Carrying a shovel while you are out riding is a good idea. It can be useful if you get stuck and be a valuable life-saving device in an avalanche or other emergency.
I’ve used many different backpacks over the years, and these days I like to use an option with a shovel compartment when I’m out on the trail so I can keep it within arm’s reach whether I’m on or off my sled.
This backpack also has enough storage to stow some extra gear and be used in various other winter activities.
In this article, I’ll include a few other options I’ve used recently here as well, in case you want a different size of the pack or specific features.
Grab your bag, and let’s get out on the trails!
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Top Choices for Best Snowmobile Backpack with Shovel
I almost always wear a backpack when I’m on my snowmobile. I like to have one because it offers added safety and convenience if I ever get separated from my party or my sled. The options below are some of my favorites packs I’ve used over the years.
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Hydration compatible, attachment straps, seven pockets, avalanche equipment pocket, insulated Thermo Cell shoulder straps
- Capacity: 25L
- Dedicated shovel compartment: Yes
- Fit: Attachment straps, mid-size fit
The best overall snowmobile backpack with shovel compatibility is the USWE Pow 25L. I love this pack and think it is a perfect size and fit when I’m out riding.
It has a 25L capacity, which is enough to bring along extra gear, food, and safety equipment while also being compatible with up to a 3-liter hydration bladder.
This pack is full of straps and pockets so you can quickly access and attach anything you want to bring along. The key here is the quick access avalanche equipment pocket. This is a well-designed pocket on the back that allows you to grab your shovel in seconds.
Insulated Thermo Cell shoulder straps increase the Pow pack’s comfort, even when you have it full of supplies. It’s versatile enough to be used in all sorts of winter activities and will carry skis or a snowboard easily.
This pack is made to fit torsos in the 18-22-inch range, so double-check that you fall in that range, or it might not fit properly.
- Best for: Slim Profile
- Key features: Torso adjustment, ergonomic waist strap, two easy-access pockets, removable tool pouch
- Capacity: 8L
- Dedicated shovel compartment: No, attaches on the side
- Fit: 2-point shoulder strap for a slim fit
If you want a slim profile backpack, the Ski-Doo OEM Elevation comes recommended.
It has an 8L capacity, which isn’t a lot but offers enough room to carry some water, a few extra pieces of gear, and your safety equipment.
A slim profile pack will give you a secure fit that won’t bounce around while you are on the trail. The ergonomic waist strap on the Elevation helps to secure things effectively. The pack’s limited size also means you can’t load it too heavily, resulting in additional comfort.
It also has a torso adjustment, so you can quickly customize your fit for precise weight distribution. Easy access pockets on the waist strap allow you to keep your phone or anything else within reach.
This pack doesn’t have a dedicated shovel compartment, but you can strap it on either side. This system allows for a slimmer profile but isn’t my favorite style of pack.
A removable tool pouch is another nice touch of this lightweight and comfortable option.
- Best for: The Backcountry
- Key features: Comfortable, minimal design, mesh padded back panel, goggle pocket, hydration compatible
- Capacity: 24L
- Dedicated shovel compartment: Yes
- Fit: Comfort
The Dakine Heli Pro is an excellent snowmobile backpack for the backcountry.
It has a simple design that gives you every essential function you will need while exploring remote locations. I like this backpack’s fit and feel and think it’s a great option to wear when riding for extended periods.
It has a dedicated shovel and snow tool pocket that will effectively keep these items in place but readily available when you need to use them.
The Heli Pro also has a quick-dry mesh padded back panel that adds additional comfort and provides an added layer of warmth.
It may be a little too skier/snowboarder-focused for some hardcore snowmobilers, but I think it’s a great option for anyone to use in the backcountry and beyond.
Best Snowmobile Backback with Shovel: What to Consider
Take these factors into consideration when buying a snowmobile backpack.
I always recommend that every snowmobiler educate themselves in proper backcountry safety. Avalanche safety is a huge concern whenever you are exploring remote areas, and having the knowledge to stay safe while you ride can save your life.
If you are going to ride anywhere far away from a town, always make sure to go with at least one other person and always let people know your planned route and when you intend on returning.
A shovel is a critical piece of safety equipment, and you should always bring one along with you.
Size is another important consideration in a snowmobiling backpack. This is a personal preference and related to how much gear you want to bring with you when you ride.
I like a backpack in the 20-25L range when I’m on my sled. This is enough room to fit a hydration pack, some food, and my shovel, and other important safety equipment. It’s roomy while not being too big.
If you want a slim fit, look for an option in the 10-15L range. You can always go bigger or smaller than this. It’s just what I recommended.
You always want a comfortable but secure fit when you are on your snowmobile. A loose-fitting backpack can bounce around when you are on the trail and cause balance or steering issues.
Ensure that you secure your backpack against your body and then tuck in any straps, so they don’t get caught in any part of your sled. Chest and waist straps are nice to have because these add comfort and a better fit.
I use the USWE Pow 25L Backpack when I’m out snowmobiling. This backpack is the perfect size to pack everything I like to bring on the trail and has a nice pocket that easily holds my shovel.
A shovel is an affordable piece of equipment that can attach to any of the backpacks here. Make sure you have a good one and bring it with you whenever you ride.About Chaz Wyland