Ski bags are essential if you own a pair of skis. After spending a lot of money on your skis the last thing you want to do is get them damaged in any way when you are in transit.
Ski bags help protect your skis, but the level of protection does vary depending on the type of bag you choose. If you are just looking for something to hold you skis and prevent them from getting chipped or scratched while in the boot of your van, then a soft bag may be suitable. However, while offering some protection, soft bags may not protect against more extreme transit conditions, such as on an aeroplane where they could be thrown around either by the baggage handlers or during the flight. If you require more protection then a hard case will be a better option.
As you’d expect, there are a lot of ski bags out there, but below we have selected 4 of the best ski bags around, 2 of which are soft cases and 2 of which are hard cases. If you have a ski bag we’d love to hear you opinions, and please mention which bag you have and how well it has protected your skis.
Soft Case Ski Bags
Soft case ski bags are less robust than hard case ski bags, but they are generally a lot cheaper and if you are not expecting any substantial battering, or if your skis are not hugely expensive, then soft cases may be more than good enough for you needs. Below are 2 great soft case ski bags, 1 being low cost, while the other is more expensive. Check out the popular soft ski bags below.
This soft case ski bag has been improved for the 2016/ 2017 season and comes in two great colourways depending on your style. Either the pictured black and light grey with lime green detailing or black and light grey with purple detailing. The strong, well padded ski bag is suitable for a pair of skis and has a main compartment with padded divider. Security straps are provided to make sure your skis aren’t loose in the bag. The zip for the bag goes from end to end so getting your skis in and out is quick and simple. The adjustable shoulder strap is padded to make carrying your skis comfortable. The bag also has a carry handle on both ends so that you can easily move the bag when travelling.
The Cox Swain ski and snowboard bag is more expensive compared to the Charles Bentley ski bag, but provides a lot more functionality and protection. As its name suggests, you can also fit snowboards in to its larger main carry area, or more than one pair of skis. When empty the ski bag can be folded up and is convenient for easy storage. There is also room in this bag for ski boots and bindings, with additional pockets for clothes, and even a wet compartment which can be very handy after a day or 2 on the slopes. For added protection of your gear the Cox Swain ski and snowboard bag is fully padded.
HardCase Ski Bags
Hard ski cases offer more protection over soft cases, but as a result are less flexible (i.e. cannot be squashed into tighter spaces), and are also heavier in general over their soft case counterparts. If you have an expensive set of skis, or you have owned your skis for a long time and the thought of anything bad happening to them gives you nightmares, then you should definitely look at getting a sturdy hard case ski bag. Below are 2 very good hard case bags, to cover different options. One bag not only fits in skis, but also your ski boots and some clothes, meaning that if you are on a short ski break this could be the only bag you take.
The Sportube comes with 5 years manufacturers limited warranty, which gives confidence in how well built this case is. The Series 1 ski case is specially designed to hold either 1 pair of alpine skis & poles or 2 pairs of nordic/skate skis & poles, meaning you will certainly have to carry other luggage in combination with you ski bag. The Sportube Series 1 hard ski case fits a variety of ski types, including powder, recreational, freeride, or race, up to a maximum length of 210cm. Also, a great and very useful feature of this ski bag are its rubber wheels, which makes it much easier to move around the airport or from the bus to your ski chalet.
Sportube Series 3 Ski and Snowboard Case – Price £65.40
The Sportube Series 3 ski and snowboard bag gives all the same great protection as the Series 1 above, and comes with the same 5 year warranty. However, the Series 3 is a lot more versatile, mainly down to its increased size. The Series 3 is specially designed to fit up to 2 snowboards, boots and bindings, or alternatively multiple pairs of skis. The maximum lengths specified for the boards/skis and bindings are 186cm. Like the Series 1 the case comes with rubber wheels for easy transport, which for a bigger bag is essential. Also, the large capacity of the Sportube Series 3 ski and snowboard bag means that potentially you can pack all your clothes, skis/snowboard, and boots for a short trip away without the need for extra bags.
For an extra £20-£30 you can get the Sportube Series 3 Platinum Deluxe Hard Sided Skicase, which is a Lindsey Vonn special edition Sportube and includes extra Sportube accessories and a manufacturers limited lifetime warranty. The extra accessories include a multi use Nik Nac Pac, an airline compliant TSA combination padlock, and an ergonomic and back saving Easy Pull handle. Check out the Lindsey Vonn Special Edition Sportube Series 3 here.
There are of course many different ski bags out there and you should always do your research and choose the right one for you. Cost of the ski bag, the cost (both monetary value and emotional value) of the skis, and the level of protection you require are the main factors you should keep in mind when choosing a ski bag. The 4 bags discussed above are all very good options and depending on your needs, will serve you very well.
As an extra travel tip, whichever bag you choose it is a good idea to make it look distinctive and stand out. If you are arriving at an airport that is busy with other winter sports enthusiasts there will be a lot of very similar ski bags spinning around the luggage carousel, so to avoid the disastrous situation where someone walks off with your skis by mistake, add some stand out stickers or colourful straps to your bag.