Should you wear or not wear a backpack while snowboarding?

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 14, 2009 11:32 am

If you’re new to snowboarding, you may have noticed others on the mountain riding with backpacks and thought, “Should I be wearing one too?” Well, the answer depends on you. For me personally, backpacks throw off my balance and are a pain to pack when all you want to do is ride as many runs as possible before your lift ticket expires.

But I do see the benefits of wearing a backpack. Although, I see them as just a fashion statement – kind of like your snow jacket. But there are different backpacks you can choose from to suit your style and ability. Here are some pros and cons to wearing a backpack:


1. You can store extra clothes or gear for when the weather turns good to bad or bad to good. This means an extra sweater, goggles or sunglasses which will save you money from renting a locker or the pain of walking back to your car to retrieve your stuff.

2. Hydration packs provide necessary fluids lost while snowboarding.

3. You can store a small shovel and a video camera to capture priceless memories of your friends launching off jumps you built.


1. Backpacks are uncomfortable when you’re sitting on a chairlift, and it’s a hassle to shift or unload with them. Of course this depends on the bulk of the backpack, but it’s hard to turn sideways on a full chair.

2. Backpacks tend to throw off your center of gravity while you’re riding down the mountain. Again the heavier and bulkier the backpack, the more difficult it is to ride comfortably.

3. Wearing a backpack can prevent body moisture from escaping through the back of your jacket. When I briefly wore my backpack, I noticed my back alot wetter than without one and my jacket reeked of sweat as well. But the weight of the backpack and the amount of energy you’re putting out will determine how much moisture stays within your jacket.

Wearing a backpack has some good benefits as well as bad benefits. As you improve in your ability, you will more than likely experience every one of these reasons. But just promise me you won’t wear a backpack to impress a girl.