When it comes to winter sports and other winter activities, a standard backpack may not be able to provide the quality and important features that you need.
For winter activity enthusiasts, a backpack that is designed for cold weather and optimized for mountain skiing is definitely something to consider purchasing.
If you are looking to ditch the regular old backpack and take a look at the best ski packs for women, you have come to the right place.
Rating and ranking
Let’s discuss five of our favorite backcountry ski packs for women, compare and highlight any important pros and cons for each, and determine an overall best option.
Best Ski Packs For Women – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2021
When it comes to backcountry sports and activities, your equipment, your skills and expertise, and your team are of utmost importance. High quality equipment starts with a great ski pack.
The Mammut Spindrift 26 litre backpack is the perfect way to keep your important mountain kit nicely organized and easily accessible. It is big enough for longer tours and still small enough to be used for shorter, less extensive trips.
The Mammut Spindrift is equipped with some of the best features including ice axe straps, an integrated helmet holder, a shoulder strap bottle holder and a forward-pull hip belt adjustment system. This touring pack also provides a variety of storage capabilities for all of your extra gear.
It has been designed with a large hip belt pocket alongside a smaller hip belt phone pocket, as well as a front pocket for avalanche safety equipment and an oversized main compartment with a large zipper for easy access.
In terms of the Mammut Spindrift’s specifications, it has dimensions of 51 cm by 28 cm by 21 cm and an overall bag volume of 26 litres. This pack weighs a total of approximately 1.9 pounds, making it a great lightweight in comparison to some of the heavier backpacks.
In terms of compatibility and equipment carrying capabilities, the Mammut Spindrift pack has the ability to carry both a set of skis and a snowboard, and is also hydration compatible. However, this pack does not come with a hydration reservoir, which could be an issue for buyer’s who have this feature on their must have list.
The Deuter Freerider SL women’s snow pack is another one of our favorite products and definitely one of the best women’s ski packs on the market today. This pack was ergonomically designed by women for a women-specific consumer base.
Designed with a slim Alpine back system that has 2 body-forming soft stripe pads and a channel for chimney style ventilation. The permanently elastic steel frame provides stability and rigidity, while maintaining its flexibility for when needed.
This pack was built with an adjustable back length and a narrow fit that the men’s ski pack models. The S-shaped shoulder harness is made with an aerated mesh lining to provide optimal air flow and fast drying capabilities. The Deuter Freerider is equipped with multiple lash points for attaching additional gear and other add-ons (accessory loops, helmet holder attachment, pole attachment loops etc..).
The side compression straps allow the user to regulate the volume of the pack with ease, while the compact hip fins deliver a snug fit and help evenly transfer weight onto the hips. The Deuter Women’s Snow Pack has a spacious front pocket with a shovel/probe compartment, as well as a “valuables” pocket with a key hook and small zippered stash pockets on top and at the front. Optimal storage for the avid mountaineer.
In terms of the technical specifications, this pack is 20 inches by 13 inches by 7 inches, and has a gear capacity of 28 litres. It is made of 400 thread denier and 330 thread denier ripstop nylon. The pack’s frame is made of delrin as well. Weighing in at a total of 2 pounds and 3 ounces, this lightweight women’s backpack is designed to minimize carrying burden.
The Deuter Freerider is hydration compatible, however it does not include a reservoir or bladder, which must be purchased and attached separately. This may be a problem for certain buyers who are looking for a pack that has a water reservoir included.
The Osprey Sopris 30 Women’s Snow Pack is another one of the best snow packs for women on the market today. This pack is designed for women who love touring the mountains in search of the best lines, and want the best equipment that will make their expeditions as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
The Osprey Sopris is crafted with high quality materials that ensure its long lasting durability and sleek style. This pack provides optimal storage designed for the mountaineering enthusiast. The large front panel J-zip provides efficient and intuitive access to the avalanche safety kit pocket where users can store all of their emergency necessities. The Sopris is designed with a GPS/radio internal carry spot with webbing attachment points for a mic harness. It also comes with an easy-access scratch preventing goggles stash pocket and a dual position (front or top) stow-away helmet carrying capabilities.
This pack is designed with a spacious main compartment that has built-in side panel sleeves that will hold a thermos, water bottle or other small items. This main compartment also has a zippered stash pocket for any valuables that need to be kept safe and secure. The single zippered hip belt pocket and single hipbelt gear loop add another dimension of convenience and extra storage/gear attachment capabilities. This pack has both diagonal or A-frame ski carrying potential, as well as vertical front panel and horizontal snowboard carrying capabilities as well.
In terms of technical specifications, the Osprey Sopris women’s snow pack has dimensions of 20 inches by 12 inches by 10 inches, and has been crafted with 210-denier high-tenacity nylon shadowbox material. This pack weighs in at a total of 2 pounds and 7 ounces, which proves its reputation as one of the lightest weight backpacks in our review.
It has adjustable torso length capabilities to accommodate users of all shapes and sizes. One of the most significant qualities of the Osprey Sopris is its 30 litre gear capacity. This is one of the largest capacity packs on our list while also remaining one of the lightest weight options, making it incredibly versatile.
The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol pack is another one of our best ski packs for women contenders. This mid-sized ski pack is perfect for single day backcountry expeditions, ski trips, mountaineering summits and other winter activities. The sleek and compact design ensures the least amount of bulk and optimal gear storage/attachments on the outside of the bag.
The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol is made with a mixture of 210 denier and 840 denier nylon oxford material, and high-tenacity, ultralight Dynex side paneling/shoulder straps. This pack was designed with a large zippered opening for easy access to the main compartment, back panel access and a dedicated tool organizer pocket.
The Dawn Patrol Pack is built with active, body form fitting suspension capabilities and an insulated sleeve with a shoulder strap. This pack features trademarked “PickPockets” technology, which are user-friendly, incredibly easy to use ice tool carrying attachments. The Dawn Patrol also features helmet holders on the top and bottom of the bag, as well as tuck-away diagonal carry and A-frame ski carry capabilities for user preference.
In regards to the technical specifications, this pack has a bag volume of 1400 cubic inches, which is about 23 litres. The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol pack is available in two different sizes – the S/M (small/medium) and the M/L (medium/large) model. The small/medium has a carrying capacity of 23 litres, while the larger pack has a carrying capacity of 25 litres.
This pack provides a number of awesome features and is a great option for the mountaineering and ski enthusiast. There is however, one aspect that should be addressed as it could be considered a drawback. The Dawn Patrol pack is equipped for ski carrying, but is not equipped to carry a snowboard. Therefore, snowboarders who are looking for a backpack that can carry their equipment will most likely be looking into other options.
The Dakine Poacher RAS backpack is the perfect backcountry pack for all types of mountain riding, including heli skiing, snowmobiling, or lift-access trail riding. This pack provides high quality material for the best possible performance, and its compact design allows for minimal bulk with maximum carrying ability.
The Dakine Poacher is made with a mixture of 840 denier two-tone nylon ripstop and 500 denier high tenacity nylon plain weave, both with a water repellent finish coating. This pack is designed with front helmet attachment loops, a 38 millimeter web belt with hip wings and is also affixed with a rescue whistle attached to the sternum strap.
This pack has a number of great compatibility features including the Mammut Removable Airbag System 3.0 with RollTop closure, as well as the Dakine Impact Spine Protector insert. These features add another dimension of comfort and safety, however they are not included with the initial pack purchase, and must be purchased separately for extra cost if desired. It was designed with a large main compartment, as well as a fleece lined goggle pocket and an internal snow tool organization system. It has diagonal ski carry and tuck away vertical snowboard carry capabilities.
In regards to the technical specifications, the Dakine Poacher pack has dimensions of 21.5 inches by 11 inches by 5.5 inches. It has a total weight of approximately 2 pounds and 10 ounces, making it one of the slightly heavier packs on our list. Although it is hydration compatible, this pack does not have a hydration reservoir included.
Ski Packs for Woman FAQ
What Should I Carry In My Ski Backpack?
Ski backpacks provide users with a common place to put all of their skiing essentials and other important expedition items.
Although there are pockets on most ski jackets and pants, it is easy to lose track of your things when they are spread out between six different pockets. A ski backpack will keep everything in one spot, while allowing you to attach necessary gear and other equipment for maximum carrying capacity.
Here are a number of our essential items to carry in your ski backpack.
One of the most important things to remember when embarking on any ski trip or mountain expedition is hydration essentials. Be sure to pack a good sized bottle that can hold a substantial amount of water or sports drink of your choosing.
Activities that require constant physical exertion will be met with the consistent need to hydrate. Without proper hydration, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated, and in some situations this can become dangerous very fast.
Another important thing to remember when filling your backpack for any trip is some sort of nutrition in the form of easily consumable snacks. Some of our recommendations would be things like fruit, granola bars, crackers and cheese, nuts and dried fruit.
Keeping a good source of quick and easy energy in your ski backpack is crucial, especially on longer expeditions that will exhaust your body.
Depending on where your skiing expeditions will be taking you and what kind of conditions you will be facing, your emergency kit may have different items in it.
This kit will include things like bandages, painkillers, a lighter or firestarter, a rescue whistle or flare gun, a flashlight, a map, a compass etc.. Being prepared for anything is of primary concern when embarking on your expeditions.
Bringing along extra clothing is a smart idea for a number of reasons. This will be useful if you or someone in your group needs extra layers to stay warm or for comfort.
Things like a thermal shirt, hand warmers for inside your gloves or simply an extra pair of socks could mean the difference between a comfortable trip and a bad experience.
Bringing along a compact shovel or any tools you may need while out in the backcountry is important in order to be properly prepared. This could include ice picks, a lighter or firestarter, a flashlight or headlamp, and any other important tools.
These include things like vitamins or medication, chapstick, sunscreen, tissues, a cell phone and charger, and any other daily items you may end up needing. The daily essentials are often some of the most important things to carry in your ski backpack to ensure a pleasant trip.
What Size Ski Backpack Is Best?
When it comes to choosing the right size of ski backpack for your activities, there are a few important aspects to consider.
Determine where you will be using your backpack and for what kind of riding you will be using it for. This will help indicate what size backpack you should be purchasing. Here are some guidelines:
10 – 20 litres: These packs are best for lift-served side country skiing or accessed riding
20 – 35 litres: These packs are best for longer day tours
35 – 55 litres: These packs are best for multi-day touring and overnight camping trips
60 – 70 litres: These packs are best for the longer mountaineering trips that will require a tent, cooking equipment and any other gear
How Do I Choose A Ski Backpack
Choosing the right ski backpack for your needs will be accomplished by knowing what you plan to be using it for. As we previously discussed, the size of your backpack will depend on the length of your tour and the type of activities you plan on getting into.
Another important thing to consider would be the backpack’s relative compatibility and feature availability. Important things to look for when choosing a ski backpack are hydration compatibility, easy-access zipper design, gear loops for exterior attachment, ski & snowboard carry capabilities, and compression straps.
Some backpacks will have ski carrying capabilities, but will not have the necessary rigging setup to carry a snowboard as well. Be aware of exactly what each ski backpack offers in terms of compatibility with gear and other important equipment.
Depending on what is most important to you, choose your ski backpack based on what it offers that will make the most positive impact on your mountaineering tours.
Can You Ski With Any Backpack?
The answer to this question is that yes, technically you can ski with any backpack that you would like. Regardless of the style, size or type of backpack, it is definitely possible to ski with whichever you choose. Whether it is a generic book bag meant for school, or a high quality snow pack designed specifically for cold weather and mountain activities, you can ski with it.
What is most important however, is whether or not your backpack offers the features and necessary qualities that you need in order to perform at your highest level, comfortably. Choosing a backpack that is meant for ski touring and typical mountain conditions will have a significant impact on your overall experience.
Things like proper ski carrying capabilities, spacious compartments, cold-resistant material, heavy duty zipper closures and dedicated storage for mountaineering tools are among the features a specialty backpack will provide that a regular backpack will not.
Although it is possible to ski with virtually any backpack, there are some choices that would definitely be less than ideal for backcountry and mountain tours. Large, bulky travel backpacks that weigh upwards of 5 to 6 pounds would definitely be uncomfortable and quite cumbersome.
There are some obvious standards that come into play when answering the “can you ski with any backpack” question. It is possible to ski with whatever style of backpack that you like, but ski packs that are designed specifically for the mountain environment will always be the best choice.
Skiing and other mountaineering activities have been steadily becoming more popular, and with the rise in popularity come products to supply the demand for quality gear. People are looking for the best possible equipment in order to help them excel and truly enjoy their passion for backcountry tours.
We have discussed and reviewed some of our favorite options for the best ski packs for women. Each product has its own set of specialty features, important characteristics and potential pros and cons. Ski packs are a niche product that provide qualities and capabilities that cater directly to their target audience of backcountry and mountain activity enthusiasts.
After reviewing five of the best ski touring backpacks for women, we can identify the most common and desirable features and must haves. Things like exterior helmet holders, gear attachments, ski and snowboard carrying capabilities, dedicated tool pockets, compression straps and other features are very important.
We also discussed some of the important items that skiers should carry in their packs, as well as what size pack is best for which activities. Keep all of this information in mind, as well as your own preferences, when deciding on which ski pack will best suit your needs. Stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy the great outdoors!