Our guide to buying a ski bag

Luggage Tips Travel

When you spend as much time shipping skis as we do, you get to know a thing or two about ski luggage. There’s a wide range of ski bags on the market, but advice on choosing the right one can be hard to come by. So we’ve put together a handy guide to buying a ski or snowboard bag to help you send luggage abroad even more easily. Whatever kind of ski trip you’re planning, cover these five bases and you’ll find the right ski bag for you.

Types of ski bag: sleeve, coffin or hard case?

A sleeve is the most basic option; just large enough to accommodate your skis and poles or board without much extra room for gear. They come with varying amounts of padding, so although a very basic sleeve is only good for interim transit and short car trips, a quality, well-padded one can do the job if you don’t have too much kit to pack.

As the name suggests, a coffin bag is a large, boxy case, usually made from hardwearing fabric (look for a thread count of 600D for a long-lasting, tough bag). They’re often designed for snowboards and generally have space for all your clothes and kit too, meaning you have fewer bags to ship.

Hard ski cases (also known as tubes) are made from rigid plastic and are designed for extra protection – they’re not usually suitable for boards.

Wheels or no wheels?

The next question you need to answer is ‘how and where am I going to carry my bag?’ Of course, if your answer is ‘nowhere – I’m going to ship my skis!’ then this is less of a concern. But if you do need to carry your bag anywhere then consider whether you can manage it over your shoulder or if you could do with wheels. Sleeves often don’t come with wheels; coffins and hard cases usually do.

What length ski bag do I need?

You need a balance between a bag that’s long enough to comfortably fit your skis or board, but not so long that you’ll have a load of extra bag flapping around (not a problem if you choose a hard case). Aim for between 5cm and 15cm longer than your kit. Of course, if you do go longer then you can always cram some extra gear in the end.

If you choose a hard case then just go a little longer than your skis so they don’t have room to slide around.

Volume: what size should I go for?

How much ski gear do you need to pack in there? Once you’ve chosen the type of bag you need there’s not a lot of variation, but do consider whether you want a slimline bag for a single pair of skis or a double-size monster that will take two pairs and extra gear.

What other features should I look for?

Handles are usually a given, but there are a few helpful extras to look out for. On ski bags look for compression straps – these are straps around the outside of the bag that you can tighten to keep everything safely packed in.

Internal straps are another extra that will keep your precious cargo locked down safely. Larger board bags can also come with a separate boot compartment, and a range of handles that let you carry the bag in different ways is also helpful.

Invest in the right ski bag and you can send luggage abroad with Luggage Mule’s ski shipping service safe in the knowledge that you’ve taken care of everything to ship your skis hassle-free.

Image credit : Zach Dischner on Flickr