Retail Buyers Guide: Technical Snow Backpacks 2024/25 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand: Black Diamond
Interviewee: Loïc Tonnot, Ski & Mountain Product Manager Europe
1. What are the main customers’ demands when buying a technical snow pack?
When it comes to buying a technical snow pack, customers’ demands can be influenced by their specific needs and the usage, depending on the activity. If you want so you can identify two types of customers, those who want to be fast and focus on short but technical lines and those who are looking for big mountain backcountry (multi-)day trips and lines that require a technical ascent and descent. The first type of customer needs a lightweight and technical pack whereas the second type of customer is looking for larger volume packs that can be easily compressed when used for shorter tours. Besides of these particular needs, the demands for a quick access snow safety pocket, one to stash skins or ski crampons as well as (removable)ski and snowboard carry system and hydration sleeve are common to every customer who is looking for a technical snow backpack.
2. What were your best sellers in 2023/24 and why?
The Dawn Patrol 25 was definitely our bestselling snow backpack in 2023/24. It is our most versatile ski pack for ski touring and freeriding featuring all the essentials for the backcountry. Customers trust the Dawn Patrol 25 for its ability to meet their backcountry needs, making it the top choice for a versatile and reliable snow backpack.
3. In which type of pack do you expect your biggest growth?
We are offering activity specific packs that are purpose-built and fine-tuned for anyadventure whether it is skiing, mountaineering/climbing, hiking, running or a lifestyle mission. In the upcoming 2024/25 season, we expect our redesigned Cirque Pack Series to bring the most significant growth. The Cirque Packs appeal to customers seeking versatile, technical mountaineering packs, showcasing our commitment to innovation, and meeting the demands of outdoor enthusiasts.
4. What are the technical highlights of your 2024/25 collection?
The technical highlights of our 2024/25 collection revolve around the redesigned Cirque Pack Line that will help us to further position Black Diamond at the intersection of Ski Mountaineering and Free-touring. The 25l, 35l, and 50l Cirque packs are engineered to excel in all-mountain adventures, boasting features purpose-built for technical ski mountaineering. Notably, the new 25l pack strikes a balance between the previous 22l and 30l versions, drawing inspiration from our expertise in technical running packs. Inspired by the technology used in our Distance Series running vests, we’ve integrated running-vest style shoulder straps to enhance fit and comfort. Additionally, we’ve introduced a 50l Cirque pack to offer a more voluminous pack for those embarking on multi-day ski mountaineering missions, expanding the range of options for our customers.
5. What materials are you using in your 2024/25 collection? Any new ones?
In our 2024/25 collection, we are proud to use environmentally conscious materials, with all our packs being PFC-free. Our Cirque packs are built with lightweight and durable 210D nylon fabric with Dynex grid. This material is literally 10-times stronger than steel per weight, while remaining so light it floats in water. We’ve introduced a new addition to our collection, drawing inspiration from the Beta LightPack to create an ultralight and durable minimalist pack for ice and alpine use. For our Vapor 35l model, we’ve incorporated Challenge Ultra Fabric, which prioritizes weight savings, durability, and weather resistance. This fabric includes the Ultra 200 and Ultra 400 variants, known for their exceptional abrasion resistance, withstanding 4,400 and 8,800 cycles, respectively. These innovative material choices reflect our commitment to offering high-performance, environmentally friendly, and durable products in our 2024/25 collection.
6. What color palettes, prints or patterns are you featuring in your 2024/25 collection?
Our refreshed Cirque line collection comes in Sulphur Green and Carbon with somehighlights in Octane. These colors perfectly match our 2024/25 snow and outerwear collection as well as the new Impulse Ti Skis. For our Dawn Patrol Packs we move on with the successful colors from past seasons, such as black, amber and storm blue.
7. Are you implementing sustainability in your products and production processes?
Yes, we are implementing sustainability measures in both our products and production processes. Starting from the 2024/25 season, all our textile products, including apparel, gloves, harnesses, and backpacks, will be PFC-free. This signifies our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our products by eliminating harmful chemicals. Our Dawn Patrol pack line is made with 100% recycled, main body fabric. Furthermore, our gloves are predominantly made from recycled polyester, showcasing our dedication to using recycled materials and reducing waste in our production. Additionally, we are making eco-conscious choices in our ski production, such as using recycled P-Tex bases in our new Impulse TI skis.
8. What are your marketing stories for 2024/25?
In our marketing strategies for 2024/25, our aim is to establish a strong presence in the freeride and ski touring community through innovative, inspirational, and educational marketing stories. We will feature activity-focused stories around ice climbing with the introduction of our new Hydra ice tool, snow and running adventures. Our snow story will go deep into the wild, offering a complete and updated snow and apparel kit for backcountry enthusiasts. With our key brand stories and through our athletes and ambassadors we are targeting skiers that ride outside the lines. These stories aim to engage our audience, provide valuable insights, and showcase our product offerings while strengthening our brand’s connection with outdoor enthusiasts.
9. How are you supporting retailers to sell this category?
To empower our retailers in effectively marketing and selling this category, we’ll adopt a 360° approach. This strategy comprises endemic PR efforts to highlight product strengths and innovations, eye-catching shop window displays that draw in potential customers, brand stories that spotlight product’s unique features and benefits, and the authentic voices of our ambassadors and athletes who share their firsthand experiences, building trust and enthusiasm among buyers.
10.What’s your situation regarding stock and deliveries?
We have made a selection of key stiles withing each category and activity, ensuring their relevance to the market. We’re committed to maintaining consistent availability for these selected products, with a promise to never run out of stock. This assurance empowers our dealers to confidently invest in and offer this key style selection to their customers.
2 key/hero/highlight items from 2024/25 collection.
Dawn Patrol 32: Built for the full buffet of on-snow pursuits, the super versatile BD Dawn Patrol 32 is made with 100% recycled main body fabrics and outfitted with a full feature-set, making it our go-to pack for big, all day, off-piste adventures. The easy to access, snow safety pocket stores your avalanche safety kit, and an oversized insulated shoulder pocket holds a hydration tube, soft flask, or radio. The pack’s, form-fitting suspension provides a contoured, body-hugging fit, while zippered back panel access provides easy entry. Exterior attachment points for skis, a snowboard, helmet and piolets outfit the pack for technical trips into the mountains
Cirque 25: Compact yet fully equipped for demanding ski lines, the BD Cirque 25 is our smallest-capacity technical ski mountaineering pack. It has a roll-top main compartment, an external avy safety pocket, and a quick-access side pocket to stash skins or ski crampons. An on-the-go diagonal ski carry system makes transitions seamless. Stretch- woven padded shoulder straps make for a comfortable carry. Quick-deploy PickPocket piolet carry system is compatible with piolets or tools and comes in handy during unexpected sections of steep terrain.