The Humble Ski Boot Bag Gets Redesigned as Swanky Luggage

Boot bags have traditionally suffered from two problems: Their bulky shape is difficult to pack or travel with, and they generally lack the stylish flair that’s otherwise pervaded accessories meant for the mountain. Switch Designs’ Coyote ski boot bag ($239) solves both. Instead of a conventional shoulder strap or hand-carry, a magnetic buckle can convert the slim tote into a backpack—a boon when you’re jostling gear or other luggage. A semirigid foam liner adds comfort and prevents the bag from collapsing when you’re loading it up. Made of durable nylon and Wyoming elk leather that’s been tanned using traditional methods, no two of these bags look exactly alike.

THE COMPETITION

• Designed more with function than form in mind, Kulkea’s nylonThermal Trekker ($240) has a handy plug-in feature that can heat your boots in the car before you get to the mountain.

• TheDakine boot locker ($85) also can be a backpack, holding an impressive 4,270 cubic inches (70 liters) of storage. A tarp lining in the boot compartment gives you a spot to stand on in order to keep your feet clean and dry while changing.

• For a couple or a family, the L.L.Bean extra-largeRolling Adventure duffel ($139) can fit at least two sets of gear in its watertight main compartment.

THE CASE

Like most boot bags, the Coyote has separate sections for each boot, so everything else stays dry. The roomy main compartment can hold a helmet, goggles, gloves, and both a puffy jacket and a shell, with room to spare. Inside, two elastic pouches offer space for a 13-inch laptop and a stash of Clif bars. Grommets on the bottom of the side compartments provide drainage and air circulation—a big help if your boots are still wet. But the bag’s best feature may be the magnetic buckle that allows it to easily convert from backpack to tote and back again. Storage is a cinch, too: The snazzy carryall tucks effortlessly into an overhead bin or the back of your closet at season’s end. $239

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