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Best Snowboard Backpacks For 2021-2022 | Our Favourite Bags For Resort and Backcountry Adventures

From stripped back lightweight packs to battery powered airbag systems, here's our top picks of this season's best backpacks

Depending on the kind of person you are, buying a new snowboard backpack can either be an exciting process or a complete pain in the backside. Venturing out into the murky world of snowboard backpack buying can, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, even be a little intimidating. In order to help you find the best snowboard backpack for you, we’ve put together some things to think about when purchasing one. If you’d like to skip that and get stuck into the backpacks themselves, scroll on further down.

First of all, you need to consider what kind of circumstances you’ll be facing. Are you looking for a snowboard backpack that’s light and does the ticks all the boxes for the day to day resort riding and occasional sidecountry mission? Or are you looking for something that will have your back when you’re fully going off the beaten path? If it’s the latter, consider features like back protection, airbag systems, or designated helmet, ice axe and touring pole attachment points

“First of all, you need to consider what kind of circumstances you’ll be facing”

Once you’ve figured out what you want from a snowboarding backpack, you ought to think about the volume of it. Obviously, and this probably doesn’t need to be said, the bigger the volume the more the backpack can fit inside it. Anything up to 32-litres will suffice for even the more severe single day trips, but consider going closer to 40-litres for an overnighter. Splitboarding, too, will require more storage space for skins, crampons and such like, compared to a quick bootpack or (for the lucky ones) a heli trip.

“Anything up to 32-litres will suffice for even the more severe single day trips, but consider going closer to 40-litres for an overnighter”

Even if you think you’ve found the backpack of your dreams, there’s no point in getting it if doesn’t fit right. You want to get something with a slim profile, as this will feel more natural to snowboard in and it won’t tip you off balance.

Something that helps to keep the pack close to you is the chest clip and load-bearing hip straps (a feature your shoulders will thank you for in the long run). Ladies bear in mind, that women’s specific backpacks have been designed for a reason.

Finally, the fun part – features and design. Snowboard backpacks tend to be packed with loads of pockets for goggles, helmets, and various other equipment. In terms of design and style, we’d encourage you to think a bit more long-term as something that might seem cool and on-trend can quickly age – making you feel like you have to replace it sooner than you realistically have to. Go for the timeless look.

Whatever snowboard backpack you decide to invest your money in, make sure it’s well made and is of good durable quality. The longer the lifetime of the pack, the better it is from both a financial and environmental point of view.

Best Snowboard Backpacks 2021-2022

Black Diamond Jetforce Pro Pack 25L

PRICE: £1,020

Avalanche airbags have become an increasingly common sighting in the backcountry. Their statistics on avoiding burial in a worst-case scenario are very impressive and, while an airbag will never be a substitute for knowledge and experience in the backcountry, they make for a very reliable add-on to your safety repertoire. A few years back, Black Diamond changed the game with the first all-electric airbag system in the original JetForce 1.0. The Jetforce Pro was new for last year, and with a split specific add-on pack, it caught the attention of our test team this winter.

Selected for the Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2021-2022 Black Diamond Jetforce Pro 25L Airbag Bakckpack here



Burton AK Dispattcher 18L Backpack

Price: £120 / €140
Sizes: 18L, 25L, 35L

Burton’s AK line sees a big upgrade for FW 21 in everything from outerwear to mitts, and accessories to backpacks.

New for this year, the Burton AK Dispatcher Backpack. The pack comes in three different sizes leaving it up to you which one to choose (18L pack in the image above).

Made to withstand the unexpected, the Cordura Nylon fabric is durable and resistant to abrasions, tears, and scuffs. Cordura is also 100% waterproof making it ideal for backcountry missions. And, in case of a fire, it’s also self-extinguishing and will not accelerate the fire.

Purpose-built, the 18L AK Dispatcher lives by “less is more”. Side compression straps, ergonomic shoulder straps with stretch accessory holder and adjustable sternum strap with a built-in-whistle goes a long way when out in the backcountry.

If struggling with the size, an 18L backpack is what we’d call an “essentials only backpack”. This means you won’t be able to stack it with more than the absolute essentials, which is enough for a day tour.



Burton Sidehill Backpack 18L

Price: €90 / €110
Sizes: 18L, 25L

Another new addition to Burton’s backpack line is the Sidehill backpack that comes both in a smaller 18L size and a slightly bigger 25L size. If looking to pack the essentials only, go for the 18L one, but if you’re on a hunt for a good everyday backpack that works for more than just day touring, consider the 25L one.

With a low-profile panel-loader, the Sidehill 18L Backpack is ideal if looking for something light for short backcountry laps or cruising through the resort. The ripstop fabric has been given a 15K waterproof coating, assuring the pack’s ability to keep water out.

With an ergonomically built pack panel, the backpack will rest easy on the back while the cushioned ergonomic shoulder straps take care of the shoulders. A padded hip belt makes sure the pack stays in place, while the built-in helmet carry and a-frame and vertical board carry systems let’s you keep your hands free.



Jones Descent Backpack 24L

Price: €140

The Jones Dscnt 25L backpack doesn’t literally have “ideal for intermediate backcountry tours” stamped all over it but, quite frankly, it might as well have. The pack has a contoured profile which has been specially designed for ascent / descent performance. They (Jones) have done this by making sure the weight of your gear is evenly distributed in the centre of your torso – helping you to stay balanced no matter the situation.

In other news, the main pocket here has dual internal accessory pockets and a hydration sleeve (useful for quenching that thirst when you’re on a springtime mission). The pack also has a dedicated avy tools pocket, a fleece-lined goggle pocket, dual hip pockets and a stowable front panel helmet holder. Hate to be an elite-level nerd and come out with something like “Look at this thing’s storage solutions” but also… would you look at this thing’s storage solutions?

One of our favourite things about the Dscnt 25L is just how versatile it is. There’s vertical board carry straps, A-frame splitboard carry and even some ice axe loops if you’re really upping the gnar-factor. That’s on top of the aforementioned helmet holder. There’s also places here to put your poles, skins, probe and shovel. Basically, whatever kind of day you’ve got planned this pack will sort you right out.



Oakley Enduro 3.0 Big Backpack

Price: £48 / € 50
Sizes: 20L

If looking for a quality backpack that doesn’t cost a fortune, the Oakley Enduro 20L 3.0 is a good shout as it will only set you back £45. This is a great everyday pack that works as well on the mountain as it does off it.

The water repellent durable fabric is a plus no matter the circumstances, which you’ll come to appreciate especially on the slushy spring days. For added comfort, Oakley’s added padded shoulder straps and a back panel to the mix.

For the down-days, the padded internal laptop sleeve fits a 15” laptop, while the padded eyewear pocket is designed to keep the eyewear safe.

The Enduro Backpack is available in both black and black/green and comes in the following size: 32 L x 12 W x 48 H cm.



Oakley Voyager

Price: £111 / €110
Sizes: 26L

Made from 100% recycled nylon, Oakley’s Voyager Backpack is a versatile pack that works equally well for a casual stroll down to the nice lite coffee shop down the street as it does for a day on the slopes.

Featuring water repellent, recycled nylon, the pack does a good job in keeping your belongings from getting wet, while the back mesh panel will prevent the bag from feeling sticky on the back. For further convenience, the pack comes with a top-loading design, with webbing and buckle closure to help secure your gear.

On top of that, there are also plenty of pockets, including side pockets and an eyewear pocket to protect the goggles/sunnies.

The size is ideal for a casual day pack that fits all the essentials: 39 L x 16 W x 53 H cm.

You can choose between a black or blue colourway.



Ortovox AVABAG Free Rider 22

PRICE: £610

And what if you want to one-up the safety spec of the Ortovox Freerider backpack? Easy. Add an airbag system to it. By no means does an airbag guarantee your safety in the event of an avalanche, and it’s certainly no substitute for carrying all the other compulsory avalanche safety gear (and being well practised in using it), but an avalanche airbag significantly decreases your chances of being buried in an avalanche. When deployed, the AVABAG Freerider inflates a single airbag around the top of the backpack and ups the overall surface area to push you to the surface of the slide.

The Ortovox Free Rider 22 pack is among the lightest, sleekest designs out there, even down to the activation grip that stashes away neatly into one of the shoulder straps. The airbag system itself is remarkably compact, so even with its low-profile outline there’s still 22 litres of usable space for the rest of your gear. Plus the AVABAG’s removable nature means that you can free up even more space for the days when you’re staying well within the resort boundaries.

It remains surprisingly durable, though. The nylon construction is actually incredibly tough and has a water-repellent coating to prevent it from taking on more weight as it comes into contact with snow or rain.



Ortovox Freerider 28

Price: £170
Sizes: 28L
As part of Ortovox’s mission to go carbon neutral by 2024, the new Freerider 28 Backpack is made from recycled polyamide and is completely PFC-free and climate neutral.

Thanks to the flat, elasticated, clasp flex belt the backpack sit snugly on the back, making it handy for freeriders looking for a pack they can ride and hike any terrain with. The size of the pack also makes it ideal for overnight hikes, whilst not being too big and inconvenient for a day tour.

The soft back pads add comfort while also hugging the back in without hindering the vertebrae in their movements. For added protection, an internal spine protector can also be found, which can be slid easily into a separate inner pocket.

If needed, the backpack can also be folded into a flat, second skin on the back by using the integrated side straps. The pack also comes with all the necessary attachment options for snowboards, ice axes and ropes as well as a helmet net, hydration system and enough space for skins and crampons.



Picture BP170 BP22

Price: £95/ €100 / $115
Sizes: 22L

Every single backpack in Picture’s product line is made using recycled polyester and/or organic materials and produced in ethical factories, including the BP22 backpack (which is made 100% from recycled polyester).

Weighing only 0,815kg, the Picture BP22 pack is the perfect freeride daypack. With its 22L capacity, it’ll fit all the essentials for a backcountry session, while the Thermo moulded back panel provides ergonomic protection throughout the day.

This lightweight backpack also carries all the essential features for freeriders such as different carry options for your board, ice axe holder, safety gear storage, safety print, fleeced goggle pocket, adjustable sternum strap with safety whistle, hydration system, and much more. And for the days you choose to use this off the hill, the 15” laptop pocket might come in handy.



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