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Packing a ski bag for plane?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I hear that TSA likes to poke around ski bags checked as baggage, so that it's no longer a good idea to pack one full of clothes around the skis. True?
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by evansilver View Post
I hear that TSA likes to poke around ski bags checked as baggage, so that it's no longer a good idea to pack one full of clothes around the skis. True?
I pretty much always find the "this bag was inspected" notice in my ski bag, so they are definitely opening them. Who knows how much poking they do (probably varies a lot, anyway).

I still pad my skis, but I put a premium on making them easy for the inspector to keep together or to get back into the bag in a way that still accomplishes padding. I wrap the tips and tails with smaller items and a velcro strap, then lay a few large items lengthwise along the skis. Don't overstuff so repacking, if necessary, is not frustrating for the inspector.

Obviously, this is just my own guess of what helps when they are inspected where we can't see. I have no inside info. But I've had my skis arrive in good shape, with all the clothes more or less where I put them.
post #3 of 13
Here's a rule of thumb for you....if it takes you more than 2 minutes to pack your ski bag, it will never arrive packed as you did it. That's about how long the TSA people have to inspect and repack your bag.

None of the machines that the TSA uses currently can inspect skis without opening the bags, so count on it happening. Not every ski bag has to get opened, but many more do than don't.

Make it easy on the inspectors and they will be grateful and do their best to put it back together for you. If it takes you 30 minutes to get everything in and set just right (that's how I used to pack pre-9/11), you'll be sad when you get to your destination.

You'd be better served taping some bubble wrap around tips, tails and bindings and not putting any clothes in there.
post #4 of 13
I got a suggestion on this site to use pipe insulation ducktaped to your skis. I think it works great for protection. just slit the insulation, create proper lenths, duct tape around couple times, done. Skis always (so far) have arrived just as they left.
post #5 of 13
Just returned from a trip with 3 double ski bags. Pretty much followed MDF's method. One of out 3 inspected each way, and repacked exactly as I had sent it.
post #6 of 13
Is it really necessary to protect your skis inside of a ski bag? If you get a padded ski bag isn't that enough?
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjb View Post
Is it really necessary to protect your skis inside of a ski bag? If you get a padded ski bag isn't that enough?
Most ski bags provide little impact protection and bagge on airlines is tossed around pretty hard and skis because of their length seem to get more abuse on the luggae carts like failling off, getting run over or slammed into things.

I pack some clothing around my skis. Yes TSA inspects ski bags more often, but they also inspect regular luggage.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talisman View Post
Most ski bags provide little impact protection and bagge on airlines is tossed around pretty hard and skis because of their length seem to get more abuse on the luggae carts like failling off, getting run over or slammed into things.

I pack some clothing around my skis. Yes TSA inspects ski bags more often, but they also inspect regular luggage.
How about a SporTube? Is that enough?
post #9 of 13
I just returned from a trip to Canada. We took two double ski bags, each with two pairs of skis individually wrapped with multiple layers of sheets and blankets, and then stuffed with loose clothes. I used a twist tie to hold the zippers together. The bags were never opened for inspection, except when we passed through US customs in Calgary to fly back to the States. They made me completely unwrap all 4 pairs of skis. At least I got to repack them myself in front of the guy, but at that point the bags contained all of our dirty laundry which was spread out on the floor during the process. Apparently the guy could not feel the difference between ski bindings and a bazooka through a sheet. I suggest foam padding or something that can be easily removed if you are flying internationally.
post #10 of 13

I am flying with skis for the first time this weekend and wanted a low budget way to protect them. Instead of spending $100+ on a ski bag, I did the following. This can also be used for a snowboard.

What you will need:

1) Non-padded ski bag/boot combo off Amazon for about $30.
http://www.amazon.com/Athalon-Two-Piece-Combo-Black-185cm/dp/B001ASDI1O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325781342&sr=8-1

2) Twin sized foam mattress topper (one of the egg shell type things). Depending on the size of your bag/snowboard, you may want a "full" size pad. The twin sized pad worked well for my skis and bag.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Comfort-Coil-Foam-Mattress-Pad/10055840

3) 2 6ft long pipe insulators
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&productId=202318552&R=202318552

4) Canopy bungee's
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&productId=202552726&R=202552726

Cut the pipe insulators to the length of the skis. Put a couple small pieces of packing foam between the bases of skis to keep them from scratching each other (you can use towels, socks, left over pipe insulation, whatever). Put the pipe insulators over the edges of both skis, tails and tips, securing with velcro, rubberband, duct tape where necessary. Roll the skis up in the mattress pad. Secure pad around the skis with the bungee's, large rubber bands, velcro, string, whatever. The bungee's are nice because they are strong, go on and come off very easily, and if TSA feels the need to inspect your bag, it should not take too long. The only worry is that they may not neatly roll the skis back up in the mattress pad or secure the bungees. However, I believe this will protect the skis just as good if not better than any padded bag I have seen. Total cost - $50. Having a non padded bag will also take up less room in your car when you don't need the padding and are driving to your local slopes. Hopefully this setup works and I will update once I return.

post #11 of 13

I've always packed my ski bag with clothes.  I make sure the zipper closes fairly easily (i.e., opening the bag doesn't cause an explosion of clothes all over the place).  I invariably get the notice that "TSA has rooted through your stuff", but I've never lost anything.

post #12 of 13

NO!  do not use Sporttubes!  THey are a nighmare for the TSA. I just posted about this. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by verdugan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talisman View Post
Most ski bags provide little impact protection and bagge on airlines is tossed around pretty hard and skis because of their length seem to get more abuse on the luggae carts like failling off, getting run over or slammed into things.

I pack some clothing around my skis. Yes TSA inspects ski bags more often, but they also inspect regular luggage.
How about a SporTube? Is that enough?


this is now the 3rd time you posted this - what gives?



Quote:
Originally Posted by BoFoSho View Post

I am flying with skis for the first time this weekend and wanted a low budget way to protect them. Instead of spending $100+ on a ski bag, I did the following. This can also be used for a snowboard.

 

post #13 of 13

To calrify, the TSA doesn't care what you put in a bag as far as airline regualtions go, they don't weigh your bag.  They will rummage through and give it a cursory look. I have never had a ski bag go through without it being inspected. 6-8 trips per season X departure and return. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evansilver View Post

I hear that TSA likes to poke around ski bags checked as baggage, so that it's no longer a good idea to pack one full of clothes around the skis. True?


 

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