By Steve Kopitz
If you’re in the market for a Skate Bag the first thing you should ask yourself is why you need one? If you’re packing up your inline skates, pads, helmet and other gear to head out for another tournament this weekend you’re going to want heavy duty with all the bells and whistles (although none of our bags have bells nor whistles). Even if you just head to the skate park you’ll want a bag that can take the abuse of being thrown on the ground, placing it in the sun, getting tossed into car trunks and getting pulled out of lockers.
If you’re looking for just a bag to make things easier to carry around and you’re not a serious skater, we have those too.
Here are some features to pay attention to when looking for your Inline Skate Bag.
While some may just be 100% nylon there are the heavy-duty bags that are strong and durable and made to take the abuse that constant use will dish out. Rip Stop and Denier are phrases to look out for as this is comparable to the material used on trampolines on the lake and are very reliable.
If you’re leaving your bag in locker rooms or you travel a lot, having a water-resistant material will help ensure that the inside stays dry.
A Reinforced Bottom is some added protection at the base of the bag to enhance its durability. Sliding the bag around increases the likelihood that the bottom will be the first to go so having it reinforced adds some insurance..
Some bags will come in a triangle shape to hold your inline skates and have a perfect set-up for your helmet and gear. If you want extra room check to see how many internal pockets there are.
Some interior pockets will be designed to hold your helmet, pads or other gear.
Air/Water Drainage Grommets are excellent too. This helps remove the moisture and odors from inside the bag thanks to your sweat and body heat and can get some fresh air into the bag.
Mesh Vents will add to the bag’s breathability as well.
Since you’ll be lugging around all this stuff you’re going to want a comfortable way to do it. The shoulder straps will be adjustable and hopefully padded. Depending on how far you plan on hauling your skates will have an impact on your decision. From house to car and then putting your gear on at the car, you probably don’t need a heavily padded strap but if you’re in tournaments or walking around a lot then a sturdy, strong and padded strap is a must.
There are some bags that are luggage-style so you pack it like a suitcase and roll it to your destination.
While many of the exterior materials may be similar to an inline skate bag, there are a few differences worth noting.
By the smaller nature of a backpack it will be used as more than just a place to store your inline skates, gear and pads. In many cases the exterior of the bag will have places to hold your skates so they don’t take up any room as well as a place to hold your helmet, although that is more rare.
The interior of a backpack will be similar to just about any backpack out there. It’s a place to store a laptop, school supplies, etc.
Bottom Line: An inline skate bag is specific to inline skates while an inline skate backpack is more of a backpack with a few amenities for making carrying your inline skates around a lot easier.