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Updated 7 months ago
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10 years ago
Hi, Newbie here. Live in Clarksburg, Wv and ski all the local areas. Was wanting to know how many use backpacks while sking. I’m looking at the Heli-Pro large. This bag will be used for extra gloves and food, water and such things for family. Thanks
Scott - DCSki Supporter
10 years ago
I ski with a backpack more often than not. It is very convenient for hauling some gear, and I also frequently ski with a camera, so it’s indispensable for that. I don’t let the backpack get too heavy, though.

The only tricky thing is lifts — I just slip off the backpack as I get to the front of the lift line and hold it in front of me with one arm while on the lift. I don’t feel comfortable in the middle of the chairlift when I’m holding my backpack — I like to sit on the end and hold the side of the chair with one arm.

Also, this is probably obvious but you want to be careful in case you fall and land on your backpack — you don’t want to land on any sharp objects. If I have something like a small camera, I wrap it in a towel to protect it and me a bit. If I have a full-size camera with lenses, I ski very, very carefully!

Here’s a picture of me with backpack last winter at Vail:



I think it’s good to have a brightly-colored backpack as it helps increase visibility.
10 years ago
Thanks Scott, The Pack is only 5 inches thick so hopefully I can leave it on. I was plainning on leaning across the bar with by arms when on the lift. I see alot of skings and snow boarders using them at Snowshoe
10 years ago
I used one all last season. It’s pretty small and light. It haas enough room for a few essentials that would be too bulky in my pockets. I also bought a Camelback insert with an insulated tube so it doubles as a hydration pack. Id’ recommend starting with it packed pretty light so you get used to the added weight. The first time I snowboarded with one I was all over the place because the added weight pulled me off line all the time.
10 years ago
Quote:

Id’ recommend starting with it packed pretty light so you get used to the added weight. The first time I snowboarded with one I was all over the place because the added weight pulled me off line all the time.




This deserves emphasis.

Be aware that backpacks can change your balance. I wouldn’t recommend loaded ones to intermediates, nor would I recommend them to anyone taking a lesson.
10 years ago
I good backpack is great if you are skiing in the backcountry, or hiking. But for general inbounds use, its not all that worthwhile.

Backpacks put people in the back-seat while skiing and the extra weight tires you out. Most ski jackets can accommodate just about anything a skier will need for a day of inbounds resort skiing. Most have a wide variety of pockets to hold a snack, a spare set of gloves, goggles, water bottle, etc… Some ski jackets also have built in hooks to hold a hydration pack inside the jacket. I know Madeline’s new orage jacket does. Backpacks also tend to make riding lifts more difficult.
10 years ago
Mine was great in Utah. All I carried though was a second set of goggles (one set for bright light one set for flat light) a hydration pack, some light snacks and a camcorder. The heaviest thing is the hydration pack. 2 litres of liquid sloshing around can put you off if you’re not used to it. If you do put a hydration pack in put it as close to your back as you can because it keeps the inertia of the pack and liquid down and makes it more manageable. It’s a useful piece of kit and once you get used to it it’s nice to shift the bulk out of your pockets and onto your back.
7 months ago

Lift Rider started its second year campaign today.  If anyone has had anything to to with this backpack, I think it is the best backpack on the market for recreational skiers.  This would be the second Lift Rider backpack I get and it is worth every cent. I can carry 1.5 L of water, my sandwich, snacks, beverages, fruit, camera, extra clothing, first aid kit, all in the well-designed bag, tapered at the bottom so I don’t end up sitting on a lift chair thinking that I am going to fall off.   I got mine in their first sale and been wearing it constantly since February.  The new one will become a Holiday present.  

I had given up wearing backpacks with the fear that it would be caught in the lift or chair mechanism.  This one has magnetic strap ends that secure to the backpack, as well as quick-release locks.  

PogoSki has a superb review of the item.   http://forum.pugski.com/threads/liftrider-resort-backpack.4481/#post-109046

 

7 months ago

I don’t like to wear a pack inbounds but always wear one on deep powder days.  If I fall in the deep stuff I take it off, place it on my uphill side and push on it to get up.  The large surface area keeps it from sinking far and is a great aid in getting up.  Better not to fall of course but if it happens in really deep light snow it can be a tremendous struggle to get up.

7 months ago

Last time I skied at 7Springs you had to take backpack off to ride lifts, concern about getting caught on chair given as reason.  I frequently ski with a fanny pack, but even this can change weight/balance dynamics.

MorganB

7 months ago

SkiTrucker wrote:

Hi, Newbie here. Live in Clarksburg, Wv and ski all the local areas. Was wanting to know how many use backpacks while sking. I’m looking at the Heli-Pro large. This bag will be used for extra gloves and food, water and such things for family. Thanks

Hello SkiTrucker and welcome to DCSki.  If you have been a “lurker” in the past then you know this is a fantastic site, well managed by Scott.  Lots of good advice herein about mid/Atlantic skiing, and frequently further afield.  Look forward to hearing more from you.  Where do you primarily slide?

MorganB

aka The Colonel

7 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Last time I skied at 7Springs you had to take backpack off to ride lifts, concern about getting caught on chair given as reason.  I frequently ski with a fanny pack, but even this can change weight/balance dynamics.

MorganB

Exactly the rationale for Lift Rider.  The straps have magnetic ends and these attach themselves to the main shoulder straps.  There is nothing hanging that could get someone dragged around by a moving chair.  And as a final backup it has safety snaps in place if you get caught.

7 months ago

I dont get the whole back pack thing. I dont ski out of bounds much so I dont see the need, I often wondered what folks keep in them. Yes I was a geek at one point and skied with a fanny pack for my camera but that was in the pre cell phone camera days.

Personally I think it has become kind of a fashion statement.

.

7 months ago

oldensign wrote:

I dont get the whole back pack thing. I dont ski out of bounds much so I dont see the need, I often wondered what folks keep in them. Yes I was a geek at one point and skied with a fanny pack for my camera but that was in the pre cell phone camera days.

Personally I think it has become kind of a fashion statement.

.

Not necessarily - you don’t have to be out of bounds (By the way the Lift Rider isn’t made for backcountry or professional skiing, but for recreational use).  In some resorts like Killington, Okemo or Sugarloaf in the East, or virtually anywhere out West (I’m particularly thinking or Telluride or Whistler), their fractured nature and their behemoth sizes are such that if you want to get back to where you stored your equipment or food, you have to either break away from your friends and/or family or drag them along.  Then, you might as well call it done for the day because by the time you return, get your gear or lunch, or exchange clothes or get something warmer/lighter - and return, you’re done.  I never carried a backpack at Snowshoe well - because my condo was a short walk to the slopes.  And as the resort food prices have continued to escalate at the same rate as college tuition or the DC Real Estate Market,  I refuse to shell out $20 for a cheeseburger so I carry my home made lunch.  I see more and more people carrying their lunch with them and finding a midway lodge or any other place where they can eat with their friends.  

By the way, I’m looking at my backpack just now and see (I added food stuff which I don’t have until the day of):  It sounds like a lot but it is really not.

  • Main lunch sandwich
  • Three or four energy bars
  • Raw chocolate pieces
  • Juice in cans (2)
  • GoPro accessories
  • Camera 
  • Flashlight
  • Plug-in charger 
  • USB battery spare with cables for iPhone
  • 1.5-liter water bottle
  • Spare battery for my Seirus heated gloves
  • Tissue Paper
  • Toilet Paper (yes, I’ve been in a place where someone has left the holder empty and not told anyone)
  • Spare socks
  • Extra balaclava and neck gaiter
  • Additional lightweight fleece vest
  • First Aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Rope and a pair of carabiners and clamp
  • Small Tool kit and my trusty Leatherman
  • Handwarmers (usually not for me but for the smartphone)
  • Whistle (plastic)

 

7 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Last time I skied at 7Springs you had to take backpack off to ride lifts, concern about getting caught on chair given as reason.  I frequently ski with a fanny pack, but even this can change weight/balance dynamics.

MorganB

Morgan there are a few you tube videos a year about backpacks getting caught on chairs, and leaving the skiers/.riders dangling. The one that I remember from a few months ago was the unconscious skier hanging by his backpack at A-Basin

http://abcnews.go.com/US/professional-slackliner-describes-rescuing-skier-dangling-chairlift/story?id=44595176

I stuff everything into a fanny pack and my pockets, I used to wear the pack as it is intended to be worn - above my butt. I changed to wearing it on my tummy after it nearly got caught on a chair one day.

 

7 months ago

I frequently wear mine on front, always in front when riding a liht

MorganB

7 months ago

You guys know this is resurrection of a ten year old thread! :-)

I have taken to wearing an inexpensive small pack some days out west.  Usually I carry a sack lunch in it, water, rarely booze, and maybe an extra clothing layer for upper body.  Sometimes I am in a situation out west at a large ski area and my car could be at a satellite parking lot very far away.  The pack gives me a feeling of security that I can survive all day without a time consuming return to the car.  My backpack is so inexpensive that if it gets stuck offloading a chair the straps would probably break before I would, but I usually take it off when boarding a lift as a precaution.  I never carry a backpack skiing in the mid-Atlantic.

7 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

I frequently wear mine on front, always in front when riding a liht

MorganB

Totally agree.  Until the new backpack came along, I had stopped wearing packs altogether and accumulated a collection in my ski closet.  Three Camelbacks, three Dakines, a Patagonia, an REI and a Northface.  All of them with enough straps hanging from them to snare everywhere.  The LiftRider has no straps and ropes hanging.  And as well, I can sit normally at a chair.  I don’t want to seem like a QVC marketeer but the gadget is that good.  Besides, I am a gadget man…  :-)

 

7 months ago

Yep, never understood why folks need a big backpack at a Mid-Atlantic ski area.

 

That said, I have a small 11L pack that I use at larger places, especially those with multiple lodges.  I tried the pocket approach but didn’t like it.  Nice to have spare socks, gloves, perhaps a different goggle lens, snack bar, tissue, water.

7 months ago

lbotta wrote:

 

Not necessarily - you don’t have to be out of bounds (By the way the Lift Rider isn’t made for backcountry or professional skiing, but for recreational use).  In some resorts like Killington, Okemo or Sugarloaf in the East, or virtually anywhere out West (I’m particularly thinking or Telluride or Whistler), their fractured nature and their behemoth sizes are such that if you want to get back to where you stored your equipment or food, you have to either break away from your friends and/or family or drag them along.  Then, you might as well call it done for the day because by the time you return, get your gear or lunch, or exchange clothes or get something warmer/lighter - and return, you’re done.  I never carried a backpack at Snowshoe well - because my condo was a short walk to the slopes.  And as the resort food prices have continued to escalate at the same rate as college tuition or the DC Real Estate Market,  I refuse to shell out $20 for a cheeseburger so I carry my home made lunch.  I see more and more people carrying their lunch with them and finding a midway lodge or any other place where they can eat with their friends.  

By the way, I’m looking at my backpack just now and see (I added food stuff which I don’t have until the day of):  It sounds like a lot but it is really not.

  • Main lunch sandwich
  • Three or four energy bars
  • Raw chocolate pieces
  • Juice in cans (2)
  • GoPro accessories
  • Camera 
  • Flashlight
  • Plug-in charger 
  • USB battery spare with cables for iPhone
  • 1.5-liter water bottle
  • Spare battery for my Seirus heated gloves
  • Tissue Paper
  • Toilet Paper (yes, I’ve been in a place where someone has left the holder empty and not told anyone)
  • Spare socks
  • Extra balaclava and neck gaiter
  • Additional lightweight fleece vest
  • First Aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Rope and a pair of carabiners and clamp
  • Small Tool kit and my trusty Leatherman
  • Handwarmers (usually not for me but for the smartphone)
  • Whistle (plastic)

 

I used to load up with all that crap, cargo pockets in pants stuffed, jacket pockets stuffed, fanny pack stuffed when the kids were little and we coudn’t split up for any amount of time.  Nowadays, if I don’t get a good parking spot most of that stuff is in a cooler at the base.  If I do get a good parking spot it stays in the car.  At the size places I ski I’m never more than 10 minutes away from either the base or car, wherever the lunch tote ends up.  Phone, wallet, chapstick, whistle if deep snow and trees might be an option. and a plattypuss full of water are the only things I need to carry that I’m not already wearing for a normal ski day.  I guess I could see rationalizing carrying 10 pounds of extra stuff skiing a resort where you might be more than 30 minutes from the base or vehicle on any given day, but other than that, all that stuff, including lunch and small drinks can sit in a bag at the bottom/top lodge.

Really cracking down in backpacks everywhere.  They don’t care if you have safety release straps.  You have to take it off before  you are allowed to ride most places. I’m not sure that is fail safe either.  Sooner or later someone will be injured from one accidentally getting dropped on them.. because the rider had to take it off… might drop it messing with stuff, whatever.  I’m trying to carry less and less these days.  legs last longer that way too.

7 months ago

crgildart wrote:

I used to load up with all that crap, cargo pockets in pants stuffed, jacket pockets stuffed, fanny pack stuffed when the kids were little and we coudn’t split up for any amount of time.  Nowadays, if I don’t get a good parking spot most of that stuff is in a cooler at the base.  If I do get a good parking spot it stays in the car.  At the size places I ski I’m never more than 10 minutes away from either the base or car, wherever the lunch tote ends up.  Phone, wallet, chapstick, whistle if deep snow and trees might be an option. and a plattypuss full of water are the only things I need to carry that I’m not already wearing for a normal ski day.  I guess I could see rationalizing carrying 10 pounds of extra stuff skiing a resort where you might be more than 30 minutes from the base or vehicle on any given day, but other than that, all that stuff, including lunch and small drinks can sit in a bag at the bottom/top lodge.

Really cracking down in backpacks everywhere.  They don’t care if you have safety release straps.  You have to take it off before  you are allowed to ride most places. I’m not sure that is fail safe either.  Sooner or later someone will be injured from one accidentally getting dropped on them.. because the rider had to take it off… might drop it messing with stuff, whatever.  I’m trying to carry less and less these days.  legs last longer that way too.

We’ve come full circle.  I stopped wearing backpacks and now I’m back to wearing one.  You used to wear one and now don’t.  As long as we’re both happy, who cares.  

Ski areas cracking down on backpacks may be a bit of hyperbole.  Hard to crack down on backpacks when the same resorts are encouraging avalanche airbags and rescue backpacks.  I have seen dialogue on restricting lunch sacks to maximize cafeteria profits but in several of the New England areas, that has caused an uproar and the initiatives have been abandoned.

I have nothing in my pockets except a wallet.  Everything else and water is on the pack.  Skiing in some areas, you may be a half an hour away from your car or spend $30 for lunch.  And if you have a  family of four, that gets expensive.  Splitting from the family may not be a player.  

 

7 months ago

crgildart wrote:

lbotta wrote:

 

Not necessarily - you don’t have to be out of bounds (By the way the Lift Rider isn’t made for backcountry or professional skiing, but for recreational use).  In some resorts like Killington, Okemo or Sugarloaf in the East, or virtually anywhere out West (I’m particularly thinking or Telluride or Whistler), their fractured nature and their behemoth sizes are such that if you want to get back to where you stored your equipment or food, you have to either break away from your friends and/or family or drag them along.  Then, you might as well call it done for the day because by the time you return, get your gear or lunch, or exchange clothes or get something warmer/lighter - and return, you’re done.  I never carried a backpack at Snowshoe well - because my condo was a short walk to the slopes.  And as the resort food prices have continued to escalate at the same rate as college tuition or the DC Real Estate Market,  I refuse to shell out $20 for a cheeseburger so I carry my home made lunch.  I see more and more people carrying their lunch with them and finding a midway lodge or any other place where they can eat with their friends.  

By the way, I’m looking at my backpack just now and see (I added food stuff which I don’t have until the day of):  It sounds like a lot but it is really not.

  • Main lunch sandwich
  • Three or four energy bars
  • Raw chocolate pieces
  • Juice in cans (2)
  • GoPro accessories
  • Camera 
  • Flashlight
  • Plug-in charger 
  • USB battery spare with cables for iPhone
  • 1.5-liter water bottle
  • Spare battery for my Seirus heated gloves
  • Tissue Paper
  • Toilet Paper (yes, I’ve been in a place where someone has left the holder empty and not told anyone)
  • Spare socks
  • Extra balaclava and neck gaiter
  • Additional lightweight fleece vest
  • First Aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Rope and a pair of carabiners and clamp
  • Small Tool kit and my trusty Leatherman
  • Handwarmers (usually not for me but for the smartphone)
  • Whistle (plastic)

 

I used to load up with all that crap, cargo pockets in pants stuffed, jacket pockets stuffed, fanny pack stuffed when the kids were little and we coudn’t split up for any amount of time.  Nowadays, if I don’t get a good parking spot most of that stuff is in a cooler at the base.  If I do get a good parking spot it stays in the car.  At the size places I ski I’m never more than 10 minutes away from either the base or car, wherever the lunch tote ends up.  Phone, wallet, chapstick, whistle if deep snow and trees might be an option. and a plattypuss full of water are the only things I need to carry that I’m not already wearing for a normal ski day.  I guess I could see rationalizing carrying 10 pounds of extra stuff skiing a resort where you might be more than 30 minutes from the base or vehicle on any given day, but other than that, all that stuff, including lunch and small drinks can sit in a bag at the bottom/top lodge.

Really cracking down in backpacks everywhere.  They don’t care if you have safety release straps.  You have to take it off before  you are allowed to ride most places. I’m not sure that is fail safe either.  Sooner or later someone will be injured from one accidentally getting dropped on them.. because the rider had to take it off… might drop it messing with stuff, whatever.  I’m trying to carry less and less these days.  legs last longer that way too.

 

This is pretty much me.  I have skiied with a backpack (usually because I wanted the hydration reservoir), but I really prefer going without one.  Have never worn one in the MA, and 99% of the time out west I don’t want one either.  Looking at lbotta’s list, things that seem to make sense:

- Whistle - I don’t ski with one, probably not a bad idea…

- Energy bar - Usually have 1 or 2 in my coat pocket.

- Phone - Also serves as a camera

- Balaclava / Neck gaiter - If it’s really cold, I will wear this, but hate stashing it in my pocket.  If it warms up, I’ll stash it in a lodge at the base and get it at the end of the day.

- Lip Balm - In my pocket

- Hand warmer- In my pocket keeping iPhone battery from draining

- Sunscreen - I apply at the beginning of the day, but I really should reapply halfway through.  About 25% of the time I keep a small one for my face.  Everything else is covered.

- Knife - I don’t ski with one, but I can see why a multi-tool could be useful.

Most of the rest of that stuff is unnecessary for my skiing style.  If it’s a fantastic ski day, I usually subsist on two energy bars and some water (never breaking for lunch).  If it’s not, I probably want the break, and pony up for some chili / a burger.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to go #2 outside, nor been in a bathroom where I couldn’t find TP (even if I had to duckwalk to another stall :-) ).  My phone has a built in flashlight, and I’ve never needed one.  I can get water at pretty much any lodge for free.  If I need to layer up because I underdressed or the weather got cold, I hoof it back to the car / room.  

So, for me, I have a phone, a couple of energy bars, lip balm, maybe a tiny thing of sunscreen, my goggle cloth, my driver’s license, car key, and 2 credit cards in my pockets.  What are people doing that they need a second pair of ski socks?  Cold feet or leaking boots?

ETA: I should also add, I’m really sensitive about extra weight when skiing.  Even when tight, I don’t like the extra weight of a pack.  I can’t imagine carrying one with all that stuff in it.  I feel like the weight transfer would throw off my technique.  

7 months ago

Reisen wrote:

This is pretty much me.  I have skiied with a backpack (usually because I wanted the hydration reservoir), but I really prefer going without one.  Have never worn one in the MA, and 99% of the time out west I don’t want one either.  Looking at lbotta’s list, things that seem to make sense:

- Whistle - I don’t ski with one, probably not a bad idea…

- Energy bar - Usually have 1 or 2 in my coat pocket.

- Phone - Also serves as a camera

- Balaclava / Neck gaiter - If it’s really cold, I will wear this, but hate stashing it in my pocket.  If it warms up, I’ll stash it in a lodge at the base and get it at the end of the day.

- Lip Balm - In my pocket

- Hand warmer- In my pocket keeping iPhone battery from draining

- Sunscreen - I apply at the beginning of the day, but I really should reapply halfway through.  About 25% of the time I keep a small one for my face.  Everything else is covered.

- Knife - I don’t ski with one, but I can see why a multi-tool could be useful.

Most of the rest of that stuff is unnecessary for my skiing style.  If it’s a fantastic ski day, I usually subsist on two energy bars and some water (never breaking for lunch).  If it’s not, I probably want the break, and pony up for some chili / a burger.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to go #2 outside, nor been in a bathroom where I couldn’t find TP (even if I had to duckwalk to another stall :-) ).  My phone has a built in flashlight, and I’ve never needed one.  I can get water at pretty much any lodge for free.  If I need to layer up because I underdressed or the weather got cold, I hoof it back to the car / room.  

So, for me, I have a phone, a couple of energy bars, lip balm, maybe a tiny thing of sunscreen, my goggle cloth, my driver’s license, car key, and 2 credit cards in my pockets.  What are people doing that they need a second pair of ski socks?  Cold feet or leaking boots?

ETA: I should also add, I’m really sensitive about extra weight when skiing.  Even when tight, I don’t like the extra weight of a pack.  I can’t imagine carrying one with all that stuff in it.  I feel like the weight transfer would throw off my technique.  

Back in my Snowshoe days, I quit wearing backpacks.   Going back to the condo was a five-minute detour and back.  But Snowshoe is unique in its infrastructure.  And up until I left in ‘13, the $25 hamburgers were not present.  Hope still not…  Today, I carry lunch for a family of four and a backpack where I can carry our lunch is a necessity or else we spend over $100 at lunch.  (Heck, last year we were at the Cliff House atop Stowe’s gondola and two glasses of wine and one shared cheeseburger set us back $120 plus tip - multiply that by four and it becomes a bit onerous).  And breaking up the group at any of these, or Telluride, or Whistler, means goodbye until the day’s end.  At Okemo, for example, we park in Jackson Gore, easily a half hour ski traverse from the Southface.  

Going alone with your wallet at Snowshoe, Timberline, Dartmouth Ski Bowl or Bolton Valley is no problem.  Going with a family at Telluride, Whistler, Killington, Sunday River or Park City can be logistically painful or quite expensive.  

a recreational backpack gives you the self sufficiency to concentrate on the event with the family. And the new one I got has no bearing on the position or ski dexterity or even chair travel.

By the way, I consider a whistle a piece of life support (always - always - plastic).  In my new digs, I am awere of one instance where a skier left the trail and fell into a ravine, which allowed him to survive by noise making via a whistle and attracting people.  Or perhaps two of the recent fatalities at another major area north of us could have been prevented via a whistle should the victim have been conscious (which it seems like they were). 

Lastly, I am an emergency manager by profession.  So if you come to the lower level of my house, you’d probably wonder why the hell I would have provisions, food, water, off-grid sanitary facilities, first-aid gear, emergency equipment and a whole-house generator to keep us self-sufficient for at least two weeks.  

7 months ago

There is a kitchen sink out there just looking for a backpack to live in.

7 months ago

If I am out alone (even at snowshoe) in pristine conditions I will usually throw on my camelback under my coat. It never seems to bother me and I dont have to worry about it on the lifts. I find that (especially alone) if the snow is in good shape and there are low crowds without the camelback I don’t take enough breaks and end up deyhrdated, and the main reason I carry a bag is for hydration.

The whistle is a REALLY good idea. I use the same camelback when biking and I really shoud probably add the whistle and small first aid kit to the bag. Most of the other things go in the “if I need it I’m close to the car or condo” category.

And snowshoe when I’m with people…and know we are taking breaks all I usually carry is my phone, and in my other pocket a key card for the room, credit card, and photo ID… and my Pass is always Zip-tied to my pants. 

 

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