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Ortovox - Free Rider 16L Backpack

Ortovox Free Rider 16L Backpack

55% Off
$81.00 - $99.00 Original price:$180.00
Changing the size selection, or changing the selected color after selecting a size, may change the associated price

Item #ORT00C0



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Tech Specs

420D Ballshadow nylon, 420D Oxford nylon
16L (976cu in)
SPS Flex back protector
Waist Belt:
Hydration Compatible:
front panel
Ski Carry:
Snowboard Carry:
Helmet Carry:
Ice Axe Carry:
12.6 x 22 x 4.3in
Claimed Weight:
2lb 9oz
Recommended Use:
skiing, snowboarding
Manufacturer Warranty:
5 years

Free Rider 16L Backpack

For those who want a little more protection from the unknown when venturing into the side or backcountry, check out the Ortovox Free Rider 16 Pack. This durable pack not only securely stashes your avy gear, but its back doubles as a back protector for your spine.

The impressive back-protector is built from a Visco elastic foam that not only returns to its original shape after impact but is rated to handle multiple impacts so that you can set yourself up for success all season along.

From a backpack standpoint the Free Rider is compact but features many important features to help you enjoy a day on hill. Ski and snowboard holders make your boot pack more comfortable while the hydration compatibility and spots for poles and ice axes help keep you prepared for anything.

  • Compact bag packed full of features for a day in the backcountry
  • Durable outer holds up to snags on trees and run ins with rocks
  • Built in back protector cushions your back against big slams
  • Safety compartment keeps your avalanche equipment readily available
  • Multiple pockets, hydration compatible sleeve keep you organized
  • Big hip belt keeps your pack in place so you can focus on the shred
  • Back access makes grabbing snack and gear quick and easy

Kaput after 3 days

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I needed to replace my tried and true Black Diamond Bandit. It had loyally carried my skis up Aspen Highland Bowl for a number of seasons before giving out to normal wear and tear. I thought I'd go Aspen-style fancy pants with Ortovox. Sigh.

The good:
- The SBS system is legit. I can pack a full-bodied DSLR into the pack. Back protection is great. I don't have to worry about my pack's contents (or rock) injuring my back during a fall.
- 16 liters is all I needed for resort skiing and hiking. Enough space to stash a layer or two for a 30 minute hike + camera + H20 + goggles/glasses + snacks. Buy whatever size meets your needs. I'd go larger for day trips into slack/backcountry.
- The diagonal ski mount works well, can stash and zip the straps when not carrying skis. Not Ortovox's fault, but I'd prefer to mount skis oriented / instead of \, given my local terrain/trees/rock outcrops.

The bad:
- Garg. I shattered the chest buckle/clip on day 3. It's a fiddly little clip piece that slides into the sternum lock and I snapped it to bits. The clip that slides into the larger housing is delicate, brittle and tiny...not great for cold weather and gloved hands. I'm upset I just spent $180 on a pack with a crap chest lock. Stupid.
- The sizing seems off. I'm 5'10 and the pack seems to fit reasonably well without skis. Once I attach my skis onto the pack, the chest harness lifts unusually high onto my torso...the aforementioned sternum clip rises to just below my collar bone, even when moved to its lowest point on the straps. I don't know maybe I bought the wrong size, but I'm not a big dude and middle of Ortovox's sizing lineup seemed right for me. Odd fit with skis.
- The waist strap is excessive. I prefer a simpler piece of webbing with a buckle vs. the thick/wide velcro, wrap-around thingy Ortovox used. It's a 16 liter pack...I don't need to hold tons of weight on my hips. Over time the velcro will wear out. Sometimes the velcro gets snagged where it shouldn't, requiring me to take off the pack to untangle. Velcro sticks where it shouldn't, whereas webbing would just fall to the left and right of each hip. The hip pocket is handy and will hold a Clif-bar or two.
Blah. I'd like my money back.

Hey there! Sorry that pack didn't work out for you. I've emailed you so I can help you swap that out for something better and get this all figured out for you!