There are two types of snowboard backpacks: the ones that you can use both on and off the hill and the ones that are built to be your best friend in the backcountry. Despite your preference of the two above, the pack should be sturdily constructed, include features that you’d expect from a snowboard backpack AND be built to last.
First of all, you’ll need to decide what size of a pack is the right one for you. The volume of a backpack is measured in litres, so if you just want something to pack your lunch and an extra layer in then a 10 litre one will suit you well. If you’re looking to pack for a day trip, you’ll be better off with something bigger, in the range of 30-40 litres (it’ll fit layers, safety gear, skins…). As a happy medium, you’ve got the 25-litre pack which fits everything a non-splitboarder/cameraman needs.
As for the fit, you’d want to have something slim. A slim profile will feel more natural to snowboard in and it won’t tip you off balance either.
“The volume of a backpack is measured in litres, so if you just want something to pack your lunch and an extra layer in then a 10 litre one will suit you wel”
This year we’ve separated the backcountry specific backpacks into our Best Backcountry and Splitboarding Equipment 2019/20. The backcountry specific models have got more features and advanced tech, especially when you take a look at the Airbags (the backpacks with an airbag inflation system which deploy in case of avalanche). Head over to the backcountry section to find out more about these.
As for the slightly less techy backcountry models, you can find them right here. Backcountry specific packs can often be recognized due to the pockets and clips dedicated for keeping your safety kit secure and at an arm’s reach (shovel, probe…). They also often come with metal waist buckles (which are tougher than your average ones) and straps for carrying your board either vertically or horizontally.
Another important feature to keep an eye out for when going backpack shopping is the metal frames that help to keep the bag’s shape and sit comfortably on your back. Even if they do add some weight, it’s a feature you might want to get. In addition to that, there are plenty of cool features around, of which the most important (we’d like to say) is the chest clip – whatever you’ll be carrying, your shoulders will thank you later.
As mentioned earlier, remember what purpose you’re buying the bag for. Is it just for riding or something you can use off the hill too (for uni, a weekend trip…). If climbing ice in the backcountry isn’t on your to do list, you might want to change that pack with an extra loop for your ice axe for one with a laptop sleeve.
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