This pack has the space to hold a full day’s worth of gear and the toughness to be scraped across rocks and ice without showing wear and tear. It’s easily accessible, even with skis loaded, and the storage is generous and intelligently thought through.
Aluminum frame adds stability
A-Frame and diagonal ski carry possible, plus snowboard carry
Zippered back gives access to the main compartment
Not airbag compatible
One size only
Limited color options
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Rab Khroma 30L Ski Pack: first impressions
The Rab Khroma 30L Ski Pack is made from fabric that incorporates Spectra, which is 15 times stronger than steel by relative weight. Its composition helps make this ski pack seriously abrasion-resistant, but it’s also light. Inside, an aluminum frame helps support the load, which is really noticeable when you take the Khroma out for an all-day adventure. But does all that make it one of the best ski backpacks around?
• List price: $220 (US) / £160 (UK)
• Fabric: X-SHIELD with Spectra
• Sizes: One size only
• Volume: 30L / 1,830 cu in
• Weight: 1.22kg / 2lb 11oz
• Airbag compatible: No
• Colors: Pewter
Rab treats the Khroma’s Cordura nylon Spectra Ripstop fabric with a water-resistant finish, and its toughness combined with weatherproofing certainly makes this backpack one of the best currently on the market.
Many lightweight packs restrict how you can carry skis. This pack gives both A-frame and diagonal ski carry options; alternatively, it can carry a snowboard. A rear entry zipper provides access to the main storage compartment, and the extra storage is generous.
Rab Khroma 30L Ski Pack: on the slopes
One of the things I really liked about this pack on test is that, even with my skis loaded on the back, I could still get into the main compartment. No need to freeze just because your puffy’s in the bowls of the pack and you can’t be bothered to take the skis off.
Oversized hip pockets held snacks, lightweight gloves and my hat, as well as letting me keep an avalanche beacon close at hand. And the detachable helmet holder allowed me to pare down for the ascents; because I could remove it, I never worried about it getting snagged on a tree on the way down. And I greatly appreciated ski glove-friendly zipper pulls.
Whether I was strapping this pack on a snowmobile, dropping it in a heli basket, or wearing it as I set out from the base to explore, I knew it could stand up to the rigors of the day, and that it would keep my gear dry too. The back panel shed snow better than any ski pack I’ve used.
On the uphill, a pack needs to do a lot of things, but its job on the downhill is even harder. The best packs fit and carry so you forget they’re there. Ripping down the mountain with this pack stuffed to max capacity, it was stable and balanced, so I could have fun and focus on the skiing not what I was carrying.
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.