Used and Abused: Sportube Ski Shield

The brand's soft-sided ski bag is both bomber and customizable.
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The SporTube Ski Shield in blue camo.

The Sportube Ski Shield in blue camo.

While Sportube is known for their signature hard-sided ski carrying tubes, the brand also produces a line of sturdy soft-sided ski bags, the biggest of which is the Sportube Ski Shield. I've had this bag for almost a year, and it is a solid option for those in the market for a new ski travel bag that holds two pairs of skis comfortably, and can handle a third if packed well.

Like other ski luggage options on the market, the Sportube Ski Shield features an oversized YKK access zipper, interior stash pockets with velcro closures, and compression straps to keep everything tight. Two wheels with heavy-duty bearing on the rear keep everything rolling smoothly, and padded carrying handles spare your hands on the schlepp from car to shuttle to check-in desk and back again, all season long.

Three features that set the Ski Shield apart from other ski carrying options, however, is the interior padded divider, the brand's GearShield Technology, and a plethora of exterior graphic options. I usually take at least two pairs of skis with me on every trip, and the interior divider of this bag protects my snuggly-packed ski bindings from potential damage during travel. It also folds flat in case I am only bringing one pair of skis, or need to squeeze in a third set.

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A peek inside the Ski Shield.

A peek inside the Ski Shield.

Sportube's proprietary GearShield Technology is "a high density polyethylene sheathing" made from the same material as the brand's hard ski cases. Located at both ends of the bag where wear-and-tear is usually the worst, the GearShield Tech works. My Ski Shield withstood ruthless airport baggage handlers and machinery everywhere I took it. As a traveler who has had more than one durability issue with ski luggage, I'm always relieved to see this ski bag come out into baggage claim unscathed, and everything inside unharmed.

But the best part? The variety of graphics available for the Sportube Ski Shield help make it stand out everywhere it goes. On a recent trip to Whistler Blackcomb, I witnessed a fellow skier break down in panic as she stood over a black ski bag that wasn't hers, realizing that someone had grabbed her black ski bag by mistake. The crisis was eventually resolved, but no one was grabbing my colorful Sportube Ski Shield by accident.

See more great gear: Used and Abused Gear Reviews

This shops all have custom SporTube embroidery, and you can too.

These shops all have custom Sportube embroidery, and you can too.

In addition to great print options, Sportube also offers co-branding options to ski shops and clubs on all of their soft luggage options, including wheeled boot bags and more. You can find out more at this year's Outdoor Retailer Winter Show in Denver, Colorado, or contact the brand via their website.

Sportube Ski Shield: $230, Sportube.com

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