Let’s start with Kulkea (cool-kee-ah). I currently carry the Kulkea SP Pro boot bag (review here) and many friends carry Kulkea bags of some sort, so I have been around the brand a good bit.

Most of my trips are via air travel so my luggage takes a beating. I’ve had multiple other ski cases including a hard-sided case that has been delivered to the baggage belt multiple times open and spilling my gear. It also had a corner bashed in on one of my trips. My previous soft-sided case didn’t fare any better. Trip 1, the metal brand badge was ripped off and one of the side pockets torn. By the end of Season 1, the pull handle had been ripped and plenty other damage done, as you can see in the photos.
IMG_8565-2.JPG
Enter Kulkea’s Kantaja double roller. I’ve been very happy (and surprised) with the construction of my Kulkea boot bag; it still looks almost new after carrying it for several seasons now. With that, I do have high expectations of the Kantaja bag. At first glance I’m happy with its streamlined look, and my overall first impression is that it will be able to withstand some abuse -- an impression I plan on testing to the fullest.
IMG_36658A8C7210-1-2.jpeg

IMG_66A97B182733-1-2.jpeg

IMG_7962-2.jpg
Compared to my previous soft-sided double roller, the construction seems sturdier. The outside material appears similar but Kulkea’s material feels much tougher. The inside is quite different. The previous bag had a nylon-type material that felt like it could easily tear and it also tended to soak up water, leaving it damp inside, sometimes for days. The Kulkea has a tarp-like material inside that wipes out easily to dry or clean.
IMG_C888844C0BE4-1-2.jpeg

Inside the bag, there are nice pole straps and ski straps as well as side pockets for gloves and smaller items that would be a pain to fish around for; however, there is not a bunch of unwanted excess space as I have found in other bags. This is good, because I like to pack things around my skis for extra padding; with too much room, I end up well overweight.

One drawback could be that someone with shorter skis might have excess at the end of the bag. The double roller has an extendable section; at full length, it is rated to carry skis up to 205 cm. Other than a bit of slack when pulling the bag, I don't find the length to be an issue when the skis don't reach all the way to the end.

My top concern about this type of bag is air travel durability. I have one trip in so far this season and more coming soon. So far so good, but time will tell.

IMG_8248-2.jpg