Top Surfboard Travel Bag Reviews (Including Hard Case and with Wheels Options)
Traveling with your surfboard can be stressful. Despite the fun that awaits once you reach your surf trip destination, getting there can be a hassle. Like with a quality surfboard day bag, having a quality surfboard travel bag can make the experience much better and ensure your board makes it to and from your location without any damage. A great travel bag also makes it easier to move your board through the airport and to and from where you plan to stay.
If you’ve decided to invest in a surfboard travel bag and you aren’t sure where to begin your search, here are a few things to consider:
Obviously, as with a surfboard day bag, you’ll need a travel bag that fits your board, but you’d be surprised how many people click “buy” without considering their board size. Some people assume the board sizes are standard or that bags are made for a regular board. The truth is there are variations and you need to know what different bags measure and what measurements are going to be right for your board. Take a few minutes to measure your board with a tape measure, so you know its exact specifications.
You’ll also want to consider if a bag is designed for one or more boards if you plan to travel with multiple surfboards.
Another important consideration when shopping for surf travel bags is the padding. You need your board to be protected and regardless whether you get a hard or soft shell case, it needs to be padded—the more extra padding the better the protection, in most cases, and reduces the chances of nicks and dings. Also, keep in mind different types of padding offer different protection, as well as padded shoulder straps to make carrying it as comfortable as possible. Some are of higher quality and others use cheap foam padding, so don’t always assume that thicker is automatically better.
You need a surf bag with a good zipper. It’s often an afterthought when people are investing in a board bag, but it’s actually one of the most important features and can be a good indicator of quality level. The last thing you need is to have to rip into your bag—or worse, not be able to access your board—because of a faulty or low-quality zipper. Look for a bag that has a non-corrosive zipper because it’s going to be exposed to water and salt.
Fins or No Fins?
Lastly, you’ll need to determine if you need a bag that can accommodate fins. Sometimes, this means buying an oversized bag, but some are specifically designed to fit fins. In some cases, they’re made with an opening that allows your fin to poke through. And if you can take your fins off of your board, you’ll want a bag that offers an accessories case where you can store them when the board is not in use.
Top Surfboard Travel Bags
Now that you know how to evaluate bags and you know what you need for your board, here are a few of the travel bags that we think are the best on the market right now:
Santa Monica Surfcase Hardshell Case
This is our pick for a hard shell case. They aren’t the most common type of travel bag for surfboards, but we like the added protection they offer. This case was designed by a surfer and is considered one of the best in the industry. It has been upgraded with a few additional features and is a high-quality case that offers the protection you need. It comes in both long and short board sizes.
This bag is one of the most heavy-duty options available and it comes with the added bonus of being on wheels. This means you can pull it along next to or behind you as you move through the airport and to other destinations. It also has enough space for storing clothing, fins, and other accessories.
The wheels on this bag are sturdy and strong enough to stand up to all surfaces. You also get a handle that is durable and makes pulling your board a breeze. This bag bills itself as a short bag style, but we honestly think it’s bigger and has plenty of room for everything you need for surfing. It can fit up to seven boards, depending on the size of the boards.
The Rhino Surfboard bag is designed to fit one or two boards. It features 10 mm of foam protection. The bag is lightweight and features a non-corrosive zip closure. Its padded deluxe shoulder strap makes it easy to carry and the bag is collapsible when not in use. It’s a great alternative to the more expensive bag on wheels.
This bag is chockfull of extra features that you might not think are a necessity until you’re traveling with your board. It’s one of the top choices of surfing pros and comes with extra thick padding. It’s large enough to accommodate most single boards and will ensure whichever board you’re bringing along with you doesn’t get dented or chipped.
The Daylight Thruster comes with a wax pocket and a place to store your fin, if necessary. There’s a tarp shell that offers added protection from heat and water, and this bag is sturdy enough to stand up to daily use, as well as occasional travel. It has a versatile shape and a simple to use a design that you’ll love.
This is a budget-friendly board bag that offers everything you need when you’re traveling with your surfboard. It features a semi-reflective heat resistant PE shell on top and bottom and a top zip flap for easy use. There’s a padded shoulder strap, so you won’t be in pain as you trudge from one location to another with your board. It also features an external wax pocket, which we like because it actually reminds you to grab your wax before leaving for your trip. We love this board travel bag because it’s easy to use, affordable, offers heat resistance and comes in sizes for both long and short boards.