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Backpack recommendations
10 posts from 7 users
Updated 2 days ago
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22 days ago

Hello all,

Currently I’m looking into getting a backpack to wear while I’m skiing. It’ll be primarily for storage like extra goggle lens, snacks or anything else one would need to avoid going back to the resort for overpriced refreshments. I’m a novice that only uses groomers for now.

Any input the community can offer would be greatly appreciated.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
22 days ago

I use a backpack about 25% of the time when I’m skiing out west at large resorts because some times you can be several lift rides and 30-60 minutes from a lodge, or even further from your car/hotel.  Having extra stuff at close hand such as snack, extra layer, gaiter, gloves, water, goggle lens, etc. can be very helpful in that scenario. 

Back in the mid-Atlantic I rarely use a backpack because you’re usually within 5-10 mins of the base lodge or your car/hotel and you can just go to the lodge, your bootbag, or car and get what you need.

The backpack I use out west is very inexpensive.  I think I got it for free as swag at a trade show.  It’s probably worth $5-10.  And actually I like that because I most often use it just as a lunch bag.  I will throw in food, drink, extra clothing layer and maybe extra goggle lens, or some old glove liners.  I like to take it off and stow it at a mid-mountain lodge or warming hut early in my ski day and return to it later to eat.  I’ve done this 100 times and no one has ever bothered my pack even on days when there’s a cold six-pack inside to share with friends at afternoon break time:-)  I don’t store any true valuables in it when I’m in the mode where I’m dropping it off in a lodge for a few hours in case the bag is ever stolen.  I almost never use lockers at a ski area.  I keep larger valuables such as laptops, expensive ski accessories/clothing in my car, and keep small valuables like wallet, cell phone, car keys on my person in dedicated pockets.  

BTW, managing yourself and your gear on a ski day, including “ski jacket pocket management” is a whole other topic.  It’s good to develop winning routines and do them every ski day.  For example, pack your skis, boots, poles the same way and same place every time you head out the driveway.  Put your wallet, phone and car keys in the same jacket pockets every time you hit the slopes.  This sort of repetition helps prevent forgeting or losing essential stuff.  Never lost my car keys, but have been with others who have.  It can ruin your ski day.

Having said all that, here is a thread on PugSki.com that discusses backpack options if you want to get something a little more high end.  You could also ask your question there to get more pointed replies.  They have more user traffic in the summer than DCSki.  And there are a lot of gearheads on there.

 

Denis - DCSki Supporter
22 days ago

That’s an impressive treatise Jim; spot on in every detail, IMHO.

22 days ago

regardless of what you buy, make sure it has no loose ends or things that may get hung up on a chair.

even if you take it off and hold it it may snag,  some resorts do not allow use of backpacks for that reason or require you to take them off and hold

JimK - DCSki Columnist
21 days ago

2kvf8juf414w.jpg

This photo was taken while I was skinning at Alta in May 2020.  The backpack (not very visible) is for CoolBreeze.  The IMP (nicely visible) is for Imp!

In this case I used my cheapie backpack to hold an extra jacket on the walk up, and on the ski down I put my skins in there after taking them off the bottoms of my skis.

Bonus IMP photo:

alta may 1 inside imp.jpg

Denis - DCSki Supporter
21 days ago

imp wrote:

regardless of what you buy, make sure it has no loose ends or things that may get hung up on a chair.

even if you take it off and hold it it may snag,  some resorts do not allow use of backpacks for that reason or require you to take them off and hold

Indeed.  It takes only one occurrence of nearly getting hung to burn that advice into your brain.  I take mine off and hold it in my lap on the chair.  Even in the west I generally leave it in the lodge.  On a powder day I’ll wear it.  If I fall in the deep stuff, I take it off and use the surface area of it to help get back upright.  It’s much more effective than anything you can do with poles.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
21 days ago

CoolBreeze303 wrote:

Hello all,

Currently I’m looking into getting a backpack to wear while I’m skiing. It’ll be primarily for storage like extra goggle lens, snacks or anything else one would need to avoid going back to the resort for overpriced refreshments. I’m a novice that only uses groomers for now.

Any input the community can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Even at a small hill like Massanutten, when I was skiing with young kids having a fanny pack or small backpack was handy at times.  At least after the kids were old enough to stay out for more than an hour on the upper mountain before needing a rest break.  Definitely useful at a resort like Snowshoe that has more than one base area.

The fanciest small backpack I have is the Kulkea Micropak.  Very well made and designed with chairlifts in mind.  Company is based in Boston and I’ve talked to the co-founding brothers at the Boston Ski Expo.

What I’ve used most often is an 11L pack by Dakine.  Don’t think it’s made any more but there is a 12L version.  Difference between it and cheaper small backpacks is that it’s pretty water resistent.  No worries about using it when snowguns are on.

When I buy a ski jacket, considering the number of interior pockets is a high priority.  Been using a Marmot jacket a bit beyond it’s normal lifespan because the model isn’t made any more.  It has two larger interior mesh pockets and TWO interior zip pockets that are a pretty decent size.  Plus two chest pockets with zips, one vertical and one horizonal.  The other important pocket these days is a zip sleeve pocket good for an RFID card.  Only recently found a Marmot (spring sales) that at least comes close in terms of pockets.

19 days ago

we had an imp outfitted as a ski patrol rescue vehicle back in the 80’s wish we had it now. thanks for the pic’s. brings back some scary moments

19 days ago

One of the best ski coats  I have had for storage was years ago with a Spyder coaches jacket, specifically the “lumbar” pocket that went across lower back it was to store the sleeves that were removable but it was great for carrying a lot of things .

 You have a great idea to be able to carry supplies etc with you no matter where you ski

a friend sowed a whistle to her jacket for when skiing the trees 

have fun!

 

 

2 days ago

Try to keep the extra straps to a minimum to lessen your liklihood of getting snagged on the lift, people have been killed that way. I don’t wear a backpack, myself. 

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