The 8 Best Ski Boot Bags of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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The capacity and durability of the Backcountry Ski Boot Bag earned it the top spot on our list.
Catching fresh tracks is every skier's dream, and the first step is to get all of the necessary gear and accessories to the ski resort with you. While going through a mental packing list can work for some skiers, the best way to keep your boots, outer layers, gloves, helmet, and goggles organized is by using a ski boot bag.
We tested 17 ski boots bags in a range of sizes and styles to determine the best options for every type of downhiller. Travel + Leisure editors and writers participated in the test, which involved packing the bags for several ski trips over the course of four weeks. Our top pick is the Backcountry Ski Boot Bag thanks to its generous capacity, ample padding for comfort, and durable build. However, if this bag doesn’t entice you, we have other recommendations based on organization, size, and style preferences.
Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Boot Bag
Why We Love It: The capacity is large enough to fit gear and clothing for a three-day ski trip.
What to Consider: It seems much larger than the 38-liter volume listed on the website.
Right off the bat, we noticed the premium-feeling materials and spacious interior of the Backcountry Ski Boot Bag, but it really won us over after we used it for a three-day ski trip to Utah. The U-shaped front opening made it easy to load ski boots, two of every outer layer and accessory, and three non-skiing outfits. While the bag could be a carry-on for some airlines, we had no problems checking the backpack in with all of the gear perfectly protected for the duration of the flight.
The top pocket is massive and can easily fit goggles, gloves, and other accessories. There are two slip pockets on either side of the bag for water bottles, and we especially liked the large hidden back pocket for packing extra clothing items. We found it easy to use the rear-access zipper to get the ski boots out of the bag, and the back flap can be used as a mat for putting gear on in a parking lot. After a day of skiing, the four vents at the bottom of the bag helped air-out damp boots. The lining was easy to wipe clean when dirt got transferred from the bottom of footwear. Although the bag has a large capacity, the padded back and straps make it comfortable to wear, and the sternum strap helps adjust eight. “It can fit everything I need for skiing, keeps me organized naturally, and it's so comfy to wear,” our tester said.
Price at time of publish: $199
Volume: 38 liters | Material: Nylon, PVC | Weight: 2.12 pounds
Dakine Dlx 75L Boot Pack
Why We Love It: The rectangular and structured shape makes it easy to pack this very spacious ski boot backpack.
What to Consider: There aren’t any vents or drainage.
We were impressed with the enormous capacity and structured rectangle shape of the Dakine Bootpack DLX 75L. It feels extremely sturdy, and we love that it sits upright, making it easier to look inside the bag for loading ski boots and gear. Our tester packed the ski boot bag full of gear to fly with and although they ended up having to gate-check the backpack, our tester said that “it was easy and comfortable to carry because the straps are so well padded, and the bag's base keeps the weight distributed evenly,” after carrying it through the airport. Because of the thick padding surrounding the bag, we weren’t worried about acked gear going under the plane, as we were confident it was well-protected with the water-resistant and ripstop polyester material. Best of all, the backpack folds down flat so it can easily be stored in the off-season or when it’s not in use. The only downside is that there aren’t any vents to help dry wet gear, but we don’t consider that a deal-breaker since the bag impressed us plenty with the capacity and durability.
Price at time of publish: $115
Volume: 75 liters | Material: Polyester | Weight: 2.11 pounds
Athalon Everything Boot Bag Ski Snowboard
Why We Love It: There are a lot of pockets and other storage spaces for everything you need to get out on the slopes.
What to Consider: It feels a little bulky to carry around when it’s packed.
You won’t have to worry about leaving your gloves or goggles behind thanks to the designated accessory pockets and clips in the Athalon Everything Boot Bag. We love that there are plenty of thoughtful storage solutions for ski boots, a helmet, neck gaiters, pockets, and more throughout the inside and outside of the backpack for staying naturally organized. Our tester appreciated the side pockets for ski boots, as it separates the clothing and accessories from potentially damp boots after a day of skiing, and it leaves room to pack the main compartment with clothing items. While the backpack was a little heavy to carry when it was packed, the adjustable straps and back are padded, which helps with comfort and weight distribution. The materials feel durable and water-resistant, so we feel confident that this boot bag will provide excellent organization and portability for plenty of ski seasons to come.
Price at time of publish: $80
Volume: 58.5 liters | Material: Polyester | Weight: 3.8 pounds
Thule RoundTrip Ski & Snowboard Duffel Bag
Why We Love It: The capacity of the bag is enormous without feeling cumbersome to carry.
What to Consider: It can be carried with the top handle or the removable padded shoulder strap.
Whether you’re skiing with the family or looking for extra off-season storage, Thule’s RoundTrip Ski and Snowboard Duffel Bag will serve you well with its large capacity and high-quality materials. The duffel bag-style makes it super easy to pack up all of your gear from the top opening flap, and there are two side pockets with grommets that separate your boots from the rest of the items. We immediately noticed the heavy-duty feel of the 600D polyester and padded material. The best part of this duffel bag is the 90-liter capacity that is spacious enough to fit “three pairs of ski boots, a backup ski jacket, two pairs of snow pants, a miscellaneous bag of socks and neck gaiters, plus my helmet and goggles,” according to our tester. Plus, the bag can be carried by the top and side handles, a detachable padded shoulder strap, or it can be strapped to a ski bag.
Price at time of publish: $170
Volume: 90 liters | Material: 600D polyester | Weight: 2.86 pounds
Kulkea Thermal Trekker
Why We Love It: The ski boot pockets have built-in heaters that easily warm them up.
What to Consider: There aren’t any vents or drainage holes.
Skiers will love the Kulkea Thermal Trekker Heated Ski Boot Backpack on extra chilly days on the mountain thanks to its heated side pockets that will warm up your boots before you hit the slopes. The heated pockets have three settings (low, medium, and high) that can be adjusted with a little remote that fits in the bottom front pocket for easy access. Besides the two side pockets for boots, the backpack has a large main compartment, a top pocket, a front pocket, and a front helmet sling. Our tester had no issues fitting all of their ski gear in the backpack. “I like that it's compact enough to wear on your back and comfortable even, when wearing several layers [and that] it holds all the ski accessories, snow pants, and helmet,” they said. We would have liked to see drainage or vents in the boot pockets, but we understand that because of the insulation and heated element, any type of drainage would be counterproductive.
Price at time of publish: $280
Volume: 62 liters | Material: Nylon | Weight: 6.98 pounds
Athletico Ski Boot Bag
Why We Love It: The backpack has two side pockets for storing each boot separately, which frees up space in the main compartment.
What to Consider: There aren’t a ton of pockets for organization.
Athletico’s Ski Boot Bag is our favorite budget option for skiers looking to save a buck without sacrificing quality. We like that the backpack-style boot bag has one main compartment for storing your helmet, gloves, or any other gear, and then you can easily place your ski boots into the large pockets on either side of the bag. While we wish there were a few more pockets for extra storage, our tester was able to fit all the gear they needed to head to the mountain hands-free and organized. The bag is made with water-resistant polyester with drainage and ventilation holes at the bottom, and we think there is sufficient padding for comfort. Adjustable straps allowed us to customize the fit of the bag accordingly. Plus, the backpack straps can be tucked into the back of the bag for checking it in when flying.
Price at time of publish: $50
Volume: Not listed | Material: Polyester | Weight: 2.4 pounds
Thule RoundTrip Boot Backpack
Why We Love It: It has straps for attaching it to a rolling ski bag and securing skis to either side.
What to Consider: It was a little awkward to place the boots in the main compartment with other gear packed on top.
From top to bottom, the Thule Roundtrip 60L feels well-made and is outfitted with plenty of padding, pockets, and straps for transporting your items safely and comfortably. Waterproof materials prevent any moisture from seeping through the exterior or escaping from wet ski boots inside the bag. If you’re schlepping your gear through an airport, you can easily and quickly attach the boot bag to Thule’s Roundtrip Ski Bag so you only have to focus on wheeling the roller. And when you arrive at the slopes, there are two straps on the side of the backpack that allow skiers to attach one ski to each end for hiking with your skis or walking to the resort for a hands-free experience. The interior of the bag holds boots and gear with ease, while a hard, fleece-lined compartment protects your goggles and two side pockets help with organization. We love that the main compartment has two access points so you never have to dig around the bag, but since it shares space with the boot compartment that’s separated by flexible waterproof fabric, it was a little tricky to take the boots in and out without rearranging or moving gear around. However, the backpack is comfortable to carry thanks to the padded, adjustable shoulder straps and sternum strap for extra weight distribution, so we think this is a great option for skiers looking for extra features like the multitude of straps and designated pockets for gear. We also found our clothes stayed completely dry even when we put this bag down on the snow, so you won’t have to worry if you’re traveling during a snowstorm.
Price at time of publish: $170
Volume: 60 liters | Material: 600D polyester | Weight: 2.71 pounds
Kulkea Boot Trekker
Why We Love It: The bag is plenty spacious without feeling cumbersome to wear or store in the off-season.
What to Consider: It might be too small for larger ski boots.
The Kulkea Boot Trekker Backpack will fit everything from ski boots to goggles without feeling bulky or heavy when carrying it to and from the lodge. The thoughtful design allows skiers to pack larger and smaller gear in the spacious main compartment and a variety of smaller pockets on the front, back, and sides of the bag. We love that it has other smart features for ski gear like ventilation for drying out boots, a helmet sling in the front, and an abundance of padding and adjustable chest, shoulder, and belt straps for carrying the backpack. “I love that it's a backpack and that it has such comfortable, wide, padded straps. This frees up my hands to carry other gear, like my ski bags,” our tester raved. Since this bag is on the smaller side, we noticed that larger ski boots (size 32 to be exact) were difficult to fit in the bag, but there were no issues fitting smaller pairs.
Price at time of publish: $180
Volume: 69 liters | Material: Polyester | Weight: 3.9 pounds
Other Ski Boot Bags We Tested
There was some stiff competition between the ski boot bags we tested, and while there were plenty that earned high scores, the several highlighted below were well-liked but barely missed the benchmark for our top list.
Unigear 50L Ski Boot Bag: The bag is compact and fits everything you need for a day on the hill, but we wish there were vents or drainage to help gear dry after skiing. However, the price is exceptionally good for a quality bag with plenty of storage and pockets.
OutdoorMaster Boot Bag: We think this feels well-made and has a variety of useful pockets for skiers, however, the design of the bag is a bit bulky because of the two side pockets for boots. Ultimately, the boot bag is a fair price but the other budget bags impressed us a little more.
Dakine Boot Locker 69L: The simple boot bag feels heavy duty and made with quality materials, but it lacks space and ventilation for ski boots.
Dakine Boot Pack 50L: We love how comfortable this boot bag is to wear, and the cost is fair for the durable and functional design of the bag. However, it doesn’t have ventilation or drainage, and other bags in the same price and style category did.
Our Testing Process
We got our hands on 17 ski boot bags from notable outdoor gear brands and rated each on capacity, portability, durability, and design. Our downhill rippers used the ski boot bags to protect and store their gear on trips to the mountains via car and airplane.
The ski boot bags with the most positive feedback had a generous capacity that wasn’t too big or too small, making them easy to carry for short and far distances. We were most impressed by the bags with a variety of storage solutions and special features like spacious pockets, drainage, adjustable straps, separators, and multiple openings to pack gear intuitively and efficiently. Our top performers also had ample padding and additional weight-distributing straps for extra comfort while carrying the packed bags to and from ski resorts.
After packing, unpacking, and using the ski boots bags for multiple ski trips, we checked the prices to determine the fairness of the cost in light of performance during testing. The best ski boot bags had an excellent value for their prices, with most of us noting that we’d pay even more for the most high-quality and functional ski boot bags.
Tips for Buying a Ski Boot Bag
Keep in mind organizational needs
Ski boot bags are designed to organize your ski gear, but you’ll want to pay attention to the specific construction of the bag. Some bags will have designated pockets for items like helmets, gloves, and goggles, whereas others may have fewer storage solutions. If organization or special features on the bag are important to you, be sure to read product listings carefully to ensure your needs are met.
Consider the volume
The volume or capacity of the bag will determine what size ski boot will fit in the interior compartment. In our tests, we found that some bags didn’t fit larger boots, so to ensure you get the right size, check the capacity in liters and dimensions before purchasing. If you fly with your ski gear often, you might want to invest in a bigger boot bag that can fit most of your clothing and gear so you can travel with less luggage.
Drainage is key
More often than not, your ski boots will likely go into the boot bag slightly wet after a day of skiing. Investing in a boot bag with ventilation and drainage is ideal for allowing your boots to dry on the way home from the mountain.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big should a ski boot bag be?
<p>When it comes to picking out a ski boot bag, be sure to coordinate the bag size with the size of your ski boots and other gear you’d like to pack in it. For skiers with larger boots or lots of gear, opt for a bag with larger dimensions and a higher capacity. We found 50 liters or more tends to be a generous size. For <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/best-frequent-flier-programs" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">frequent fliers</a>, be sure to cross-check an airline’s dimension limits for carry-on bags if you like to bring your ski boot bag aboard a plane.</p>
Are ski boot bags carry-on luggage?
<p>Ski boot bags can be an excellent piece of <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/what-not-to-pack-in-carry-on-suitcase" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">carry-on luggage</a>, but only if they fit the airline’s dimension requirements. Depending on the size of the bag, it might be easier to check it in rather than schlep it through an airport, but if it fits the size limits, it could be worth it to bring it on the airplane. Some airlines will even allow you to check in your ski bag and add on your boot bag for no extra charge, so make sure you’ve looked up the specifics for your journey.</p>
What is the best way to clean a ski boot bag?
<p>If the cleaning instructions aren’t included on the tag in the ski boot bag, you should be able to find them on the website. In general, you should always take your gear out to dry after a day of skiing. Even if it wasn’t a wet day, your boots, gear, and the bag are likely still damp, and you’ll want to dry everything out to prolong the life of each item.</p>
Why Trust Travel + Leisure
T+L commerce writer Anna Popp grew up ski racing in Bend, Oregon, spending every winter skiing with her dad as her coach. Anna has lived in Grenoble, France, where she got to ski in the heart of the French Alps. She has been travel writing since 2018 and product testing since 2021. Anna worked with travel editors to name the best ski boot bags in the market based on a series of tests completed by her and other testers.
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