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Packing for a trip out West

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Heading to Telluride, Colorado next week on United Airlines and looking for some packing advice. How do you guys pack the skis and boots? A definite rule is the 2 bags cannot weigh more than 50 lbs. combined. But another line in United's rules concerns me:

"Ski and boot bags that don’t contain ski-related items will be subject to any applicable service charges for oversized and overweight checked bags."

What constitutes ski-related? In the past I would use ski pants and clothing to wrap around and protect the skis, while my Transpack boot bags also hold my helmet, goggles, light tuning equipment, etc. Are they going to say that my sweatshirt or socks are not ski-related (or ski-boot-related)?

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

jimmywilson69

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I'didn't have any issues with United in the past, if there were some "extra" items in there. I think they don't want a helmet and all of the rest of your non-skiing cloths in a boot bag per se. basically pasing off your ski equipment as another piece of luggage.
 

KustyTheKlown

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i have a db rolling ski bag - https://us.dbjourney.com/products/the-djarv-snow-roller

i have a dakine boot bag, similar but not exactly this - https://www.prfo.com/products/dakin...544335106092&dfw_tracker=35966-39544335106092

i have a rolling suitcase that is at the larger end of acceptable for carryon, and a regular non-technical backpack

if i have a connecting flight (which was the case on my recent trip), i pack the boots and at least two days of ski clothes in the rolling bag, along with a few days of regular clothes and toiletries. this way if i am separated from my skis bc of airlines, i at least have boots and clothes and can rent skis and not miss any days. taking the boots out of the bootbag and into the carry-on also reduces the stress of the 50 lb limit on your ski+boots checked luggage.

any ski accessories that didn't go in the carry on, go in the bootbag, which gets put into the ski bag as padding for the skis. other civilian clothes also pad the ski bag. a technical ski backpack and avalanche gear generally go in the ski bag.

laptop and electronics and odds and ends go in the backpack.

my girlfriend also put me on to packing cubes, which are great for organizing, turning into laundry bags once you've arrived, and using like soft bricks to pad your skis in the bag.

the ski bag is the only thing that gets checked. mine came in at 44 lbs recently packed this way.
 
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KustyTheKlown

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"Ski and boot bags that don’t contain ski-related items will be subject to any applicable service charges for oversized and overweight checked bags."

i dont recall which airline or the specifics involved, but i do recall being given a hardtime that my bootbag contained my ski clothing. this is one of the reasons I've stopped trying to play the 50 lb game for 2 bags, and do it as described in prior post
 

pinion

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i dont recall which airline or the specifics involved, but i do recall being given a hardtime that my bootbag contained my ski clothing. this is one of the reasons I've stopped trying to play the 50 lb game for 2 bags, and do it as described in prior post
Both United and Delta have given me a hard time with the "extra stuff in bootbag" but it was jammed full of extra clothes etc. So we stopped doing it a few years back in favor of Dakine double ski roller bags. Family of 4, both Dakine bags get 2x skis (padded with some extra clothes in cubes), boots are carry-on, and everything else gets packed in 2x TravelPro MaxLight XL bags. With a Skymiles Amex it's all $0. Good enough for 4-5 days out West from Boston. Not sure if that helps answer your question, but it's what works for us. Just came back from SLC with the same configuration, no issues (Delta).

I'll also echo @KustyTheKlown 's recommendation of packing cubes. My wife bought them and I thought it was the dumbest thing ever until this past trip. Everyone had their own undies in their own section and things were far less chaotic than normal. Added bonus of the smaller ones protecting skis in the roller bags.
 

Zermatt

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The boot bag included with the ski bag for free cannot have any extra stuff except boots. I never use this loophole.

As far as the ski bag I've never had an issue as long as it is under 50 pounds. Two weeks ago in one bag I had:

  1. 2 pairs of skis
  2. 1 pair of boots
  3. 4 pairs of poles
  4. Assorted ski outerwear to fill the empty space in the bag and bring the weight into the upper 40 pound range
 

djd66

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I fly a lot on Delta. We have made multiple family ski trips out west and I have never heard of them complaining or giving us trouble about what we have packed in any bag. I always jam snow boots and various other things in the ski bags. Our boot bags have boots, helmets and all our ski clothing. Last trip we had 10 bags for 4 people. I do have medallion status, so not sure if that is why they don’t hassle me.

I will say this, bringing a family of 4 on a ski trip is fricken work! Moving all that luggage around is a PITA! My wife is insisting a beach vacation for next family trip.
 

crank

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I always carry my boots and in our double ski bag include extra gloves and miscellaneous stuff. On return trip I usually stuff dirty clothes in with skis. Never had anything questioned.

Except we were 3 pounds overweight when we checked my wife's boot bag with the ski bag on the way home from JH on United a few weeks ago. I just took out some crap and stuffed it into my carry on.

Have fun in Telluride. I know they just got some snow there. One of our favorite mountains and towns.
 

kendo

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Last trip to Telluride, we flew direct from Newark to Montrose on United and had no problem checking a ski bag stuffed with skis, poles, clothes and gear along with a suitcase with street clothes & helmet. Always carry-on boots and a change of clothes in a small backpack.


Alternative to consider - on a trip to Crested Butte we were staying a few days in Denver before driving to CB with friends. We used Luggage Forward to ship our ski bags (filled with skis, poles, avi gear and ski clothes) door to door, from home to the resort. Super convenient and worked out great.

Brought my boots in a small backpack that fits under the seat. Street clothes & helmet went into a small roller bag also as carry on.

Ski bags were waiting for us in CB at check in and a return label to ship them back is included. Just dropped the ski bags at the front desk and they were delivered home the next day. Yeh, you may be without skis for a day or two at home depending on the service level, but saves the schlepping.

 
Last edited:
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Last trip to Telluride, we flew direct from Newark to Montrose on United and had no problem checking a ski bag stuffed with skis, poles, clothes and gear along with a suitcase with street clothes & helmet. Always carry-on boots and a change of clothes in a small backpack.


Alternative to consider - on a trip to Crested Butte we were staying a few days in Denver before driving to CB with friends. We used Luggage Forward to ship our ski bags (filled with skis, poles, avi gear and ski clothes) door to door, from home to the resort. Super convenient and worked out great.

Brought my boots in a small backpack that fits under the seat. Street clothes & helmet went into a small roller bag also as carry on.

Ski bags were waiting for us in CB at check in and a return label to ship them back is included. Just dropped the ski bags at the front desk and they were delivered home the next day. Yeh, you may be without skis for a day or two at home depending on the service level, but saves the schlepping.

Yep, that's my flight. Used to ski on Volkl Kendo's, too. So, what can you tell me about Telluride?
 

Kingslug20

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I have an avilung pack..i strap my boots to it using the ski straps..then pack it full of whatever i want..its my carry on...never a problem.
 

2Planker

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Curbside check in with a good tip and I've never had my bags questioned.
Bingo ! That never fails.
I prefer to have my boots as "carry on" .
That saved my ass on a Chamonix trip when Swiss Air sent my skis to Paris for 3-4 days.
 

kendo

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Yep, that's my flight. Used to ski on Volkl Kendo's, too. So, what can you tell me about Telluride?


Great mountain. Super cool classic old Town. We were blessed with 54" over 3 days of our week there last trip in March 2019, pre covid.

Start early and work your way up to Revelation bowl and the Gold Hill chutes for above treeline open runs, or make the easy hike to the Black Iron Bowl terrain top of Prospect lift.

Lots of steep trees if that's your interest off of Apex lift. Runs off of Plunge lift feature the best combo of bumps and trees.

Telluride skis as a series of pods with most lifts servicing 1000-2000 vert. We usually ski most of the pods the first couple days to get a feel for conditions then stay up high for the remainder.

Best run of the day was always the 3765 vert run from the top of Revelation all the way down into Town for apres.

Free gondola is a great way to get from town to the upper Mountain Village. Allred's bar in the San Sophia Station is a must for the views, especially at dusk.

Gorrono Ranch on the mtn serves the best burger and their outdoor seating area is a great place to relax a bit.

If you're into terrain parks, their crew usually builds one of the best, with some huge features.

Enjoy your trip. We were set to go out this Sat but had to cancel. Look forward to getting back next year.
 
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Bandit2941

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My wife and I put our skis in a double ski bag and pack clothes around them. We also have a large rolling suitcase that we put both of our clothes in and check.

We carry our boots on in our transpacks with helmet, gloves etc.
 

crank

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Highly recommend getting a steak at the Chop House in the New Sheridan Hotel. Then roam around upstairs and check out all the local historical photos on the walls.

Thai restaurant, Siam, very popular and good. Hit Alreds for a drink and app. apres ski. Not for dinner.

We love Bon Vivant and Alpino Vino for a relaxed on mountain lunch. Giuseppe's at 11,846' I think, is more casual and really good too.

There's at least 4 dispensaries in town.
 
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