How to Select Your Snowboard Bag for Air Travel

Choosing Which Snowboard Bag for Air Travel & Some Tips Before You Book Your Flight

Traveling with your snowboard across the country isn’t such an impossible mission anymore. With new models coming with padding protecting your gear, traveling (either by plane or car) is far from being challenging.

Finding a snowboard bag is easy, choosing the right one for air travel may become an issue though, especially when you know nothing about the snowboard bags.

Which type of bag is the best for air travel?

It makes sense that a padded bag with a couple of inches of closed-cell polypropylene foam in various areas of the bag brings more protection for your snowboard. The padded bag is the better option for air travel, but pay attention when buying. Some models only feature light padding, just enough so that the gear doesn’t puncture the fabric when dropped by the airline baggage crew.

The more you’re paying for your bag, the more you should expect in terms of features, pocket, quality of zippers, and thickness of the padding. Don’t forget that the padded bags don’t fit in a rooftop carrier.

If you’re going shopping on a fixed budget, the unpadded bags may work in some traveling scenarios. You can still check an unpadded bag on an airplane, but you should protect the gear with your fleece, jacket, snow pants- everything that is soft and protective that is.

The unpadded bags are a reliable option for the weekend car trips, no matter if you’re carrying the snowboard in a roof system on in the back of the SUV. You can keep moisture and dust away from your gear by mounting it in an unpadded bag when the season has ended.

Do you also need a cargo bag for air travel?

If you intend to keep the snowboard gear organized and separated from other apparel, the cargo bags are a great solution. You may still put other small garments (neck gaiter, fleece, jacket, or hat) anywhere in the bag, but it’s going to be more challenging to find them.

You should place the goggle in a fleece-lined pocket, the hat and gloves in the designated compartment, folding the clothes in the main compartment (it’s easier to reach them).

Some cargo bags come with a lined bottom compartment for storing any dirty boots. You may check the cargo bag onto an airplane, but don’t forget to remove the detachable straps before.

Wheels or no wheels?

For air travel, wheels are fundamental. Bags with wheels are easy to steer and safe, easing out the transportation in the airport. Don’t get cheap when buying the snowboard bag, as it’s only a couple of bucks making the difference.

Just remember that wheels don’t roll in the snow, so don’t roll the luggage from the car to the lodge.  They work only for pavement.

How big should a snowboard bag be?

Even if a giant bag is going to let you pack more gear, you should take it with a grain of salt. When the bag isn’t entirely packed, it’s going to allow the equipment to slide around a lot.

For instance, if you have a 57in snowboard and get a 57in board bag, you’re still going to have a couple of extra inches at the end so that you quickly load/unload the gear. However, there shouldn’t be more than 4in beyond the snowboard, unless you’re 100% sure that you’re going to load the bag completely.

Can sleeves work for air travel?

Many don’t know, but sleeves are the most straightforward way to protect your snowboard.  They’re typically made with a lightweight material, with neoprene being the most common option.

Due to their design, sleeves cannot fit several pairs of snowboards, but they’re an affordable choice nevertheless.

You can only take sleeves for car transport, with them being popular amongst young snowboarders.

What’s the best way to pack your snowboard bag?

More often than not, the airlines are going to charge additional fees for extra bags and overweight bags, which is why you should always pack wisely, especially when you’re flying with snowboards and skis. Scroll down for some tips that help you save a buck and travel within your budget.

  • Make sure you only pack what you need in your snowboard vacation

With ski towns being laid back, it makes sense that you scratch the suits and ties off from your packing list. You should pack a pair of jeans, some casual dress pants, and maybe some nice shirts. You can wear a sweater more than once in a ski vacation, without anyone noticing it. Besides, you may safely wear the whole outfit on the plane, which gives you space for more gear in the bag.

  • Make sure that the board bag is a checked baggage

Hopefully, you selected the right snowboard bag, and you can now pack the board along with all garments or gear that take wrinkles. You should check some tutorials or try it a couple of times until you manage to cram your sports clothing and accessories into the small space, without worrying about ruining the clothes. Underwear, socks, long underwear, mid-layers, sweatshirts can work just fine even when wrinkled.

You should place the sweatshirts, shirts, and jackets over the tip and tail of your board so that you can protect the board and save some space as well.

  • You should take the snowboard boot bag as carry-on

The majority of airlines today along with a carry-on as a “personal item” (just like a laptop bag, backpack, or purse). Therefore, you may carry the boots as carry on. You can also pack the socks, gloves, into the snowboard boots, saving some space. Use the goggles, gaiters, and small miscellaneous to fill the rest of the boot bag.

  • Select your accessories wisely

There are only so many ways to save some weight on your bags. You should wear your snowboard jacket, especially since it takes a lot of space in a bag. It’s easier to put in the overhead compartment. As for the snowboard helmet, you can easily clip it onto the boot bag and carry it on to the plane. Does anybody complain about you taking too much space on the flight? Don’t hesitate to put it on, as long as the flight attendant allows you to do it.

One last suggestion

Air traveling for a snowboarding getaway shouldn’t be tricky, but following some rules may ease out the whole vacation. That’s the point of this guide. There are no such things as too many tips, so keep reading the last set of tips:

  • What kind of trip are you planning? Do you go to a high-end winter destination? If so, you’re going to need to pack more than just a sweatshirt and a shirt. For a low key type of destination, you can get away with some casual clothing, choosing the performance gear instead.
  • Always write down a checklist before you pack, checking it as you go. Not only that a list helps you know what you pack precisely, but it also lowers the stress about whether you forget to pack something or not.
  • Practice and master the art of roll. You should roll every single (that you can move) item tightly before packing it in the bag. Rolling the t-shirts and long underwear is going to save a lot of space, trust us on this one (too).
  • Make sure that you pack the wax irons, snowboard tools, and everything else that may be considered as dangerous in the checked baggage. Security isn’t going to allow you to get any of the mentioned items on the plane.
  • Be determined as you’re going to pay per bag at the airport. Only get the essentials for your vacation. After all, it’s supposed to be fun and not nerve consuming. You go to impress with your snowboarding skills and not with your clothes, for sure.