13 Best Ski Boot Bags for Air Travel: Protect Your Gear | 2021
Looking for the best ski boot bags for air travel? We get it. If you’ve been itching to get back into the world, your time is coming. 2021 is when everyone is getting back to traveling, and air travel is significantly starting to rise to pre-pandemic levels again. So if you prefer cold weather over beaches, you might have a ski trip coming up in 2021.
Traveling with your ski gear can be a little more challenging than packing for any other kind of trip because your equipment, especially your boots, is bulky. At She Packs Lite, we’re here to help you make the most of any journey by packing efficiently and stylishly. For ski trips, that starts with having the best ski boot bag. Compression packing cubes will also be your best friend because you can squish down bulky clothing items so you can pack a few extra layers.
Ski equipment can be expensive to rent, especially when it’s in a resort town. On the other hand, maybe you just love your own gear. Either way, you will want a one of the best ski boot bags for air travel to protect your gear!
We’ve compiled a list of the best ski boot bags of different sizes after reading tons of ski boot bag reviews so you can pick a perfect boot bag that gives you enough room for all of your ski gear.
Our Top Picks: Best Ski Boot Bags for Air Travel
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The Element Equipment Boot Bag Deluxe is consistently rated and reviewed as one of the best ski boot bags available. Its durable design and double-stitching mean that it’s heavy-duty. You won’t replace it after it gets tossed around by baggage handlers while traveling. The main compartment is well-ventilated, so it won’t get smelly. The two side pockets have enough room for the rest of your gear.
This ski boot bag comes with a padded back panel and padded shoulder straps, and carry handles, so it’s comfortable to wear, even with heavy ski boots inside. We also love this bag because it comes at a very reasonable price. The Element Equipment Boot Bag Deluxe is so well-made and affordable. We think it’s a great value and definitely capable of carrying everything you need to the ski resort.
- Large enough to hold all gear
- Fleece-lined goggle compartment
- Very durable material
- Double stitching makes zippers stiff
The Sportube Overheader Boot Bag is ideal for air travel. It meets the carry-on requirements for most major airlines and will fit in the overhead compartment without a helmet on the front. We also like this bag because you can use it to carry your things while you’re skiing, not just to transport your gear to the mountain.
In addition to the boot compartment, this bag has several external pockets. A mesh pocket for your water bottle and you have the option to strap your helmet to the front of the backpack. The straps on the Sportube Overheader boot bag are also designed to be super comfortable. Not only does it have padded backpack straps, but also a padded sternum strap and hip strap to keep it comfortable all day while you’re skiing.
- Can double as a backpack while skiing
- Adequate space for all of your gear
- Durable material
- A little expensive
If you’re looking for another great budget option, the Athalon Everything Boot Bag is sure to fit in your price range. Not only is it a great bag, but it also comes in a ton of different colors so can match your style. The carry handles on the top and front of the bag also make it easy to carry, and comfortable to wear if you choose to use the shoulder straps.
This boot bag has a lot of space for all of the different gear that you need, including a center section where you can put your ski jacket or ski pants, a small front pocket to store any phones or headphones, and a bungee cord on the front to hold anything extra. Another great thing about this boot bag is that the bottom is waterproof and contains drainage grommets so as the snow melts off your boots, it doesn’t stay in your bag.
- Large bag with extra storage
- External storage compartments
- Drainage grommets at the bottom
- Can get bulky wheh fully packed
If you’re concerned about the amount of space your ski gear takes up, the Kulkea Boot Trekker is the perfect choice for you. This is the largest boot bag that we found when reading reviews online. It may be much larger than any of the other ski boot bags in this guide, but it should still fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane.
This bag has two boot pockets on either side and a large main storage compartment. It also has a small front compartment for personal items you might need easy access to, and a space for your ski goggles so they don’t get scratched up in the larger part of the bag. Because it’s a large bag with so much space, it might get heavier than some of the smaller ones. Luckily, the Kulkea Boot Trekker bag comes with shoulder straps and sternum and hip straps.
Another cool feature of this bag is the water-resistant material on the outside of the bag so no moisture finds its way into your bag while you’re traveling through snowy weather.
- Fits in overhead bins
- Sternum and hip straps
- Can put your helmet in outside sling for extra space
- On the expensive side
Try the High Sierra Ski Boot Bag Backpack if you are looking for a basic bootbag with just the essentials. This boot pack is a great option if you’re looking for a lightweight travel bag for your ski or sports equipment. The design of this bag is more simple, with just three compartments, but it still has plenty of space for a pair of boots, helmet, goggles, face mask, and other clothing items.
Like many other ski boot bags, the back panel is padded so it’s comfortable to wear. However, it only has shoulder straps and a top handle, so there isn’t as much support for your hips and sternum as with other bags. The High Sierra boot bag is a very affordable option, but that means it’s more basic than the others. But sometimes all you need is something basic to get the job done.
- Very affordable
- Lightweight and durable material
- Extra storage capacity
- No external storage pockets
The design of the Swix Norwegian National Team Tripack is a bit bulkier than some of the sleeker bags, but it makes up for that in storage and durability. Made with incredible durable nylon, the outer shell of this ski boot bag is in line with most other Swix products.
This Swix ski boot bag has both internal and external compartments, which provide extra space for all of your gear. The internal side compartments hold your ski boots, and the large middle compartment has enough space for your helmet, goggles, and clothes. The five exterior pockets are great for things you want quick access to like snacks, sunscreen, or your phone.
The size of this bag, along with its durability, makes it one of the best ski bags that you can get. The price is also reasonable, although not as cheap as others, so it won’t break the bank. Sometimes it’s worth it to buy a bag that’s a little more expensive if you know it’s well made.
- Great quality and durable material
- Lots of external storage pockets
- On the expensive side
If you’re going to be traveling with a few pairs of skis in addition to the rest of your gear and clothing, it’s a good idea to make your bags work as efficiently as they can for you. Ski bags have to be checked, so if you want to avoid having to check your ski boot bag as well, you should choose a bag like the Wildhorn Brimhall Ski Boot Bag. Of all the different types of ski boot bags, it’s nice to have one that is easy to carry on and isn’t bulky or awkward to carry.
This ski boot bag is also a good choice because you can switch up the way you carry it. The bag comes with backpack straps, but you can tuck them away in their own separate compartments and convert to a cross-body carry. The removable shoulder strap is adjustable and padded in order to be as comfortable as possible while you’re carrying your bag.
The soft divider in the bag is removable, turning this ski boot backpack into a versatile bag that you can wear while skiing, not just when you’re traveling. The Wildhorn Brimhall Ski Boot Bag is the official bag of the US Ski Team, so you know it’s trusted to protect the best ski boots.
- Compact design
- Removable shoulder strap
- Can be used as a backpack while skiing
- Have to open the bag completely to reach boots
If you don’t like fumbling with your ski gear in the parking lot, the Unigear Ski Boot Bag will solve all of your problems. Out of all of the other ski boot bags we have listed here, this is one of the only ones that is specifically designed to hold your skis and poles. The adjustable straps on the side of the bag fasten around your skis, poles, or snowboard. This is a great option if you need to carry your skis long distances.
The top pocket of the bag zippers open and has ample space for your helmet and goggles, and the front pocket holds your ski pants and ski jacket. You can fit a lot in this bag and still be able to carry it on the airplane. Although it is waterproof, one thing that we don’t like is that there isn’t any drainage at the bottom of the bag.
- Straps on sides to attach skis
- Easy access to all compartments
- Affordable price
- No drainage at the bottom
Thule is another outdoor gear brand known for its quality, and you’ll get a ski boot bag that lasts you a long time if you choose the Thule Roundtrip Boot Backpack. It is a bit more expensive than some of the other bags that we’ve reviewed here, but it’s well made and Thule has made it very easy to access everything in the bag with the two-way access zippers in the front and back of the bag. If you’re packing a small bag for a ski trip, you’re probably going to have a lot stuffed into this bag, so we like that you don’t have to unpack the entire bag in order to get something out. There’s also a spacious top pocket that will hold all of your small items and help protect your goggle pack.
Another feature that we like about this bag that we haven’t seen in too many others is the ability to strap your skis, snowboard, and helmet to the outside of the bag. We think this is a very useful feature of any ski boot bag that you choose because it lets you move around much easier once you’re out skiing for the day.
- Two-way access to front and back of bag
- Can attach skis and poles to outside
- Very large capacity
- A little expensive
The Transpack XT1 Ski Boot Bag is another simple, affordable option if you’re just looking to carry pairs of boots but not much else. The bag itself is constructed from a water-resistant material and the bottom of the bag is waterproof with drainage grommets, which helps keep the rest of your gear dry when you pack up at the end of the day. We also like that there are mesh pockets on the outside of the bag in case you have anything that gets particularly wet and you don’t want on the inside of your bag.
Overall, this is a good ski boot bag if you’re looking for a no-frills option and not willing to spend a lot of money to transport your boots to the mountain. The back panel is well-padded so your boots won’t dig into your bag and the adjustable shoulder straps are well-padded as well.
- Very affordable – Basic design, not a lot of extra storage
- Outside mesh pockets for wet gear
- Well-padded straps and back panel
- Basic design, not a lot of extra storage
The Select Sportsbag Team Pack is different than any of the other ones that we’ve reviewed because this bag does not have interior boot compartments. The boots and helmet are carried on the outside of the bag. The design of the Select Sportsbag Team Pack is more similar to a backpacking pack. It’s taller instead of wider, as some of the other ski boot bags we’ve reviewed.
With your boots stored on the outside of the bag, they start drying faster once you’re done skiing. The straps that attach your ski boots to the bag are very secure so the boots aren’t flying around and getting banged up. But, it doesn’t make for a compact bag like others. Also, the interior of the bag isn’t taken up by the boots, leaving more room on the inside the backpack for everything else.
To make even more use out of your spacious ski boot bag, check out some compression packing cubes from our list of best compression cubes. They’ll give you even more room in your bag so you can pack efficiently for your next ski trip.
- Doubles as a backpack while skiing
- Large internal capacity since boots are external
- No moisture from boots on the inside of your bag
- No hip/sturnum straps
Another compact and affordable option for ski boot bags is the OutdoorMaster Ski Boot Bag Lynx. This boot bag is one of the cheapest on our list here, and although you have to sacrifice a few features that you can find on other bags, the price may make it worth it. The design of this bag is intended to keep the different compartments of the bag separate and easily accessible. The main compartment of the bag opens from the back and has space for your ski boots and clothes, and the top compartment opens to fit your helmet. You’ll also find a front and side compartment for anything else that you might need to pack.
The outside and bottom of the bag are made from waterproof material, and although there are no drainage grommets to get rid of excess water from your boots that melt, your boots will be in that larger main compartment away from the rest of your gear, so we don’t think you should worry too much about that.
- Compact design
- Two-way access to larger compartments
- Very affordable
- No drainage at the bottom
This bag is a little more expensive than some of the other options that we have listed, but it’s a great option if you’re looking for a ski boot bag that you don’t have to carry on your back.
- Telescopic handle and wheels
- Meets carry-on guidelines
- Has external helmet sling
- Fairly expensive
What should you consider when choosing a the best ski boot bags for air travel?
Will it fit in the overhead bin?
Since ski boots and gear can be pretty bulky, it might be hard to fit your boot bag in the overhead bin if you don’t opt for a bag that has a more compact design. Bags that are made for air travel will usually say so in the product description, so when you have your boot bag choices narrowed down, pay attention to if they are rated as a carry-on bag. This will help you pack as light as possible and avoid having to check any extra bags.
What size boots does the bag fit?
If you own women’s ski boots, you may not have to worry about this too much when you’re shopping for a ski boot bag, but it’s something that is helpful to keep in mind. Most product descriptions for ski boot bags will tell you how large your ski boots can be before they won’t fit in your bag anymore. It may not ever be an issue for you, but you should still read the full description to make sure you won’t run into any problems when you’re packing your boot bag for your next ski trip.
What kind of storage does the bag offer?
Obviously, your main concern is whether or not your ski boot bag will fit your boots or not, but if you want to make the best use of your bag, you should look for something that has the ability to fit more than your boots so you can minimize the number of bags you have to bring on your ski trip. Some ski boot bags just offer basic storage and don’t have a lot of additional pockets for clothes, goggles, or other personal items. If you plan to bring your own skis with you on your trip, you’ll definitely have to check them, but what about after you get there? If having a bag that you can strap your skis to is important, make sure you look for that when choosing a bag.
What is the outer material of the bag like?
Air travel can cause your bags to get thrown around and stuffed into overhead bins quite a bit. If you check your ski boot bag or not, you’ll want to make sure that the material of the bag is good quality so it doesn’t get damaged in transport. You’re also more likely to encounter harsher weather conditions at your final destination, so having a bag that can withstand some amount of precipitation is also important so your gear stays safe and dry inside your bag.
What kind of straps do you prefer?
Ski gear can get heavy pretty quickly in your bag, so you want a bag that is comfortable to wear and won’t kill your shoulders after having it on for thirty minutes. Most of the bags we reviewed have well-padded back panels because ski boots have the potential to dig into your back while you’re carrying them, but the kind of straps vary among bags. Backpack straps may distribute the weight of your gear more evenly, but some people prefer a cross-body shoulder strap. If your bag is especially heavy, it’s nice to have a sternum and hip strap as well.
Is the bag dual purpose?
At She Packs Lite, we’re all about packing the minimum amount possible for any trip that you decide to go on. In order to do so for trips like this, it can be helpful to have a ski boot bag that serves more than one purpose. It’s important to have a bag that can get your gear to the mountain, but what about after you get there? Some ski boot bags double very well as a backpack you can comfortably carry while you’re out skiing all day. If your boot bag is dual purpose, that’s one less bag you have to pack, carry on or check on your trip.
FAQ : Best Ski Boot Bags for Air Travel
Can you bring ski boots on a plane?
Yes! A lot of airline carriers will allow your skis and ski boot bag as one checked bag. If you’d rather keep your gear with you, you can pack your ski boots in a ski boot bag and carry the bag onto the plane with you.
How do you fly with skis and boots?
It’s important that you have proper bags for both of these things prior to flying anywhere. If you’re planning on traveling with your skis, invest in a good, checkable ski bag. Everything else that you might need, including your ski boots, will fit in a ski boot bag.
What should I look for in a ski boot bag?
Because ski gear can get so heavy, comfort is a key feature in any ski boot bag. We also think that additional storage and a compact design are important as well. This list of the best ski boot bags for air travel should help you decide what qualities are right for you.
How do you pack a boot bag?
First and foremost, a boot bag is for ski boots and equipment. You want to make sure you pack all of the gear you might need for skiing first. This includes your boots, helmet, goggles, gloves or mittens, face mask, and sunscreen. A lot of boot bags that we’ve reviewed also come with a smaller compartment meant for clothes. That way you can pack your ski pants and ski jacket in your boot bag as well if you have room.