How to Choose the Best Snow Backpack for All Your Winter Sports

You’re preparing to hit the slopes and ride that perfect powder you’ve been waiting for all year. First, you’ll need the proper gear and most importantly hydration. Therefore, choosing the right ski backpack or snowboarding backpack is important so you can fully enjoy your day on the mountain. When choosing a pack for winter sports there are a few things to consider. First, what resort sport are you using this pack for, and how long? There are lots of variables that need to be considered.

Secondly, you want your snow backpack to be able to carry everything and handle anything you throw at it.

Snow Backpack Basics: The Different Types of Snow Packs

Winter sport backpacks are as vast and varied as the people who use them, the sports they’re used for, and the terrain they’re carried on. 

Front Country Skiing and Snowboarding

Front Country simply means a designated and populated ski slope. What we all think of when we imagine resort skiing. There are chair lifts and boundaries, slaloms, and things of that ilk. Whether you’re snowboarding or skiing front country sports require just a light, slim pack that holds all of the essentials, and has easy access to high-priority items when on the slopes or the lift. Our Zoid™ and Powderhound™ 12 hydration snow backpacks are perfect for a light but adventurous day on the slopes.

Our Snoblast™ 22 hydration snow backpack is the perfect companion to this rugged experience. 

The Powderhound™ 12 would also be a good fit, especially if you want or need to carry a bit less. These packs hold everything you need—and then some—and allow you to easily strap on your skis or snowboard to the pack, making them an all-in-one dream. 

Choosing the Best Snow Backpack Based on Your Sport + Slope

All three of our newly re-designed snow backpacks are designed to move with any snow sport—skiing or snowboarding. The choice is really up to you! Below we’ve laid out the perks to these ski and snowboarding backpacks, for you to get a good idea and decide which is best for you. 

Snoblast™ 22

When you’re on the mountain, the last thing you want is to be looking for the one piece of gear that fell to the bottom—especially when you’re wearing gloves. The SnoBlast’s™ tri-zip design lets you choose between opening the top of the pack or unzipping it down the side to instantly access all your gear. 

When you really want to load up, the external attachment points let you strap on additional gear. In addition to our 2L Crux® reservoir, the Therminator™ harness also keeps your insulated drinking tube zipped securely into the shoulder strap, which keeps it from freezing in cold weather so you stay hydrated on even the coldest peaks.

Powderhound™ 12

Newly redesigned to withstand winter’s most elemental challenges and with space to carry extra layers and more, the Powderhound™ 12 Snowpack will keep you ripping and shredding. Chair lift like a pro with Lift Access QR harness, specifically designed for chair lift rides so you can easily access your essentials in between carving. 

Enjoy consistent access to hydration thanks to the Therminator™ Harness, which insulates the reservoir tube from freezing to keep the water flowing. Your essentials stow safely with Snow Shield™ technology to keep your items protected for all day winter adventure.  


Our redesigned, ultra-low-profile Zoid™ snowpack is packed with winter-ready features to ensure you’re prepared to endure the elements. Therminator™ Harness keeps the water flowing (and more importantly, never freezing) from the Crux® 2-liter reservoir so you’ll stay hydrated all day long. 

Similar to Powderhound™ 12, the Zoid™ has a Lift Access QR harness that is specifically designed for chair lift rides so you can easily access your essentials on the way to the next run. Stow securely thanks to Zoid’s Snow Shield™ technology, designed to seal your essentials from the elements.


If you just need to stay hydrated on the slopes, our Bootlegger™ hydration snow pack is your best friend. Need to carry your hydration in stealth mode? The Bootlegger™ keeps 1.5 liters of water (or maybe something more fortifying) tucked away under your jacket with the ultimate low-profile design. 

It’s a cold-weather version of a hydration vest, with extra-light, breathable materials and two sternum straps for a secure, bounce-free fit. Plus an insulated drink tube to keep your water from freezing in cold temperatures. Plus, our signature Crux reservoir delivers 20% more water with every sip and features an ergonomic design that’s easy to grip—even with gloves on.

Before We Go: A Reminder to Stay Hydrated on the Slopes

Being active in the winter can be tricky. The cold makes us less aware of just how dehydrated we can become. But make no mistake, it’s just as important as staying hydrated in sweltering summer, desert heat. High-altitude dehydration is real, and it can be dangerous if you’re not careful. 

Here are some tips for staying hydrated on the mountain:

Pack enough water and keep it easily accessible. We recommend a combination of our snow backpacks with fully filled reservoirs, as well as a bottle of water. Our double-wall, vacuum insulated, stainless steel bottles will keep your beverage cool or warm to your liking for hours on end, no matter the weather. 

Lastly, pre-game your hydration. You heard us right! Drink up while you’re on the plane, train, or automobile on your way to the slopes. Drink while you’re in the chair lift or in the helicopter before you zoom down the mountain. The best defence is a good offense (wrong sport but you get the point).

Find Your CamelBak® Snow Pack

Now that you have some basic knowledge about ski and snowboarding backpacks, it’s time to grab your gear and your pack. If you have other questions about our snow packs or any of our other winter accessories and bottles, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’ve got your bak.

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