As surfers, the surfboard is our most prized possession and as such, we want to do everything in our power to keep it in pristine condition. While a ding is inevitable at some point, a solid board bag can help prolong the life of your board, and give you some peace of mind when traveling, whether it’s to your local break, a coastal roadtrip, or flying across the globe. When purchasing a bag, there are a few key factors I take into consideration: protection, how transportable the bag is, and the ease of use. For more detailed info on the bags and what we looked for in reviewing them, check out our comparison table and buyer’s guide towards the end of the article.
The Best Surfboard Bags
Best Overall Surfboard Bag: Creatures of Leisure Adventure-Ready Shortboard Double
Best Surfboard Bag for Air Travel: Wave Tribe Hurricane Chaser Travel Bag
Most Protective Surfboard Bag: Db Djärv Surfboard Coffin
Best Day Use Surfboard Bag: Creatures of Leisure Fish Day Use DT2.0
Best Bang for Your Buck Surfboard Bag: Dakine Daylight Surfboard Bag
Most Affordable Surfboard Bag: Curve Boost Travel Bag
Most Stylish Surfboard Bag: Sagebrush Board Bag
Best Overall Surfboard Bag
Ease of Use: 9
If you’re looking for a rugged bag that will keep your board safe during long-haul trips, look no further than the Creatures of Leisure x Roark Adventure-Ready bag. Designed for lightweight, compact travel the board comes in three size options that securely hold your board in place while offering maximum protection. Featuring Diamond-Tech fabric, 10-mm closed cell foam protection, an expandable sidewall, 20 percent more protection on the nose/tail, marine-grade corrosion resistant zippers, a padded handle and shoulder strap, internal compression straps, an aero mesh ventilation system, and a limited edition cover, the Adventure-Ready bag has everything you could want in a good travel bag and more. With style points to boot, the Adventure Ready bag is the one I’ll be reaching for on my next globe trotting adventure.CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Best Surfboard Bag for Air Travel
Ease of Use: 10
At Wave Tribe, the goal is to offer a bag that is stylish, sustainably made, durable, and offers the maximum protection possible—the brand hit the nail on the head with the Hurricane Chaser travel bag. In an effort to be gentle on the environment, the bag is made from high-density recycled nylon and hemp, which keeps the board about 10 degrees cooler than a traditional bag.
Thoughtful exterior bag features include heavy-duty YKK zippers, a padded shoulder strap, heavy-duty handles, a zippered pocket, wheels, and breathable hemp. Interior features include 25 mm of padding on the nose and tail, a padded board separator to securely separate boards, and an interior pocket for stashing fins/leashes. The bag is available in nine different size options and is designed to comfortably hold two boards, making it perfect for overseas adventures. This bag recently accompanied me on a trip to Hawaii and it performed like a dream, with all of my gear arriving intact.
The board bag is currently out of stock just about everywhere, but Wave Tribe has let us know that new stock of the Hurricane Chaser will be arriving sometime in May. If you can wait for one of these awesome bags, it just might be worth it.CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Most Protective Surfboard Bag
Ease of Use: 9
This bag is pretty incredible. It’s designed to hold three to four boards and the protection it offers is as good as it gets with tons of padding, semi-rigid ribs that keep your boards from getting squished, and strategic pockets to stash your towels and clothing and create even more padding at the nose and tail.
Other features include custom wheels and a handle to make hauling easier. It also has a built-in hook up system, so you can attach it to other Db bags to make your airport endeavor smoother. Additionally, the bag has internal pockets for stashing leashes/wax, dividers to place between your boards, and strategically placed exterior handles to ensure baggage handlers are gentle when lifting your board. When you’re finished traveling, the bag compresses down to 30% of its size to make storage easier.
When it comes to bells and whistles, this one’s a winner. The only downside to this awesome product is that it may be a little overkill for the casual surf-tripper who only wanted to take a board or two with them. And at close to $450, those bells and whistles aren’t coming cheap. That said, if you need a surf coffin, this is as good as it gets.CHECK Price on Amazon
Best Day Use Surfboard Bag
Creatures of Leisure Fish Day Use DT2.0 ($140)
Ease of Use: 9
If you’re looking for a day use bag that offers a little extra protection, the Creatures of Leisure Fish Day Use may be the bag for you. The Fish Day Use is specifically designed for day-to-day usage with single board capacity for wider fun boards.
The bag is constructed from Diamond-Tech fabric, which is strong yet lightweight and water resistant. The bag also contains Diamond-Tech 2.0 fabric on high stress areas for extra protection. Additionally, the Day Use bag includes 5mm closed cell foam protection, an expandable sidewall, marine-grade resistant zippers, a foam padded handle, a padded shoulder strap, a fin slot, and an interior pouch for stashing essentials. The bag also features an aero mesh ventilation system to keep boards cool, which I was a big fan of as I tend to spend hours at the beach after a session. I really like how lightweight this bag is while remaining durable. With generous zippers, the board slides in and out with ease and the shoulder straps makes it easy to carry on long treks to the beach.CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON CHECK SIMILAR BAG ON BACKCOUNTRY
Runner Up: Best Day Use Surfboard Bag
FCS Dayrunner All Purpose Cover (From $130)
Ease of Use: 9
Available in five size options and two colorways, the FCS Dayrunner cover is lightweight yet durable, making it ideal for transit to and from the beach. The bag features five-mm high-density padding, noncorrosive zippers paired with Velcro, an ergonomic shoulder pad, and an internal pocket for stashing fins or wax. Standout features include 3D rail protection that contours to the shape of the rail, an expandable fin wing that allows you to transport your board with or without the fin, and a contoured stretch fit that provides ventilation while simultaneously keeping the bag snug around your board. Although this bag is advertised as a day use bag, it is extremely well made and raises the bar for day use bags by being ultra padded and secure.
Best Bang for Your Buck
Ease of Use: 8
A hybrid bag designed for storage and transport, the Daylight is advertised as a day use bag, but I think it’s sturdy enough for gentle travel as well. Created specifically for longboards, the Daylight offers heat and water-resistant coverage and full-length ¼ inch foam-padded ding protection. And, it’s available in both a longboard, and shortboard version.
Additionally, the bag features a heavy duty, YKK coil zipper, a zippered fin slot, a non-slip padded shoulder strap with a stash pocket, and a wax/fin pocket. I thought it was unique that this bag had a zippered fin slot as opposed to traditional Velcro ones—I found it easier to fit the bag snuggly around my fin. I also appreciated the plethora of pockets, and the padded shoulder strap was nice for transporting my board. Generously long zippers made it simple to slid the board in and out and a subtle camo design added a little extra flair. The only reason I would hesitate to use this bag for airplane travel is the lack of extra padding in the nose area—but it makes for a great day use bag.
Longboard VersionCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Ease of Use: 8
Upon first examination, Curve’s Boost bag looks more like a day use bag than a travel bag due to its compact design. However, upon taking a closer look, I noticed 20-mm boosted nose and tail foam zones that provide added protection during transport. Additionally, the bag features a seven-mm foam core, a 600D water-resistant canvas base, heat reflective silver tarpee upper, fin slot with Velcro closer, and a detachable shoulder strap. An especially unique feature of the bag is the Tail Protection Strap System, a built-in strap that allows you to firmly secure the board inside the pack. Although the body of the bag doesn’t provide as intense protection as other travel options, the price is right and the paddling is sufficient — you just may want to wrap some towels around your board for a little extra cushion.
If you’re willing to spend a little more for the extra padding, the Curve Armordillo is an absolute tank with thick foam panels on the rails, nose, and tail. Buy the shortboard version here, and the longboard version here.
Ease of Use: 9
If you have yet to hear of Sagebrush, it’s time to put them on your radar. From the mind of professional freesurfer Anna Gudauskas, Sagebursh offers eye catching bags created with the environment in mind. Available in a wide variety of prints and sizes, all of Sagebrush’s bags are handmade from remnant or vintage fabric and coffee bean sacks from organic, fair trade coffee roasters.
The style of these bags is similar to a sock, but they’re made from thick canvas, so they’re super easy to slide on and off while remaining durable. The material is much thicker than your traditional sock, so I feel confident that my board will be protected in transit, when stacking it on the car, and during long beach days in the sun. While I wouldn’t use a Sagebrush bag for airplane travel (unless it’s stashed in a travel bag), I’ve been sporting a Sagebrush bag for years and am impressed by the durability. Made from remnant and vintage fabrics, it’s cool to know that each bag is available in extremely limited quantities, ensuring that you will have a unique bag. The only thing missing from this rad bag is a place to stash your wax!CHECK PRICE ON SageBrush
Ease of Use: 8
For daily use, I prefer to keep my board in a light sock or bag. I’ve tried a variety of different sock styles but have found that they are often difficult to slide on/off, so I find myself gravitating towards canvas bags instead. Shred is a brand that flies a bit under the radar, but they make quality bags at an affordable price and I’m stoked to have discovered them.
Made from 100% recycled materials, Shred’s bags are a mix of 60% recycled cotton and 40% recycled plastics. They are shipped in 100% recycled packaging via carbon neutral shipping (in the U.S.), so they’re gentle on the environment. The bags sport a protective interior design with double layered unbrushed fleece on the nose, fins, tail and side rails, so you can rest easy knowing there’s extra cushion where you need it. The bags also include a stowaway pocket for wax and other essentials, a drawstring closure, and UV protection. Should your bag get a little stinky, it’s machine washable so you can easily run it through a cycle and have it looking as good as new in no time. With a variety of patterns to choose from, I love the aesthetic of this bag and it seems sturdy and well made. When it’s time to travel overseas, I plan on stashing my board in my Shred bag before securing it in my travel bag for an added layer of protection. All and all, a super solid day use option.CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Ease of Use: 6
The Ho Stevie! Surfboard Sock is a super simplistic sock design. Available in three different color options, the sock offers an added layer of protection from sunlight and anything that could potentially ding your board. The sock is made from durable knit stretch fabric and has a reinforced nose for an added layer of protection. Additionally, the bag features a drawstring closer as well as a small, Velcro storage pocket for wax, key, an any other small items you might have.
Like most surfboard socks, I occasionally had some trouble sliding the bag over my board—I found it easier with shorter boards. Another thing I noticed was if you set your sock down in leaves it acted like Velcro and I’d up bringing a bunch of leaves and weeds home with me. That said, the Ho Stevie! surfboard sock has everything you’d expect in a solid surfboard sock for lightweight, day-use protection, and the price is right.CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
|Wave Tribe Hurricane Chaser Travel Bag||9.7||$260||Travel||Yes|
|Creatures of Leisure Adventure-Ready Shortboard Double||9.7||$263||Day Use/Travel||No|
|Db Djärv Surfboard Coffin||9.7||$449||Travel||No|
|Creatures of Leisure Fish Day Use DT2.0||9.3||$140||Day Use||No|
|FCS Dayrunner All Purpose Cover||9||$130||Day Use||No|
|Sagebrush Board Bag||8.3||$140||Sock Style||Yes|
|Dakine Daylight Surfboard Bag||8.3||$94||Day Use||No|
|Curve Boost Travel Bag||8||$80||Day Use||No|
|Shred Surf Bag||7.3||$56||Sock Style||Yes|
|The Classic Boardsock||6.3||$30||Sock||No|
How We Tested
I’ve had each of these bags for a few months (some for far longer) and have been storing and transporting my boards in them to get a feel for how they perform. Some have gone on trips close to home but others I’ve taken overseas. I try to always store my boards in some sort of bag when they’re home in my garage, as well as when they’re in the car or on the roof of my vehicle.
For each bag, I considered the type of protection it offers, how easy it is to transport, and ease of use. For protection, I took into consideration that a travel bag is for sure going to offer more protection than a sock and ranked it according to its intended purpose. For transport, I looked at how easy or difficult it was to lug the board bag around. Finally, I considered how difficult it was to actually get my board in and out of the bags.
What Makes a Good Board Bag?
The most important feature of a board bag is how well it is able to protect your stick. Although there are different types of bags available at different levels of protection, I expect the bag to provide type the protection advertised. For example, a day bag should provide ample protection for trips around town but I wouldn’t expect it to hold up on an overseas flight. A travel bag, on the other hand, should do its due diligence and keep my board protected on a long haul trip. Before purchasing a bag, I take into consideration what kind of travel I will be doing with it and then consider the features it offers.
Traveling with boards is a challenge and such, features that make the board easier to transport are always appreciated. If it’s a shortboard bag, a padded shoulder strap is a plus. If it’s a longboard bag or a bag for multiple boards, wheels are a game changer.
Ease of Use
This may sound like strange criteria as surfboard bags are fairly straightforward in their design, but I want a bag that is easy to slide/off. If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself in a parking lot, wrestling with your board bag or sock, banging your board around in the process, and wondering if you would have done better had you left the bag at home. When I’m in the market for a board bag, I consider whether it will slide on and off easily, regardless of if the board is wet or dry. If it’s a more fitted bag, I considered zippers and how far down they go to make sure it’ll be easy to use.
What Are Some Other Factors to Consider?
Size is super important. You want a bag that fits your board snugly, to ensure maximum protection. But you also don’t want to be wrestling your bag each time you use it to try and get your board to fit. It’s a bit of a Goldilocks scenario. In general, a good rule of thumb is to order a bag that is a little longer than your board. If you’re ordering a board online, check the length, width, and thickness of your board and order accordingly. Length will determine which size bag you order and width and thickness will determine the style (for example, a 6’2” fish isn’t going to fit into a 6’2” shortboard bag).
Like surfboards, a good board bag doesn’t come cheap and as such, I want one that is going to last. Bags aren’t always handled with care at the airport, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a bag that is made from durable material. Although it’s possible to find bags at an agreeable price point, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t buying one that is made from cheap fabric that’s going quickly fall apart. It’s a little difficult to determine durability after just a few months of testing, which is why I didn’t include durability when ranking the bags.
Although it’s not essential, it’s nice when a bag comes with a Velcro or zippered pockets to stash your fins, leash, wax, etc. I like travel bags to have a generous pocket but for something like a sock, all I need is a little pocket to store my wax.
Editor’s Note: For more awesome gear reviews and features, click here.