I love skiing, but I don’t love carting all my stuff over to the mountain. So for me, having a good boot bag is a high priority. And with ski season just around the corner (or recently started, in a few fortunate places), I’m sure it’s a high priority for you, too.
Get ready to rejoice, because I’ve found a bag you’re sure to love: Kulkea’s Talvi X bootbag.
I’ve been a fan of Kulkea’s ever since I discovered them during a visit to the Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo a few years back. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll know I’ve written about their Kantaja ski bag, SP Pro Boot Bag, Micro Pack, Powder Trekker boot bag, and the Tandem Duffle. So when Kulkea sent me their Talvi X to review, I pretty much knew what to expect: a bag that’s high in quality, intelligently engineered, and built to last under the toughest conditions. And lo and behold, that’s exactly what I got.
First, let’s get this out of the way. Kulkea is pronounced “cool-kee-ah,” which means “to go” in Finnish —though the company isn’t Finnish at all. It’s located in suburban Boston, MA, and was founded by two brothers, Steven and David Abramowitz, who have a Finnish mother (they actually have dual US-Finnish citizenship). David is a former attorney for a public telecommunications company and Steven a former marketing exec. The company began in 2009 when David decided he needed a better way to haul his gear. After working with designers, skiers, and assorted people who provided loads of input, they launched the Kulkea line of bags.
Kulkea added the Talvi X to its lineup it last year, according to the company, to “meet the needs of skiers who are looking for a more basic bag that’s higher in quality and better looking than those offered by other manufacturers.” The big news this year is its availability in a few new colors, based on customer feedback: green with a sky blue Finnish hannunvaakuna pattern (hannunaakuna is an ancient Finnish symbol of luck), lavender with a sky blue Finnish hannunvaakuna pattern, and red with a snowflake pattern. It already came in black-gray with a yellow accent, and black-grey with a white accent.
• The size. While the Powder Trekker is my everyday go-t0-the-mountain bag, there are times when I need a bit more room. For example, sometimes I want to bring additional layers or something to change into, apres ski. And when I’m traveling by air, I generally carry a complete slate of ski clothes in my boot bag — which I never check — in case the airlines lose my luggage (which they have). The Talvi X is bigger than the Powder Trekker (3660 cu in vs. 3200 cu in), but not too big that it’s difficult to manage. As someone who’s not that large, to me, this is important.
• Quality construction. You can tell, just from handling this bag, that it’s built to handle all sorts of abuse. Throw it in the car, toss it on the floor, pull it this way or that — this bag can take it. I don’t know about you, but I’m not easy on boot bags, so a bag that can be mistreated without consequences is a plus. This is a bag that’s going to last, no matter what you do.
• Comfortable padded straps. Some bootbags are just plain uncomfortable to carry. Not the Talvi X. Maybe the companies pay more attention to the bag component than that do to the carrying part? Who knows. But the straps here have a lot of padding and they’re really easy to adjust. I’m small, and sometimes the bags don’t adjust far enough for me. The straps of the Talvi X do.
• Pockets. Yep, it’s got ’em. There’s a nicely sized zippered one inside for smaller items like chapstick, tissues, and so on, and a larger one outside you can use for your goggles or mittens or gaiter…whatever.
• Great price. The MSRP for the Talvi X is a super reasonable $69.95, so you get a lot of quality for not a lot of money. Ground shipping is free to 48 contiguous states, too, when you buy through the Kulkea website.
Some helpful specs:
Fabric: Durable, water-resistant 600D polyester and tarpaulin.
Sizing: Ski boots up to Mondo 29.5 (US Shoe Size-Men’s 11.5).
Volume: 60L/3660 cu in.
Dimensions: 16.5H (boot pockets) x 14.5L x 16.5W.
So what’d you think, Ski Diva?
You don’t need to sacrifice good looks and pay a lot of money for a great boot bag.The Talvi X is attractive, roomy, and well built. Two ski poles up!
BTW, we’re giving away a Talvi X bag on TheSkiDiva forum right now. The contest is open to Ski Divas only, so if you’re a registered member, head here for a chance to enter (if you’re not a member, register and then enter). We’ll take entries until 5PM (Eastern Time) on October 23, and the winner will be randomly selected later that day.
For more information on Kulkea, go here.