Okay, so who’s planning a ski trip this year? You? And you, too?
I am! Which is why I want to talk to you about the gear we need to haul the gear we need. I know that sounds funny, but really, ski and boot bags are essential for getting our stuff from Point A to Point B. So today I’m reviewing Kulkea’s Kantaja Double Roller Ski Bag and SP Pro Boot Bag.
I’ve reviewed Kulkea’s products before — their Day Micro-Pack, Powder Trekker Ski Boot Bag, and Tandem Ski Boot Duffle — and I was impressed by the design, quality, and functionality in all three. So when Kulkea asked me to take a look at the Kantaja and SP Pro, I was more than a little willing.
So let’s get to it:
Kantaja Double Roller Ski Bag
I haven’t looked at soft ski bags in a bazillion years. For at least a decade I’ve been using a hard shell ski bag, and honestly, it’s been fine. But baby, there’s a new bag in town, and the hard shell is about to be relegated to the basement. Kulkea’s Kantaja Double Roller is just that good.
Here’s what I like about it:
• High quality construction. You can tell this is one well made bag. The tag says it’s made of water resistant polyurethane coated 1680D ballistic polyester Tarpaulin. I’m not sure what that even means, but I can tell you: this is one bag that’s not going to fall apart, no matter what the weather throws at it or how it’s handled at bag check. It also features sturdy YKK zippers, padded handles, and a durable easy roll all-terrain wheel system.
• Lots of padding. Part of the reason I liked my hard shell is because I figured it protected my skis from all rough handling and conditions. This bag is so well padded that I’m sure my skis will be protected at least as well.
• Loads of room. This is a double ski bag, so yeah, it easily fits two pairs of skis and two pairs of poles. But there’s lots of room for other stuff, too. I made a list of what I managed to fit inside: 2 pairs of skis and poles, 2 pair of ski pants, 1 shell, 1 pair gloves, 2 base layer tops, 2 base layer bottoms, 1 mid layer, 4 pair socks, 1 pair gloves. And yes, there was room to spare. You could pretty much pack for an entire ski trip using just this and a boot bag.
• A big mouth. In people, this is looked on as a bad thing. But in a ski bag, not so much. The wide zippered compartment makes it easy to pack and move things in and out.
• Interior stabilizing straps. Easy to adjust and manipulate, there are straps to hold two pairs of skis and two pairs of poles securely in place, so your gear isn’t sliding around inside.
• Pockets. As if all the room inside isn’t enough, the Kantaja has an exterior side pocket and to interior stretch pockets for you to stash your stuff.
• Hitch back. This is cool; you can attach your ski boot bag to the Kantaja’s exterior, which is really nice when you’re tooling through the airport.
SP Pro Boot Bag
Wow, this is One. Big. Ass. Bag.
The SP Pro has a volume of 61L, or 3700 cu inches (in contrast, my old Althalon Everything Boot bag had 3570 cu inches, and I thought that was huge). It’s an absolute cavern.
The configuration is pretty standard: two outside pockets for boots, and a large middle compartment for everything else. I loaded in a pair of base layer bottoms, a mid layer top, a base layer top, my helmet, goggles, mittens, gaiter, glove liners, miscellaneous crap, and still had plenty of room left to put in my lunch. And if you have large feet, no worries: the boot pockets are built to take ski boots up to Mondo 31 (US men’s shoe size 13).
The SP Pro has a lot of other good features, too:
• Once again, durable construction. The SP Pro is made of durable, water resistant 840D nylon and 450D diamond ripstop polyester. It looks and feels tough. You won’t be disappointed with the way it’s made.
• Shoulder and waist straps, for greater stability. It makes a difference: the bag stays in place and the straps don’t slip down your arms when you have it on. And you can stash the straps away when they’re not in use.
• Pockets! There’s a transparent inner pocket, which is great for those small, personal items like lip balm, hand warmers, tissues, etc; a top pocket for your face mask and bandana; and a front pocket for gloves and socks. You won’t run out of room with this bag.
• An inner, fabric lined goggle pouch.
• An outer jacket strap. I love this. There’s a way to attach your jacket to the outside of the bag. This frees up space in the bag’s interior and gives you a place to stash your jacket apres ski, or when you’re in the airport or on the plane.
So what’d you think, Ski Diva?
Once again, Kulkea has hit it out of the park. You can tell that both of these bags are made by people who love skiing and know exactly what skiers need. Both the Kantaja and the SP Pro show thoughtful, user friendly design; outstanding construction; and great functionality. Yes, I’m impressed. One caveat, however: as I said earlier, the SP Pro is one big bag. To be honest, I think it’s too big for me. But for people who are larger — which is pretty much most adults (I’m only 5′-1″) — and who want a boot bag with plenty of room, this is the bag for you (BTW, it’s perfect for my husband).
Once again, two ski poles up!