Sportube Series 2 2016 Review by A Better Ski
Sportube Series 2 Hard Sided Ski Case Review
-Sportube does supply straps and brake retainers to make it easier to shove into the tube, we just forgot to use them-
Overview: Hard sided cases are going to give you the best protection for your skis weather traveling by plane, train, or automobile. The Sportube Series 2 is made with a high density Polyethylene plastic, giving you the peace of mind to know that your gear will be protected when traveling to your destination, no matter how you’re getting there.
Capacity: The Sportube Series 2 is the step up in size from the Series 1 and will hold up to two traditional alpine skis and poles. Like the Series 1, the 2 is adjustable from 122cm to 212cm, ensuring that you can fit your shortest park skis or your longest race skis. The Series 2 is 280mm wide and 152mm tall, giving you the ability to carry narrow carving skis, or wide powder skis. We found the series two to be roomier and easier to use than the Series 1, and we had no trouble getting two pairs of skis inside. Sportube does supply Velcro straps to keep the skis together, as well as rubber brake retainers. Using these will make it much easier to get skis in and out, and will help your gear from moving once inside the tube.
Features: The main feature of the Sportube Series 2 is the hard plastic shell, but of course protection is only half the story. The Series 2 has several great features to help make the case more usable and friendly. Two plastic handles on the outside allow you to pick up the case easily, but with two pairs of skis the case can be quite heavy and awkward to use. Sportube helps by placing wheels on the bottom of the case and an easy pull handle on the other end. This allows you to wheel the case around rather than have to carry it everywhere. Built in “hitchin” tech allows you to attach your Sportube boot bag to the outside and wheel the entire system around. Internal padding on both ends help to ensure your skis don’t get damaged when placing them on either end, and internal Velcro straps help to make sure your gear doesn’t move inside the case. The adjustment points are also lockable, ensuring security while traveling, and ensuring the case doesn’t extend on its own.
Bottom Line: The Sportube Series 2 will provide solid protection for two pairs of skis and poles. It’s roomier than the Series 1, and seems a bit easier to get skis in and out. Being 152mm in height, it didn’t seem to have the same issues with bindings with risers/demo bindings as the Series 1 did. This would be my choice for every time I go to the mountain and can’t decide which pair of skis I want to ski that day.
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Sportube Series 2 User Reviews
Awesome but don't lose accessories
I've been skiing for 40 years and have had every boot bag imaginable. That's because even the strongest ski bags last me 3 trips before the ski's, poles or kayak paddles combined with airlines wear a hole in them (and I overstuff). The Sportube is amazing. I've used it for at least 10 trips and it's still solid. And in addition to 4 skis and 4 poles, I can stuff so much in this tube that I bring things I don't need. Took two whitewater kayak paddles and ton of wet smelly river gear in it to Ecuador and back-great for that too. Unlike bags, my skis don't move or bang against another pair-I only nick them up on the slopes now, not in transit. One word of caution. For ski's, the extra stiff and thick rubber bands and velcro straps are critical as is the wire tube lock or binding clip. I lost them on my recent trip to Utah. Didn't know until I was hurrying to pack to get to the airport. Panic struck when I discovered how hard it was to pack this when the ski brakes are not restrained by the special rubber bands that come with the Sportube (no need for these for kayak paddles). Regular rubber bands don't work-not strong enough. Getting the tube pieces to mate with the brakes of 4 skis trying to open took two people, 45 minutes, lots of screaming and pinched fingers. And I lost the lock (all the accessories were in a plastic bag that is in some hotel somewhere in SLC) which is how you keep sport tube together and not opening while carrying or in flight. It was late at night, no open hardware stores or any Walmarts in sight on the way to the airport. Luckily, we stopped to gas up at a truck stop and found some 16 gauge wire and travel pliers/wire cutter. We threaded the wire through the mating hole and used a slip knot to tie it shut. If TSA had opened this, they NEVER would have gotten it back together. We almost didn't either and barely made our flight because of the lost accessories. Good news is that we got it figured out. Very good news also is that Sportube is not greedy-I repurchased the parts for $20 including two new locks. Just be careful to pack the ski packing accessories in a small bag and keep them in a safe place like you would with your car keys. I think I threw my accessories in the tube and they fell out when I stored my tube half in a hotel closet. The whole ziplock bag probably fell out.
Case is solid, worked well but had 2 issues after only 4 weeks of use: Velcro inside separating from strap that holds skis in place, because of rivet attachment, not easy to fix, removable drag handle also broke when pulling case. Expecting the unit to get through at least one full season before having problems.