Big guide to buying a snowboard bag

Unless you live super close to a mountain, chances are pretty high that having a snowboard bag is going to help you out at some point.

Just like suitcases, snowboard bags protect your equipment, while making it easier to move around.

There are a few main types of bags, which are:

  • Sleeves
  • Unpadded bags
  • Padded bags
  • Wheelie bags

If you don’t want to read a whole lot, make things easy on yourself and get either the Burton Wheelie Gig Bag, or the Dakine Low Roller in a size that is bigger than your biggest snowboard. They both do the same job, so get whichever one is cheaper and you like the look of the most.

Sleeves

Although not technically a bag, these are very low profile, but still keeping the base, nose and tail protected. They can be made from a few different materials, but they are pretty often made from soft and stretchy neoprene (wetsuit material).

Snowboard sleeves don’t completely cover the board, and the gaps mean that you can leave the bindings on the board.

Sizing: Even though the neoprene material is soft and stretchy, you still need to get the right size sleeve for your board. They generally come in small, medium and large sizes. Each of those sizes will have a range of boards that they fit, for example the medium might fit all boards between 150-160cm.

Here are a few sleeve options on Amazon

Unpadded bags

These are basic and simple snowboard bags, that don’t have a ton of extra room, but enough to fit your board with bindings, as well as enough room to get your boots in there. The bags are still made from a tough outer material, which is normally 600D polyester.

Unpadded bags are the cheapest of all the options, and also the lightest – you just sacrifice a little bit of the protection.

Burton Space Sack

600D / DWR (Durable Water Repellent)

Lockable zipper

Sizes:

  • 140cm
  • 156cm
  • 166cm
  • 181cm

$74.95

Buy

Dakine Pipe

Full length zipper

Removable shoulder strap

Sizes:

  • 148cm
  • 157cm
  • 165cm (1.8lbs/0.8kg)

$64.95

Buy

Padded bags

These padded bags are still made with 600D polyester with a water repellent coating, but are padded to give your board some extra protection. These bags have more of a rectangle shape, so you do get some extra storage space.

Although the padding does make them a bit heavier than unpadded bags, these are still noticeably lighter than wheelie bags, but still with all the protection.

The weight of the bag is not a big deal, until you start travelling on planes where there are limits to the weight of your luggage, or overweight fees.

Burton Gig Bag

600D / DWR (Durable Water Repellent)

Single exterior pocket

Sizes:

  • 156cm
  • 166cm

$129.95

Buy

Dakine Tour

600D Water repellent finish

Sizes:

  • 157cm (2.9lbs/1.3kg)
  • 165cm (2.9lbs/1.3kg)
  • 175cm (3.7lbs/1.7kg)

175cm (6.2lbs/2.8kg)

$175.00

Buy

Wheelie bags

Wheelie bags are by far the most useful of all snowboard bags. They are made from the same material as the padded bags, but have a hard plastic section at one end, with wheels to make moving a fully loaded bag easier.

Each brand will use a slightly different style of wheels, but in the end they all do the same job. These are the most expensive option, but make it much easier to move a long and fairly heavy bag around.

You might thing that you only have to get a board from the car to the airport, then airport to your accomodation, but you might be surprised about how much you can use the wheels. Even if you are dragging the bag around on snowy roads, the plastic runners/protection help it slide on snow, even if the wheels aren’t doing too much.

For my first ever trip overseas a long time ago, I though I would save some money and just buy a regular padded bag. I figured it can easily move a bag around the airport and on some buses, it can’t be that hard. By the time I got to Canada, I quickly sold my bag, and bought a Burton Wheelie Gig Bag that I still have.

It looks beaten up now, but still works just like it should. There is a reason that pretty much all suitcases have wheels on them now, the added convenience is worth the small amount of weight that they add.

Burton Wheelie Gig Bag

burton wheelie gig bag black

600D / DWR (Durable Water Repellent)

Single exterior pocket

Sizes:

  • 156cm
  • 166cm
  • 181cm

$199.95

Buy

Dakine Low Roller

dakine low roller black

600D Water repellent finish

Removable boot bag

Sizes:

  • 157cm (5.8lbs/2.6kg)
  • 165cm (6.0lbs/2.7kg)
  • 175cm (6.2lbs/2.8kg)

$175.00

Buy

How much can you fit in wheelie snowboard bags?

I own both of the above snowboard bags – I have a Burton Wheelie Gig that is 166cm, and a Dakine Low Roller in 157cm.

There is a ton of room in both of those bags, for a few trips I have loaded them right up – almost to the limits of the bag. The thing that holds me back is the baggage weight limit of the airlines (23kg/50lbs), rather than what can fit.

Here is a list of what I can fit in, if I am filling the bag right up.

  • 3 boards, with bindings removed
  • 1 pair of boots
  • 2 sets of bindings
  • Helmet
  • Two sets of outerwear
  • Goggles
  • Mitts
  • Socks
  • Layers

The weight of the boards makes quite a difference, but I have been able to get all of that in the bag, sitting at around 22.9kg.

What if I need something bigger?

If you have a ton of stuff, or are trying to get equipment for two people into one bag, you could look at bags like the Dakine High Roller, or the Burton Wheelie Flight Attendant. More volume in these bags, and the Flight Attendant has some fancy compartments to separate your boards.

What is 600D polyester?

600D stands for 600 Denier, which means that in 600D fabric there are 600 yarns within each thread. It is a medium weight polyester fabric, which is tough and durable, and a more affordable option compared to nylon.

On top of being used in a lot of snowboard bags, it is pretty common in backpacks and other outdoor gear.

Colours

I wouldn’t be afraid of getting a snowboard bag that is in some bright colours or a loud pattern. Every little thing that can help you find your bag in a sea of other black bags is going to be a good help.

Extra features

Bags like the Dakine Low/High Roller have a removable boot bag, which can be handy, but isn’t a make or break feature. If you are doing shorter day or weekend trips, then having a nice sealed bag to keep smelly wet boots from stinking up your outerwear can be helpful.

Straps inside the bag

Not every brand has these, but straps inside the board bag that lock your board to the bottom make the bag a little more rigid, while also stopping your board from sliding around.

Choosing the right size snowboard bag

To make things simple, just make sure that the size of the bag you buy, is bigger than the biggest board you have, or plan to own one day.

For example, if your biggest board is 160cm, then you should get a bag that is 165 or 166cm.

Each board manufacturer measures their boards in different ways – some brands measure tip to tail as a straight line, and some follow the profile of the board. What that means is that a 155cm board from one brand can be quite a different size from a 155 from a competing brand.

To handle this, you can almost always count on a couple of centimetres of wiggle room in a board bag. It is quite likely that you can get a 159 or 160cm board inside a 157cm bag, though you won’t know for sure until you try it.

It is still always safer to buy one size bigger.

One thing that you should also keep in mind is that you don’t want to buy a bag that is a whole lot bigger than your board. Board bags only become useful when there is a board inside the bag, which stiffens the bag up and makes it easy to drag. If you have a small board in a fairly big bag, there will be a whole lot of slack at the top where you will be dragging it, which makes it a bit more awkward.

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