Boot bags are more than just bags for boots.
If it were simply a matter of transporting your boots to the car and driving to the resort, you wouldn’t need a bag. You could throw you boots in the back of the car with your coat, your helmet, your gloves, your glove liners, your hand warmers, your goggles…you get the idea.
That’s why you need a boot bag: to conveniently carry your boots and all the rest of this stuff.
In general, good boot bags share the same features. A water-resistant and breathable compartment for ski or snowboard boots, space for a helmet, gloves and spare clothing, a goggle compartment and pockets for all the necessary odds and ends like sunscreen and lip balm.
What distinguishes one bag from another is size, how it’s meant to be carried, and whether or not it’s airplane worthy.
The “Best” Boot Bags
When it comes to boot bags, we’ve tried a lot of them. We each have our favorite and they each serve different needs.
Transpack Ski Boot Backpacks. Probably the most versatile bag we own is the TRV Pro. Marketed for “the world traveler,” it’s a roomy backpack large enough for my 14 year-old son to pack everything he needs for a day or week of skiing, including his coat, ski pants, socks and base layers. And, although the bag is large at 3300 cubic inches, the backpack straps are easy to get on and even I find it comfortable when fully loaded.
Like all Transpack bags, two side pockets hold the boots next to a large central compartment for your helmet and gear. This Isosceles Storage System puts the weight of your boots on your sides and is designed to relieve stress on your back.
Transpack boot bags come in a variety of sizes, including the smaller Compact Pro (with 2400 cubic inches), and the Women’s XTW, which has most of the features of the other bags, but with groovier fabrics. The one drawback to the XTW is that it doesn’t close at the top with a zipper, but rather with a drawstring and buckle – a potential drawback if you’re flying and checking your bag. Transpack also makes an external boot and helmet bag (the Sidekick Pro) and junior models of their bags.
Transpack TRV Pro, $130
Transpack Compact Pro, $110
Transpack Women’s XTW, $90
Transpack Sidekick Pro, $120
The SkBoot Ski Boot Bag
The brainchild of Aussie skier Caroline Graham, the SkBoot Ski Boot Bag is an efficient wheeled bag for those who don’t like backpacks or who want to travel in style and ease.
The SkBoot bag comes in two sizes, both of which are large enough to hold a pair of ski boots and a helmet in the main compartment. There is also a removable padded laptop sleeve (when packing space is at a premium on a ski vacation), a fur lined goggle pouch, two side pockets for smaller items and a removable and roomy wet storage bag (think of putting your wet gear in here at the end of the day or before boarding a plane).
In addition to inline skate wheels and a retractable handle, which make rolling a breeze, there are straps on the back so that you can slide one SkBoot onto another. Or, slide the SkBoot onto your rolling luggage and only pull one bag.
I’ve tried the medium SkBoot Boot Bag and found that with some clever packing I could fit my boots, extra socks, helmet and gloves into the main compartment. Still, I think I’d go for the large SkBoot Boot Bag, to have surplus room for all the unexpected extras I seem to need.
While the SkBoot Boot Bag is designed with the traveler in mind, it is also useful from the car to the lodge and is easy for children to pull.
High Sierra Ski Boot Bags
Looking for a bag that carries ski or snowboard boots, full stop? Check out the Bucket Boot Bag from High Sierra. A simple 18” x 14” x 9” bag with a top loading compartment, this bag meets airline carry-on requirements and has just enough room to fit a hat and gloves inside. A small pocket on the front holds your phone and car keys. The bag can be carried with a padded handle on top, or with adjustable backpack straps.
At the other end of the spectrum is the High Sierra 28” Wheeled Cargo Duffel. When our kids were young, these were our go-to bags. Why? Because with boot compartments on each end, a very roomy center compartment and an easy-to-pull design, we could pack one adult and one child per bag and the child could wheel everything to the lodge.
If you’re just packing for an adult, the boot pockets hold up to a men’s size 13 and there is enough room in the bag to pack for a long ski weekend.
I know. I’ve done it.
High Sierra Bucket Boot Bag, $110
High Sierra 28” Wheeled Cargo Duffel, $220.00
Last season’s styles and colors currently 50% off at HighSierra.com
Which boot bags are your faves? Everyone has different needs and opinions, so let us know and add to the list!