9 Best Ice Climbing Backpacks of 2023

Ice climbing is an extreme activity that requires the right gear to protect the climber’s safety. A backpack is one of the most important items of gear for ice climbing. A decent ice climbing backpack should be strong, light, and able to hold all required equipment. The best ice climbing backpack for your requirements can be difficult to choose from with so many options available.

We will examine some of the top ice climbing backpacks on the market in this blog article and offer insights into what makes them excellent options for ice climbers. To improve your climbing experience, whether you are an experienced ice climber or a beginner, keep reading to learn about the finest ice climbing backpack.

What is the Best Ice Climbing Backpack?

Here are my top picks of the best ice climbing backpacks you can carry to your next adventure.

1. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ice Climbing Backpack ($424.95)

  • Material: Dyneema
  • Volume: 70L

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ice Climbing Backpack stands out as a tough companion built to meet the demands of ice climbers and mountaineers. This backpack, made of the renowned Dyneema material, emanates robustness and strength, representing a sense of enduring performance.

With a big volume of 70L, this backpack has plenty of room for all the essential gear needed for intensive ice-climbing adventures. The incorporation of the Dyneema Hardline suspension system ensures a balance of comfort and load distribution, letting you carry your gear comfortably even on extended treks. The backpack has an internal frame sheet and replaceable metal stays to improve its load-bearing capacities.

Ruggedness has not come at the expense of comfort. Padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, and a back panel work together to create an ergonomic design that makes those long walks to your selected summit point more tolerable.

Padding is strategically placed to reduce friction areas and increase comfort, enabling you to focus on the frosty challenge at hand.

The roll-top closing system not only enables secure access to your goods but also provides weather-resistant protection, which is essential when dealing with unpredictable alpine circumstances.

Furthermore, the external crampon and ice axe connection system allows you to quickly store and access your gear, emphasizing the backpack’s devotion to functionality.

The introduction of a zippered interior pocket simplifies organization by separating minor essentials from the main area. Meanwhile, the compression mechanism aids in load stabilization, keeping it from shifting during your ascent.

2. Ortovox Peak Ice Climbing Backpack ($132 – $192)

  • Material: 420D Nylon Manstar, PU coating
  • Volume: 45L

The Ortovox Peak Ice Climbing Backpack appears as a sturdy companion for those traveling into the icy vertical environment. This pack, made of 420D Nylon Manstar with a dependable PU coating, doesn’t just talk about durability; it lives it.

With a volume of 45 liters, it’s clear that this backpack is intended for experienced adventurers who need to carry a big weight of climbing gear. The utilitarian design is ideal for ice climbing adventures, with a variety of attachments to meet a variety of purposes.

The Ortovox Peak has specialized anchoring places for skis, snowboards, ice axes, helmets, and ropes, allowing you to transport your gear without compromise.

However, the importance of comfort is not overlooked. The Swisswool Full Contact back system steals the show, delivering a velvety, moisture-wicking feel.

This feature keeps your back comfy and free of sweat-induced discomfort as you tackle challenging terrains and ice ascents. It’s a design that combines functionality with wearer delight.

In terms of functionality, the inside arrangement is a well-executed symphony of organization. Internal pockets created expressly for hydration reservoirs and avalanche gear demonstrate the brand’s dedication to safety and functionality.

This forethought represents the brand’s profound awareness of its core audience’s needs, making this pack more than just a container for your possessions; it’s a climbing buddy.

3. Osprey Packs Mutant Ice Climbing Backpack ($199.95)

  • Material: 210D Nylon, 420D Nylon
  • Volume: 36L, 38L

The Osprey Packs Mutant Ice Climbing Backpack is a tough companion for alpinists looking for a blend of versatility and efficiency. This bag is made of tough 210D Nylon and reinforced with 420D Nylon to withstand the rigors of ice climbing and alpine activities.

The Mutant Ice Climbing Backpack is available in 36L and 38L sizes to accommodate your precise load without adding bulk. Its streamlined form is ideal for individuals who prefer to move fast through alpine terrain.

This pack’s frame ski carry system is one of its most notable features. This ingenious design keeps your skis securely in place while you climb ridges or navigate difficult terrain.

The pack’s three-point haul system offers adaptability by allowing it to be tethered during multi-pitch climbs, maintaining stability as you ascend.

The Mutant Backpack has hip belts and ice axe gear loops, recognizing the significance of organization in ice climbing. These smart improvements give additional storage for equipment such as ice axes, ensuring that important instruments remain easily accessible.

In addition, the helmet carry feature is a convenient solution for hikers who want to stow their helmets when returning to their vehicle. This eliminates the need to carry your helmet separately, making your descent down the mountain more efficient.

4. Mountain Hardware Scrambler Ice Climbing Backpack ($129.49)

  • Material: 57% Nylon, 43% Polyester
  • Volume: 35L

The Mountain Hardware Scrambler Ice Climbing Backpack is a dependable companion for those venturing out on challenging Ice climbing expeditions. Its robust appearance, made of 57% Nylon and 43% Polyester, quickly draws your notice. This backpack has a large 35L capacity, giving you plenty of room to organize and transfer your climbing supplies without weighing you down.

This lightweight pack was created with the climber’s needs in mind. It is primarily built for the rigors of ice climbing. Its waterproof design indicates a commitment to protecting your stuff from the unpredictable vagaries of the wild outdoors.

This pack stays solid against the weather, allowing you to focus on the climb ahead, whether you’re traversing snow-covered territory or battling frigid winds.

The clever placement of loops and attachments is one of the Scrambler Ice Climbing Backpack’s distinguishing characteristics. These strategic add-ons allow you to carry additional gear, such as ice axes or trekking poles while keeping your hands free and your essentials close to hand.

Hydration issues are addressed with two conveniently positioned side pockets designed to accommodate extra water bottles, allowing you to quench your thirst without interfering with your flow.

A detachable sternum strap is a minor element that demonstrates the pack’s concern for user comfort and safety. This strap not only holds the pack in place, but it also has a handy whistle, an unexpectedly useful item that can make a world of difference in the wilderness.

Another notable feature of the design is the use of compression straps, which allow you to streamline and compact your weight for maximum efficiency throughout the ascent.

The Scrambler’s functionality extends to its haul handle, which is positioned to allow a quick grip when changing routes. This simple yet effective move improves your mobility, allowing you to concentrate on the obstacles ahead rather than battling with your gear.

5. EXTREMEMIST Ice Climbing Backpack ($259)


A specialized bag created for ice climbers who want to remain hydrated and cool during their climbs is the EXTREMEMIST Ice Climbing bag. A 2-liter insulated water reservoir with a built-in misting feature that can be operated with an 8-speed cordless remote is a feature of the backpack.

This backpack’s potent pump, which atomizes mist up to 170 psi and produces a fine mist that is ideal for keeping cool during strenuous hikes, is one of its special features. Ice climbers who are subjected to extreme temperatures and need to control their body temperature to prevent heat exhaustion will find the misting functionality to be particularly helpful.

A second 0.20mm mist nozzle that adds another degree of mist density customization is included with the backpack. Users can quickly change the mist intensity using the remote control, keeping themselves cool and cozy the entire ascent.

The Personal Mister, which is made for simple removal and reinstallation, is another fantastic feature of this bag. Because of this, it can be used outside of the pack for a variety of cooling tasks, like during pauses or while belaying. Users can precisely guide the mist with the Personal Mister’s adjustable features.

The EXTREMEMIST Ice Climbing Backpack is intended to be sturdy and practical in addition to having a misting feature. It has numerous pockets and compartments for storing climbing gear and other necessities, and it is constructed from durable materials that can endure the wear and tear of ice climbing. The backpack also features a padded back panel and adjustable straps for additional comfort during arduous climbs.

6. Dakine Ice Climbing Backpack ($239.95)


A superb rucksack made especially for ice climbers is the Dakine Ice Climbing rucksack. It is designed with a wide range of features that are intended to give climbers the functionality, comfort, and convenience they require throughout their journey.

100% recycled nylon is used to make the backpack, particularly 420D HD and 630D HD high-density nylon ripstop with a water-repellent finish. The backpack is sustainable and friendly to the earth thanks to recycled materials.

The bag can be used to transport skis and split boards diagonally and in an A-frame, snowboards vertically, and it is compatible with DK Impact Spine Protectors. These characteristics enable the backpack to hold the various gear and equipment configurations needed for ice climbing. Additionally, it has a snow tool/shovel pocket, carry loops for split board poles and ice axes, side pockets, hip belt pockets, a snow-shedding back panel, and a padded hip belt. Additional safety features include a rescue whistle attached to the sternum strap and a waist belt with a reverse draw.

For additional convenience, the backpack also features a deployable helmet carry, a big volume zippered top pocket, and a back panel zippered main access. Climbers can access important gear and remain hydrated at all times thanks to the large fleece-lined goggle pocket, two-way radio handset, and insulated hydration compatibility.

7. USWE Ice Climbing Backpack ($209.95)


The USWE Ice Climbing Backpack is a high-end backpack intended for ice climbers who require a high level of functionality, comfort, and durability. This backpack has a storage capacity of 25 liters, which is adequate for carrying all of the necessary gear and safety equipment for a successful climb.

The USWE Ice Climbing Backpack’s HYDRATION COMPATIBLE design is one of its most notable characteristics. The rucksack can hold up to 3.0 liters (100 oz) of a hydration bladder. This feature guarantees that climbers remain hydrated throughout their ascent, even in harsh winter conditions. The INSULATED Thermo Cell SHOULDER STRAPS also encases the heat generated by physical exercise, preventing the drink tube from freezing.

The backpack also includes a Quick Access Avalanche Equipment pocket for keeping an ice axe and shovel. The pocket is readily accessible, allowing climbers to quickly retrieve their avalanche equipment in the event of an emergency. When not in use, the Helmet transport System can be used to transport a helmet.

The Ski Goggle pocket is another standout element of the USWE Ice Climbing Backpack. This pocket contains a microfiber cleaner tissue to keep your spectacles clear and free of scratches. The NDM 4-point harness system on the backpack offers a 100% BOUNCE-FREE individual fit, allowing climbers to tighten the pack without compromising their breathing capacity or freedom of movement.

Finally, the backpack has a super-ventilated back panel and waist support belt to keep the bottom part of the pack secure during the climb. Overall, the USWE Ice Climbing Backpack is an excellent option for ice climbers looking for a backpack with a high level of functionality, comfort, and durability.

8. Black Diamond Ice Climbing Backpack ($199.95 – $209.95)


The Black Diamond Ice Climbing Backpack is an excellent option for ice climbers seeking a high-performance, versatile backpack capable of withstanding the rigors of ice climbing. This backpack has several characteristics that set it apart from other backpacks on the market.

One of the backpack’s standout characteristics is its active, form-fitting suspension with SwingArm shoulder straps. These shoulder straps are made to move with your body and provide a safe, comfortable fit. The backpack also has a stretch-woven hip-belt pocket for small items like energy bars, sunscreen, or a compact camera.

The backpack has a one-of-a-kind CINCH closure mechanism that lets you open and shut the main compartment with a single pull. This feature comes in handy when you need to rapidly reach your gear or close the backpack to keep it safe from the elements.

The Black Diamond Ice Climbing Backpack also has a detachable ultralight SilNylon lid pocket that can be used independently. This is a great feature for climbers who want to keep their essential items, such as a map, GPS device, or phone, near at hand.

The backpack includes an integrated tools pocket with drain holes, perfect for keeping your avalanche safety equipment. This pocket is intended to keep your shovel and probe safe and accessible, and the drain holes allow any moisture in the pocket to drain away.

The Black Diamond Ice Climbing Backpack also has many features that make it easier to transport your tools. The rucksack has a tuck-away diagonal ski carry, an A-frame carry, and a helmet flap. These features enable you to securely transport your skis or helmet without interfering with your climbing gear.

Ice-tool PickPockets are included in the backpack to securely store your ice tools. The backpack also has a tuck-away rope strap for carrying your rope and a quick-deploy piolet device that works with piolets, technical tools, and mixed tools.

9. Ortovox Ice Climbing Backpack ($110)


The Ortovox Ice Climbing Backpack is a great option for climbers and mountaineers seeking a high-quality, long-lasting, and water-resistant backpack for their outdoor adventures. This backpack is made with high-quality materials and features to ensure optimal comfort and functionality.

The backpack is made of tough, water-resistant materials that can endure the rigors of ice climbing and mountaineering. The materials used to make this backpack guarantee that it will last for years, even if used frequently in extreme weather conditions.

The backpack has an ergonomically designed O-Flex-2 back system with S-shaped stabilizers for a perfect fit. This system distributes weight equally between the hips and shoulders over long periods. The O-Flex-2 back system is adjustable, allowing you to tailor the fit to your body shape.

The integrated hip fins wrap seamlessly around the body, making the Haute Route series an excellent option for carrying all of the gear needed for long days. The backpack is intended to be as comfortable as possible, even when carrying heavy loads for extended periods.

The front and back main compartments of the backpack enable you to easily access your gear in the main compartment. The front compartment is ideal for storing small items, while the rear compartment is ideal for transporting bigger items such as clothing, ropes, and climbing gear.

The backpack also has a compression strap that aids in reducing the size of the backpack when not completely loaded. The ice/axe hiking pole loops, rope attachment, and gear loops make it easy to attach your climbing equipment and access it when you need it.

The backpack is compatible with hydration systems, so you can remain hydrated while climbing. It also includes a key holder, an emergency card, and a chest strap with a signal whistle, all of which are essential safety features for any outdoor adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What features should I look for in an Ice climbing backpack?

Prioritize features such as durability, weather resistance, specialized gear loops for ice tools, adjustable straps for a secure fit, a comfortable suspension system, hydration compatibility, and accessible pockets for critical goods when purchasing an ice climbing backpack.

Can I use a regular hiking backpack for ice climbing?

While a typical hiking backpack can be used for ice climbing, it is advised that you invest in a dedicated ice climbing backpack. These backpacks include features that cater to the specific needs of ice climbers, such as gear loops, stronger fabrics, and ice tool attachment points.

How do I properly pack my ice climbing backpack?

Pack your ice climbing backpack wisely, with heavy goods closer to your back for improved balance and stability. Keep regularly used items in pockets that are easily accessible. To avoid damage, keep your rope and other sensitive things in separate compartments.

Are there backpacks specifically designed for carrying ropes while ice climbing?

Yes, Ice climbing backpacks with specific compartments or attachment points for carrying ropes are available. These compartments organize your rope and keep it from tangling, making it easier to reach and manage during climbs.

Can I use a regular waterproof backpack for ice climbing?

While a typical waterproof backpack can give some protection, it is preferable to use a backpack developed expressly for ice climbing. These backpacks have unique features that accommodate ice tools, strengthened fabrics for abrasion resistance, and are ideal for ice and mixed terrain challenges.

How do I choose the right size for an Ice climbing backpack?

The appropriate size of an ice climbing backpack is determined by the amount of gear carried and your body size. For a custom fit, look for backpacks with adjustable shoulder straps and hip belts. It is critical that the backpack fits properly without restricting your movement.

Are there backpacks suitable for both ice climbing and ski mountaineering?

Yes, some backpacks are made to be versatile enough to be used for both ice climbing and ski mountaineering. These backpacks are commonly equipped with ski or snowboard connection hooks as well as gear loops for ice tools, making them useful for a variety of winter activities.

What’s the difference between top-loading and panel-loading Ice climbing backpacks?

Top-loading backpacks have a single opening at the top to access the main compartment, which provides convenience and durability. Panel-loading backpacks have a zippered front panel for faster access to your gear, making them ideal for swiftly grabbing items without having to unpack everything.

How important is ventilation in an ice climbing backpack?

Ventilation is critical in an Ice climbing backpack, especially on long climbs. Look for backpacks with mesh back panels and breathable materials to reduce perspiration buildup and keep you cool in hot weather.

Are there women-specific ice climbing backpacks available?

Yes, certain companies make Ice climbing backpacks exclusively for ladies. These backpacks offer ergonomic forms and customizable features to accommodate the proportions of the female body, providing a more comfortable and secure fit.

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