sistine chapel the outer is a tough 500 denier ripstop fabric.

    Dakine have thought of everything with this bad boy. If you’re looking for a bit of protection as you’re hucking it off couloirs it’s compatible with Dakine’s Impact Spine Protecter. There’s even a specialised fleece lined goggle pocket to store your goggs when you’re not using them. If you want to rock the whole look, check out the Dakine Team Baron Elias Eldhart Mitten.

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    DaKine Team Mission K25L Kazu Kakubo Snowboard Backpack 2019-2020

    PRICE: £75/€85

    Kazu’s got quite the colour scheme going on with his signature series from Dakine this season, and you won’t struggle to be seen with this citrus infused look. If you’re digging it, check out his Dakine glove here.

    Kazu’s a backcountry fiend, and as such needs a bag to cater to that. The Team Mission is designed to be ultra-streamlined and as lightweight as possible. When you’re hiking or walking round town after a day shredding, the bag has a vertical snowboard carry so you can go hands free. A sleek hip strap will take the strain off your back as you’re boot packing for fresh lines. The adjustable sternum strap keeps everything locked in place and removes the straps from your armpits allowing for increased blood flow.

    The main pocket is big enough to house your skins and snacks, and the front pocket is specialised to hold your shovel and probe. Having these essential safety items close to hand can save precious seconds when they most matter. On top of these is a fleece lined pocket to store your goggles or sunnies, so they’ll be nice and safe.

    Not just a bag for the dawn patrol, this doubles as a casual backpack for lazy days or commutes. Two side pockets for your everyday essentials and a padded laptop sleeve have been added to make your life easier.

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    Patagonia Black Hole 55L Duffel Bag 2019-2020

    PRICE: £110/€120

    Following in the usual sustainable footsteps of Patagonia, this duffel bag is your eco-friendly option when packing for a weekenend adventure. It’s made using a lightweight 100% recycled polyester fabric, with a 100% recycled polyester lining. In addition to that, the nylon webbing is 100% recycled – an approach to production the WL team is happy to stand behind (here’s hoping other brands might follow in their footsteps).

    Not only will the purchase of this bag make you feel like a slightly better human being, we’ve also calculated that the bag itself could fit nearly 150 baseballs inside it – safe to say then that you’ve got plenty of space. It’s also got a large opening to the main bit of the bag, a zippered side pocket and mesh pockets in lid; making all the pocket lovers around the world happy.

    We’ve also got the padded (and removable) shoulder strap and reinforced haul handles to thank for making this thing more comfortable when carried around. You’ve also get the option to choose between quite a few colours, so whether you’re the more colourful type or not, Patagonia’s got you covered.

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    Quiksilver TR Platinum Snowboard Backpack 2019-2020

    PRICE: £75/€85

    When Travis Rice puts his name to something you know it’s bound to be good. He is, after all, the kind of guy that needs equipment that’s going to stand up against the gnarliest conditions.

    The TR Platinum from Quiksilver is designed for deep days and steep ascents, and Quiksilver have seemingly thought of everything when producing it. The sternum strap houses an emergency whistle, one of the features that is reassuring to have despite hoping that you’ll never have to use it. The bag is compatible with hydration systems, so there’s one less thing to faff with when you’re skinning up.

    The body of the bag allows for vertical snowboard carry, or you’re able to ‘A-Frame’ when you’ve split your steed. For the more hectic missions, there’s even an ice axe loop to keep it close at hand. The front pocket is your most important as it houses your safety gear, and its quick open-system ensures you can get in there ASAP.

    This backpack doesn’t sacrifice performance for comfort. The shoulder straps are ergonomically moulded to wrap to your body, and the back is an aerated mesh to allow for a nice breeze.

    The waist belt has pockets either side for snacks, or your special green stash, and is fully adjustable. You’ll want to make sure you adjust all the straps on your backpack properly to make it as comfortable as possible.

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    Rome Honcho Snowboard Backpack 2019-2020

    Brand new for 2019/20 the Rome Honcho is ready to become your new favourite backpack. The word honcho is derived from Japanese roots, and loosely translates to ‘Squad Leader’. This bag is a strong contender for leader of the versatility movement within snowboard accessories.

    Going for an overnight splitboard mission? Weekend trip to see the great cathedrals? Commuting to work to make money to go snowboarding? This bag will do it all. The Honcho is high function meets high fashion, and is just as at home in urban environments as it is in extreme ones.

    Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Rome Honcho Backpack here



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