Columbia Bugaboo Ranger Backpack

Columbia Bugaboo, Blister Gear ReviewColumbia Bugaboo Ranger

Size: One size

Volume: 11 L / 671 cu. in.

Dimensions (height x width x depth):
20 x 10 x 5 in.
50.8 x 25.4 x 12.7 cm

Weight: 2 lbs., 5 oz. / 1.05 kg


  • 100% polyester Cordura
  • Omni-Heat thermal reflective hydration system (lining)
  • Omni-Shield advanced repellency
  • Ski carry system: Bidirectional diagonal or vertical
  • Snowboard carry system
  • Deluxe internal organization
  • Foam padded back
  • Sternum strap with rescue whistle
  • Load-lifter straps
  • Reflective safety accents and zipper pulls

Days Tested: 20+

Test Locations: Las Leñas Ski Resort

MSRP: $79

The Columbia Bugaboo Ranger is a dexterous, low-volume pack intended for resort, sidecountry, and quick-access backcountry use. After a couple of weeks in Argentina wearing this pack, I have to say there are many aspects of the Bugaboo Ranger that I love.

Jason Hutchins, Columbia Bugaboo Ranger, Blister Gear Review
Jason Hutchins with the Columbia Bugaboo Ranger, Las Leñas.


I’ll begin with the characteristics of this pack that make the Bugaboo Ranger great, starting with the material used to create it. The pack is a puzzle-like mix of material, consisting of polyester Cordora and Omni-Shield treated nylon. Omni-Shield is a light, water-resistant coating added to the fabric to help keep the contents of the pack dry. Although I haven’t used the Bugaboo Ranger in an all-out snowstorm yet, my gear did stay dry when laying the pack in slushy snow.

Columbia did an exceptional job of placing the tough Cordora material in high-friction areas, such as at the contact areas where the shovel blade is held, and where skis will rub while using the ski carry system. The material is rather stiff when new, making it slightly difficult to manage the first couple of weeks until fully broken in. (Alternatively, Columbia also offers the Bugaboo Ranger II, which uses their Omni-Shield 600D junior ballistic polyester in place of the Cordora. We haven’t seen the Ranger II, so can’t comment on the pros / cons of the switch.)

There are two zippers on the pack, one to enter the main storage compartment and another to enter the goggle/sunglass pouch. Both are substantial in size and add to the packs overall robust feel. All in all, the Bugaboo Ranger feels like it is intended for heavy use and abuse, and so far I haven’t found even a loose thread anywhere on the pack.

Columbia Bugaboo Back, Blister Gear Review


The straps of the Bugaboo Ranger complement its intended use perfectly. The shoulder straps are fairly wide and minimally padded, delivering a sleek, snug fit. There is a sternum strap that can be adjusted up or down to accommodate any length torso, and a very simple, unpadded waist belt. Additionally, load-lifter straps can be found at the top the shoulder straps, which is a nice amenity uncommon to a pack of this size or price.

The size of this pack limits how much weight is even possible to get onto your back, and even with a full load and skis strapped on, this was one of the best feeling packs I have worn. Simplicity is a trait that far too many backpack makers seem to be forgetting.

2 comments on “Columbia Bugaboo Ranger Backpack”

  1. Read your review of the Columbia Bugaboo Ranger pack. You mention the ease of attaching large skis diagonal. But I can’t seem to figure out how to attach at the top when the pack is loaded. Do you have some pictures of this pack with the skis attached and closeups of how you secured them? Thanks.

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