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Traveling with Skis

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What is the best way to take skis on an airplane? Will those soft ski bags protect skis especially the poles from the airlines well enough so i'll be able to ski once I land? Are there any hardened cases that would be a better choice?
post #2 of 29
The soft one should be ok. I've never had any damage to the skis on my flights cross Europe, North America and the Atlantic...
The bags them selves can take a beating though.
post #3 of 29
Most people take soft bags for skis or boards.

You can buy those Kiss tubes if you are particularly concerned about protecting gear - but I have never had damage to skis or poles inside soft bags. Most of my ski trips involve a flight.
post #4 of 29

Sportube!

I use the plastic case when I travel on the airlines. I've received complements for it from other skiers who were traveling.

This link is for the home page for the "Sportube": http://www.sportube.com

You can find the Sportube at REI's website (http://www.rei.com) by doing a search for "Sportube".

Note that you probably do not want to use a padlock to hold your Sportube shut (so that airport security can open it up). However, I used a padlock last year, and I would wait around the airport security area until they were done inspecting it incase they wanted me to open it up.
post #5 of 29
Use one of the new TSA padlocks if you want to lock it.

Also, whatever you use, I would suggest packing soft (but sturdy!) gear into the bag, too.
post #6 of 29
I use a Sporttube, and swear by it (or any hard case if there are others). I've had skis destroyed by airlines in soft bags, and looking at the scuff marks and damage done to my hard case, my guess is that I would have had more skis destroyed or poles broken, if not for the protection it offers.
post #7 of 29
I've got a double Sport Tube and swear by it. Great product that does a good job of protecting my gear.
post #8 of 29
I use a soft bag, but it does have some padding. What I do is pack all of my layering clothing in there with the skis. I also tape up the tips with whatever type of padding i can find, usually old towels.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Use one of the new TSA padlocks if you want to lock it.

Also, whatever you use, I would suggest packing soft (but sturdy!) gear into the bag, too.
Nice idea, however, is there a TSA lock out there with a shackle long enough (or wide enough) to work on a Sportube? I've looked in the past for one, but I wasn't sure whether or not what I found would work.
post #10 of 29
I've seen a few, now that there are many available. I think the bigger Brookstone ones would work, for instance.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindog
I use a soft bag, but it does have some padding. What I do is pack all of my layering clothing in there with the skis. I also tape up the tips with whatever type of padding i can find, usually old towels.
This is pretty much what I do with a padded bag except I place my (2 pairs of) gloves over the tips and tails and also wrap a bunch of other clothes around the skis. Never had an issue with about a dozen or so flights in the last few years.

Have also borrowed a friends single Sportube for some quickie trips. I'ts especially nice for when I'm gonna ski all day and fly that evening. Just stuff em in there and go.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindog
I use a soft bag, but it does have some padding. What I do is pack all of my layering clothing in there with the skis. I also tape up the tips with whatever type of padding i can find, usually old towels.
Packing your clothes or accessories in you ski bag is a really bad idea. Skis are sporting goods and are the first things bumped from airplanes. If your skis get bumped they will pay for a rental/demo. They will not buy you new layers, gloves, goggles etc. Might leave you in the bar instead of on the hill.
Best bet is to ship UPS to a shop where you're headed. Call first, most shops will accept and hold your goods. Saves you hauling 'em around airports too.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave86
Nice idea, however, is there a TSA lock out there with a shackle long enough (or wide enough) to work on a Sportube? I've looked in the past for one, but I wasn't sure whether or not what I found would work.
Sport Tube comes now with an TSA approved lock. If you have an older version of the Tube you can buy the proper lock from SportTube separately.

Packing skis and poles in the SportTube can often be a tight fit and is not exactly intuitive. The skis tops must face each other binding overlapping binding with one ski tip pointing in one direction and the other ski in the opposite direction.

You are counting on the TSA folks to inspect, and properly re-pack and re-lock. That is where a soft zipper bag still has the edge and IMHO, is a little more versatile to load with other things in the car.

I usually use a soft bag and have never had problems. I also have a Sport Tube. In the end it is it is mostly personal preference.
post #14 of 29
I pack my skis and poles in a soft bag, and wrapped them up first in sweaters and soft clothing to protect them and to keep the bag from flopping around. Did this probably a dozen times with no problems. Today at DIA I saw a guy who had wrapped his skis and poles completely in bubblewrap and affixed some kind of carrying handle around the bubblewrap. Skis appeared to be ship-shape. Never saw that one before!
post #15 of 29
I think if you intend to fly to a ski destination at least once per year, it is worth investing in a hard case. A friend once had a soft bag, and when she got off the plane, it was covered in grease and the bag had to be thrown away. I just use the old lock I have, wait for them to inspect it, and I am then on my merry way.
post #16 of 29
Haven't flown in years but when I last did I placed my skis bottoms together, placed foam pipe insulation on the edges and then wire tied the whole thing together before placing in the soft bag.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
Packing skis and poles in the SportTube can often be a tight fit and is not exactly intuitive. The skis tops must face each other binding overlapping binding with one ski tip pointing in one direction and the other ski in the opposite direction.

You are counting on the TSA folks to inspect, and properly re-pack and re-lock. That is where a soft zipper bag still has the edge and IMHO, is a little more versatile to load with other things in the car.
Agreed! I owned a double SportTube for years, and will never use one again. They DO offer superior protection - no question. BUT, the trouble it takes to get everything positioned - edges outward - without slicing your thumbs, isn't worth it, - IMO.

I now use soft bags, with lots of laundry. Never had a problem.
post #18 of 29
You can't lock ski bags because of the terrorist rules/extra searching. The canvas bag I have works for skis/poles/a towel and maybe clothes if I need to and I can fold it up in the car and put skis on top of the car once I get to where I'm going. I haven't used a hard case, so I'm not sure if they stay closed since you can't lock em and is it easy to get them into smaller rental cars? Do they make generic rental car carriers for the hard cases?
post #19 of 29

read this thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike2002
What is the best way to take skis on an airplane? Will those soft ski bags protect skis especially the poles from the airlines well enough so i'll be able to ski once I land? Are there any hardened cases that would be a better choice?

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...highlight=bent
post #20 of 29

Wish me luck

Just packed my double SportTube. And yes, it is a tight fit. Two pairs of skis, both with risers. I wrapped the binding area with a thin rubber mat leftover from laying my Pergo floor. I should have taped this padding in place so the contents could slide in and out for inspection in one piece.

Nice thing about the tight fit is there will be no clanking around. I may wait around for the inspection.

The kids skis are in padded soft bags.

The hard case concept works great for golf clubs and I expect it will be my preferred method for skis.

I also expect to use the hardcase mounted on my roof bars. Not to threadjack, but has anyone done this?
post #21 of 29
US domestic airlines especially are brutal with skis. My bag was new last trip, and after the US leg was a battered smashed wreck. Use a hard bag, or pad a soft one thoroughly, and expect major damage to the outside.
post #22 of 29
I've been using a double SportTube for the past 3 years for ski trips around north america. Never had a problem with damaged ski's or TSA.

Cellophane stretch wrap around each pair of ski's, makes packing a lot easier. Usually just a few wraps around the tips and binding... don't forget to bring the roll of stretch wrap for the return trip.

Zip ties work well to "lock" the box, and seem to deter TSA since it looks like a pain to open or close.

Get something with wheels to tow behind the luggage cart or luggage.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
Sport Tube comes now with an TSA approved lock. If you have an older version of the Tube you can buy the proper lock from SportTube separately.
Cool. I will have to look into ordering one directly from Sportube. Thanks!
post #24 of 29
I'm happy with a soft bag. I've used one for 10 years - and a padded one for only 5. My skis have never had a scratch. As with all baggage, the airline will put miles on it, though.

This year I plan on traveling with 2 skis. I'm wondering if I need a wheeled bag. Two pair of skis, along with all the other bulky gear, is a lot to move from car to airport. Although I usually get a ride or take a taxi. So.. I don't know.

ETA: The problem I would have with sporttube, I think, is that when I fly, I usually go in groups. Fitting 4 or 5 people + gear into an SUV is hard enough without a giant box of air to fit in as well. I already think I'm going to get cross looks traveling with 2 skis
post #25 of 29
I use a soft bag as well.

The ski bag is then packed with clothing that has "doubles" in my regular bag so that if the ski bag is lost, I still have at least one set of clothing to wear skiing. My main bag is a carry-on and has my boots, helmet, and other essentials that I don't want to lose.

I cut the ends off of some old socks and pull them over the skiis to protect any clothing in the bag from possibly getting cut by the edges. Then bind the skis so they stay together.
post #26 of 29
I've never had any problems with a soft bag and I've flown throughout the US and to Europe with it. I do also pack in some clothing with the skis, but mostly I do that because I need extra space and not to protect the skis.
post #27 of 29
Perhaps I'm edge-challenged. However, each time I had to secure the brakes and bind my skis (top-to-top) to fit 'em into the SportTube, I felt like I was juggling knives with the edges (always razor sharp).

After a year of nearly severing my veins, I vowed to never pack the thing unless I was in walking distance of a blood bank.
post #28 of 29
I've always used a soft bag and recently upgraded to one with wheels - I'll NEVER go back to carrying my bag again. Even from the car to airport check in and back it's worth the extra loot.

I've been thinking of a sports tube, but will they work with fat skis and in particular fat twin tip skis? (I have the Head Mojo)
post #29 of 29
Deleted, response was to a different post
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