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.
The Dakine Fall Line Ski Roller Travel Bag comes in six different colors and can hold up to two pairs of skis, one pair of boots, ski poles and additional outerwear. There are also two different sizes: 175 centimeters or 190 centimeters, depending on the length of your skis.
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.
One Amazon reviewer says the bag is a “massive, well-padded, sturdy bag. I fit in one pair of skis, my boots and three helmets… Great value for the quality.”
For a no-frills yet padded ski bag, the Dakine Padded Ski Sleeve will protect your skis — but comes at a much less expensive cost. Similar to the Dakine bag above, there are two different size options — 175 centimeters and 190 centimeters — and eight different colors to pick from.
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!”
As the name describes, the Evo Roller Ski Bag will easily allow you to wheel your skis straight to the airport check-in desk. The padded bag is large enough to hold two pairs of skis as well as poles and boots. With features such as interior and exterior pockets, it’s also very easy to pack your ski gear and accessories. The bag offers interior straps to keep all your gear secure, a padded pole sleeve and a stowaway storage strap to fold the bag for compact storage.
The Thule RoundTrip Ski Roller Ski Bag is perfect if you’re looking to pack everything in just one padded bag. With the large interior compartment, you can fit all of your extra layers and ski gear together, but separated from your skis and poles. The bag also features lockable zippers — although the locks aren’t included — if you’re looking for extra security. This can come in handy during transit purposes or while storing your bag at a hotel’s ski valet. While the bag can carry two pairs of skis and poles, the ski length is capped at 175 centimeters in length. You’ll want to measure your skis in advance, though this is perfect for kids’ skis or those with short skis.
The Swix Nordic Ski Bag can fit one pair of skis. This easily allows you to pack skis for kids all the way up to adults. Although the bag doesn’t offer many other features — such as pockets, interior gear straps or wheels — the bag is fully padded and weighs less than 2 pounds. If you just need a case to keep your skis secure during travel, this bag will fit the bill — and for a reasonable cost.
If you want the ultimate protection for your gear, the Sportube Series 2 will keep your skis as safe as possible from damage due to its hard-shell bag design. On the interior, you’ll also find padding on both ends and straps to secure your skis. The case is adjustable in length, from 122 centimeters to 212 centimeters. Unfortunately, however, the bag doesn’t collapse for easy storage and is quite heavy at 12 pounds.
Sportube Series 3 Ski and Snowboard Case ($249.95; rei.com)
Traveling with an entire family? If so, the Snowtube Series 3 Ski and Snowboard Case can fit up to three pairs of skis and poles or even two snowboards. This hard-shell bag is made from polyethylene plastic with interior padding on both ends. One Amazon review states that this bag offers the “best protection for your skis when flying.”
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.
When it comes to snowboarding, Burton is one of the best in the business. The Burton Wheelie Gig Bag is the perfect solution for a family or for expert snowboarders looking to take multiple boards with them on a trip. The bag can fit up to three snowboards (two without bindings, plus one with bindings) along with your extra gear.
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. One reviewer states, “This bag is comfy and spacious; you can put a lot inside. … Easy to carry [and] easy to drag it because of the wheels.”
If you want to go all out with your snowboard bag, the Burton Wheelie Locker has it all. With this bag, you can pack everything in one without worrying about lugging around a separate suitcase. With the numerous interior zippered storage pockets and separate compartments, there’s space to pack your clothes, winter gloves, goggles and even your winter coat. That’s all in addition to the straps inside to secure your gear and a removable boot and binding bag.
The bag also features side and front handles and durable skate wheels for easy transporting. But remember, you’ll still want to keep the bag within your airline’s checked luggage weight limit so you aren’t hit with extra fees. As one review mentions, “It was not possible to keep the board bag under the 50-pound limit without leaving some stuff behind, or putting it in the backpack.”
With four different fun — and loud — colors, picking out your Dakine Low Roller Bag from the luggage carousel is easier than ever. This padded snowboard bag comes in three different sizes — 157 centimeters, 165 centimeters and 175 centimeters — and fits one board with bindings or two without.
The bag features exterior pockets to stow away items you want to keep easily accessible, offers durable oversized wheels and packs down easily for storage. It also comes with a removable boot bag if you want to store your snowboard boots — or use it to separate any other items in your bag.
If you want a slightly higher-end product, the Daike High Roller Bag offers everything you’ll see in the Low Roller Bag listed above but with more capacity, compartments and pockets. It also offers two removable bags to fully organize your gear while packing. Similar to the Low Roller Bag, the High Roller comes with durable padding and wheels, packs down easily for storage and comes in multiple sizes.
If you don’t need anything fancy, the Burton Space Sack Snowboard Bag will still allow you to travel with your snowboards — although on your shoulder, as there are no wheels — at a significantly lower price point. The bag packs down small, so it’s out of the way when not in use. Although, while the bag is padded, it might not give you the same padding, and thus, protection, as some of the other bags on the list.
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.
The Evo Padded Snowboard Bag doesn’t offer too many bells and whistles, and it’s at a lower price point. The bag offers space for one snowboard with bindings and is constructed of polyurethane-coated polyester and padding to protect the bag against damage and is lined inside to keep your gear dry.
It has a carry handle and a removable shoulder strap. The bag comes in three different sizes: 155 centimeters, 165 centimeters and 175 centimeters.
The Element Equipment Deluxe Padded Snowboard Bag offers two lengths — 157 centimeters and 165 centimeters — and can fit up to one snowboard with bindings, plus boots and additional gear. There are exterior zipper pockets and 360-degree padding to keep your board protected. However, this bag doesn’t come with wheels. But the bag is extremely lightweight at less than 4 pounds, offers dual handles and packs down easily.
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!”
The Athletico Conquest Padded Snowboard Bag With Wheels is padded with 10 millimeters of dense foam, which will help protect your snowboard and other gear while in transit. The bag offers two different sizes — either 157 centimeters or 175 centimeters — and the interior straps will hold your snowboard in place. There’s an extra-large interior pocket to pack all your gear, including goggles, socks, base layers and more, as well as an interior wet pocket. The bag is made of premium water-resistant polyester, offers padded handles and detachable shoulder straps and includes heavy-duty wheels.
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.
When purchasing your brand-new ski or snowboard travel bag, make sure to use the best credit card to both protect your purchase and maximize the points you earn, which can then turn into free travel.
While most ski and snowboard bags offer some sort of manufacturer’s warranty, your credit card can potentially extend your warranty another year while also offering purchase protection if something were to happen to your bag within the first few months.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will extend your warranty another year if the item purchased comes with a warranty of three years or less. Additionally, if your bag becomes damaged or stolen within the first 120 days, you’ll also be covered — although your gear inside will not be covered unless it was also recently purchased with the card. With this benefit, you’ll be covered up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
Then, for maximizing the points and miles earned from your bag purchase, there are many options. If you’re purchasing your bag through Amazon or Backcountry, for example, the Citi® Double Cash Card will earn you 2% cash back — 1% when you make a purchase, and another 1% when you pay your statement.
Or, if you prefer to earn points towards travel, the Chase Freedom Unlimited will earn you 1.5% cash back. But if paired with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can instead transfer the points earned to partner loyalty programs where points are worth 2 cents apiece — effectively giving you 3% cash back on your ski and snowboard bag purchase.
Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.