Traveling with skis isn’t easy. But it is a necessity; I don’t want to be skiing anything other than the skis I know and love.
Fabric travel cases don’t do it for me. I think they’re more awkward than they need to be, and they don’t offer the protection required to withstand the rigors of travel and the way baggage handlers throw luggage around.
Enter Sportube. I found this solid, hard plastic shell easy to maneuver and was confident that it would fully protect my skis from whatever happens during my journey and at the airport once it’s left my sight.
The Series 2 Sportube comfortably fit two pairs of skis and poles and had room for other items such as running trainers and clothing that wouldn’t fit in my carry-on. As my only piece of checked luggage, it was super convenient to pack extra gear with my skis, leaving my carry-on as light as possible or allowing me to take extra stuff.
My first journey with the Sportube involved five different modes of transport; planes, trains, and automobiles. A bus. And the light rail. As well as traveling with a carry-on and a rucksack with my laptop, I could easily pull the Sportube along behind me, load it into elevators, travel up and down escalators, and get it in and out of the baggage holds on trains and buses. The detachable pulling handle, combined with wheels, made all this as easy as possible. Checking it at the airport was as convenient as checking my regular luggage, and the same price. I flew Southwest to Bozeman, MT, and it was free.
Packing the skis into the Sportube was equally simple. The included rubber bands are brake retainers and velcro straps, two for each pair of skis, keep the skis together. You don’t pack them bases together, as you usually store skis; you line them up binding to binding. This leaves room between the skis for packing extra items. The skis then slide into the case through a velcro strap that holds them in place, and you close the case. The telescopic shell adjusts to the size of your skis, another advantage over soft cases. The case is then locked using a sturdy metal pin, which is also lockable.
The case is super easy and obvious to use. When I returned home and opened my case, I found a note in there from TSA saying they’d been in.
I’d never really noticed Sportubes on my travels before, but now I have one I’m noticing all the time. However, I’ve yet to see another bright orange one like mine! I’ve lost count of the number of people that have seen me traveling with it and asked me about it. The color stands out and is a definite conversation starter. And unlike soft cases, I can decorate the Sportube with stickers showing off all the resorts I’ve been to.
If you regularly travel with your skis (or board), I’d highly recommend checking out the Sportube. It’s made my life easier.