How to Choose a Backpack for Ski Touring


Ski touring is a popular winter activity that involves traveling through the snow-covered backcountry using skis. It offers a unique experience for skiers who want to explore the wilderness and challenge themselves physically and mentally. However, ski touring requires proper preparation and equipment, including a suitable backpack. A backpack is a critical piece of equipment for ski touring because it allows skiers to carry essential items, such as food, water, and safety gear, while providing comfort and support. In this article, we will discuss the factors to consider when choosing a backpack for ski touring, including size and capacity, fit and comfort, features, material and durability.

Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of the backpack are crucial factors to consider when choosing a backpack for ski touring. The size of the backpack will depend on the length and type of the trip. For day trips, a smaller backpack with a capacity of 20-30 liters is suitable, while for overnight trips, a larger backpack with a capacity of 40-60 liters is necessary. It is essential to consider the type of ski touring, whether it is alpine touring or Nordic touring, and the level of expertise when choosing the size and capacity of the backpack.

When selecting a backpack, it is important to keep in mind that the size and capacity of the backpack should match the individual’s physical ability and strength. A backpack that is too big or heavy can cause discomfort and lead to fatigue, which can affect the skier’s performance and safety.

Another important consideration is the difference between daypacks and overnight backpacks. Daypacks are smaller and lighter, with a capacity of around 20 liters, and are suitable for short day trips. Overnight backpacks are larger and heavier, with a capacity of 40-60 liters, and are designed for longer trips where more gear and supplies are required.

III. Fit and Comfort

A proper fit and comfort are essential for a backpack to be suitable for ski touring. A poorly fitted backpack can cause discomfort, back pain, and even injury. When choosing a backpack, it is important to consider the individual’s body size, shape, and weight. A good fit should distribute the weight of the backpack evenly and comfortably across the shoulders and hips.

Adjusting the backpack’s straps is crucial to achieving a proper fit. The shoulder straps should be snug but not too tight, and the hip belt should sit comfortably on the hips. It is also important to ensure that the backpack’s back panel ventilation is adequate to prevent sweating and discomfort.

Other features that contribute to the fit and comfort of a backpack include waist belts, shoulder straps, and back panel ventilation. Waist belts help distribute the weight of the backpack to the hips, reducing the strain on the shoulders and back. Shoulder straps should be padded and adjustable to ensure a comfortable fit. Back panel ventilation helps prevent sweating and discomfort, especially during long trips.

Best Ski Touring Backpacks For 2022


When choosing a backpack for ski touring, some important features to consider include:

  1. Ski carrying systems: The backpack should have a ski carrying system that can securely hold your skis or snowboard while you are hiking. Some backpacks have diagonal or A-frame carrying systems, while others have vertical carrying systems. Consider which system works best for your specific needs.
  2. Hydration systems: A backpack with a hydration system is essential for staying hydrated while ski touring. Look for a backpack with a hydration bladder compartment and a tube routing system that allows you to access the drinking tube without removing the backpack.
  3. Avalanche safety gear pockets: A backpack with avalanche safety gear pockets allows you to carry your avalanche safety equipment, such as a shovel and probe, in a dedicated and easily accessible compartment.

It’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing a backpack for ski touring. Think about how long your tours will be, the amount of gear you’ll need to carry, and any other specific needs you may have.

Material and Durability:

When it comes to material and durability, consider the following:

  1. Choose a backpack made of durable and water-resistant material, such as nylon or polyester. These materials are lightweight, durable, and able to withstand harsh weather conditions.
  2. Look for a backpack with reinforced stitching and durable zippers. These features will ensure the backpack can withstand the weight of your gear and the wear and tear of regular use.
  3. To ensure your backpack lasts for years, take care of it properly. This includes cleaning it regularly, storing it in a dry place, and avoiding overpacking it.

Ski Backpacks


In this article, we discussed the importance of choosing the right backpack for ski touring. We explored the various types of backpacks available in the market, including daypacks, overnight packs, and expedition packs. We also discussed the key features that one should look for when choosing a backpack, such as size, weight, ventilation, straps, and compartments.

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing a backpack for ski touring. The right backpack will depend on individual needs, preferences, and the length of the trip. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider the type of skiing you’ll be doing, the terrain, and the weather conditions.

When choosing a backpack, make sure to try it on and test it out before making a final purchase. This will give you a sense of how comfortable it is and how well it fits your body. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that the backpack has enough storage space for all the necessary gear, such as avalanche equipment, food, and water.

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