Sportube Cabin Cruiser 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The Sportube Cabin Cruiser Padded Gear and Boot Bag is a great bag for skiers that like to travel light. The Cabin Cruiser is designed as a carry-on ski boot bag that will fit in the overhead compartment, and still have enough room for your boots, helmet, tablet, and clothing or outerwear for your trip across the country. It’s very similar to the Sportube Overheader, but has a handle and wheels, instead of backpack straps. The Cabin Cruiser also has slightly less room for gear than the Overheader.
Sportube Cabin Cruiser Padded Gear and Boot Bag Review
Overview: The Sportube Cabin Cruiser is a great carry-on boot bag for traveling skiers. At 35 Liters it’s actually quite a bit smaller than the Overheader, but still has the capacity to carry your ski boots, helmet, and clothing for several days. The Sportube Cabin Cruiser is also compliant with airline carry-on requirements. Personally I’d opt for the Overheader since it has more space for gear and clothing, but the Cabin Crusier does have the convenience of a handle and wheels. If you’re not into hauling your bag on your back, and would rather wheel your bag through the airport, the Sportube Cabin Cruiser is your bag.
Like the Overheader, the Sportube Cabin Cruiser is a well thought out bag. It has all of the features we could want in a ski bag, without being overly bulky or too expensive. The outside of the bag has a thick 840D fabric that feels tough and durable. Airline travel can be pretty rough on luggage, so having a bag that is going to withstand some abuse is important. Travel can be just as rough on gear as it can be on our luggage, so Sportube outfitted the Cabin Cruiser with padding on the boot compartment and back panel. This will help reduce damage to the boots, and make me feel a little bit better about my gear if my bag gets checked at the gate. Another downside to airline travel is that they are going to charge for every extra piece of luggage you bring. Because of this I try to travel as light as possible. Being able to bring my boot bag on board is important to me, but it also limits the amount of gear I can bring. Luckily Sportube understands that space is important, and utilizes it efficiently. On the outside of the Sportube Cabin Crusier is a removable helmet pod. This gives me a place to store my helmet while saving space for more gear on the inside of the bag. Unfortunately the helmet probably won’t fit in the overhead compartment while attached to the bag. Luckily the helmet pod is removable, and I’m able to take my helmet off and store under my seat. The straps are also removable and can fit in the storage pocket underneath the helmet. Above there you will find another decently sized pocket. This pocket is lined with fleece and soft padding, and is a great place for my tablet or ipad. While I absolutely love this pocket, I’d like to see it open up slightly larger, so that I could fit my small lap-top in there if I’d rather travel with that. Since I often work on my ski trips, I’d rather have a spot for the lap-top instead of the tablet, but I think a lot of skiers will appreciate this pocket for what it is. Further up on the bag you’ll find the large “Quik Stash” pocket. I found this useful for emptying my pants pockets at the airport, but I also think it would make a great place for personal items like deodorant, toothpaste, razor, or other items I don’t want to place inside my bag. It’s also a large enough pocket for my camera gear, or for my ski tuning items like wax and file. If that pocket isn’t big enough for all your gear, there are two smaller pockets on the outside of the bag. These would be another good spot for a small action camera/go-pro, or for some smaller personal items. On the opposite side of the bag is a water bottle pocket.
On the front side of the Sportube Cabin Cruiser you’ll notice one main access zipper and a smaller secondary zipper. Opening the main zipper gives you access to the boot compartment. Here you can strategically place boots up to a size 29. This was plenty big for my 26.5 boots, but larger guys may find it difficult or impossible to fit their larger boots in the bag. However, making it any larger may compromise the size requirements for carry-on luggage. This compartment is padded, and offers decent protection against damage. Opposite the boots is another small compartment that would be a great spot for your clothing and/or outerwear. This smaller compartment is separated by a small flap that can zipper shut. I like this feature as it keeps my clothes separated from my dirty boots. Unfortunately this area of the bag is smaller than it is in the Overheader bag, but I still feel like I could fit all of my outerwear inside. If you have a ski bag that you’ve checked, you could keep your outwear with your skis, and place enough clothes for a weekend in the Sportube Cabin Cruiser. You may have to travel light, but I think the right person could fit all the clothes they need for a weekend trip and still have room for a few more small items. Close the main compartment back up, and now open the smaller secondary zipper on the frontside. Opening this zipper will give you access to your clothes from the outside of the bag.
Bottom Line: The Sportube Cabin Cruiser is a well thought out boot bag given the limitations for size. In order to fit in the overhead compartment you have to sacrifice a bit of space. However, the Cabin Crusier utilizes it well, and for those skiers who travel light, the Sportube Cabin Cruiser will be plenty big enough.
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