If you follow me on Strava, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn you probably know that I spend most of my winter weekends skiing with my family and or teaching at my local ski school. In short, I have a lot of ski stuff to haul around. Hence the need to purchase a new ski boot bag this year.
I eventually settled on the Unigear 50L Ski Boot Bag. Overall, I’m happy with it.
When I started looking for a new ski boot bag my criteria this time around was a little different than the last time I purchased a boot bag. The last time I was a single guy buying a bag that could hold up to the rigors of international travel as I went off to ski in places like the Hornstrandir nature preserve in Iceland. This time I am a dad with a partner and two daughters (ages 5 and 6) and our skiing adventures are taking place within a 30 minute drive of our house.
The criteria for selecting a boot bag this time around was that it had to be able to hold my boots, helmet, goggles, spare socks, and snacks without breaking the bank. It also needed to be small enough that my daughters could wear them if we decided to purchase boot bags for them. Until recently we just shoved all of the kids’ boots, helmets, mittens, socks, and spare clothes into a big rolling Eddie Bauer duffle bag. The kids are now big enough to carry their own stuff, but not big enough to handle the giant duffle bag.
The Unigear Ski Boot Bag fit the price constraint that I had set. In fact, I caught it on sale and got it for $55 instead of the $72 it’s currently advertised at. Would it meet the rest of the criteria? I only had to wait two days to find out (it shipped free despite the fact that I cancelled my Amazon Prime account two years ago).
When the Unigear Ski Boot Bag arrived it was packaged in just a large, thick Ziplock-like bag with some clear tape wrapped around it. It didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the quality of what was inside. So I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the package and found that the bag itself was made of a thick canvas-like material and zippers appeared to be sewn-in well.
I wear a ski boots in size 28.5 or 29.5 depending upon the brand. The boots I wear when teaching are Tecnica Cochise 110 in size 28.5. My touring boots are Salomon Shift Pro 130 in size 29.5. So while not exceptionally large, they are perhaps slightly larger than average. My Tecnica boots fit in the bag with just a little finessing to get the toes all the way in. My Salomon boots fit only when I pushed forward on them while also zipping up boot compartment of the bag.
Once the boots were in the bag it was time to see how it accommodated the other stuff I need it to carry. I had to put my helmet in the bag in such away that the tops of my boots rested inside my helmet (where my head goes when wearing the helmet). Otherwise, the helmet compartment wouldn’t zip closed. My helmet is a Smith Vantage in size large. In other words, I don’t have an exceptionally large head or helmet.
After figuring out how to make my helmet fit in the bag, it was time to try the accessory pocket for goggles and spare socks. My Smith I/O goggles and a spare Darn Tough socks fit just fine. The only problem is that putting the goggles in that pocket leaves them kind of exposed to being banged around by things outside of the bag. There really isn’t much if any protection for the goggles unless you use a hard-sided goggle case.
With everything in the Unigear Ski Boot Bag it was time to see if met the final criteria of portability by my children. My six-year-old was more than happy to give it a try. I adjusted the straps for her and put it on her back. She didn’t fall over! She was proud to march it around our (mid-remodeling) kitchen for a few minutes. Would she have been able to walk the distance from our car to the ski lodge with it? Probably, if it had her boots and helmet in it instead of my much larger boots and helmet in it.
Will I Buy Another One?
Yes, I think I will. Even though it takes a bit of finessing to get all of my stuff in it, I’ll keep using it. It will easily accommodate my partner’s and my daughters’ boots and helmets so I see a set of four Unigear Ski Boot Bags in our near future. I’ll just wait until they drop in price again.