For the past ten years, I’ve been living out of a ski bag and chasing snow around the world. Every year I drag my skis to Japan, Alaska, Argentina and places in between, never settling into a permanent home. Needless to stay, my ski bag is one of the most important pieces of gear I own. I need something that is light and packable when not in use, but still tough and spacious enough to carry everything need. For years, I struggled to find the perfect ski bag. I’ve used a variety of rollers, I’ve tried lighter canvas bags, I’ve even attached skateboard trucks to a bag, but nothing really got it done. Five years ago, I discovered the Douchebag, and I haven’t looked back since.
The Douchebag is without a doubt the best ski bag on the market – nothing else is even on the same planet. It uses a system of padded ribs that provide structure and support, but can be rolled down to compress the bag when not in use. They also allow you to adjust the length of the bag to fit any size skis or snowboards (see video). Basically, they’ve made a full sized, fully featured ski bag that can pack down to the size of compressed sleeping bag.
The Douchebag can easily fit two pairs of skis and well over 50lbs of gear. Weighing in at 8.4lbs, it’s on the lighter end of the spectrum for large ski bags. It has well placed external handles for lifting, a removeable shoulder strap, two internal side pockets, and external daisy chains to attach the compatible Hugger bag or anything else you might want.
I can keep raving about the many reasons why this bag is amazing, but I’ll move on to the only two negatives I’ve found: price and durability. At $250USD, this is one of the most expensive ski bags on the market. You can probably find a Dakine ski bag that serves the same basic function for about $100. So, is the Douchebag worth the extra $150? I think the short answer is that it depends how much you use it. If you travel once a year – probably not. If you travel five times a year – I think it is worth it. Also, considering that the gear in your ski bag is worth $1000-5000, and excess baggage fees can cost you $50-200 per trip, $150 is well worth it if it better protects your gear and can save you some fees.
My second concern with the Douchebag is durability. Considering how expensive it is, you want it to last significantly longer than a normal ski bag. My first Douchebag lasted for 4 years, 30 flights and countless times packed, unpacked and dragged around. While it didn’t fail completely, a number of the ribs snapped and were pushing through the bottom of the bag, the main zipper pulled off the track in the back corner, and it had a few minor holes and major scratches. This is about the same amount of time that previous ski bags have lasted for me, so I would love to see a Douchebag last a little longer.
I took my new Douchebag to South America this summer, where it encountered a couple problems. On the way there, the main handle (which is removable in order to roll the bag) was lost, and a large rip was put in the rear corner (see photo above). I have no idea what happened to it, but I’m inclined to give Douchebag a pass on this one, and blame TSA for removing the handle to search the bag and being too stupid to reattach it, then slashing a hole in the back with a machete out of spite. Regardless, ski bags are constantly getting abused by airlines and TSA, and I would like to see Douchebag improve a little on the durability front.
Douchebag has clearly put a lot of thought and design into their ski bag, and they have come up with a winner. This bag is simply in a different league than the other ski bags out there. No one else is making a fully featured ski bag that has adjustable lengths, can be compressed down to nothing and is fairly light. I would like to see durability improve, but it still is as good or better than other bags on the market in this respect. At $250, the Douchebag is one of the most expensive ski bag out there. Is it worth it? For me, absolutely. If you travel regularly with skis, the Douchebag will change your life.