Well stowed: transport your ski equipment safely

18/12/2023 - SnowTrex

As soon as the cold season approaches, winter sports enthusiasts look forward to hurtling down the freshly snow-covered slopes. But before the time comes, luggage and equipment for fun in the snow must first be safely stowed away for the journey. When packing for a skiing holiday, two things are particularly important: the equipment must be packed in such a way that it is not damaged (but also that nothing is damaged) and it must be ensured that the equipment does not pose a risk of accident. The latter mainly applies to transporting ski equipment in the car. SnowTrex shows you how to do this comfortably and as safely as possible when travelling to the ski resort.

“I pack my things and take them with me…”: You shouldn’t forget anything when it comes to ski equipment.

Prepare for the flight

If you are flying on a skiing holiday, you should clarify in advance with the airline what regulations apply to transporting ski equipment in your luggage. Many major airlines, such as Lufthansa, treat ski luggage as checked baggage. This means that you do not have to pay an extra charge for your sports equipment. In addition to the free baggage allowance, Lufthansa also allows ski equipment to be carried free of charge on most flights. Exceptions are flights from and to Central America. This currently applies to all fares except the Economy Class Light fare (as at 28 March 2018).

Airlines that operate with smaller aircraft or low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, however, charge an additional fee for ski luggage. It is advisable to ask the airline you have booked in advance how much the transport will cost and what requirements must be met.

In any case, it is advisable to pack as space-savingly as possible so that you do not have to check in another suitcase and also so that you have to transport as little luggage as possible. After all, ski equipment as such is not exactly light.

Especially if you are going on a skiing holiday with a group or family, the transport of all the equipment needs to be taken into account in the planning.

Transporting ski equipment with ski bags

Ski bags are therefore ideal for transporting equipment on the plane. They don’t weigh much, offer enough space and are made of waterproof material so that they protect the equipment well. Ski bags are available in various designs and price ranges.

The cheapest models have no protective padding and are more suitable for transporting equipment in the car. Padded bags are advisable for flights, as checked baggage can otherwise be easily damaged when loading and unloading the aircraft and on the baggage carousel. Padded ski bags are also available in a small version with simple padding for one pair of skis. These are usually carried over the shoulder. The larger ski bags with double padding hold up to four pairs of skis, offer a little more space and usually have wheels so that they can be transported more easily.

Optimum packing requires a little skill

The packing process varies slightly depending on the bag, but there are a few helpful tips. The skis should always be packed first. If you are taking a second pair of skis with you, place them on edge to the first pair on the two outer walls of the bag so that the underside of the skis is directly on the bag wall. This saves space and the skis are not directly on top of each other and are therefore better protected. Depending on the skis and the bag, you may have to try out a little until you find the ideal position. With larger bags, there is more space for more pairs of skis in the bottom of the bag and on the sides.

The next step is to pack your boots. The best way to save space is to place them at the top or bottom of the bag. To do this, place the first boot so that the sole is parallel to the top or bottom wall of the bag. The second shoe is placed in the bag the other way round so that the two form a rectangle. This way, the bulky shoes take up the least space. Repeat this if you are taking several shoes with you.

The helmet goes at the other end. If you want, you can use the helmet as protection for your ski goggles or sunglasses. Simply place the goggles in the helmet and put your ski gloves over them as padding, for example. The hard side of the helmet faces upwards, the gloves lie on the skis. The goggles are well protected in between and the space is optimally utilised. By positioning the boots at one end and the helmet at the opposite end, the weight is distributed more evenly in the bag. This prevents cumbersome lugging and slipping of items.

Utilise storage space efficiently

The bulkiest and heaviest items are now packed. The clothes can now be placed between the bindings, preferably so that all the cavities are filled. To really make the most of the space, it is advisable to utilise every surface: For example, place the ski socks inside the boots. If you also roll your clothes tightly instead of folding them, you save space and also prevent them from creasing.

If you don’t want to check in another suitcase, you can pack minimally and use packing cubes or vacuum bags. These compress the large volume of clothing into a very small space and are therefore very effective and space-saving. They also help you to organise your clothes neatly and are very light, so there is hardly any extra weight.

Last up are the ski poles. The safest and most space-saving way to store them is to place one pole on each outer wall. When closing the bag, you just have to make sure that you don’t put your weight on top of the bag. Many ski bags have additional pockets on the outside and offer extra storage space. This means you can store a lot. The ski bag and equipment are then packed and ready for your winter holiday.

A lot of things come together when packing your suitcase for a skiing holiday.

The exact packing method also depends a little on the bag model. Some bags have separate compartments for ski boots, for example, while others have compression straps that compress the volume and thus save even more space.

In order to be able to use the ski bag for as long as possible, it should also be well looked after. It helps if the ski equipment is not placed wet and dirty in the bag. Ski bags can be cleaned well with a damp cloth. To avoid mould and bad odours, the bag should be left open in the fresh air for at least one day after use.

Safety first when transporting in the car

If you go on a skiing holiday by car, you have several options: You can transport the equipment on the roof or in the car, i.e. on the back seat or in the boot. The advantage of transporting your equipment in the car is that it is protected from the wind and weather and you don’t have to carry an additional roof load. However, long skis in particular often pose a space problem. They can also obstruct the driver’s view, slide back and forth when cornering or even slide forwards when braking! As a result, they are not only potentially damaged, but also jeopardise the safety of the occupants and cause accidents.

If the material is transported in the car, it must be thoroughly secured to protect the occupants in the event of an accident.

It is therefore particularly important to secure them so that they do not move during the journey, for example with seat belts. It is also advisable to cover the back seat or the folded seats and the boot with a tarpaulin or blanket in advance. This protects the car from scratches and moisture. Before attaching the skis, the driver should check from the driver’s seat that the position of the skis really does not impair their view or their hand movements. Because once you have packed everything and then realise that you can’t see well, you have to start all over again. The skis can be stowed in a ski bag for protection. A ski bag can also be an advantage when travelling by car, especially if there isn’t much space. This way you can pack everything compactly and safely.

Transporting ski equipment on the roof: what you need to bear in mind

But not every car has space for skis. In a small car, there is often not enough space to transport ski equipment, even with the rear seats folded down. If there are also several people travelling in the car, it usually becomes too cramped. This is where a ski rack or roof box comes in handy.

The most common method: transporting the ski equipment on the roof.

Before buying a roof transport for the equipment, you should take measurements. Especially for cars with a glass sliding roof, it is better if the glass remains free so as not to damage it. You should also check how much weight you are allowed to transport on the car roof. This varies depending on the car model: the authorised roof load can be found in the handbook. The dimensions of the roof transport are also important. According to road traffic regulations, the maximum width for loads on the roof is 2.55 metres. The height of the car including the roof load must not be higher than 4 metres and the roof load must not protrude too far to the front or rear. An excess of 2.50 metres is permitted at the front and 1.50 metres at the rear.

Ski racks for the roof: keeping everything protected

Some winter sports enthusiasts prefer ski racks as they are cheaper than a roof box and can transport up to six pairs of skis. However, you shouldn’t skimp on safety. There are ski racks that can be locked to protect your equipment from theft. Some ski racks even have magnetic devices that make them very easy to attach to the roof. But be careful! The magnets can easily scratch off the car’s paintwork. To avoid this, a thin layer of cling film can be placed under the magnets to protect the car.

This protects the car roof, but not the skis. With a ski rack, they are exposed on the roof. Especially in winter when driving through snow, slush and the splashing of road salt, the equipment can get dirty and even damaged. A waterproof ski bag offers good protection here. However, it is advisable to test this construction before buying – because it can happen that the skis with ski bag no longer fit in the ski rack.

At regular stops, you should check whether the ski equipment is still secure.

The roof box

If you want to transport your equipment weatherproof on the roof of your car for your skiing holiday, a roof box is a good idea. Although these are more expensive than ski racks, they also offer more protection as they can be completely locked. This protects the equipment from wind and winter weather. The roof box can also be used for roof transport outside the ski season, so the investment is often worthwhile.

There are a few important points to consider before buying. Not every roof box fits every car. You therefore need to make sure that the roof box is suitable for your car model. It is also important to secure the roof box correctly so that it does not slip or even fall off during the journey. It is best to follow the installation instructions exactly and check again after driving a few kilometres to make sure that everything is correctly fitted.

It characterises the winter road scene: the roof box.

Stowing equipment in the roof box is very similar to packing a ski bag. Long and heavy items such as skis are placed at the bottom, bulky items such as shoes and helmets are positioned on the outside. Some roof boxes offer special holders for winter sports equipment. Fragile items should also be protected here, either by placing them in the helmet or wrapping them in a few layers of winter clothing. You can also wrap plastic bags around fragile items to protect them. It is also possible to line the roof box with a blanket so that objects do not slip and are lightly padded. The spaces in between can be easily filled with some clothing.

As soon as everything is stowed away, the tensioning straps can be fastened. The weight should be checked again with a scale before mounting on the roof to ensure that the authorised roof load is not exceeded. The roof box is not a suitcase or additional storage space for bags. It should only be used for stowing and securing bulky items, as otherwise the permitted weight will quickly be exceeded. It is therefore primarily used to stow items that have no room in the car and then to distribute and, if necessary, pad them so that they do not slip.

The car must also be safely prepared for the journey

Before setting off, the tyre pressure should be checked again with the total weight and the height of the headlights readjusted if necessary. This is because the roof load can push the car down, which may cause the lights to be too low and dazzle oncoming cars. The pressure in the tyres must therefore be increased accordingly.

It is important to check the tyre pressure before setting off.

Driving with a roof box on the car is also different. The braking distance is longer and the car leans more when cornering. More volume on the roof also offers more resistance to the airstream – you can feel and hear this in the car. If you notice that the car is becoming very wobbly, you should therefore slow down. The top priority is to drive more slowly and reach your destination safely.

FAQs on the safe transport of ski equipment

Which ski bag is the right one?

This depends on the equipment and the means of transport. A ski bag with double padding is recommended for travellers taking more than one pair of skis with them or travelling by plane. A simple, waterproof ski bag without padding is sufficient for transporting ski equipment in the car.

Is there an additional charge for ski bags when travelling by air?

This varies depending on the airline. Large airlines such as Lufthansa often do not charge an additional fee, while smaller airlines or budget airlines usually charge a surcharge. It is advisable to enquire individually before travelling.

How can you safely stow fragile items when packing?

Padded ski bags offer good protection against possible external damage. If you pack fragile items such as goggles in your ski bag, you can protect them well by stowing them in the helmet and padding them with additional clothing.

Can the ski equipment be transported in the car?

If the car is big enough and there is room for the ski equipment in the vehicle, there is no reason not to. However, it should be noted that large, bulky items must be secured very well so that they do not slip, get damaged, injure passengers or cause an accident when cornering, for example.

What legal regulations must be observed when transporting ski equipment on the roof?

The authorised roof load must not be exceeded. This varies depending on the vehicle. Information on this can be found in the handbook. In addition, the car with roof load must not exceed a height of 4 metres and must not protrude more than 2.50 metres to the front and 1.50 metres to the rear.

Do I need a roof box to transport the ski equipment on the roof?

No, because skis can also be transported in a ski rack on the roof. However, as the carriers offer no protection from wind and weather, a ski bag is recommended as external protection.

Does every roof box fit every car?

No! Roof boxes are usually designed for specific car models. Before buying, you should therefore make sure that the roof box is suitable for your own vehicle.

  • Monday, 18. December 2023
  • Author: SnowTrex
  • Category: Safe Skiing
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