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Talk to me about ski bags
January 16, 2013 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Should I get a hard case or a soft bag? Single or double? Anything else I'm not considering?

Looking for a ski bag for my boyfriend. Some questions I have:

1) Hard vs soft case: Is a hard case essential for airport travel, or will skis survive being thrown around in a soft case if you wrap them in clothes and bubble wrap? The case will be used for non-airport travel 90% of the time, so it seems like a soft case would be more comfortable for day trip use, but I don't want to have to get ANOTHER case if we do decide to go on a ski trip by plane.

2) Single vs double: Is a double bag usable for 1 pair of skis, or would they be too loose in there? Can double bags be tightened with the straps on the bag to hold 1 pair of skis tightly (assuming a soft bag)? 99% of the time, we'd be skiing together, so a double bag seems like a good idea. However, the 1% time that he'll go without me, will his skis be too loose in there if there is only 1 pair? Are double bags too heavy/bulky to be comfortable and each person should have their own bag anyway?

3) If you have a bag that you love, what brand/model is it? What's so great about it?

Bonus question: This will be a Valentine's day gift, so what fun little goodies can I fill the bag with?
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Skis are not fragile (think about the forces they face while in use). A soft case is fine. You don't need to use bubble wrap or clothes.

A double bag is fine too. Just get one with straps to tighten down. It is better to have one ski bag if you are flying, rather than two, for cost reasons.

The first point of failure on ski bags in my experience is the zipper. Get one with a nice burly zipper.
posted by ssg at 8:10 AM on January 16, 2013


Don't spend money on a ski bag. Wrap them up somehow, but skis are strong and will do fine on their own. Spend your money on something useful.

My skiing friends who have skied their whole lives say that a ski bag is the mark of an amateur/beginner (please don't base your decision on unscientific snobby opinions like those).
posted by jazh at 8:13 AM on January 16, 2013


Get a double ski bag- I have the dakine and it's pretty awesome. That bag has survived MANY trips both domestic and abroad over the past 5 years, and only recently did an over sharp ski edge shred the lining. The zipper is built like a tank!

I very much disagree with the view that skibags are for amateurs- if I paid a grand for my ski equipment (and yes that is roughly what skis+ bindings are worth) I damn well am not wrapping them in duct tape and a bag and hoping for the best. apparently I have rather strong feelings about this, and I guess that's fine for non-airplane situations (as i do just kind of throw my skis in the back of whatever car, but for air travel- definitely get a bag.)


An important thing to consider is what sort of skis he has and bindings- I can get my powder skis (super wide and fat) and ice skis(normalish skis) into one bag. Two sets of powder skis can fit- it's a bit of a puzzle but it'll work, but if either of you are traveling with rockered massive pontoon pow skis, then you will NOT be able to fit two pairs in. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you're fine and just get the double, your skis will fit.

I also use my ski bag as my general suitcase- and basically just travel with the ski bag and a daypack on ski trips- so most of my soft gear pads the skis nicely.
posted by larthegreat at 8:30 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Soft bags also wad up and store in your suitcase once you've arrived at your ski destination and do better lashed to a roofrack. Another advantage to a double bag is that you can fit your helmet in too. Re wrapping, a length of rug pad fitted in an "s" shape to separate each ski is great for keeping your edges from sawing against your stuff.
posted by carmicha at 9:28 AM on January 16, 2013


I use a double bag (seconding getting a bag with a sturdy zipper) and, after inserting my skis, I stuff it with my socks, long underwear,sweaters, etc. That helps protect the skis and frees up suitcase room.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:17 AM on January 16, 2013


jazh: "Don't spend money on a ski bag. Wrap them up somehow, but skis are strong and will do fine on their own. Spend your money on something useful. "

Skis and poles are awkward and unwieldy things. Ski bags make it *way* easier to schlep them from place to place, and are pretty much necessary if you want to take them on a bus or plane. Even in a car or at home, they help keep things neat (and dry).

If you have skis, you should have a ski bag. I paid $40 for my soft bag 8 years ago, and it's still going strong. It will outlive the skis that I keep in it. The bag is only meant to hold a single pair of skis, but I can cram a second set of poles or a pair of XC skis in if I try -- there's plenty of wiggle room.

Don't even get me started on how useful boot bags are. They have backpack straps *and* a spot to stuff your helmet/clothes!
posted by schmod at 12:54 PM on January 16, 2013


Oh, and I don't know what you people are doing stuffing your clothes into your ski bags. My skis exist in alternating states of being sharp, wet, and dirty. Not something I want to be sitting alongside my dry, clean, unripped clothes...

I guess you can cheat and stuff some stuff in the bag to save on airline baggage fees, but this really doesn't seem like a sound long-term strategy. Also, a lot of airlines specifically tell you that they'll charge you extra if they catch you doing this.

A boot bag is a much safer bet, since it has a compartment specifically designed to hold a helmet and some clothes!
posted by schmod at 12:58 PM on January 16, 2013


Oh, and I don't know what you people are doing stuffing your clothes into your ski bags. My skis exist in alternating states of being sharp, wet, and dirty. Not something I want to be sitting alongside my dry, clean, unripped clothes...

I wait and sharpen my skis when I arrive. But even then, I have a couple of old towels I use under the skis. The skis are clean and dry when I leave for the ski trip. And on the way back my clothes are dirty. It works.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:14 PM on January 16, 2013


I've traveled the world (probably 20+ trips?) with my ski bag as my suitcase, and have never had any issues with any airline... so there's a data point.

I usually ship out with dry clothes around dry skis, cram the bag so full of gear and skis nothing has a chance of moving around, and nothing rips. I never put my skis away while wet or dirty as that is terrible for them, and its a bitch to remove rust from edges (I tune my own gear). The bag lining got a little torn up when I was just carrying freshly sharpened skis in it and they had plenty of room to wiggle about.

Pro tip: Carry your boots onto the flight(and stuff your socks and thermals deep into them- they are a hard empty shell, fill em up!) that way even if your skis get delayed, you can still catch some turns the first day in your own comfy boots and rented skis.
posted by larthegreat at 7:56 PM on January 16, 2013


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