Osprey SnowKit Duffel
The joys of air travel for skiing – it’s a mix of anticipation for the adventure to come and the possibility that your gear may not arrive when you do. It only takes getting skunked on arrival without some piece of critical gear – like your boots or skins – once to appreciate the ability to carry critical gear with you on the plane.
Obviously, we need to check our skis or board when flying, but I’m the guy walking down the aisle with his ski boots slung over his shoulder and then stuffing them into the overhead bin. I figure, I can make almost any ski work, but I have no interest in testing the comfort of a pair of rental or borrowed ski boots if my personal boots go MIA in transit; so I always carry them on board by hand. Well, the designers at Osprey Packs understand the importance of keeping your close at hand, because they just launched a new gear duffel aimed at traveling skiers. The Osprey SnowKit Duffel fits ski boots, essential layers, a beacon, climbing skins and more to keep your gear organized and ready for action when you reach your destination. And it meets most airline carry-on luggage specs. Packing for road trips no longer means creating a pile of gear in the back of your car and carrying essential items on board your next flight is easier than ever.
Think backpack that comfortably holds ski boots and a good assortment of other key gear and remains easy to carry. If you’ve ever tried to stuff ski boots into a regular backpack or small duffel, you know boots have a way of deforming a pack to the point that it’s no longer easy (or comfortable) to carry. The SnowKit gear duffel handles boots and more with ease.
Inside the SnowKit Duffel
The SnowKit Duffel has two main openings – one that swallows a pair of boots (and keeps them separate from other gear) and one to pack the other gear. There’s a goggle pocket, a side pocket for gloves or beacon and an attached helmet holder – though I doubt that the bag will meet carry-on standards with a helmet attached to the outside. Boots are separated from other gear and the boot compartment includes a small vent to aide in drying.
The SnowKit measures in at 45 liters and swallows a remarkable amount of gear for a bag that can still meet the carry-on luggage size restrictions. It has just the right amount of structure and padding to keep its shape and handle bulky ski boots and assorted gear. There are multiple handles for hauling and it can be worn as a backpack to keep your hands free for other gear. Overall construction is bomber – as we’ve come to expect from Osprey. Details like awesome zipper pulls, great stitching, durable zipper and storable straps help define its high quality.
To be clear, the SnowKit Duffel is not a touring or hiking pack. It is a gear duffel for traveling. From the back of your car to the overhead bin on the plane, it provides an organized and functional way to carry essential ski gear while on the road. It helps you clean up the inevitable gear pile in the back of your rig or keep the essentials close while flying. For skiers unconcerned with carry-on size, Osprey makes what they call the BigKit – offering a cavernous 75 liters for serious gear hounds or multi-sport adventures.
Match the Osprey SnowKit Duffel with one of our favorite roller ski bags, and you will be ready to travel in style, not to mention have all your gear organized and ready to roll when and where you need it.