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Ortovox Free Rider 16 at the Zugspitze

We tested the Free Rider 18 backpack by Ortovox. This backpack comes with a removable back protector and the capacity to hold 18 litres. This is suitable for long days on the slope, allowing you to attach your snowboard, helmet and more ! The Free Rider 18 is manufactured to the highest level of quality and designed to be comfortable for wearing the whole day.

Skiers and snowboarders alike know how important a good backpack is. Having the capacity to bring water, supplies or extra layers is essentials for skiers who want to go all day. We just tested a Freerider 16 backpack from Ortovox ( We brought the backpack up to the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitze ( Located about an hour from Munich and the town of Garmisch-Partenkicken sits at it’s base. The Zugspitze has a long association with snow sports, it was the host of the 1936 Winter Olympics. The Zugspitze some fantastic views of the Austrian / Germans alps and it’s peak stands at 2,962m tall.

But enough about the testing location, what about the backpack ?


The best feature – safety

The Freerider 16 key feature is the removal back protector. It comes with an extra wide lower strap to secure the backpack snugly around your back. The strap also has secondary catch to make sure that it’s always in place. Back protectors have become more and more popular in the last few years, especially for snowboarders. Having the protector inside the backpack means that you’ll never forget to bring it.

Should you just want to wear the back protector without the bag, you can use the supplied straps to just do that. The Freerider 16 comes with straps, ties and nets to configure the bag the way you want to use it.

Freerider 16 – Flexibility

This is one of the most flexible snowboard backpacks we’ve tested. There are straps, pockets, extra compartments and an facility to thread your water pack line into a insulated pouch on the shoulder pack. We really liked the extra pocket on the strap for easy access to your phone, camera or navigational device. There are also loops for ice axes or skiing poles, should you want to attach them to your bag. All together the bag has 18 litres of storage, with 4 separate compartments and zip lined pockets.
You can attach a snowboard / skis or helmet to the back of the backpack, which is useful for bringing your gear with you as you hike up the mountains. These straps are adjustable to insure that your snowboard won’t fly off down the mountain.
The bag is available in 2 colours, a blue & black one, the one we tested, and ‘happy green’.

Buy Ortovox Backpacks

Ortovox backpacks are designed and made in Taufkirchen near Munich, Germany. This review item was provided by online ski shop Blackleaf who have a large selection of Ortovox Rucksacks & clothing. The Free Rider 16 is manufactured to the highest level of quality and designed to be comfortable for wearing the whole day. We would definitely recommend this product to our readers!