Anyone who’s traveled with ski gear knows this: it sucks. Schlepping one or two pairs of skis, poles, boots, a helmet, goggles, gloves, jackets, ski pants along with everyday clothing and travel needs (not to mention après ski attire) in and out of cabs and airports almost dulls the allure of foreign snow and untraveled terrain.

Almost. Successful navigation of the portion of the journey that exists between your front doorstep and that of the ski chalet relies on a key item: the ski bag.

This guide to the best ski bags for travel provides information on the seven best ski bags available, with information on each model's key features such as capacity, pockets, the material they're made of and how durable they are. We also provide tips on how to pack a ski bag and how to make traveling with one as seamless as possible.

What to Know About Ski Travel Bags

Beyond having the right bag, there are a few key things to know about traveling with skis.

Choosing and Packing a Ski Bag

Ski bags are unwieldy pieces of luggage that typically hold one or two pairs of skis with bindings, but some hold three. The size of the bag you choose will depend on the type of ski trip you’re going on, how often you travel with skis and how you prefer to pack. Unless you’re a travel minimalist, we recommend that in most cases you pack into a bag that can hold two pairs of skis. Bringing two pairs to your destination — a narrow-waisted pair for hardpack and a wider pair for powder, for instance — will give you options in case the weather doesn’t behave as predicted. But even if you only own one pair of skis, a two-ski bag is a good option because the extra space can be used for all the rest of your gear, plus clothing, so you won't have to bring another bag and can save money on airline baggage fees.

There are also a few handy things to remember when packing your ski bag. Use Voile or Velcro straps to keep each pair of skis secure and help prevent them from getting damaged. Pack them tip-to-tail inside the bag to maximize the use of space. And again, ski bags aren’t only for skis — you can likely fit all of your ski clothing in the remaining space, which will provide additional cushioning for your bindings, brakes, tips and tails.

Tips for Navigating the Airport with a Ski Bag

Unless you plan to rent equipment at your destination, resign yourself to the fact that the carry-on-only ski trip doesn’t exist. You can still save yourself from getting gouged at the airport though. First, pack as much clothing and gear in with your skis as possible. Second, on most airlines, you’re allotted one carry-on, and one personal item in the airplane cabin — your ski boots are that second item. This will not only save a ton of space in your luggage but also, in case anything gets lost or delayed, means that you’ll still have your boots if you need to buy a pair of rentals for a day while you wait for your luggage to arrive. (The airline might even cover that fee for you.)

Lastly, know your airline’s baggage policy — most of them, including American Airlines, Delta, United, Southwest and JetBlue count a ski bag and a boot bag as one piece of checked luggage. Some airlines are more strict than others as to what a “boot bag” is, but it’s not implausible that you can get away with checking an extra bag of clothing this way (it more than likely depends on the mood of the attendant checking you in). Typically, the combined weight of the two bags will count towards that of a single bag’s maximum weight allotment, which is usually 50 pounds.

Now all you need is the bag.

How We Tested

skiers going through packs on porch of old house
Lee CohenGetty Images

We selected bags based on capacity, hardiness and packability. To be useful, a ski bag has to be equal parts convenient and durable — you've got to be able to fit all of your gear with (relative) ease, and it's got to stay protected on trains, planes and automobiles. We skied at resorts across the country and tested a selection of bags along the way. Here are our top picks.

Dakine Fall Line Ski Roller Travel Bag

Best Overall Ski Bag

Dakine Fall Line Ski Roller Bag

  • Functional and thoughtful features make travel and packing a breeze

  • Often sold out due to popularity

Dakine’s most popular ski roller bag is also its most versatile. The sleek, lightweight hauler boasts enough room for multiple pairs of skis and all the gear you need for everything from a weekend jaunt to a weeklong mountain adventure, and it’s available in two lengths, 175cm and 190cm, to accommodate just about any length of skis. Smart design features include 360-degree padded ski protection, a lockable main zipper, a removable boot bag, a tow handle that pairs with a rolling luggage bag for easy cruising through the airport and a handy external pocket for stashing key items like travel documents, reading material, keys and cookies.

  • Capacity: 2 pairs of skis plus one pair of boots, poles and outerwear
  • Weight: 6 pounds, 3 ounces
  • Material: 600D polyester ripstop with water-repellent finish, Bluesign-approved material

    Evoc Snow Gear Roller

    Best Upgrade Ski Bag

    Evoc Snow Gear Roller

    • Apartment dwellers will appreciate the foldable design
    • Wheels are smooth and silent

    • Pricey

    Most skiers will know one of the major pain points associated with traveling with your gear in tow is the headache that comes with maneuvering through crowded airports (not to mention the sheer bulk of most bags). Enter Evoc's Snow Gear Roller. Thanks to smooth and silent skate wheels and reinforced grab handle, you'll glide through crowds with ease. Add on a separate avalanche compartment for quick access to safety equipment, a tarp lining throughout the bag and an extra layer of padding that folds down on top of your skis, and appreciate the increased functionality that sets it apart from other ski haulers. Apart from its travel-friendly attributes, this bag is worthy of "upgrade" status due to its collapsible design: when you're not using it, fold it down and tuck it away until the next snowfall.

    • Capacity: 2 pairs of fat skis, gear and extra layers
    • Weight: 7 pounds, 5 ounces (approx.)
    • Material: Heavy-duty nylon ripstop

      Dakine Ski Sleeve

      Best Budget Ski Bag

      Dakine Ski Sleeve

      • Super light
      • Water-resistant

      • No wheels
      • Not much room for extras

      Short haul flights. Buses and shuttles. The back of your car. These are all situations where you want a ski bag, but a bulky roller one will feel like overkill. This is when the inexpensive, light and highly storable Ski Sleeve is the ticket.

      The single layer of 600 Denier polyester fabric doesn’t offer any padding, but skis are built tough and this is enough to protect top sheets from anything up to being manhandled through the major airport baggage mazes. And it’s ideal for protecting the inside of a car from sharp edges, pokey bindings and melting snow. There’s enough room inside to fit any pair of skis, except maybe the widest of powder skis. You might also be able to squeeze in gloves, beanies and a light jacket. The shoulder strap and grab handle make it easy to schlep the lightweight set up and it packs up to nothing when not in use – both added bonuses for those epic parking lot walks to and from the slopes.

      • Capacity: 1 pair of skis
      • Weight: 1 pound, 6 ounces
      • Materials: 600D polyester

        Thule RoundTrip

        Best Adventurous Ski Bag

        Thule RoundTrip

        • Included stuff sacks function as built-in cushioning and storage

        • Only fits one pair of skis

        A roller bag is great in the world of smooth airports and elevator access hotels, but off the beaten path – even in European villages – I prefer this over-the-shoulder bag. It helps get me to the hot tub while my friends are fishing gravel out of their roller bag wheels or burning their quads pulling them up three flights of stairs.

        On the surface, the Round Trip looks like a lightly padded version of the Dakine Sleeve. It is slightly beefier, with 600 Denier polyester backed by a second water-resistant layer of rip-stop material. A two-way zipper zigs in the middle of the bag to help maneuver around even the widest binding setup. And there’s an internal sleeve for poles, which helps keep things organized. What’s truly innovative about this bag are the included stuff sacks. Fill them with clothing or ski gear, slip them over the tip and tail of the skis and they act as cushioning to protect them from rough handling. When the trips over it rolls up small for easy storage and takes up much less room than any roller bag.

        There’s only room for one pair of skis inside, but I can usually fit just about all my ski clothing in the stuff sacks and still easily carry the Round Trip. At check-in, I unclick the padded shoulder strap, stuff it in the bag and just use the reinforced grab handles. I miss my roller bag on long treks between terminals, but as soon as I see a staircase, I leave my traveling companions in my wake.

        • Capacity: 1 pair of skis, plus gear
        • Weight: 3 pounds, 2 ounces
        • Material: Polyester

          Evo Roller Ski Bag

          Best Organized Ski Bag

          Evo Roller Ski Bag

          $32.99 (27% off)

          • Interior organization accommodates boots and accessories, as well as skis

          • Fabric can wear out quickly for frequent travelers

          Evo is more known as a gear retailer than a producer, but it’s likely that selling so many ski bags made by other companies gave it a pretty good idea of how to make one. The Roller’s standout feature is organization — an interior pocket spacious enough for boots as well as an exterior one for other small items, a divider for pole protection and a main compartment that fits two pairs of skis. Compression straps keep everything in place, and two handles allow for multiple haul methods. When it's empty, a nifty strap keeps it folded in half, making it easier to shove under a bed or into a closet.

          For even more organization, Evo makes a Deluxe Snow Roller that has more pockets as well as more durable fabric and other protective features. It goes for $199.95.

          • Capacity: 2 pairs of skis, plus gear
          • Weight: 6 pounds, 5 ounces
          • Material: 600D, PU-coated polyester

            Backcountry Double Ski & Snowboard Rolling Bag

            Best Full-Featured Ski Bag

            Backcountry Double Ski & Snowboard Rolling Bag


            • Best for those that ski and snowboard

            • A little on the heavy side

            Like Evo, Backcountry combined its years of experience selling ski travel bags (and amassing consumer reviews on what works and what doesn't) with the knowledge of its in-house gear nerds to create the best one it can imagine. The Backcountry Double is full-featured, with room for two skis plus gear, a length that adjusts from 154 to 200 centimeters, lots of padding, sturdy wheels and a waterproof lining. There's also an exterior zip pocket and two interior zip pockets on the lid.

            • Capacity: 2 pairs of skis, plus gear
            • Weight: 7 pounds, 10 ounces
            • Material: Tarpaulin (exterior), nylon, polyester, Spandex (interior)

              Sportube Series 2

              Best Hard Case Ski Bag

              Sportube Series 2


              • Hard shell provides ultimate protection

              • Non-foldable design makes this a pain to store in small spaces

              If maximum protection is what you’re after, Sportube’s hard-sided ski carriers are the way to go. It’s made of polyethylene with padding at both ends to protect tips and tails and uses a design that’s both adjustable and lockable. There aren’t any pockets for compartments for small things, but you can still stuff plenty of clothing and gear down between the two pairs of skis that this thing holds. Additionally, if you think you might opt to ship your skis rather than carry them on an airplane, this hard case is the way to go.

              Sportube also makes a version for traveling with one pair of skis for $169.95.

              • Capacity: 2 pairs of skis, plus gear
              • Weight: 12 pounds
              • Material: Polyethylene

                Db Slim Jim Lightweight Ski Bag

                Best Streamlined Ski Bag

                Db Slim Jim Lightweight Ski Bag


                • Great for minimalists and light packers

                • Won't fit your boots

                When a single pair of skis is all you're carrying, and simplicity is what you're after, look to Db's Slim Jim Ski Bag. Like the two-ski Db Ski Bag, it has a collapsible ABS construction that, combined with a hook-and-loop system, lets you adjust the bag's length from 108 to 210 centimeters. That makes it perfect for any length of ski, and the whole thing rolls up for easy storage when you aren't using it. There's a decent amount of space for clothing and accessories, but not boots, and rugged wheels make it easy to haul through baggage claim.

                • Capacity: 2 pairs of skis, plus gear
                • Weight: 3 pounds, 11 ounces
                • Material: 500D tarpaulin, 900D (exterior), 600D polyester (lining)

                  Tumi 2 Wheeled Ski/Snowboard Duffel

                  Best Luxury Ski Bag

                  Tumi 2 Wheeled Ski/Snowboard Duffel


                  • Abrasion-resistant fabric holds up against travel

                  • 3x as expensive as other ski bags

                  When you want your skis to travel in style, reach for this two-wheeled wonder. Tumi is known for its well-built travel bags, and its ski duffel is no different. The interior is water resistant, the top pocket can be used as a wet pocket for damp items and the bottom compartment can be zipped off and used for essentials you need to keep close at hand. The bottom fabric is abrasion-resistant, meant to combat harsh winter environments. Leather grab handles and a removable shoulder strap make carrying options versatile and seamless. The bag also comes with Tumi Tracer, the brand's proprietary tracking system that uses a unique 20-digit individual product number to reunite travelers with their lost bags.

                  • Capacity: Skis/snowboard up to 180cm long
                  • Weight: 16 pounds, 1 ounce
                  • Material: Polyester

                    Unigear Ski Boot Bag

                    Best Multi-Function Ski Boot Bag

                    Unigear Ski Boot Bag


                    • Well-organized and easy to access

                    • Can get heavy, quickly

                    A designated bag for ski boots comes in clutch, especially on longer trips. If you're into backpacks and cleverly organized gear haulers, you'll appreciate this option from Unigear: not only does it fit your ski boots with ease, but it also accommodates your helmet, goggles, socks, gloves and any other ski-related accessories you can stuff in there.

                    • Capacity: Ski boots, helmet, accessories
                    • Weight: 2.4 pounds
                    • Material: Nylon, Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, Tarpaulin