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How to Buy a Skate Bag

Tips, advice, and things to consider when you purchase a bag for your inline skates, quad roller skates, or ice skates. Includes information about skate bag materials, straps, ventilation, capacity, weight and special features that are sometimes available. When you purchase a skate bag the first thing you need to do is decide which features are important to you and which features you don't care about. (See also Skate Bag Models and Makers)

Skate Bag Buying Tips

How Will You Carry the Bag?
There are many different types of skate bags and several different carrying methods. You can buy skate bags that are backpacks, shoulder bags, hand-held bags, waist packs, and even rolling bags with wheels. One of the most popular styles is the backpack skate bag. If you decide to buy one of these, you should think about whether you prefer a model with chest and waist straps to prevent the bag from shifting. If you are buying a hand-held skate bag, the handle should have a shape that is easy to hold, and enough padding to prevent it from cutting into your hand.

Skates Inside or Outside the Bag?
Some bags will have one large compartment for your skates and all of your skating accessories. Other bags will have one or two special pockets for your skates, and they may (or may not) have another compartment for skating supplies. There are also "skate bags" that have NO room inside for skates, but instead have special buckles, rings, or straps that allow you to attach a pair of skates to the outside of the bag.

If you are purchasing on the Internet, make sure you know what kind of bag you are buying. If you plan to travel with your skates, don't buy a bag that has the skates hanging on the outside. It's always possible you will be forced to check your skate bag into the baggage compartment of an airplane, train, or bus.

Materials and Weight
Do you want a heavy-duty, durable bag that can take a lot of abuse? Or do you prefer a very light-weight bag, even though it will not last as long as a more sturdy bag? Backpack skate bags will typically weigh between 1.5 and 4 pounds, with 100% mesh bags being the lightest and skate/travel combination bags being the heaviest. If you plan to skate with the bag, you will want a lighter bag, and if you are going to travel with it, you will need a sturdier bag.

Make sure the bag you select has air holes, mesh panels, or some other method of providing sufficient ventilation so moisture and odors will not be trapped inside.

Straps and Padding
Check the bag's shoulder straps, chest straps, and waist straps to make sure they are reasonably well padded with foam, fleece or other materials. If they are not padded, they should at least be wide enough to avoid cutting into your skin, even when the bag is quite full.

Bag Capacity - Skating Gear
Make sure your skates, including the heel brake, will fit inside the bag. Many bags will also hold a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads.

Bag Capacity - Other Stuff
Think about the things you like to bring along when you skate. Do you want special pockets, compartments, or holders for your water bottle, hydration pack, sunglasses, cell phone, music player, GDS receiver, or binoculars? Do you need a waterproof bag for skating in the rain, or a hidden zipper pocket for your money, driver's license and credit cards? Think also about things like sunscreen lotion, bug repellant, night lights, reflective vest, windproof jacket, and anything else you typically bring when you skate. Do you want the bag to have a loop for your headphone cord or D-Rings for attaching more gear?

Other Special Features
- Combination Skate Bag/Hydration Pack
- Combination Skate Bag/Travel Bag
- Skate Bag with Wheels
- Expandable Compartments
- Sealable pockets (zipper/buckle/velcro)
- Adjustable Straps

See also
Skate Bag Models and Manufacturers

Related Links
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