Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15 ski backpack review: an excellent quick-and-light pack

The super-organized, fully-featured, fast-and-light Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15 ski backpack carries skis and snowboard

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15
(Image: © Black Diamond)

Advnture Verdict

Stable, relatively spacious and super-low profile, the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15 is perfect for quick missions, and can carry skis or a snowboard.

Pros

  • +

    Oversized insulated shoulder strap pocket

  • +

    Tuck-away helmet sling

  • +

    An inside clip keeps the shovel pocket closed and adds internal stability

  • +

    Helmet sling can be used with skis/snowboard loaded

Cons

  • -

    No hip pockets

  • -

    Diagonal carry only

  • -

    Webbing hip belt only

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Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15: first impressions

For early-morning tours, spring ski-mountaineering and in-bounds storm days, the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15 fast-and-light ski backpack helps you lap your favorite run, or tag a quick summit without weighing you down.

Specifications

• List price: $119.95 (US) / £100 (UK)
• Fabric: Recycled 840D polyester and 210D ripstop nylon
• Sizes: S/M, M/L
• Volume: 13L-15L
• Weight: 930g / 2lb 1oz
• Airbag compatible: No
• Colors: Storm blue / black / amber

The recycled-fabric pack punches above its weight when it comes to features. A front snow safety pocket stores an avalanche safety kit. The pocket clips shut to keep your shovel and probe contained and to keep them from getting tangled in other pack contents. 

One of the pack’s most unusual features is an oversized insulated shoulder pocket, which holds a hydration tube, soft flask, or radio. The pack carries a snowboard vertically and it carries skis diagonally. An adjustable loop at the bottom of the pack holds ski tails–it extends to accommodate most ski widths. It pairs with a tip-wrapping strap that tucks into a dedicated pocket on the right shoulder when it’s not in use. A sewn-in, tuck-away helmet sling can be used high on the pack, with skis or a board loaded, or low when skinning.

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15: on the slopes

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15

The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15 carries a snowboard vertically and it carries skis diagonally (Image credit: Black Diamond)

I’ve worn a version of this pack most winters for the past 10 years. It’s stable, it’s relatively spacious and it’s super-low profile. While I usually prefer a pack with a full waist belt (skis are heavy! this one has a stiffened back panel that was able to support my skis booting up a couloir, and crossing an icy section of trail. 

As a US east coast skier, I rarely need to worry about avalanches. This pack is the one I loved for quick missions before work, shuffles around the woods, rugged touring on waxless Nordic skis, and lift serve days when I wanted an extra layer, or food and water. 

The fuzzy goggles pocket kept my sunglasses and ski goggles from scratches. I also used the goggle pocket to hold snacks I didn’t want to have to rummage around for. If you’re looking for a quick and light pack with smart features, Black Diamond’s Dawn Patrol 15 is an excellent choice.

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 15

An inside clip keeps the shovel pocket closed and adds internal stability (Image credit: Black Diamond)

Vermont-based writer, photographer and adventurer, Berne reports on hiking, biking, skiing, overlanding, travel, climbing and kayaking for category-leading publications in the U.S., Europe and beyond. In the field, she’s been asked to deliver a herd of llamas to a Bolivian mountaintop corral, had first fat-biking descents in Alaska, helped establish East Greenland’s first sport climbing and biked the length of Jordan. She’s worked to help brands clean up their materials and manufacturing, and has had guns pulled on her in at least three continents.