The 5 Best Ski Bags for FlyingPublished on 07/01/2023 · 9 min readMake sure your next airplane trip is hassle-free by ensuring you have a good bag for your skis! Read on for the top 5 bag options that will keep your gear safe.
Photo by Tani Bell
Skiing is a great reason to travel and get outside into new places. And if you’re looking to ski somewhere new that’s far from home, chances are that you’re going to have to hop on a plane! But before you book those tickets and pack up your gear, you’re going to need to have a reliable ski bag for transporting your skis without worrying about them being damaged.
Having a sturdy ski bag is crucial to ensure the safety and protection of your valuable ski equipment throughout your trip. In this article, we'll dive into the top ski bags specifically designed for flying, in hopes that this list will help you make an informed decision and choose the perfect bag for your exact needs.
Though I have luckily never had any problems with my skis getting damaged in transit (I made sure I had a good ski bag!), I have had my fair share of arriving at a destination just to find that something in my suitcase has broken from getting tossed around during the loading and unloading process. Getting to your ski destination just to find that a piece of your binding or a boot buckle is broken will certainly put a damper on your ski trip. Lucky for you, that is avoidable by ensuring that you have a good bag and pack it in a smart way to minimize the chances for something to go wrong.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Ski Bag
Before we get into our list of top ski bags, let’s quickly go over a few factors to keep in mind when shopping for a bag!
Bag size and capacity
First things first, you'll want to ensure that your ski bag is spacious enough to accommodate your skis, poles, and other essential gear such as mittens, helmet, goggles, and boots. Bag size is typically measured in length, and there are many length options, so make sure to check that it can accommodate the length of your skis, or the length of your longest pair of skis if traveling with more than one pair. If you are traveling with more than one pair, also take that into account. If traveling with two pairs of skis - make sure that you get a ski bag that can fit two pairs of skis. Even if you plan to travel alone most of the time, it’s still a great idea to get a bag that can accommodate two pairs in the off chance that you end up traveling with a friend eventually. You will spare them the need to buy a ski bag of their own, and it will be easier to get through the airport and to your hotel with just a single ski bag.
Durability and protection features
Flying can be rough on any luggage, and ski gear is no exception! With the price of ski gear and how fragile and important things such as bindings and helmets can be, you do not want to take any risks when traveling with your ski equipment. Make sure your ski bag is durable and can protect your gear. The most durable bag options have high-density polyester or nylon as the exterior fabric. Reinforced padding and sturdy construction are also essential for providing ample protection against impacts, bumps, and potential mishandling.
Weight and portability
No one wants to start their ski trip feeling weighed down by a heavy bag. Opt for a lightweight ski bag that won't eat into your baggage weight limit, cause any extra baggage fees, and will be easy to carry around the airport. Consider bags that feature ergonomic handles, padded shoulder straps, or even wheels for effortless transportation.
Additional storage compartments and organization options
Having additional storage compartments and organization options in your ski bag can be a game-changer. Look for bags that offer separate compartments for boots, helmets, goggles, and other accessories. This way, you can keep your gear neatly organized and easily accessible throughout your trip!
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s dive into our list of the top ski bags for flying. These bags are designed with the factors I’ve mentioned in mind, making them ideal for hassle-free air travel with your ski gear.
Top Ski Bags for Flying
1. Dakine Fall Line Ski Roller Bag
One of the most popular choices, The Dakine Fall Line Roller Bag is a more bare bones ski bag designed to make your life easier with its simplicity. It can carry up to two pairs of skis, making it a great option for couples traveling to ski together, moms or dads looking to pack both their own skis and their kids skis in one bag, or single skiers who have decision anxiety about which pair of skis to bring (now you don’t have to choose!) The Fall Line Ski Roller Bag features padded dividers to keep your skis and poles separated and protected during transit, and a separate compartment for boot storage, so that your boots stay well protected and don’t bang around during takeoff or landing. With its sleek design and durable construction, this is a great option for skiers who want to travel with their skis, but don’t want to break the bank pre-vacation with a pricey ski bag. Though it does have padding, as mentioned, it doesn’t have quite as much padding as other options, so if maximum safety is your priority, you might want to spend some extra cash on a bag with more protection and padding! Bonus: it also comes in tons of color options, which can be helpful for making your bag stand out when picking it up from baggage claim!
2. Dakine Boundary Ski Roller Bag
The Dakine Boundary Ski Roller Bag is a true workhorse when it comes to transporting your skis. This spacious bag can comfortably hold up to three pairs of skis, making it perfect for those who like to switch up their gear on different terrain, or those traveling with family who might have skis to bring along. What sets this bag apart is its unique split-level design. It features separate compartments for boots, allowing you to keep your skis and boots organized and preventing them from scratching or damaging each other. With heavy-duty urethane wheels and a burly handle, this bag can handle rough airport handling without breaking a sweat.
Looking for a ski bag that combines style and functionality? Look no further than the Db The Djärv Original Snow Roller. This bag not only turns heads with its sleek Scandinavian design but also delivers on performance. It can accommodate two pairs of skis, providing ample space for your adventures. The bag features the innovative Hook-Up System that allows you to connect it to other Db bags, making it easy to transport multiple pieces of luggage as a single unit. With its sturdy wheels and robust padding, The Djärv Original Snow Roller ensures your skis stay protected throughout your journey. When you get to your destination, it also rolls up to 10% of its size - so makes for super easy storage during the off season, or at your ski chateau where you might not want a huge ski bag taking up the floor space of your room. It is on the pricier side, and while the features make it well worth it to those who will use them, it’s not the best option for skiers looking for a wallet-friendly option.
If you prioritize maximum protection for your skis, the Sportube Series 2 Roller is a top contender. This hard-sided ski bag can accommodate up to two pairs of skis and offers unbeatable durability. Its rigid construction and padded-inside provide excellent safeguarding against rough handling and potential impacts. The bag also features easy-pull handles and smooth-rolling wheels, allowing for convenient maneuvering through busy airports. With the Sportube Series 2 Roller, you can have peace of mind knowing your skis are well-protected, no matter what hurdles travel may throw at you.
For those seeking a reliable and versatile ski bag, the Thule RoundTrip Ski Bag is a fantastic option. This bag holds up to two pairs of skis and can easily fit your poles, boots, and other outerwear. There is also an inside divider to ensure that the skis don’t bang together on the plane, which could potentially cause damage to your skis or bindings. It comes with internal and external compression straps to keep your skis secure during transit, and the bag's padding and reinforced corners provide added protection against impacts and bumps. What makes the Thule RoundTrip Ski Bag stand out is its thoughtful design, including a dedicated pocket for ski boots and an adjustable shoulder strap for comfortable carrying. It's a compact and dependable companion for traveling skiers, though it may be a bit too large if you’re mainly looking for something compact to carry gear for only one person!
Tips for Packing a Ski Bag for Air Travel
Lastly, now that you have some ideas on great ski bags for air travel, let’s talk about a few tips for packing a ski bag!
- Properly secure skis and poles: Use ski straps or bindings to hold your skis together, ensuring that they are tightly secured. Place your ski poles in designated compartments or wrap them securely with padding.
- Protect bindings and edges: Put your mittens, ski socks, or layers over ski bindings so that they don’t get banged up. Additionally, use edge guards or wrap the edges of your skis with foam or cloth to protect them from impacts.
- Organize clothing and gear: Pack your ski clothing—such as ski jackets, pants, and base layers—in compression bags to save space and keep them organized, or use them to pad your skis and bindings as mentioned above! Utilize the additional compartments in your ski bag for gloves, goggles, and other accessories.
- Prepare for potential damage or mishandling: Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen. Consider adding additional padding such as clothing around fragile areas of your ski bag to provide extra protection. Also, remember to label your bag with your contact information so that the airline can contact you in case it gets lost or misplaced!
Next Steps for Choosing the Right Ski Bag
Choosing the right ski bag for flying is essential for safeguarding your ski equipment and ensuring a hassle-free travel experience to beautiful, new ski areas! By investing in a reliable ski bag and packing your gear with care, you can embark on your skiing adventures with peace of mind, knowing that your equipment will arrive intact and ready for the slopes. If you’re not sure what ski bag is right for you, or have any questions related to traveling with skis, reach out to me or one of my fellow Skiing Experts here on Curated, and we would be happy to help you out with free, personalized recommendations. Safe travels and happy skiing!