I’ve been through a lot of snowboard bags. When I was younger, I’d go with the cheapest one I could get, and they’d inevitably blow out within a year or two. After I became employed in snowsports media, the travel only ramped up to a dozen or more trips per year, with multiple flights and long stretches on the road that left my luggage battered within months.
Until I got the Patagonia Black Hole Snow Roller, that is. Employing the same sewn-through bombproof/waterproof fabric in their notoriously durable Black Hole collection, a Snow Roller has been my go-to board bag since a trip to New Zealand in 2013. It’s since been to Japan several times, Russia and Switzerland, plus to AK and back a half-dozen times, and on numerous local flights and excursions. It’s yet to show significant signs of wear.
The bag itself is minimalist in design—beyond a couple mesh pockets on the inside, it’s pretty slim compared to your traditional board bag with all the bells and whistles. But it has a haul handle and carry handle, along with daisy chains to connect your duffel bag—easily done with hook-quipped Black Hole duffels—and roll easily through airports and beyond. Speaking of rolling, the wheels are oversized and have a bit of grip, which comes in handy when trying to get through mud and gravel-strewn parking lots. Combined with waterproof fabric, that means my gear always arrives dry, intact and ready to rip.
The capacity is just right—in the 167cm version (they also make a 190), you can get two or three boards up to 166 or so in there alongside boots, a backpack and bindings, as well as miscellaneous equipment like goggles, gloves, verts snowshoes and so forth—everything I need for a snow trip that involves both resort and backcountry boarding. Yet, partly due to the simple and light design, I’ve never had it come in overweight.
The only issue? The bag is so durable, I’m not seeing a need to replace it for quite a while. Indeed, Patagonia stopped producing the Snow Roller a year or two back, so find one if you can. Luckily, mine doesn’t look like it’s going to die anytime soon.