In today's world of chaotic travel, packing for ski trip can seem like a bear. Weight restrictions, limitations on bags, busy airports, and juggling how to cart it all can seem daunting.
And since there is nothing worse than not having your own gear for your trip (you and your skis have a connection), being able to haul it around should be simple and easy. Whether all your gear is stuffed into one ski bag for a quick domestic powder-chasing jaunt, or in two bags for your international travel, having a dialed system that's sturdy, lightweight, and moves efficiently will keep other annoyances at bay as you head to your destination. Below are three pieces of gear that will greatly improve the vagabond powder snow lifestyle.
Someone once said to me, I can't believe you're using a bag that says Douchebag on it… Honestly, I just find it hilarious and could care less, especially considering how great this ski bag is. Founded by Swedish freeskier Jon Olsson, the Douchebag ski roller easily handles a couple pairs of skis along with your apparel. It is incredibly light, allowing it to roll easily around the terminal. However, perhaps its most valuable feature is the ability to adjust lengths, and roll up into a sleeping bag-type storage once you reach your destination. It's probably the slickest ski bag on the market, so who cares what it's called.
For longer trips, be it winter or any other season, I'm routinely reaching for my Patagonia 120L roller. It's a big bag for long trips where you'll need a bunch of gear, but it's super burly. The ripstop fabric has a TPU-film laminate and DWR finish so it repels water and can handle a pounding rain or snowstorm while still keeping your gear dry. The bottom has a small amount of padding to protect it from travel damage, and webbing so that you can tie the bag down on the roof when you overstuff your two-door Fiat.
Weighing in at 2 pounds, 4 ounces, the Cirque 35 is designed for ski mountaineering minimalism but is equipped for any and all ski excursions. If you're traveling via plane to a destination and don't want to deal with the hassles of an airbag pack, this should be your bag. The top loader is equipped to add an Black Diamond Avalung, and given its weight it can be easily be loaded with necessary travel supplies. The Cirque 35 carries skis via A-frame or diagonally, and has allocated space for avalanche safety gear, ice tools, ropes, and a helmet. It's ready for any powder-filled adventure, be it quick laps out of bounds or deep missions into the backcountry.