Having the best snowboard bag could be the difference between a great start to a holiday and a disastrous one. Imagine that you have booked your flight and your accommodation after days of research. You have scouted out the best resort, with a great selection of runs and an amazing mountain-top bar. You are almost giddy with anticipation as you check in and board the flight. On the plane you picture the stunning slopes and the gorgeous mountains, as you tuck in to your travelling snacks.
You are riding high as you arrive at your destination, only to find out at bag pick up, that your snowboard bag has ripped and most of the contents have either been damaged or lost. Suddenly, instead of going straight to the chalet to drop of your stuff and head out into the snow, you are on the phone to your insurance for hours to try to and make a claim.
Because we don’t want this to happen to you, we put together this useful list. Each bag that appears here will be scrutinized in terms of weight, capacity, durability and protection. We will then crown a top pick for 2021, as our personal recommendation as the best snowboard bag for air travel. Below are some great choices for boarders heading to the slopes this year, all available on Amazon.
The Dakine Low Roller Snowboard Bag
Designed by one of the most well-regarded and well-known luggage companies in the world- Dakine, the Low Roller Snowboard Bag is a high quality and spacious bag for anyone who respects their kit. This is a bag at the very top end of our 11 best snowboard bags for air travel. In terms of weight, the high-grade polyester bag comes in at 2.8kg, which is average for a bag of this size but should mean it is light enough that you won’t really notice the added weight on top of your boards, boots and other accessories. Reviewers have time and again remarked on its ergonomic design, which includes the wheels and useful handle, which make transporting what is a heavy load, really easy.
With 360 degree padded protection, your boards and other equipment should also be substantially protected from even the roughest of baggage handlers. The Dakine Low Roller Snowboard Bag also comes with a removable boot bag, which is handy to keep your boots separate and adds another layer of protection. With normal use, the bag should also last many seasons, given the product’s sturdy construction and the high density polyester that the bag is made from. Users have also remarked on its cool looks and design, which give the bag extra appeal when considering your airport style. With a tough exterior, good looks and plenty of space for all your kit, Dakine’s Low Roller Snowboard Bag is a top choice for snowboarders this year.
The Burton Space Sack Board Bag
As with Dakine, Burton is another one of those brands that are synonymous with quality. So it is not surprising that their products end up on this list. The Burton Space Sack board bag is one of the simpler and smaller options that Burton provide. With just enough room for your board and an extra deck in the main compartment, this is a bag for those who prefer to travel lighter. This doesn’t however mean compromising on quality, as Burton give the bag a lifetime guarantee, thanks to its no-nonsense durable construction. Its sleek size means that is is light but not fully padded, which is something that you might want to consider if you are putting a lot of kit in it for a flight. Because of its small capacity, you might also consider getting a good sustainable backpack for the rest of your equipment.
All things considered though, this is a really good snowboard bag for snowboarding purists, who just want to get out there. In addition, the bag comes at a great price and is easily folded away when not in use. It also comes with a detachable padded shoulder strap, which provides comfort when hauling your board around the check-in queue. If you want good protection, a simple design and a budget friendly board bag, this is probably the one that you want to go for.
The Element Equipment Wheeled Snowboard Bag
As one of the most popular and respected extreme sports brands on the market, Element Equipment have received plenty of excellent praise from their customers over the years about their products. One of their most praised products from their snow range, is this heavy duty Element Equipment Wheeled Padded Snowboard Bag. This bag is big enough to fit multiple boards in with their bindings, plus 2 pairs of boots and even has extra space for your goggles, gloves and other small items. The compartments even come with interior straps to lock down your boards more effectively. If you are chiefly concerned with capacity, this might be the bag for you. In addition to having plenty of room, this Element Equipment bag also performs well on the protection front, as the bag is fully padded in the words of the brand “from tip to tail”. Being one of the larger bags, it is a touch heavier at 4.3kg. However, with that weight comes a lot of protection and the ability to pack everything you could possible need for a snowboarding trip.
Reviewers have commented that after using the bag a few times, it seems incredibly durable and up to most travelling challenges. This includes even the dreaded overseas flight with less than careful baggage staff. Even with this amazing collection of features, a high quality finish and top-rated protection, the Element Equipment Wheeled Snowboard Bag isn’t even very expensive- another plus for this great product.
The Dakine Tour Snowboard Bag
There are plenty of reasons for Dakine’s domination of the snowboard luggage sector, and for their constant appearances on this Best Snowboard Bags For Air Travel article. This product is just another they can add to their accolade list. Minus the ability to be wheeled around, this is one of the most comprehensive bags on the market. Not only does it come with a full spectrum of features, such as 360 padding, a removable padded shoulder strap and multiple pockets, but it is also impressively light at just 4 pounds. This means that even when you are fully loaded, you have a much better chance of avoiding excessive weight baggage fees.
In addition to the multitude of features that the Dakine Tour Snowboard Bag has, because of its flexible design, it also packs away nicely in your home when it is not in use. Its typically strong Dakine construction and thick polyester, should also not only be trusted to keep your kit safe, but to do so for many seasons to come. This bag is what every snowboard bag should aspire to be – practical, stylish, durable, good value and easy to use.
The Burton Wheelie Gig Board Bag
If you like the Burton brand but are looking for something a little more substantial than the Space Sack Board Bag, the Burton Wheelie Gig Board Bag offers more features and more protection but with the same cool style. Unlike the Space Sack, this bag can carry 2 boards with room to spare. The board compartments are also fully padded to give you that extra peace of mind when handing your precious boards to check-in staff at the airport. The Wheelie Gig Board Bag comes with a clever internal webbing system too, which keeps your board from sliding around too much once in transit.
Other features include the IXION™ urethane wheels which make towing the bag around smooth and easy from drop off to pick up. For escalators and crowds, it also comes with a comfy “Double-Cush” shoulder strap. Being made from 600D polyester (a thick measure of the fabric), the Burton Wheelie Gig Board Bag should also last many many seasons without wearing out. Convenient, stylish and spacious, this product does the business at a wallet-friendly price.
The Element Equipment Padded Snowboard Bag
This is the stripped back version of the Element Equipment Wheeled Padded Snowboard Bag, which is aimed at snowboarders who appreciate a bit more simplicity and who travel a little lighter. Despite its simplicity however, the Element Equipment Padded Snowboard Bag is no joke when it comes to protecting your stuff from the trials and tribulations of air travel. This bag is still fully padded, yet only has enough capacity for one board with bindings. This is perfect for those more spontaneous trips to the mountains. Like its cousin, it is constructed from 600D PVC coated polyester with double stitching, meaning excellent durability too.
Because the bag is smaller it is also lighter and easier to maneuver around check-in queues. That being said, this agility does come at a cost of losing the wheels. A number of reviewers have said that the bag is excellent quality and fits a lot more snowboard gear than you would think, looking at its size. This is one of the best value products on this list, as there are very few options that give boarders this level of protection and build quality for such as low price. All in all, its an excellent bag for quick trips.
The Dakine Pipe Snowboard Bag
Another excellent product from Dakine, this bag is super easy to use and a solid investment for anyone looking for a simply made and brilliantly practical snowboard bag for this season. With full-length lockable zippers, a removable strap and durable fabric, the Dakine Pipe Snowboard bag covers all the basics a good bag needs to have. Additionally, because of its flexible design, it also packs away easily into a small space. This bag is incredibly light, weighing in at less than 2 pounds, meaning that even with your board and essentials packed away, you will be moving a lot quicker than those with more cumbersome bags.
This is undoubtedly a bag for those who prefer to travel on the lighter side when going abroad. Coming from a trustworthy brand and being made to withstand the rigors of travel, the Dakine Pipe Snowboard Bag is a top choice for those with a limited budget who still want a top quality bag.
The XCMAN Padded Snowboard Bag
If you fancy yourself a bit of a nomadic snowboarder, chasing the best runs year after year, you are going to need a bag that keeps up with your schedule. Introducing the XCMAN Padded Snowboard Bag. This is another bag at the very top end of our best snowboard bags range. In terms of storage space, you can easily get multiple boards in this bag (one with and one without bindings) as well as your boots, outerwear and accessories. The compartments which house your boards are also completely padded, as the name suggests, meaning no scratches or dents in your kit when you take them out at your final destination.
This XCMAN product also comes with a tough rubberized handle and what the company call “super glide” urethane wheels, which make lugging even the heaviest of weights easy around the airport. XCMAN have even thought of adding a little extra security to the bag, with an exterior password lock for the main compartment of the bag. This is not the lightest bag on the market though. Yet for the offered luggage capacity this is hardly surprising. When it comes to long-term durability for the product, XCMAN have thought it wise to construct the whole bag out of very thick 900D polyester. This means that even the roughest seasons shouldn’t leave a mark or tear in the bag. Then in the off-season, all you need to do is fold it up (to a fifth of its fully extended size) and stow it away to wait for its next adventure.
Athletico Peak Padded Snowboard Bag
Athletico Gear are a sportswear manufacturer who concentrate on creating top quality products without the painful price tags associated with big name brands. Really it was impossible that at least one of their products couldn’t feature somewhere on our 11 Best Snowboard Bags For Air Travel article. Rugged, water-resistant and ready for all your snowboarding escapades, the Athletico Peak Padded Snowboard Bag is here to keep all your kit dry and accessible. Whether you are strapping it to a friend’s roof rack or throwing it (gently) into the hold for a flight, this bag should mean no nasty surprises at the other end. Unless you travel with a massive amount of kit, this bag should have ample space for everything you need to bring on a typical snowboarding trip. This includes your snowboard, helmet, goggles, snow pants and jacket. All of which can be tidily stowed away in this convenient and practical bag.
This Athletico bag earns 5-star reviews for its high quality, space and excellent padding. The handy padded detachable shoulder strap also gives you that extra dimension of maneuverability when you want to get on the move at the hotel or airport. The water-resistant polyester material that the bag is made from should also keep the bag from wearing out too soon, as happens with other poorer quality bags. This bag is one of the best- versatile, durable and great value for money.
Thule RoundTrip Snowboard Roller Bag
Another titan of the luggage industry and one with a superb reputation for exceptional products, is the Swedish company, Thule. As with everything they turn their hand to, this rolling luggage bag fits the bill for any ambitious snowboarder who values the protection of their kit. As far as capacity is concerned, this bag can carry two snowboards (up to 165cm in length) plus boots and a collection of outerwear and accessories. The Thule RoundTrip Snowboard Roller bag comes with two organized padded compartments to store your gear. Both compartments are complete with cinch top board sleeves to prevent your boards from rubbing inside the bag. To prevent the bag sagging over time, Thule have also reinforced the top and bottom of the bag with structural support.
This heavy duty bag is also super easy to lug around the airport, with smooth wheels and and assortment of handles on both the top and side of the bag. Weighing in at 3.3kg, the bag is a little on the heavy side, yet you get the feeling this is due to the extra materials that Thule have designed the bag with to make doubly sure that your kit is protected. As with so many quality bags, this one is made from 600D polyester, which should keep wear to a minimum, even after a collection of seasons. Finally, the Thule RoundTrip Snowboard Roller bag comes with reliable and smooth YKK zips, to prevent any access problems.
UNIGEAR Double Padded Snowboard Bag
Lastly on our list of the best snowboard bags for air travel, we have this excellent offering from Unigear. Constructed from 600D lightweight fabric, it ticks the durability box right out of the gate. In addition, the internal lining is made from woven polypropylene, which adds another layer of wear and water resistance. This bag is also fully padded, for the cozy and comprehensive protection of your boards. In fact the padding is made from 10mm thick EPE dense foam, and has been made in a way to protect from impact from all sides. Considering the room that you have, the Unigear Double Padded Snowboard Bag offers compartments for snowboards, boots, helmets as well as a place to store smaller items such as gloves and goggles.
Fully packed, this bag can take the strain of a 40kg load, which should be plenty for a personal collection of kit. You will have to carry that 40kg on your shoulder however, as the bag does not come with wheels. This should maybe be taken into consideration when thinking about airport trips. Barring this, from a technical point of view, this Unigear product fulfills all requirements, even if it is a little monochromatic in style. If that wasn’t enough, it also comes at a price which will make the bag even more attractive.
Our Top Pick: The Winner
There are plenty of top-notch snowboard bags on this list, so choosing just the one to top our 11 Best Snowboard Bags For Air Travel article was not an easy task. However, after careful consideration, we have crowned the Thule RoundTrip Snowboard Roller bag as the best of snowboard transportation for air travel. After some deliberation, we could find no fault with it. It is tough, easy to use, can be rolled around as opposed to carried and comes with unbeatable protection for your kit. The clincher however, was the external compression straps which no other bag had. These compression straps, located at the top and bottom of the bag, give the user the ability to tighten the compartments and compress the contents together. This prevents friction and wear to the items inside.
This feature, in addition to Thule’s excellent reputation and reviews (plus the jazzy electric blue zips) pushed the Thule RoundTrip Snowboard Roller bag to the top of the list, as the thoroughly deserved best pick.
Can I bring my snowboard on a plane?
Yes, largely you are permitted to bring your snowboard with you on the plane. However, the prices, weight allowances, as well as bag type requirements vary quite significantly from airline to airline. For example, a short-haul airline may require additional luggage purchases in order for you to take your board, whereas other airlines fold it in with the checked bag allowance – it is always recommended that you read the list of requirements for the type of baggage you intend to travel with before booking.
How do I protect my snowboard when flying?
The best and simplest thing you can do to protect your snowboard when flying is to purchase a quality travel bag to pack it in, along with your other snowboarding paraphernalia. These bags range from very thin sacks which will fulfill the function of keeping you things in one place, to high-end padded bags, which provide a great deal more protection. If you are particularly concerned about your kit, investing in a top-quality bag will save you the anxiety of worrying about your things when they are in transit.
How much does it cost to bring a snowboard on a plane?
The cost of bringing your snowboard onto a plane is ultimately down to its size, weight and what airline and tickets you choose. For example, if you were to fly with Air Canada, they count snowboard equipment as part of your free baggage allowance (up to 23kg in Economy), however if you were to fly with Easy Jet, you would be required to purchase additional sporting goods baggage at an extra cost. It is always worth reading the terms and conditions of the airline you wish to fly with in regards to how they cost sporting equipment baggage, such as a snowboard.
What size snowboard bag should I get?
The size of the snowboard bag you should get is dependent on a mixture of factors, chief among which is the size of your snowboard -there is little point in buying a bag which is 150cm if your board is 165cm. It is recommended if you are unsure about the capacity of the bag you intend to buy, that you contact the manufacturer to make sure that your board will fit in the specific bag you are looking at. Other factors to consider when thinking about the size of the bag you should purchase include how many boards it will need to take, how much additional equipment will it need to carry, and if you require the bag to be padded or not.