Review: DB Fjäll Backpack

The all-round ski-touring pack for the advance skier or snowboarder

Feature type Review

Read time 6 mins

Published Jan 06, 2023

Author Aaron Rolph

Aaron Rolph Chamonix-based mountain athlete and photographer, Aaron’s on a mission to showcase the best of homegrown adventures through the British Adventure Collective. Aaron spends his winters skiing big mountains in the Alps and summers mountain biking, running or paddling. He dreams big with regular endurance challenges and his camera usually comes along for the ride.

Our Verdict

A robust and well thought-out bag packed with features for a ski-mountaineer looking for stylish, modern backpack.

RRP £269
Fabric GRS certified CORDURA® Eco Fabric
Weight 1.78kg
Features Axe carry, side strap for ski carry, alluminium frame, shovel and probe compartment

Pros

  • Well designed
  • Made from robust materials 
  • Internal frame retains structural integrity

Cons

  • Top roll clip is plastic while all others are metal
  • Priced at the top end
  • Not the lightest option

© Aaron Rolph

What I’m Looking For

When heading deep into the backcountry, either freeriding or ski-mountaineering I’m after a backpack that’s big enough to fit everything I could need for a long day out but still retain a low profile design.

I’m after a backpack to be strong enough to carry weight for all the essentials – a rope, helmet, camera, crampons, axe, shovel, probe and much more. The opportunities for losing time faffing in ski-mountaineering really are endless so ease of access and a well organised pack is essential. 

© Philip Larkin

First Impressions

This pack appears to seamlessly combine freeride style with ski-mountaineering functionality. It’s well made, stylishly designed and is absolutely packed full of features.

Picking it up, you can tell it’s built to last with metal buckles and reinforced straps. And it retains its intended structure too. While many packs need a minimum packing capacity for it to hold any shape, the Fjäll retains its structure whether it’s full or fairly empty.

The only drawback for all this? Perhaps it’s not the lightest.

The opportunities for losing time faffing in ski-mountaineering really are endless so ease of access and a well organised pack is essential

© MM PhotoVisuals

The Test

I’ve now skiied five times with the bag including lift-access freeride as well as big ski-mountaineering missions with over 1500m ascent.

I usually carry my camera and a couple of lenses plus the additional ski equipment which usually makes for a seriously heavy pack. I wanted to see how comfortable the Fjäll would prove on long ski tours where you’re skinning uphill or carrying your skis as well as skiing downhill hard. 

Who Is this Pack For?

The backpack is suitable for anyone looking for a sturdy ski pack with plenty of space.

The 34 litre capacity makes for the perfect day+ pack. Anyone looking to ski-tour big summits, freeride touring or even overnight hut tours, this could be the pack for you. 

What Stands Out

SPACE

Most day packs I’ve used in the past run out of space pretty quickly, this bag swallows up a lot of gear surprisingly well.

Roll-Top

With a roll-top closure, it means the capacity can be really flexible which helps keep the pack feeling stable while maintaining its structure.

Compartments

The separate compartment with quick access for your shovel and probe keeps things out the way and easy to grab in an avalanche scenario. And rear access ensures you can easily find anything you need, a great feature for photographers.

The rope compartment in the bottom of the backpack also works well for your helmet if you want to keep it out of the way.

A sturdy ski pack with plenty of space

© Aaron Rolph

© Aaron Rolph

VALUE FOR MONEY

With a RRP of £269 it’s certainly not the cheapest pack on the market but I really do think the durability and functionality of this bag offer good value. 

It should last years, and I do think a good backpack is something that’s well worth spending money on especially as this, like all Db products comes with a lifetime warranty.

BASE BOTTOM LINE

Having put this bag through its paces in a range of environments I would absolutely recommend it for those looking to carry a lot of kit into the backcountry. It performed excellently on both light kit days and also when packed fuller.

For the more adventurous ski tourer, you’ll inevitably have to walk with your skis on the pack plus all the additional safety equipment, food, water, spare layers in the bag, means the combined weight can add up to a lot. So with that in mind, you need a backpack that’s going to stand up to the test. I have every confidence that the Db Fjäll pack will perform brilliantly.

The pack is designed in collaboration with Chamonix-based freeskier and mountain guide Sam Favret and you really can tell it’s been designed by someone so experienced. The features are well thought out and it is very effortless to use in complex or serious terrain.

I liked the length of the backpack which as a 188cm male, worked well for me. That said, it might prove a bit long for those with shorter backs and I imagine it could easily feel quite large and bulky. I’d love to see Db make a second smaller version for shorter fast and light day missions, something closer to 25l with a slimmer profile.

Anyone looking for a serious ski mountaineering pack that’s built to lost, look no further.

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