Flying to your favorite snowboarding destination is extremely fun. But to keep all of your gear intact and undamaged when you fly, you need a good snowboard bag for air travel. Without one, you risk losing or breaking your board.
I’m a snowboarding instructor who has traveled all over the world in search of fresh snow. I’ve used many good snowboard bags when I fly, and I know what to look for in an option that’s best for air travel.
The Dakine High Roller is my pick for the best snowboard bag for air travel. This option gives you plenty of room to pack a few snowboards while also keeping everything safe and secure while in the air.
In this post, I’ll show you a few of my other favorite snowboard bags so you can find one that will meet your needs on your next trip.
Time to catch that flight!
Top Snowboard Bags for Air Travel
Here are my top picks for the best snowboard bags for air travel.
1. Dakine High Roller
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Strong construction, lots of storage space, two exterior pockets, oversized wheels, compression straps
- Capacity: 1 mounted + 1 unmounted, 3 unmounted
- Sizes: 165/175
- Cost: $$$
My top choice for the best snowboard bag for Air Travel is the Dakine High Roller. This is a well-made bag designed to give you features you can use to your advantage when you travel.
It’s made of a super-strong 600D polyester material that can withstand the rigors of air travel. This fabric is tear and rip-resistant, so you can hand off your precious cargo to the baggage handlers without worrying about what they do with it.
It also has a ton of storage capacity. You can easily take one fully mounted board plus another unmounted deck. You could get 3, maybe 4 unmounted decks packed into the back as well if they aren’t too thick.
You also get the advantage of two exterior zip pockets for additional storage of personal items or other snowboarding gear you want to bring along for the ride. It’s pretty rare to get two of these pockets, and it’s a feature I really like.
Additional features include dual compression straps to secure all of your gear and keep it from sliding around, 360-degree padding for excellent protection all around, and a handle-to-handle interface that lets you pair the bag with other luggage.
It’s a little expensive, but other than that is solid all-around.
==> You can also get it on Backcountry.com.
2. Burton Wheelie Locker
- Best for: Large Capacity
- Key features: Tons of room, durable construction, internal webbing straps, lockable zippers, solid wheels
- Capacity: Two decks with boots and bindings
- Sizes: 156/166/181
- Cost: $$$$
If you need a colossal snowboard bag, look no further than the Burton Wheelie Locker. This is a fantastic option that gives you plenty of room to store a few boards plus a lot of extra space for other gear.
Your first line of defense comes in the form of 600D polyester fabric with a TPE backing. This is a rugged material that will hold up well during steady travel. The bag is built to take a beating without showing it.
You also get a compartmentalized upper deck that allows you to stay organized and keep all of your extra gear out of the way of your boards. This can come in handy for longer trips where you need a lot of equipment.
Internal webbing straps allow you to keep your board firmly in place without it slipping or sliding around. These straps are easy to use and very effective.
Additional features include a removable boot and binding bag, a stowable telescoping handle to make wheeling it around easy, and lockable zippers that are strong and durable.
This is an awesome bag, but it’s very expensive.
==> You can also get it on Burton Snowboards.
3. EQ Sport Padded
- Best for: Padded
- Key features: Well padded, large capacity, durable fabric, waterproof, smooth-rolling wheels, foldable, 2-year warranty
- Capacity: 2 boards
- Sizes: 158/168
- Cost: $$$
The EQ Sport Padded snowboard bag is the way to go if you want a little extra peace of mind in the shape of added padding. This option comes with plenty of cushioning to keep your board safe and secure at all times.
It’s made of a high-density 600D polyester fabric that is exceptionally durable and strong. This will prevent any rips and tears from occurring while the bag is out of your hands.
It also has 360-degree padding, which means there is cushioning around the entire surface area of the bag. There aren’t any weak spots that could lead to damage from happening.
Smooth-rolling wheels will give you the ability to transport the bag easily at the airport and beyond. They are oversized and can handle different surfaces with ease.
This bag doesn’t have a large external compartment for extra gear, which is kind of a bummer.
4. Dakine Low Roller
- Best for: Low Profile
- Key features: Lighter weight, affordable, durable, quality construction, lots of pockets, oversized wheels, lockable zipper
- Capacity: 1 board mounted, 2 or 3 unmounted
- Sizes: 157/165/175
- Cost: $$
The Dakine Low Roller is a slimmed-down version of my number one pick for air travel. You still get plenty of protection, but this one weighs a little less, making it easier to travel with.
It’s made with the same durable 600D polyester fabric as the High Roller, so you’ll have lasting protection resistant to rips and tears.
Even though it’s a smaller size, it still has room for a fully mounted board, or you can fit a couple of unmounted decks in and pack your bindings separately. It also has an exterior pocket for extra gear and equipment.
The Low Roller also comes with oversized urethane wheels that allow you to easily haul the bag packed full of gear around with you. These are well-designed and built to last.
It’s somewhat smaller, so it might not be the option to go with if you have a lot of gear, but it’s also very affordable.
==> You can also get it on Backcountry.com, Evo or Sun & Ski Sports.
5. Outdoor Master ORCA
- Best for: Budget Option
- Key features: Affordable, waterproof, ergonomic handles, removable strap
- Capacity: One board
- Sizes: Fits boards up to 160
- Cost: $
The Outdoor Master ORCA is my recommended budget option. This bag will effectively protect your board and is very affordable.
It’s made out of a well-built waterproof fabric that will hold up pretty strong during air travel and the abuse that comes along with it.
The ORCA also has good-quality zippers that won’t stick or slip. Sometimes zipper quality lags in a budget option, but not here.
Ergonomic handles allow you to easily carry a fully packed bag from the airport to the car to the resort. It also comes with a removable shoulder strap that has padding for added comfort.
You don’t get much in terms of extra storage here, and there is only one size option which might not work for longer boards.
What Makes a Great Snowboard Bag for Air Travel?
Here are some things to consider when you are shopping for a quality snowboard bag to fly with.
Your snowboard bag should be strong and durable so it won’t damage easily. Luggage can get beat up easily when going through the airport. You don’t want to trust baggage handlers and others, so you should get a tough bag.
Most of the snowboard bags produced by big brand names are generally made with very durable materials. However, do make sure the zippers are of good quality too. TSA-approved locks can help keep your valuables safe.
Once I got a great priced snowboard bag from a no-name brand. The zipper broke in two days, and then I had to purchase one at the ski resort. It was nice and durable, but the price was double what I could get from the online shop.
So yes, durable fabric and very, very durable zips are essential.
Always get a snowboard bag with padding to provide better protection to your snowboard. You can always reinforce the bag, but having a good starting point is nice.
With Wheels vs. No Wheels
This comes down to if you want to bring only a snowboard bag for your trips. I have both, and depending on my trip, I will pick the one that fits my travel.
Here is a comparison between snowboard bags with wheels and no wheels.
Snowboard bag with wheels:
- More expensive
- Heavier – Consumes more of your luggage allowance.
- Generally have a larger volume, and you will have only one check-in luggage most of the time.
- Less easy to walk around (when not using the wheels) – it’s heavier and bigger, plus the snowboard bag usually is longer than the no-wheel one, your hands will get very tired after walking with it for some time.
- Less flexible, most designs come with only two wheels, so you can only pull them behind you.
- You would likely have more division than those with no wheels; hence, it’s easier for you to divide your belongings into different sections (e.g., dry clothes, wet jackets…).
- It provides better protection for your gear because most wheel bags come with a rigid base and pads.
Snowboard bag with no wheels:
- Lighter – Consumes less of your luggage allowance.
- Smaller, so you may need to have another check-in suitcase or bag.
- Easier to walk around, but you will have to carry it all by yourself, you might be super tired if you have to walk with this snowboard for over 10 minutes.
- More flexible, you can carry it like a backpack, or just with different shoulders, different hands, different positions.
- It’s smaller and has less division, so you need to separate your items by yourself, or I usually wrap my board with my clothes to provide extra care.
- It provides less protection for your gear, so you need to wrap your gear better and ensure everything is well protected.
It is always a good idea for you to get a colorful snowboard bag for your air travel because it is easier to recognize and there’s less chance of getting stolen.
I got a rainbow color once, and I was always the first person to locate my snowboard bag among other black snowboard bags.
It is always preferable to have a wrapping strap in your snowboard bags, just like your suitcase, so your boards would not be moving around when the airport porters are transferring your bags.
Some Useful Tips
Always check the luggage weight allowance. If you don’t have much allowance, go for the lighter options like those with no wheels.
Check for how many pieces of luggage you are allowed to check-in – if you are allowed to check in just one bag, better pick the one with a larger volume.
- Before putting it into storage, make sure your snowboard bag and the inside gears are all dry.
- Wax the zipper a bit before putting it into storage.
- Change the content position. For example, place your helmet into different positions per flight to spread out the weight and ease the tension caused to the fabric.
- Your bag might be durable, but try to take care of it so it will last for years.
- Check your bags before you fly for anything that might not be allowed on the airplane.
The Dakine High Roller is my pick for the best snowboard bag for air travel. This is a high-quality option that features durable construction that will keep your snowboard and gear protected at all times. It also has enough room to pack extra stuff you want to bring along.
All of the bags on this list make for solid options when you are flying with a snowboard. If you are going to fly, a snowboard bag is a must if you want to help prevent your board from getting damaged along the way.About Lorraine