Basic Ski and Boot Bag Advice

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Don't know what type of bag to buy? Here are some very basic tips. Snowshack has many types of ski and boot bags. Ski bags are of basically two types, hard and soft. Hard shell cases, like those from SportTube, provide maximum protection. They "telescope" in size so you can easily adjust them to the length of your precious cargo. The tubes also lock together to thwart potential thieves. You may find, however, that it is difficult to pack much else in the case with the skis and poles. Also, because of their size they take up more storage room than a traditional ski bag. The soft bags come padded or non-padded and are available in many sizes and lengths. These bags will provide minimal to good protection. We always recommend stuffing the extra space in these bags with clothing or padding to better protect the skis and the bag from sharp points on the skis and/or bindings, particularly if you will be travelling by air. All ski bags can handle air travel. That said, not all ski bags are created equal. A ski sleeve offers the least protection and is typically made of a lighter material than a traditional ski bag. It is best suited for road travel (roof rack, trunk, bus, etc) but, with the proper packing, it can be used in air travel. A ski bag will come with no padding, padding around the binding area or full padding. All three can be used for air travel. We recommend providing additional padding to help protect the skis from any rough handling but also to protect the bag for any sharp points on the skis/bindings/poles from poking through. We recommend this REGARDLESS of how much padding the bag has. Price differences of bags will reflect the materials used, the quality of the stitching and zippers, the amount of padding and the branding. Ski bags in general offer some sort of coating on the inside of the bag for durability and water repellency. There are also two types of boot bags. The first is bags designed for boots plus a minimal amount of gear (goggles, mittens, hats, etc.). Most of these bags have carry handles and an over-the-shoulder strap but some have backpack straps too. The second type boot bag are cargo bags. These are larger bags that typically include separate boot compartments. Boots are either put in the individual pockets on each end of the bag or in some cases below the main cargo. There is also a large main cargo area which is plenty large for additional gear including clothing and helmets. If you are travelling, we recommend cargo bags as it minimizes the number of bags you have to carry. These bags have carry straps and over-the-shoulder straps. Many have telescoping handles and use in-line skate wheels for easy rolling. For more detailed information on features and quality, check out What to Look for in a Bag. Prices will vary depending on brand, features, quality, and amount of padding.