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Fall 2015 Preview: The Best Winter Backpacks

Our scout previews seven of next year's packs that are designed with winter in mind.


best winter backpacks - The North Face Snomad 34

This ski touring pack features a spring steel frame that supports loads up to 25 pounds. It also features big back panel access, a helmet sleeve, and pockets to protect ice tools. Skis can be carried A-frame or diagonally; boards horizontal or vertical. MSRP $159

best winter backpacks - Mammut Trion Felsturm 22

This ski and alpine climbing pack is made from robust polyethylene. Weighing just 750 grams, the fully-featured pack has a rope strap, stable axe attachments, and unfettered packbag. MSRP $180.

best winter backpacks - CamelBak Phantom 20 L

CamelBak’s first hydration pack for backcountry and side-county skiing and snowboarding that features the hydration reservoir tucked into the lumbar area (instead of between the shoulders). The pack carries 17 liters of cargo, plus the 3 liter Antidote Lumbar Reservoir (included). The pack has external ski and board carry; inside there’s room for helmet, shovel, probe, skins, goggles, layers and lunch. MSRP $130

best winter backpacks - Dakine Heli Pro DLX 24

The women’s-specific Heli Pro has a shortened back panel, narrower shoulder width, and higher-range sternum straps to better suit the female form. A narrower lumbar and canted waistbelt pulls the pack into narrower waists and wider hips, too. 24 liters; 2.5 lbs.; MSRP $110.

best winter backpacks - Mountain Hardwear SnoJo 20

This low-profile pack is designed for both lift and backcountry use. The full-wrap compression straps carry skis or a snowboard while a nifty back panel lets you grab stuff from the main compartment without having to readjust the fit. MSRP $100.

best winter backpacks - Thule Upslope

Organization, organization: the Upslope is designed to eliminate the hassle of accessing your water bottle, skins, or helmet. There is also an avy compartment with dedicated probe and handle sleeves; tuck-away tool attachments; and big side pockets for keeping your stuff straight. MSRP $160.

best winter backpacks - Bergans Rondane

Bergans patent-pending RS3™ Stability System prevents the pack from “jumping” on the shoulders. An integrated hydration system helps maintain fluid balance, shoulder strap pockets make it easy to grab something to eat on the fly, and the Gilly lacing system makes strapping items on the outside a breeze. 1 lb. 7 oz.; 18 liters; 420-denier and 210-denier nylon; $119.