I’m often asked about the best way to attach snowshoes to a backpack.
There are basically two ways: You can attach them to the sides of your pack (top photo) or hang them off the back, either stuffed in a shovel pocket, as shown below or just attached using shock cord to the back of your pack.
Personally, I think its best to way to carry snowshoes is to attach them to the sides of your pack so that they’re positioned just over your hips. This gives you much better control over the weight and keeps it close to the plane of your core muscles, which are surprisingly strong.
Attaching them to the sides of your pack requires that you have compression straps or shock cord loops running along the front edge and back edge of the sides of your pack, so you can slip your snowshoes under them. Unfortunately a lot of the packs produced by Osprey, Gregory, or Deuter, don’t provide these attachment points, unless you buy one of their heavier high end packs.
The reason I don’t recommend hanging snowshoes off the back of your pack is that they will pull you off balance and will feel a lot heavier. However you can get away with using a shovel pocket on packs that have them, if the main compartment of your pack is not full. I did this for years with the predecessor of the REI Flash 50. It wasn’t elegant, but it worked.
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