For road trips especially, I prefer soft luggage I can squish into the nooks and crannies of my Prius. Thule isn’t just a master at helping you haul gear atop your car on a rack. Much to my surprise, they make incredibly smart and rugged luggage. Their Subterra 28” rolling duffel is my new favorite ski bag. It’s literally two bags in one, divided, and they can be separated. That’s optimal if I want to separate my stuff from my son’s. And for just our ski/board apparel, I love Thule’s duffel which also functions as a backpack. As luggage has a tendency expand when on the road, I always travel with an empty duffel like Dakine’s EQ Bag 74L which packs up flat into its end pocket. It’s also ideal for storing laundry on longer trips.
I prefer those with enough room to haul my boots, helmet, gloves, neck gaiter, goggles and everything else I need on the slopes—all in one place. Since my son’s foot is now bigger than mine, I can no longer shove both our stuff in one bag. Thule’s Roundtrip Boot backpack 60L is an ideal choice for him particularly with its backpack functionality and designated spot for boots, googles, helmet and the rest of the essentials. Dakine’s Boot Locker 69L is my pick for this year’s snowboarding boots/gear. SporTube’s Toaster Elite Heated Boot Bag holds two pairs of ski boots and makes getting into them SO much easier, especially with my high arches. The bag’s cord plugs into a wall or car outlet. Your warm piggies will thank you as you step out in the cold morning air. For our other ski boot/gear bag, we like SporTube’s Freerider Padded Gear and Boot Bag which comes in fun patterns and has hideaway backpack straps.
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of gear to keep track of, so after an unfortunate drop of a glove from a chairlift or lost neck gaiter on the ski shuttle, I’ve found labeling stuff more than pays for itself. I’ve long been a fan of Mabel’s Label’s which stick on and hold up in the wash on clothing. I put these on every single item we take on the road from socks to helmets, skis, poles—everything. Their Starter Pack is a nice option that offers a ski or snowboard design. All you need is a first name and your mobile number so someone can track you down if they find a trail of your stuff. My phone has happily rung, reuniting me with a missing item.