7 Best Ski Bags for Chasing Powder Around the Globe
After testing from New England to the Rockies and across the ocean, we found best bags for hauling boards and skis across terminals and tarmac
Photo Courtesy Db
After countless winters being tossed into my frozen roof rack, shoved into various overstuffed trunks, and flown to different countries for the sake of chasing snow, the old raggedy royal blue ski bag my dad passed down to me was shredded beyond the point of a duct tape repair job. I said goodbye to my well-loved beater bag (well kind of, it’s still in the basement for nostalgic reasons), and started searching for a new ski bag that my bindings wouldn’t tear wide open—or, gasp, one that would effortlessly roll through an airport terminal. Luckily, there are plenty of fully-loaded ski bags on the market that do all these things and so much more.
With climate change making winter weather problems impossible to rely on, a ski bag is an essential piece of gear for any powder chaser. A good one will protect your gear in transit, and the best ones simplify the schlepping of skis, boots, poles, and even outerwear, base layers, and other items into one organized piece of carry so you don’t have to worry about any of your precious (and pricey) ski gear showing up on the baggage carousel with dents and scratches.
While protection is certainly a key feature in a high-quality ski bag, it’s not the only thing. Here are a few other details to consider to help you choose the best one for you:
Size and Storage - Find a ski bag that fits the length of your skis, and consider how much room you need to store additional gear such as multiple pairs of skis and poles, avalanche safety equipment, ski jackets, pants, and more. A great ski bag will have a designated spot or at least room for everything you need to travel smoothly.
Durability - Look for a ski bag made with durable materials that won’t rip and are water-resistant so moisture can't seep in. Padding on the interior adds even more protection when you’re on the go.
Ease of Carry - Grab handles, shoulder straps, and wheels all make it easier to transport your bulky gear to and from the mountain. Decide what’s preferable for you when you’re hauling it through the parking lot or snatching it off the luggage carousel.
Swedish outdoor gear brand Thule made a roller ski bag that possesses the hallmarks of Nordic minimalism: simplicity, functionality, and a monochrome color palette that just looks sleek. The hard-wearing 600D polyester material it's made of is thickly padded to protect your belongings, with a smooth handfeel for a luxe touch. Built with internal pockets and compression straps for easy organizing, the bag also has an S-shaped zipper that allows you to access your gear without making a mess. As a bonus, there are reinforcements on the top and bottom so the bag holds its shape without being bulky or sagging under the weight when you're rolling fully loaded.
The extra design details that really set this ski bag apart are its two padded cinch-top sleeves that hold skis in place and prevent them from getting knocked around while traveling. Thule also added a removable padded divider that you can use as a standing mat to keep feet warm and dry while booting up in the parking lot. Want to go all out? Check out Thule’s matching RoundTrip Snowsport Duffel Bag for a deluxe roomy boot bag that attaches to the RoundTrip, ensuring smooth travels to any far flung destination.
With space for one or two pairs of skis or a snowboard, plus lots of room for the rest of your equipment and organizational mesh pockets inside, plus a water-resistant PU-coated polyester construction, and rugged wheels that can handle the gravel driveway up to the ski chalet, the Snowroller has everything a good ski bag should. But its Scandinavian design includes a few extra features that make it stand out around other bags. It integrates with Db's other duffels and ski boot bags for combo carry, for one.
More importantly, a "Rib-Cage Construction" provides real protection and lets you adjust the bag's length from 200cm, but it also lets you roll the entire thing up into compact bundle that's easy to store in a closet or under a bed, so you won't need a garage to store this thing in the off season. Our tester has had his Snowroller for half a decade and vouches for its versatility on cross-country backcountry pilgrimages, heli ski trips to Kamchatka, and everything in between.
The Fall Line gets you from point A to B as a streamlined ski roller bag designed to keep your skis, boots, and poles in one place. Inside, there’s extra space to store boots and ski clothes in a zippered compartment, while the outer pocket is great for organizing slightly less valuable gear like gloves, mittens, ski socks, and snacks. The recycled 600D polyester ripstop material is water-repellent—a nice feature that gives you peace of mind when your gear is in transit—plus two different length options to choose from. It's a well-built ski bag that focuses on the essentials, and comes at an approachable price for the category, too.
This is the only hard case ski travel bag to make our list, and for good reason. The Series 3 is big enough to fit up to three pairs of alpine skis and poles or two snowboards with bindings and boots. A sturdy, impact-resistant polyethylene case means that in addition to being checked as oversized luggage, it can also be shipped or strapped to the roof of a car without risk of major damage. Don’t worry about dragging it through the airport terminal, a handle and wheels allow for convenient transportation to lighten your load. In the spirit of keeping it light, Sportube also makes a single ski case and double case if that’s more your speed.
For the pow-chasing skier that wants a quality padded ski bag with enough room for two pairs of skis but needs to save space when they’re hitting the trails, the Evoc Ski Roller is for you. The spacious main compartment safely stows your gear by using compression straps to secure skis and a cushioned ski pole sleeve for further organization. There are internal and external pockets to stash smaller items (plan to pack your ski boots elsewhere though), and multiple grab handles that come in handy when utilizing the smooth-rolling skate wheels for traveling during a ski trip. Available in two sizes—large (175cm) and XL (195cm)—this double ski bag packs down for easy storage in a hotel room or an Airbnb A-frame in the mountains.
If you prefer to pack your clothes and gear in a separate bag, K2 offers this simplified padded ski sleeve for those with a single ski quiver, which can also be a budget-friendly option. Its durable 600D ripstop nylon is padded for protection in case of travel mishaps, as is the padded shoulder strap and handles that make for a comfortable and unfussy mode of carry. This single ski bag will make it easy to take on city streets, hotel lobbies, and airport terminals when traveling light.
It's fitting that a Burton snowboard bag would come outfitted with smooth-rolling skate wheels, but there’s a lot more to this feature-rich bag than that. No strangers to unpredictable weather, the Vermont-based snowboard brand used a durable waterproof 600D nylon material that’s strengthened with DWR and PU coating to protect gear from wintry mixes while padding protects from the wear and tear of travel. Strap down your snowboard with the internal webbing and use the compression straps on the inside and outside of the bag to secure it all in place. There's also an external pocket for organizing your small items.
Need winter adventure inspo? Check out this photo essay from a ski trip to New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Published 02-01-2023Size and StorageDurabilityEase of CarryPrice:Price:Price:Price:Price:Price:Price: