Ski and Snowboard Backpack Guide

Getting ready for a skiing or snowboarding trip? Wondering what type of backpack to get? We’ve got you covered! Shopping for the perfect ski and snowboard backpack can get confusing, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for new shoppers with useful product reviews, tips on how to find the perfect backpack, and an easy to use ski or snowboard trip packing list. Look no further for the perfect ski backpack, read this guide and you will be on your way to finding the best backpacks for sale in Australia.

Why Wear A Backpack When You Go Skiing Or Snowboarding?

There are many reasons why you would. The no brainer one is “to carry stuff” but what stuff do you put in said pack when you are out skiing that you can’t get from the day lodge, cafeteria, roundhouse, shop, bar or whatever you call it? Anyway. back to the bags. Your ski backpack style depends on what you carry and why. Here’s what different types of people carry:

The Mum and Dad –  In their packs, they always carry lunch and snacks for the kiddies, a flask of whiskey for themselves to keep the stress levels down and a spare pair of undies for the kids.

The Local Ski Bum – All you want to do is have a few beverages on the hill but you’re too much of a cheapskate, you will generally carry beer cans…. but don’t fall over, you will get wet… and waste beer.

The Camera Man – GoPros, cameras, spare batteries, lenses, tripods etc. the stuff that the man behind the lens likes to carry.

The Athlete – These guys will carry around there trophies, awards 1st places, winning speeches and metals. (I made this all up, they have their managers and crew to carry all their gear).

The Big Mountain Rider – Everyone’s favourite, their packs are full of avalanche safety gear, shovels, probes, beacons, water bottles, energy bars, GoPro cameras, hydration bladders and walkie talkies to let the camera man on the helicopter circling them that they’re ready to drop in, so start filming!

Mr or Mrs Ski Patrol – These guys are the lifeblood of the resort for on piste skiing, they carry all sorts of life saving equipment in their packs, as well as first aid, walkie talkies, avalanche detonation and protection.


Back to the backpacks, which pack is best for you depends on what you want to do. Some good features to look at when buying a bag:

  • Vertical or horizontal snowboard carry
  • Ski carry straps
  • Google pocket
  • Hydration compatible (bladder or camel back slot)
  • Dual pockets
  • Slots for probe/ shovel
  • Waste and chest straps
  • Top carry handle
  • Rear entry opening and a real important feature is the capacity, this is what makes or breaks your choice of bag. The more stuff you want to carry, the bigger the capacity you will need. Look for where the bag expands, side to side, up and down, straight back etc. For example, if the bag bulks directly back and you're riding a lot of lifts, it can push you quite a bit forward on the chair and increases the possibility of falling out of the chair... and we don’t want that. Don't forget that you should remove your backpack and place it on your lap while on a ski lift anyway. 

Difference Between Hiking And Ski Backpacks

If you’re thinking of using your hiking bag for your ski trip, you may want to reconsider. Ski and snowboard backpacks are specially designed for snow activities and cold weather. Special features on the bag are included for safety and convenience reasons. If you’re looking for the best ski or snowboard experience, consider purchasing a ski or snowboard backpack. Here are a few ways hiking and ski backpacks differ.



Ski/Snowboard Carry

Ski and snowboarding backpacks are equipped with a ski/ snowboard carry, a strap that carries your skis or your snowboard and allows you to hike to your destination with free hands. The ski/snowboard carry is important for safety, especially for first-time snowboarders or skiers. The ski carry system is usually made up of two diagonal straps which are strapped separately to the sides of the backpack. The snowboard carry can work with vertical straps as well.  

Choosing your carry style is based on your personal preference. Think about where you will be traveling. If you are traveling on a path with heavy trees and snags, you may want to carry your equipment vertically. Some ski bags are adjustable and allow you to carry in more than one way and some bags work for both skis and snowboards.



Avalanche Airbag 

A major way ski and snowboard backpacks differ from a regular luggage backpack is the storage space for the avalanche safety gear. The separate compartment provides easy access to the avalanche gear in case of an emergency. It is important that the avalanche safety gear is stored inside of the backpack. Gear should not be strapped on the outside of the bag, the special avalanche gear compartment is designed to properly hold the items without causing any damage. 

The Avalanche airbag is a major feature on the ski/ snowboard backpacks The airbag could save a life in the unfortunate event of a catastrophe, it is designed to keep avalanche victims at the top of the snow in the event of an avalanche. A skier or a snowboarder with an airbag is less likely to experience extreme trauma or injury during an avalanche. 



The ski carry backpack and the snowboard backpack are both equipped with Avalung technology. An AvaLung® is a breathing device the gives the victim access to oxygen located around the snowpack area without breathing in carbon dioxide. The Avalung, like the Avalung airbag, can save a victims life in the case of an avalanche by extending the survival time before asphyxiation occurs. Snowboarding with a backpack equipped with Avalung is highly recommended.


Hydration Pack For Snowboarding

Hydration is key in any high-intensity activity, the same goes for snowboarding and skiing. A benefit of carrying a backcountry ski backpack is being equipped with a hydration pack specially designed for skiing and snowboarding. Snowboarding bags and ski gear backpacks are designed to withstand tough winter conditions, it helps to keep the water supply from freezing. The hydration pack for snowboarding and skiing is equipped with a drink tube, some bags also include a bite valve cover.





Types Of Ski And Snowboard Bags

Ski/Snowboard Backpacks

The Ski/Snowboarding backpack is usually the first choice for skiers and snowboarders. It offers the traditional carrying straps for hands-free use and usually comes with a hydration pack and waterproof fabric. Dakine is a recommended brand, the skiing backpack from Dakine is known for its functionality and durability. A customer favorite is the Dakine Heli Pro 20L  Backpack, the perfect day-trip-friendly bag. Enough room to get all your avy gear inside as well as a hydration pack, some lunch and a spare lens or pair of goggles in the fleece-lined goggle pocket for those side country days whilst out there having fun in the snow.




  • 20 litre capacity
  • Vertical snowboard carry
  • Diagonal ski carry
  • Fleece lined goggle pocket
  • Hydration compatible
  • Non-padded sleeve fits most 15″ laptops
  • Organized front pocket
  • Rescue whistle on sternum strap
  • Front and rear pockets
  • 15 inch laptop pocket

Dakine customers also love the Dakine Low Roller Snowboard bag. The low roller is known for its versatility and it’s the perfect bag for any kind of trip. The bag includes 360-degree padding and is built to hold up to two boards. The low roller is one of the best of the Dakine backcountry backpacks.

The Osprey Kamber 22 is another preferred ski and snowboard backpack. Known for it’s features like the active adjustable ski/snowboard lasso upper carry strap, the tuckaway ice tool attachment, and the scratch-free goggle pocket. The lightweight frame suspension makes the bag easy to carry and comfortable on the body. If you like the Osprey Kamber 22, you may also like the Osprey Kresta 20.


Check out the Osprey Kamber/Kresta Series:


Ski Boot Bag

The ski boot bag is very important, especially for the skier who invests a lot of money into their ski boots. If you are someone who loves their ski boots, you won’t want to stuff them in your bag and you may benefit from a ski boot bag. 

If you are looking for a boot bag you may want to consider The Dakine Boot Bag. Dakine’s bag is designed to fit both ski boots and snowboarding boots. The bag includes a zipper front pocket and a removable adjustable strap.


Duffle Bag

The duffle bag is a great choice for a weekend snowboarding or ski trip. It fits the bare essentials and it is easy to carry. Choosing a duffle bag may seem extremely easy, but we recommend choosing one with sturdy straps and durability. The Duffle Bag is a great travel bag for storing snowboard and ski boots. The bag features two end zip pockets, a shoulder strap, and an additional handle at the top. 


Day Pack 


If you’ll only be skiing for one day, a day pack may be all you need. The day pack is perfect for a quick trip and most can fit more than a day’s worth of supplies, it’s the ideal small bag for snowboarding. If you are looking for a daypack that is good for multiple uses, you may want to consider the Douchebag Base 15L Day Pack. You can use the Douchebag Base at the gym, to work, or just to run errands. The bag includes a laptop pocket and hook up system that allows you to easily travel with multiple bags.


Ski Trip Essentials: How To Pack 

Packing for any trip is the hardest part. Here’s a tip to start: If it’s your first time skiing, invest in a really good ski bag and rent some of your equipment to save money. We’ve put together this list of ski trip essentials to help you figure out how to pack for a ski trip. 


Packing can seem overwhelming but we’ve also included some tips to help with your trip preparation. When you’re packing, be sure to pack your ski helmet in your carry on luggage to avoid damaging it. Bringing a small backpack is important to keep your valuables and small personal items. Also, remember to take your backpack off on the ski lift, it could get dangerous! Shopping for your perfect ski and snowboard backpack is easier than it seems with all the options out there. Just follow this guide and you will find the perfect bag.

Start your search by checking out Snow Central for a wide variety of snowboard bags.






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