While ski and snowboard trips are extremely exhilarating, the packing experience is quite daunting. And while you can pack your ski gear in your existing suitcase, you don’t want to forget to purchase the perfect ski travel bag or snowboard travel bag to take along with you.
Of course, you can rent boots and skis at the mountain, but there’s nothing better than skiing in the equipment you’re already familiar with. This is where having a ski or snowboard bag to keep your skis safe throughout the airport journey comes in handy.
We’ve gathered 15 of our favorite ski and snowboard travel bags that feature some of the more favorable features, such as bags with wheels, ones that offer adjustable sizes and heavy-duty padding options to keep your gear safe.
Ski bags for travel
From $164 at Amazon
The bag features exterior pockets, which allow you to easily store your smaller ski items, such as winter gloves, hats and neck warmers. Storing your boots is also easy with a removable boot bag. The bag has a tow handle that can slide on a rolling luggage bag for one-handed navigation; however, there are no straps inside the bag to hold your skis in place.
From $53 at Amazon
This bag can hold one pair of skis as well as ski clothes, but it doesn’t offer too much extra space if you’re looking to pack a helmet, boots or more bulky gear. One Amazon reviewer states, “Adequately padded, I traveled across the States with it and some airport lazy staff dragged it on the floor, but the bag handled it very well — not a tear!”
$140 at Evo
$300 at Amazon
And if don’t need the wheels to get around the airport, you can save some money by purchasing the Thule RoundTrip Ski Bag non-roller edition.
$35 at Amazon
$225 at Amazon
$250 at Amazon
The case is adjustable with an interior length between 107 centimeters and 183 centimeters, which allows skis of all sizes. There’s also a TSA-approved lock that comes with the ski and snowboard case to further protect your gear. As an added feature, the case comes with a water-resistant Nic Nac Pack to carry all your accessories in the case, such as goggles, winter gloves and socks.
$280 at Evo
Unique to this bag is the length extender. The bag’s standard length is 195 centimeters, but when expanded, you can increase the length of the bag to a full 205 centimeters. For those with long skis, this extra length can come in very handy.
Snowboard bags for travel
From $144 at Amazon
The bag includes high-end skate wheels, which will give you a smooth ride while maneuvering your bag throughout the airport and the mountain. The bag also features exterior pockets, padding and straps to keep your board in place.
From $140 at Amazon
From $230 at Amazon
From $62 at Amazon
The bag offers four different sizes — 146 centimeters, 156 centimeters, 166 centimeters and 181 centimeters — which allows you to purchase a bag that fits your snowboard like a glove. The bag is also big enough to fit two snowboards, without bindings or one with bindings.
$65 at Evo
$99 at Amazon
One reviewer states, “This bag is one of the best on the market! Firstly, it can fit all of my gear, board and bindings, boots, jacket, pants, helmet, etc. Secondly, it is padded and made out of durable materials, which make it the perfect travel bag!”
From $150 at Amazon
How to pick the best ski or snowboard bag
There are many things to consider when it comes to purchasing — and then packing — a ski or snowboard bag. You’ll first want to determine if you’ll be using the ski or snowboard bag for air travel or if your trip to the mountain is a simple road trip.
With air travel, you’ll most likely want a bag that provides enough padding to protect the edges, bindings, top sheets, tips and tails from dings and damage. There’s nothing worse than collecting your luggage at baggage claim to find broken gear. Bags that aren’t padded — or maybe not padded enough — are better suited for sitting in the trunk of the car while in transit.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re purchasing a bag that fits your skis or snowboard snugly. Having a bag that’s too big will create too much extra space, enabling your skis to move forward or backward in transit. You’ll want your skis and snowboards to be held down tightly, which is where interior straps come in handy. However, you can always pack clothes in the spare space — such as snow pants, neck warmers, sweatshirts and long underwear — to secure your skis and snowboards in place.
If traveling through an airport, you also might find a bag on wheels to come in handy. Your regular suitcase most likely rolls, so why shouldn’t your ski or snowboard bag do so as well? If using a roller bag, this is another reason you want to purchase a bag that isn’t much longer than your skis or snowboards. If the bag is too big, it will bend, which could result in damaging your gear, and will be harder to wheel around the airport.
If you prefer to pack everything in one bag, then you’ll want a bag that is large enough for all of the extras, in addition to your skis, snowboard and poles. This means you’ll want to look for a bag with separate compartments and zippered pockets. A waterproof casing is always best to ensure your clothes don’t get wet and ruined during transit.
While many bags will also allow you to store your ski or snowboard boots as well as a helmet, some prefer to bring these items on the plane in a separate boot bag. If your checked bag ends up not arriving at your destination, at least you’ll have your boots with you, which is the ideal situation for a trip to the mountains. You can then always rent skis or a snowboard and not miss any time on the slopes. You also want to be extra cautious with helmets, as bags get tossed around during transit and you don’t want the device to lose its integrity from a safety perspective.
Lastly, similar to regular suitcases, many ski and snowboard bags look extremely similar. This means getting a unique color — or putting some sort of identifier on your bag — is helpful. And once your ski trip is over, you’ll want to make sure to dry off your skis or snowboard before putting them back in the bag, then dry out the bag fully when you get back home.
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