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Whether you’re packing for a weekend warrior trip or hopping a flight to the European alps, a board bag can be a traveling snowboarders best friend. Luckily, when shopping for a board bag, you have options.
If you are getting on a plane and are in need of protection against those nasty baggage handlers then a padded board bag is your best bet. Most of these are equipped with fully padded compartments, most with multiple board storage, handles and wheels for easy carrying through the airport.
As anyone who’s traveled with gear will tell you, wheels on a board bag become mandatory when you’re navigating around baggage claims, taxis and taxi’s or trying to get in the front door of your hotel. Many board bag these days actually feature large skateboard wheels on the tail ends of the bag, which in turn make for a smooth cruise down the gangway. Some even feature easily replaceable wheels, in case you end up taking your board bag on a four-wheelin’ adventure and bust a wheel.
With these bags there is enough space to pack all your outerwear and accessories inside as well. Some bags even feature removable stowing compartments that can come in handy for stashing dirty laundry or keeping your boots separate from your board and outwear, which comes in handy if you encounter a dirty parking lot on the way home from from the hill.
With the bigger, wheeled bags be sure to watch how much you pack. Most most airlines limit a bags weight at 50 lbs and you’d be surprised how much stuff you can pack into this style of board bag. On the upside, companies like Burton and Dakine strive to make the lightest, yet toughest board bag possible using new technologies and materials. The less your board bag weighs, the more stuff you can fit inside.
The Burton Wheelie Gig bag is a good example of a “wheelie board bag”
If you aren’t jet setting then something as beefy as a padded board bag with wheels might be too much . In that case a snowboard sack/sleeve will do you just fine. These bags are ideal for road or train travel and feature a strong polyester or neoprene material that will keep your rig from getting scratched up. All of them are sized to be big enough to fit a board and bindings.
Most of the lighter bags without wheels will feature a shoulder and backpack like straps for ease of use and many come with compartments for accessories like goggles and gloves.
The DC Yira Board Sleeve is a good example of a smaller and less expensive board bag, although it doesn’t have as much space for gear and doesn’t feature wheels
When you are shopping for your new board bag you’ll notice that they come in different sizes, and it’s not as simple as small, medium and large. Board bags are sized in the centimeters of their height, just like your snowboard. Kids board bags are as small as 140 while some board bags come as large as 188.
It’s pretty simple to size up your board bag. Make sure that it is longer than the size board you ride, but not too long. For instance if you ride a 153 than a 160 or something in that range would be good for you. A 181 would be overkill and leave you with limp ends on your board bag during travel. (Your snowboard is actually what keeps the board bag from folding in half!)