Anyone who has taken a ski vacation with their gear know how awkward it is carrying their boots. They are heavy and bulky so a good quality boot bag is a necessity.
So what are the best ski boot bags?
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Ski Boot Bags For 2018
- Athalon Everything Boot Pack
- Sportube Overheader Boot Bag
- TEAM PACK Ski Boot Bag
- Transpack XT1 Boot & Gear Bag
- Swix Norwegian National Team Tripack
- Kulkea Boot Trekker Ski Boot Backpack
- High Sierra Trapezoid Boot Bag
Best Ski Boot Bags
Ski Boot Bag Reviews
NOTE: This is my personal boot bag and my strong recommendation among competitors.
Compared to the other ski boot bags available in a similar price range, this bag is a hands down winner. Let’s talk about why the Athalon bag beats the competitors out of the gate.
External storage comes in three flavors: shock cord on top, small zippered pocket at the top, and two small zippered pockets outside of the boot compartments. These are great for stashing a myriad of little items and your outer coat on hot days.
Boot compartments are plenty large and even have a little extra room to stash a few more goodies if you’re crunched for space.
Backpack style straps are removable for transportation, a feature which is lacking from similar competitors. Internally, a couple of small organizational pockets help keep the few remaining loose items tidy.
Additionally, the main storage compartment is more than adequate to handle goggles, helmet, gloves, and a jacket layer.
- Stowable shoulder straps
- Great external storage
- Huge internal compartment
- Very large bag can be bulky to carry
When would I suggest this pack?
This pack is great for the budget minded skier looking for the most feature rich boot bag available in the $50 price range. In my opinion this is also the best ski boot bag for air travel with lockable zippers and durable construction.
This boot bag is a different style in that its more of a backpack that carries boots and unlike some other boot bags, it carries your helmet on the outside of the backpack.
The huge advantage of ski boot bag backpack is the ability to use it while skiing and not needing a separate backpack.
If your flying, it fits easily in the overhead compartment unless your on a puddle jumper and then you will need to remove the helmet.
Unless you have it completely stuffed to the gills it will fit under the seat but you will need to remove the helmet from the pod.
With a 50L storage compartment, your boots (up to size 13) take up roughly half the space in the backpack and it has a separate compartment for a jacket, gloves, goggles and other accessories.
- Wear as a backpack skiing
- Allows helmet to air out
- 50L of storage
- Permanent shoulder straps
- Few external storage options
Being a Sportube brand it attaches easily to a Sportube Ski Tube so you don’t have to wear it while walking through the airport or resort.
Made with 840D nylon and thick, padded straps I would say this is the best ski boot and helmet backpack.
Note: Sportube also makes the Cabin Cruiser, essentially the Overheader with inline skate wheels and a collapsible pull handle. Its pretty sweet, offering the best of both worlds, the ability to use it like a backpack and pull it like your luggage on wheels!
With the Team Pack we have a different type of ski bag in that we are carrying our boots on the outside of the backpack. If your using it after skiing, it will allow your boots to start drying out unlike other boot bags.
Your boots strap on easily to the backpack and held securely, not flopping about. Your helmet (you are wearing one right?) fits in a mesh flap that clips and holds it securely while allowing to to air out.
The Team Pack gives you a lot of versatility, it’s a great backpack for skiing giving you a LOT of room for goodies while skiing plus take extra goggles, a fleece etc.
Having a backpack while skiing allows you to not have stuff your jacket and pants and just carry it on your back.
- Wear as a backpack skiing
- Lots of storage
- Carry handle on top
- No padding on the back
- More complicated to use
It has an adjustable lid and several exterior pockets for items you want to keep readily accessible. With padded carry straps and a carry handle I think it’s the best ski boot backpack!
Featuring several different colors and fabric patterns, there should be an option here for the whole family.
Triangular design and construction means a relatively smaller central storage compartment when compared to other similar models.
600D nylon construction meets industry standards of durability and promises of water resistance abound (though nylon fabric is inherently water resistant). Compressible cinch top closure and zip top closure strike me as redundant and unnecessary.
Foam padded back panel prevents hard plastic ski boots from jabbing you in the back when wearing it as a backpack.
The bottom of the boot bag is water resistant so any snow on the boots that melts doesn’t soak through.
- Lower price point
- External mesh pockets for wet gear
- Backpack straps
- Bare minimum features
- Triangular design compromises internal storage
When would I suggest this pack?
I would buy this pack if I was looking for a good quality bag at a fair price. Its a bit more than the other boot bags but the extra padding is worth it to me.
Looking for a bag to carry pretty much all of your ski gear? The Swix is for you, it’s a large bag at 65L and will comfortably fit your boots, helmet, gloves and goggles. Maybe even your pants and jacket if they are not too bulky.
One of my favorite features is all of the external zippered pockets to store all of your small stuff like snacks, sun block, ski mask etc.
Your boots are stored in pockets on either side of the bag, separate from the main compartment and have drainage grommets on the bottom.
The straps are well designed and a padded mesh back panel provides ventilation plus if you have to walk some distance with the bag, the padding keeps the boots from jabbing you in the back.
- Large internal storage compartment
- 4 external storage pockets
- Quality construction materials
- Permanent shoulder straps
- No external helmet sling
Quality materials and good design make the Swix a worthy option for less than $100.
The Boot Trekker is the largest boot bag on our list at 69L. The helmet is stored in a helmet sling on the back of the bag. If you keep your helmet there you will have a TON of storage space in the large center compartment.
Assuming you keep your helmet in the sling, you realistically can keep just about ALL of your ski gear in the bag, including your ski pants and jacket!
It only has one external pocket on the top that can store your goggles or mask but not much else. Made from heavy duty 1680D ballistic nylon and padded, contoured straps for comfort. I really like that they included a sternum strap, most boot bags don’t have this.
- Large internal storage compartment
- Helmet sling
- Sternum strap
- Permanent shoulder straps but can be tucked away for airline checking
- Only one external pocket
It will fit in most airline overheads but if you check it, I would not keep your helmet in the external sling! I like having the option of keeping my helmet in it. It frees up a lot of space in the interior storage compartment.
Sporting several retro-colored options, this nice bag might be the perfect choice for an aspiring Jerry of the Day or the local beaters club.
Fortunately for those of you who don’t know what that means… the bag also comes in many basic colors such as black and blue.
A simple, unadorned central compartment earns points in my book for excluding unnecessary extra pockets.
If you’re looking for great compartmentalized storage then this bag may not be the best for you. Shoulder straps are permanently fixed and non-stowable so you’ll be unable to remove them for airline travel.
- Simple construction
- Funky color choices
- Large central pocket
- Permanent shoulder straps
- Zero external storage options
When would I suggest this pack?
In the range of $40 (many colors and style available) with Prime shipping, this seems like a great economy option with very little to complain about at the price point.
Ski Boot Bag Comparison Table
|Ski Boot Bag||Helmet Storage||Backpack Straps||Features||Rating|
|Athalon Everything Boot Pack||Yes, Internal||Yes||Side-entry zippered boot sections||4.6 / 5.0|
|Sportube Overheader Boot Bag||Yes, mesh exterior pocket||Yes||50 liters of storage, can use it while skiing||4.7 / 5.0|
|TEAM PACK Ski Boot Bag||Yes, mesh exterior pocket||Yes||54 liters of storage, can use it while skiing||4.4 / 5.0|
|Transpack XT1 Ski Boot Bag||Yes, Internal||Yes||Side-entry zippered boot sections||4.6 / 5.0|
|Swix Norwegian Tripack||Yes, Internal||Yes||65 liters of storage, 4 external storage pockets||4.9 / 5.0|
|Kulkea Boot Trekker||Yes, mesh exterior pocket||Yes||69 liters of storage, sternum strap||4.6 / 5.0|
|High Sierra Trapezoid||Yes, Internal||Yes||Side-entry zippered boot sections||4.1 / 5.0|
How to Choose the Best Ski Boot Bag
- Why Use a Boot Bag?
- What Features Do I Look For?
- Waterproofing and Fabrics
- Keeping Your Boots Protected
- Preventing Boot Odor
- FAQs For Ski Boot Bags
If you’ve got kids, friends, a busy schedule, and a handful of après obligations, pretty soon your gear is spilling out of your arms and you feel unorganized and lost.
Even for the weekend warrior, a ski boot bag makes it easier to get through the airport, keep things organized in the closet, and manage the sometimes extensive pile of skiing goodies you’ve accumulated.
Why Use a Boot Bag
Ski boot bags are not just for boots alone. Some of the best features of an excellent bag actually have nothing at all to do with boots. It does help, however, to be able to keep everything in one place.
Boot bags most often feature backpack style straps so once you pack in your boots, helmet, gloves, goggles, and the day’s lunch then you are ready to run around with skis and poles in your arms and equipment on your back. It sure beats trying to juggle the mess.
The other great upside of ski boot bags? They often are counted as an included accessory with your skis if you fly. Put your skis and poles in a hard case and the airline will let you travel with your boot bag at no extra charge. Choose your airline wisely to take advantage of this.
I, personally, like to keep all my skiing gear in the boot bag during the off-season. That way when it’s time to hit the slopes again, I just snag my bag and ski case and off I go,
What Features Do I Look For?
Solid question. There are a ton of features available in ski boot bags. We’re going to start chatting about a few of them here but this is, by no means, an exhaustive list.
With almost no exception, ski boot bags are made to universally fit all boot sizes. Unless you have Mondo 40 boots you’ll be fine with fitting your boots into any bag.
Most boot bag fall within a general range of sizing. You won’t find too many boot bags which drastically and you can reasonably expect to find room for one pair of boots, a helmet with goggles packed inside, gloves, and maybe your jacket and pants.
If pack space is of major concern, consider packing things inside your boots. Shove gloves into the boots to get extra use out of the space. And make sure to pack the interior of your helmet full of small items to maximize space there.
PRO TIP: Keep a small bottle of antimicrobial shoe powder in your bag and sprinkle liberally into your boots after each use. You’ll thank me later.
Convertible Shoulder Straps
Many ski boot bags have little hidey-holes where the backpack straps can be cleanly tucked away when not in use. This is great for checked airline luggage so the straps don’t get caught and torn during travel.
I find that I rarely use this feature but it may be a deciding factor for you!
External Shock Cord
Some bags feature external daisy chains or shock cord lashing for adding more goodies to the outside of your bag. This can dramatically increase carrying capacity. I like to fold my jacket in half and stuff it in the shock cord on my bag.
If not for that extra feature, I wouldn’t have room to carry it around. Perfect for warm spring skiing.
Storage Pockets and Accessories
Most boot bags have a smattering of various little organizational pockets. Almost always, one of these pockets features a little lanyard for keys.
If you’re the type of person who likes or needs to organize things into smaller compartments, this may be a feature to be aware of. If, like me, however, you prefer to just shove everything into your bag these features may be indifferent to you
If you’re planning on taking your boots on a plane you need to consider whether you want to check your boot bag or take it with you and put it in the overhead compartment.
If you want to put it in the overhead be sure to check the size of the bag make sure it will fit. All of the bags on our list will fit the larger overhead compartments in newer planes.
You may want to consider roller wheels for those long walks if you have connecting flights like on the SportTube Overheader. This is the only boot bag I am aware of the that has roller wheels and will fit in the overhead compartment.
Color and Style
Boot bags used to come only in standard black. While black is ideal for not showing mud it makes it harder to identify your bag among all the other black bags.
All of the bags on our list are available in at least a few colors, some in dozens of styles and colors so you can quickly pick it out from everyone else’s.
Helmet Compatibility and Size
All boot bags will of course carry one pair of boots but if you want to carry two pairs your options are much more limited. The Swix Norwegian National Team Tripack is the only one this is a viable option, providing you don’t need to keep your helmet in the bag as well.
Waterproofing and Fabrics
A few of the most expensive ski boot bags may feature waterproof or water resistant materials. This may include:
- Water resistant zippers
- Water proof fabrics
Having spent many years on snow, I feel zero need to pay for waterproof bags. During the winter all of the water is frozen and unlikely to leak its way into your bag.
I don’t feel these features justify extra cost and would suggest you steer clear as well.
Keeping Your Boots Protected
Ski boot bags serve a couple purposes. They keep your boots organized, make them easy to carry, and keep the boots protected from being damaged or damaging other things.
Those heavy, hard plastic boots and the metal buckles can scratch, bump, and break stuff when you pack them away. Not to mention other gear in the back of your car can scratch and nick your ski boots if you leave them out in the open.
I like to pack my ski boots with the buckles facing inward toward the center of the bag. There’s usually a padded wall there that can protect the buckles and protect my other gear from the buckles.
Preventing Boot Odor
Okay, this isn’t the most glorious term but “boot stank” is the best I can think of for that rotty jungle foot smell that builds up in boots after a day of sweat.
Boot bags themselves are partially responsible for fighting that sweat problem. Look for holes at the bottom of the boot compartment to drain water from the snow that might be left on your boots. Additionally, look for vents on the sides of the boot compartment that can help circulate fresh air.
FAQs For Ski Boot Bags
Q: I’m a casual skier, do I really need a boot bag?
A: Hmmm… maybe not need I mean, you could keep doing things the hard way if you really want to. However, I will say that after 3 seasons as a full time alpine ski instructor on skis 100+ days a season I should have gotten a ski boot bag way earlier!
I think you’ll feel the same way as soon as you pick up a ski boot bag. Throw your boots, helmet, goggles, rub on wax, snacks, and all the other goodies in there and you’ll be changing boots inside while everyone else is still losing their balance trying to walk through the parking lot in boots.
During the off-season it makes a nice place to store all the goodies. Keeping your boots in the boot bag means you can store them in the attic or garage without them getting full of cobwebs. Plus, come opening day of your home resort you can throw the bag in your car and know everything is right where you left it.
Ski boot bags are essential must-have items for frequent fliers, too. I wouldn’t put my ski gear on a plane without one.
Q: Does a ski boot bag count as extra luggage on a plane?
A: Depends on the airline. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though.
If you have the option to fly using SouthWest Airlines, ski and boot bags count as a single piece of checked luggage (and you can check 2 for free). So you can check your boot bag, skis, extra luggage, and still have a carry on plus a personal item. Dang!
I use SouthWest most of the time for this reason when I can. Most other airlines charge you $75 for the skis and another $75 for the boot bag.
Q: What do I do with the ski boot bag when I’m out on the slopes?
A: Well, definitely don’t take it out there with you, I will say that. Riding chairs with a backpack (especially as bulky as a boot bag) is difficult if not dangerous.
Probably the best thing you can do with your boot bag is to rent one of those lockers that give you the key for the day. Then stash everything you don’t need at the base lodge and go out for the day.
Many people instead choose to leave boot bags lying around the lodge. This is usually acceptable, but it leaves your stuff open to easy theft which happens all too regularly.
The other option is to leave your boot bag in the car and take a slim hydration pack with you on the slopes. These are usually just big enough for your water, snacks, and that’s it! They’re small enough to fit on the chair with you as well.
Q: What should I keep in my ski boot bag for a day on the mountain?
A: Well, start with your ski boots. Keep them buckled so they don’t stretch out overnight (or over the summer). Inside the boots I will sometimes stuff in some rub on wax or gloves, hat, etc if I’m tight on room.
Toss your helmet in or strap it to the shock cord on the outside if you want more room inside. When I put my helmet inside the bag I always tuck my goggles, in their case, inside of the helmet which acts as a protective shell.
Since food on the mountain is usually notoriously expensive, I also tend to keep a sandwich in my bag as well. You can throw in your hard shell jacket, gloves, and other goodies to keep it all organized and then hit the mountain ready to go!
Don’t forget your lift ticket!
Q: Are there different size bags for different boot sizes?
A: Not really. Unless you’re Shaq you probably use the same boot bag as everyone else. In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any boot bag that comes in various sizes.
Generally ski boots are only fractions of an inch different in size from one to the next. For that reason a huge range of ski boot sizes can easily fit into a single bag. Manufacturers just make the bags big enough to fit large ski boots and usually call it good enough.
There are different size ski boot bags though but they’re not really made for specific boot sizes. Generally, the biggest difference in size comes in the form of storage space in the bag itself and not the boot compartments.
If you’re looking for boot bags in the near $50 category the winner is clear: Athalon Everything Boot Pack. This bag sports high end features for a low end price and, from personal experience, will hold up to the rigors of ski travel for years.
If you like to wear a backpack while skiing, I would recommend the Team Pack or the Sportube Overheader. No only do you get a convenient way to carry your boots and helmet but use it skiing to carry snacks, water and extra gear.
Don’t forget to take advantage of using whatever boot bag you decide on as a free extra bag on your next airline trip if it’s an option!
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best ski boot bag to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of boot bag I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.
New to skiing? See my beginners guide to skiing for tips and advice.
Have fun and be safe out there!