How to Fly with Skis & Snowboards




How to Fly with Skis & Snowboards

How to Fly with Skis & Snowboards:

You've got your ski trip locked in, and now, the packing… Luckily, it's easier than you think. When flying, it’s infinitely easier to have a bag that rolls, ideally with some serious protection.

Choosing the Best Ski & Snowboard Baggage:

Traveling with ski and snowboard gear can be challenging. At SENDY, we're big fans of wheeled bags, soft sided but padded, to ensure easy, safe transportation of your gear across vast airport terminals, snow-covered streets, and busy hotel lobbies. Not only do they make airport hustling a breeze, but they have enough space for skis, board, poles, helmet, goggles, and clothes! 

For skiers, a double ski-roller bag is the best, while snowboarders can't go wrong with a roller bag for the extra room.

Non-wheeled bags are utilitarian, but can be cumbersome. They’re cost effective and ideal for trips where you’ll only move your skis a short distance, for instance, from your trunk to the condo.

The Pinnacle of Ski Luggage: is a double roller ski bag like the Backcountry Double Ski & Snowboard Rolling Bag. These are the best way to travel with ski gear, as they allow you to pack multiple pairs of skis or boards (like a pair of carving skis for groomers and a set of powder boards in the event of an epic storm). If you’re bringing just one set of skis or a single board, there’s even more space for stashing your gear. And if you’re traveling with a friend and have only one pair of skis or one board each, you’ll only need one bag to wrangle between the two of you. 

Hard Ski/Snowboard Cases: perfect for travelers who consider their board(s) precious cargo. A hard ski/snowboard case ensures your skis or boards arrive at their destination safe and sound. The benefit of a hard case is obvious: maximum protection, but this security comes at a cost. Hard shell bags are difficult to maneuver into tight spaces like the trunk of a car, and they can weigh twice as much as soft ski travel bags, cutting into the amount of extra gear you can pack inside for a flight.

Other Considerations

Length: it’s easy to overlook something obvious like length, but be sure the bag you select is as long, if not longer, than the longest set of skis or board you’ll travel with.

Weight: oftentimes, the more bells and whistles a ski bag has, the more it weighs. Wheels, padding, zippers, and pockets all add weight—this is of particular importance if you’re flying and might have to pay for an extra or oversized bag.

Special Features

No Padding vs. Padding: ski tips, tails, and bindings are all vulnerable to damage during travel, making fully padded ski bags optimal for most ski travelers. Partially padded bags are great for car travel, where the major concern is harming the tips and tails when trying to make them fit in tight trunks. Non-padded bags are popular with skiers simply looking to keep snow from melting inside their vehicle or road salt off skis tossed in a truck bed. If you choose a non-padded bag, it’s wise to use mittens, a scarf, and other soft accessories to protect the tips and bindings during travel.

Straps and Handles: ski travel bags with padded, sling-style shoulder straps take the discomfort and stress out of carrying a ski bag and offer a variety of carrying positions.

Pockets: plan to use your bag for more than just skis and snowboards. A few well-placed pockets can make all the difference.

Gear and Compression Straps: ski/snowboard travel bags with interior gear straps ensure your equipment doesn’t ragdoll en route to its destination, preventing skis, snowboards, and equipment from getting scratched, chipped, and damaged during travel. Exterior compression straps are also a great way to guarantee your gear stays in its proper place. There’s a seemingly endless number of uses for ski straps, and packing for your next ski trip is no exception. Strap your skis together to keep them from moving around inside your ski travel bag during transit and to protect their bases from jostling. Strapping your poles to your skis is also a smart strategy to keep them safe.

The Boot Bag: some airlines let you check a ski or snowboard bag and a boot bag as one. It's convenient and saves you some money, but don’t do it!. Boots are harder to rent than skis or a snowboard, especially if they're custom molded, that's why many snow enthusiasts bring their boots as carry-on luggage. Secure them to your backpack, or pack a day’s worth of necessities along with your boots in a proper ski boot bag, and you're good to go. Some boot bags like the Backcountry Ski Boot Bag even feature special pockets for holding goggles, gloves, or neck gaiters.

Backpacks: besides your ski or snowboard bag, you’ll need a backpack. Look for one with a helmet-carrying system – it keeps your helmet safe from luggage chaos. Plus, backpacks are perfect for stashing smaller items and electronics.

How to Pack Your Ski or Snowboard Bag for Air Travel: 3 options

Everything Goes in The Board Bag & Backpack: keep it simple, pack all your clothes and gear in one bag. Less juggling, fewer bags, and you’ll dodge extra fees. Roll up your clothes & layers – think nice little burritos for your clothes. Use stuff sacks for small items to keep things organized and easy to find. Organize vertically – split your bag in two: gear on one side, clothes on the other.

A Separate Suitcase for Clothes: For the organized souls or those with extra gear, an additional suitcase might be your play. Airport maneuvering gets a bit trickier, but you've got space for both gear and street clothes.

Ship Your Gear Ahead: you may prefer to ship your gear in advance and skip the airport hassle altogether. It’s a bit pricier, but sometimes worth it.

Airline Ski & Snowboard Baggage Policies:

Every airline's got its own rules for ski and snowboard bags. Usually, they treat them as regular-sized bags, and sometimes they count a ski bag and a boot bag together as one, though they must typically weigh less than 5olbs (it’s worth purchasing a luggage scale to sort things out at home).

Remember, policies can change, so always check directly with your airline for the latest. Safe travels!

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