Individual Review Kulkea Powder Trekker boot, helmet, and gear bag

Andy Mink

I am a half fast skier.
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I'm THAT guy, or at least I was. You know, the one who leaves a bread crumb trail of gear from the house to the car, the car to the lodge and, if there's anything left, back to the car. The last thing I used to organize anything was a Ski Tote back in the 80's. When I got back into skiing last year it was suggested that I get a boot bag. A what? I had no idea there was such a thing. I found an old duffle-type bag and used that for most of the season. It worked OK but had some serious drawbacks. Towards the end of the year, and for the first day this year, I used a REAL boot/gear bag. Game changer! Grab and go. It was a sturdy bag but I didn't really like the triangle shape of the main part of the pack; it seemed to give up storage with no real advantage in saving space.

Enter the Kulkea Powder Trekker bag. This bag will swallow a whole bunch of stuff and keep it easy to carry. It has a healthy 52L/3200 cubic inch capacity. Unloaded, it measures (per Kulkea) 15.5" tall at the boot pockets, 13" deep, and 16" wide. After I loaded it with gear and boots it came in at 16" tall, 16" deep, and 21" wide. Kulkea says it will hold boots up to 28.5. My 27.5's are very easy to get in and out of the dual zipper boot pockets. I have the Sky Blue/Grey accent bag but it comes in Teal/Grey, Black-White/Red, Black-White/Pink, and Coral Pink/Black.
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Side view, loaded
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Front view, loaded

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Rear view, loaded

As mentioned, I haven't had a lot of experience with boot bags specifically but I do have a lot of time under the straps of numerous other packs. This one appears to be very well constructed. It utilizes a heavy nylon fabric for the bulk of the pack and sports a heavy tarpaulin material for the bottom and up the sides a little to give a little structure and prevent wearing from boot soles and parking lots. YKK zippers work to keep your gear on the inside while protecting it from the elements on the outside. I would not go so far as to say they are water proof but they do look to be water resistant. All seams are nicely stitched with stressed areas double stitched. Another nice feature is the preflexed piping along the boot compartments. This should help keep the piping from cracking around a somewhat sharp curve, especially in cold weather.
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Heavy duty YKK zippers

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Tarpaulin bottom with drain holes for wet boots

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Preflexed piping at bottom

So, what does this bag hold? Without trouble I had boots, googles, a light shell, a medium weight shell, ski pants, a mid-layer, two pair of light gloves, some snacks, and my thermos of coffee stashed away in the bag. There was more room but I didn't have anything else to stick in it. Keep in mind all the clothes are of the XL variety. A smaller person could get away with a weekend's worth of clothing changes!
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That's a bunch of gear! Dogs not included.

Another nifty feature is the helmet sling which can be stored into its own little zippered area if not in use. The goggle area (the top front to back zipper) has a nice soft material to help prevent scratching while the other side can hold face masks.
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The helmet sling tucks up under the front pouch.

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Nice, soft material in the goggle area.

I have to say that this type of bag certainly makes the whole process of skiing easier. Gone are the days of searching for gear at the last minute or fumbling around with boots in one hand, skis in the other, and whatever else slung over your shoulder. The only fault I can find with this bag is the way it sits on my shoulders. It pulls away from my back at an awkward angle. It's not uncomfortable but it looks funny. I could not adjust the gap between the pack and my back out even though there are top straps attached to the shoulder straps. Since I'm not going on a long trek with this bag it is certainly not a deal breaker. Considering the heaviest part of your gear, the bottoms of your boots, are at the bottom of the bag, this isn't all that surprising. Speaking of straps, the shoulder straps are nicely padded as is the back of the pack itself.
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Nice padded shoulder straps with sternum strap

At around $120 US, I wish I'd have known about these things years ago! As the season wears on I'll check back in with updates of the good, the bad, and the ugly (though I doubt there will be any of the latter two) of this well constructed bag. Get more info at:
http://www.kulkea.com/product/powder-trekker-ski-boot-bag/
 
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KULKEA

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HI Andy,
Thanks so much for your in-depth review! Your feedback is great and always welcome as we constantly work to further optimize our products. Looking forward to learning how things go for you this season. Have a great one! :golfclap:
 

Tricia

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RuleMiHa

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The only fault I can find with this bag is the way it sits on my shoulders. It pulls away from my back at an awkward angle. It's not uncomfortable but it looks funny. I could not adjust the gap between the pack and my back out even though there are top straps attached to the shoulder straps.
I have this issue as well and it does feel funny to me. It may be the angle or construction of the pad? I'm not sure.

I like the bag so much, I don't mind and the intuitive packing system is amazing, but it definitely sits weird.
 
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Andy Mink

Andy Mink

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HI Andy,
Thanks so much for your in-depth review! Your feedback is great and always welcome as we constantly work to further optimize our products. Looking forward to learning how things go for you this season. Have a great one! :golfclap:
Thanks! I'm excited to use this bag. One more thing I can think of that would be nice is a non-slip material on the underside of the straps. Nylon straps on nylon jackets makes for slippery interface, especially if you sling the bag over only one shoulder for a short walk. Not necessary but nice.
 
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Andy Mink

Andy Mink

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UPDATE-With over 20 days of boots in, boots out, wet parking lots, asphalt, lots of zipper use, and in and out of trunks, the bag is holding up quite nicely. There is no fraying, cracking, or any other signs of premature wear. So far this has been a top notch bag.
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Packed up and waiting for a ride.
 

AmyPJ

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I received a Kulkea Speed Pack a few weeks ago, and so far, am very pleased with it. The straps are curved to fit around the shoulders better. It holds BOATLOADS of stuff, while keeping the boots in their own side compartments, which I really wanted. Great color, solid construction. I'm not as concerned about non-slip shoulder straps, because that can make the straps hard to get ON the shoulders, too.

My one small piece of feedback is to make the boot compartment zippers two-way. Both my co-reviewer and myself noted this right away.
 

KULKEA

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Great feedback! All comments are welcomed and noted. Thanks for sharing your experiences; keep em' coming! :beercheer:
 

KULKEA

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I love, love, love my Kulkea boot trekker bag. Love the separate boot compartments all the other separate compartments. There's room for everything and then some. It's extremely well made. Getting ready to buy a powder trekker for my guy.
Thanks for the tremendous love! Your guy will be stoked, especially if he is disorganized with ski gear(like I was!). Those were dark days. :doh:
 
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Andy Mink

Andy Mink

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See the long term update here.
 
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