You’ve invested big bucks in your skis. So how do you protect your investment during travel? Ski bags, of course. Our goal at The Adventure Junkies is to help you choose the best ski bag for your travels. That way your skis will arrive safe at slopes. Bags also limit scratches to ski tops, dings to metal edges, and gouges in bases.

It’s important to choose a bag beefy enough to handle your mode of travel, be it by air or by car. If you have a quiver of skis, you’ll want a bag to fit them. We’ll give you an overview of the best ski bags on the market and provide you with considerations and reviews to help choose the best ski bag for your pocketbook and needs.

 

THE BEST SKI BAG – QUICK ANSWER

  1. Thule RoundTrip Double Roller
  2. High Sierra Double
  3. Transpack Rolling Double Convertible
  4. Thule RoundTrip Single
  5. Sportube Series 3
  6. Sportube Series 2
  7. Transpack Jet
  8. Dakine Single Padded
  9. Athalon Single Padded
  10. Dakine Ski Sleeve

 

 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST SKI BAG

PICTURE
SKI BAG
BEST USE
STYLE
SKI PAIRS FIT
WHEELS
MAX SKI LENGTH
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
SKI BAG
BEST USE
STYLE
SKI PAIRS FIT
WHEELS
MAX SKI LENGTH
PRICE
RATING
Thule RoundTrip Double Roller
Overall
Soft
2
Yes
195cm
$$$
5
High Sierra Double
Overall
Soft
2
No
185cm
$
4.6
Transpack Rolling Double Convertible
Overall
Soft
2
Yes
185cm
$$
5
Thule RoundTrip Single
Overall
Soft
1
No
195cm
$$
4.8
Sportube Series 3
Airline travel
Hard
3
Yes
183cm
$$$
4.3
Sportube Series 2
Airline travel
Hard
2
Yes
211cm
$$
4.8
Transpack Jet
Airline travel
Hard
2
Yes
203cm
$$$
4.6
Dakine Single Padded
Budget
Soft
1
No
175cm or 197cm
$
4.4
Athalon Single Padded
Budget
Soft
1
No
180cm
$
4.5
Dakine Ski Sleeve
Budget
Soft
1
No
175cm or 190cm
$
3.9

 

 

SKI BAGS 101

 

7 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST SKI BAG

 

1. SOFT OR HARD

Ski bags can be soft or hard-sided. Soft bags are made from cloth fabrics while hard-sided bags are made from plastics. Both are designed to protect skis from beatings during travels.

Soft-sided ski bags usually have strong exterior fabrics made from polyesters or synthetics. If polyesters, look for those at least 600 denier. The higher the denier, the tighter the thread weave and therefore the tougher fabric. Lower deniers are thinner fabrics that can be easily abraded; higher deniers are more resistant to rips and tears.

Better quality bags will be padded and lined on the interior with water-resistant fabrics to prevent the absorption of snow and allow for easy wiping out. Non-padded ski bags are best used for car trips rather than airline travel that subjects both the skis and bag to rough baggage handling.

Hard-sided ski bags are made from lightweight plastics such as high density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE forms a hard shell that protects the skis. For car travel, you can lash them to roof racks. For airline travel, they offer the sturdiest protection. Padding, even clothing, helps to prevent skis from rattling around inside hard-sided ski bags.

 

2. WHEELS

Some ski bags have wheels on one end. These are usually bags designed to fit two or three pairs of skis and therefore heavier. Wheeled ski bags allow the user to carry the front end of the bag while the back end rolls on wheels. Choose a bag with sturdy wheels with rubber, similar to those on inline skates. If you are looking for ease of transport, wheels will make hauling your ski bag through airports and large hotels much easier.

 

3. NUMBER OF SKIS

Most bags are made to fit one, two, or three pairs of skis. In a bag designed for three pairs of skis, families can often fit two pairs of adult skis plus two pairs of child skis. Some bags can also fit one pair of skis and one snowboard, although you may have to remove the bindings on the snowboard. Ski bags also fit poles in special compartments or alongside the skis.

With multiple skis and poles in a bag, the gear can clunk against each other during transport, sometimes causing damage. Well-padded bags include interior padding that goes between pairs of skis and poles. But you can also create your own padding with ski clothing: parkas, gloves, mitts, pants, hats, and even helmets. (Be cautious about using goggles for padding to avoid breaking lens or scratching them on metal edges.) Savvy air travelers often eliminate a bag and extra luggage expenses by cramming their ski bags with all of their gear; however, ski boots usually do not fit in ski bags.

 

4. SKI LENGTH AND WIDTH

When shopping for ski bags, note the length. The bag must be longer than your skis, so you’ll need to know the exact length of your skis. Be sure to convert bags sold by inch lengths into centimeters, since skis are measured in centimeters. (Multiply the inches by 2.54 to figure out the centimeter length.)

Keep in mind that bags are not stretchy. If your skis are 186cm in length, they will not fit a bag that is 185cm in length. It’s better to have excess room in a ski bag rather than having one too short. You can always fill in the extra space with gloves, hats, pants, and parkas.

Some soft and hard-sided bags are adjustable. Check the minimum and maximum length of the bag to be sure it will accommodate your ski lengths.

Narrower ski bags may not fit ultra fat powder boards nor tall bindings. For these skis and bindings, you may need to purchase a ski bag designed for two pairs of skis in order to fit the one pair.

 

5. COLORS

Most ski bags are black to resist showing dirt, grime, and grease. Unfortunately, when flying, your black ski bag may get lost in a sea of black ski bags. To help with quicker identification on luggage racks, you can tie on a colorful piece of webbing or put a ring of bright tape around one of the straps. A few bags come in colors that help the bag stand out from the crowd.

Some ski bag companies also make matching boot bags. While matching luggage makes it easier to keep track of bags, the appearance of the bags should be secondary to the quality of gear protection they offer.

 

6. INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR STRAPS

Nylon straps serve two functions with ski bags. On the inside of the bags, straps keep skis and poles from sliding around or shifting inside the bag. On the outside, the straps serve to compress the contents zipped inside, thereby preventing damage from gear rubbing on gear. Sturdy, durable bags have interior and exterior compression straps. Budget bags tend to have minimal straps.

 

7. ADDED SKI BAG FEATURES

Higher end ski bags have added features: pockets, handles, and carrying straps. Pockets provide places to tuck extra ski gear: socks, gloves, mitts, neck gaiters, under layers, hats, skins, beacons, probes, and shovel. But be wary of using pockets for goggles as they may not provide enough protection. (Hint: wrap your goggles in a hat and place inside your helmet.)

Handles help in lifting the bags in and out of vehicles. Most hard-sided ski bags come with multiple plastic handles. Soft-sided bags use nylon webbing for handles. Higher end and wheeled bags will have padded handles for easier lifting and hand comfort.

Shoulder straps aid in carrying bags longer distances through airports. Added padding on shoulder straps makes them more comfortable. Hard-sided ski bags often have a webbing strap to aid in pulling on wheels.

 

ski bag must-have

Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/photo_concepts

 

SKI BAG REVIEWS

 

1. BEST SKI BAGS FOR OVERALL

THULE ROUNDTRIP DOUBLE ROLLER

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: All-around travel

DESIGN: Double bag with extra thick padding and wheels, padded sleeves to fit over tips and tails, padded shoulder strap, external compression straps

FABRIC: 900 denier polyester and waterproof tarpaulin

PROS: Durable, interior padding adds more protection

CONS: One size that may not fit longer skis, difficult to fit two pairs of ultra fat powder skis

 

 

 

HIGH SIERRA DOUBLE

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: All-around travel

DESIGN: Double partially padded bag with interior straps and padded divider panel between bindings, exterior compression straps, shoulder straps

FABRIC: 840 denier nylon

PROS: Lightweight, may be able to fit helmet inside

CONS: Top has no padding, one size that may not fit all skis

 

 

 

TRANSPACK ROLLING DOUBLE CONVERTIBLE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: All-around travel

DESIGN: Fully padded double bag with compression straps, interior zippered pocket, and wheels

FABRIC: 600 denier, water-resistant polyester exterior and tarpaulin-lined interior

PROS: Adjustable 165cm-185cm

CONS: Will not fit longer skis

 

 

 

THULE ROUNDTRIP SINGLE

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: All-around travel

DESIGN: Fully padded, interior padding to separate poles and skis plus padded sleeves for protecting tips and tails, external compression straps, cushioned shoulder strap

FABRIC: 900 denier polyester and waterproof tarpaulin

PROS: Durable, interior padding adds more protection

CONS: One size that may not fit all ski lengths, sleeves for tips and tails can get misplaced

 

 

 

 

2. BEST SKI BAGS FOR AIRLINE TRAVEL

SPORTUBE SERIES 3

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Air travel or car top carrier

DESIGN: Molded plastic in two telescoping parts, locked together with TSA-compliant wire pin, with wheels

FABRIC: High density polyethylene hard shell

PROS: Durable, adjustable 107cm-183cm, fits multiple ski combos: three pairs of skis, two adult skis and two children’s skis, two snowboards, one pair of skis and one snowboard, or two pairs of ski and boots

CONS: Heavier than fabric bags, may need to pay weight overage fees with airlines, will not fit skis longer skis

 

 

 

SPORTUBE SERIES 2

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Air travel or car top carrier

DESIGN: Molded plastic in two telescoping parts, locked together with TSA-compliant wire pin, with wheels

FABRIC: High density polyethylene hard shell

PROS: Durable, adjustable 122cm-211cm, can fit two pairs of skis or one pair of skis and a snowboard with bindings removed

CONS: Heavier than fabric bags

 

 

 

TRANSPACK JET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Air travel

DESIGN: Molded plastic in two telescoping parts, locked together with TSA-compliant wire pin, with wheels

FABRIC: High density polyethylene hard shell

PROS: Durable, adjustable 115cm-203cm, interior straps and bands for securing skis, ergonomic front handle for wheeling, cell foam padding to protect tips and tails, can fit two pairs of skis or two snowboards

CONS: Heavier than fabric bags

 

 

 

 

3. BEST SKI BAGS FOR VALUE

DAKINE SINGLE PADDED

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Car travel

DESIGN: Full zippered, lightly padded bag with tarp-lined sides, shoulder straps

FABRIC: 600 denier polyester

PROS: Lightweight, comes in two lengths

CONS: Not as durable

 

 

 

ATHALON SINGLE PADDED

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Car travel

DESIGN: Full zippered, lightly padded with exterior compression straps

FABRIC: High-density polyester with waterproof backing

PROS: Lightweight, inexpensive

CONS: Less durable, might not fit ultra fat or longer skis

 

 

 

DAKINE SKI SLEEVE

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Car travel

DESIGN: Full zippered bag with shoulder strap

FABRIC: 600 denier ripstop polyester

PROS: 600 denier ripstop polyester

CONS: Lacks padding

Top 10 Best Ski Bags of 2017 – Best Ski Gear - Skiing Tips for Beginners -  Skiing Clothes For Women, Men and Kids
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