Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30L – Easy To Use Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Backpack

Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30L Review helmet carry system

Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30L – Easy To Use Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Backpack

The Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30l is an easy to use backcountry ski and splitboard backpack.  Light in weight, and streamlined for use in the mountains.  This is a good day pack for tours and enjoying the mountains.

Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30L overview

The SnowDrifter is a new line for Patagonia for the 2019/2020 season.  The Engearment Team saw it at the Outdoor Retailer Summer show and both I, and Eliza Lockhardt were keen on getting the SnowDrifter kit tested.  We did and the detailed reviews are here! SnowDrifter Jacket, Men’s and Women’s review and SnowDrifter Bibs, Men’s and Women’s Review.

Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30L Review helmet carry system

Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30L helmet carry system

Well rounded for backcountry ski and splitboarding

The SnowDrifter kit is not the highest-end offering from Patagonia, and we are cool with that!  It is nice that they put a lot of thought into good gear for backcountry users.  With a focus on durable materials, ease of use and fair price point.  That all sounds good!

This backpack is good for day use for ski, snowboard and splitboard missions.  The materials are durable – 420 D body and 200D inner.  Both of which are made of recycled nylon and polyester.  That right there is a big deal to us.  Both materials are treated with a DWR as well.

The layout of the SnowDrifter pack is simple and easy to use.  There is a dedicated avalanche and snow safety tools pocket. I was able to fit my Ortovox Pro ALu III shovel and Carbon 280 + Pro probe and Black Diamond Snow Saw Pro  with ease.

Then you have a normal main compartment with a hydration tube port at the top. I do like the sizeable top zippered pocket.  It was great for maps, snacks and holding comms. The hip belt is comfortable and has 2 sizeable zippered pockets. Great for tools, knife and sunscreen.



The main compartment is accessible via the top and also using the U – shaped zipper on the back.  This is handy if you have a board strapped to the front of the backpack or skis on the side.  I dig this feature on backpacks.

You can carry skis and snowboards in the normal ways you would assume.  The pack does a pretty good job securing them in place. The backpack does a good job carrying a light to medium load as well.  Very good for day trips.

The only two gripes I have with the pack, and they are minor and probably won’t affect many of you.

  1. The frame is not as robust as some other backcountry backpacks I use.  This has limited my use of the SnowDrifter to day trips.  Which, in all fairness, is what this pack is aimed at.  I am not a “normal” splitboarder or skier and tend to overprepare, overpack and use 40-45L packs with robust frames.  So, take that with a grain of salt!
  2. The backpack is not as adjustable as some other packs that I use.  This L/XL pack fits my 6’1″ 210lb male frame fine.  I did not need to adjust much to make it work well.  However, I do like the ability to adjust backpacks to best fit the user.  I am being nitpicky here, I know!  So, don’t make this a major ding – unless you are like me and want the backpack to fit you perfectly. There is also an S/M option.


Review of Patagonia SnowDrifter Pack 30L

In summary, the SnowDrifter packs are well built, using recycled materials, and are easy to use.  The features are well thought out.  The looks are even very good too!  If that is important to you :). I tell you what, I did feel like a Patagonia model wearing the entire SnowDrifter kit on test days.  LOL.

The price is fair for what you are getting ($169) and the durability and reliability of Patagonia always deliver.  If you are a day tour skier or splitboarder, this backpack should be on your radar.  If you are a guide, overpack like me, or do some more demanding missions, there are other packs to suit those needs.




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