Whether you’re on your way to your local mountain or flying far away, trying to travel with all your snowboard gear can be a hot mess. Not only will a bag protect your snowboard from airlines not giving a hoot about your personal belongings, but they can help you stay organized so you don’t show up to your destination with missing gear.
Board bags come in a variety of sizes. The size of your bag should reflect the size of your snowboard. If you ride a 156cm, find a bag that’s at least 156cm long. A bag that is too small is pretty much useless, but a bag that is a little too big can be useful for storing extra gear like clothing and outerwear. Keep in mind that if your bag is too big and you don’t pack enough extra stuff, your board will have the ability to slide around and may get damaged. So don’t overdo it. Side note: a board bag that is 156cm will automatically include an extra 5-8cm allowing you to fit your outwear or an extra set of clothes.
Board bags come with different levels of padding. Padding adds protection to your bag and is highly recommended for long distance traveling - especially in situations where somebody else will be handling your luggage. Padding will usually be about 5mm - 10mm depending on the quality of the bag. More padding usually means that it will cost more, which also means you will get better quality zippers, more pockets, and stronger seams. Totally worth it!
For day use, car trips, and bus rides, un-padded bags will get the job done. It keeps your gear safe from scratches, makes it easy to carry, and unlike a padded bag, it has the ability to work with a car roof rack system. Since these bags are made with less material, they tend to be much lower in price. If you decide to travel by air with a thinner bag, be sure to stuff it with some clothing and outerwear for extra padding.
Boot Bags and Cargo Bags are also great additions to your snowboard luggage collection. These bags are designed to help organize your pants, jackets, gloves, beanies, goggles, boots, and extra clothes by keeping them in one place instead of piled up on the floor of your car. Often times, bags will have a separate fleece-lined pocket for your goggles and another isolated pocket to store your boots so you don’t get mud and water all over the rest of your gear.