As promised earlier this week, today I’m introducing another product designed to make schlepping skis much easier.
The PortaSki is a product from the U.K. It’s a simple little box with two wheels and three straps. To use the PortaSki, you undo the red strap that secures the product and then lift up the hinged lid. This creates a platform for your skis. Secure the skis with the red strap you just undid. Remove the side panel and strap and attach this strap to the top of your skis. Now you’ve got a handle with which to pull your gear. Grab the handle, tilt the front of the skis upward and pull (just like you would a piece of rolling luggage).
If you want to attach your ski poles, the PortaSki comes with an additional black velcro strap which is located inside the PortaSki. When you take off the side panel and strap, you’ll see it tucked into its own little compartment.
The PortaSki Story
Nine years ago, a friend told PortaSki designer Mike Johnston that he wanted skis with wheels. This friend was tired of carrying his skis around resorts and was looking for an easier way to transport them. At first, Johnston thought his friend was joking. Then he took him seriously. And, being a great (and rather innovative) friend, he designed the PortaSki.
At the end of the 2005 ski season, Johnston took his product to France to test the market. Within two days at Les Trois Vallees, he was sold out. He’s been selling his product online throughout Europe ever since. This year, he hopes to break into the U.S. market.
The PortaSki is really well-designed. From its clever packaging to its Chinese box-like design, everything fits where it should and folds down to a remarkably small package.
The PortaSki is well-made. The entire unit is quite sturdy, with strong velcro straps and smoothly rolling wheels.
The PortaSki is easy to pull. Once skis and poles are in place and strapped down, they are not going anywhere. You do have to make sure to center the pulling strap in the middle of your skis. If it is off to the side (or stuck under the poles — strap them on before you strap on the handle), the skis and wheels will tilt off-center.
And, if your child can pull a wagon or small rolling bag, your child can easily pull their own skis.
The PortaSki doesn’t work well with fat skis or beefy twin tips. Although the website says that it will accommodate twin tips, they would have to be really small to fit on the platform securely. I have some all mountain twin tips and the span between the tips dwarfed the Porta Ski. Not only that, but the strap was not long enough to go around them securely.
Again, the “what to do with it when it’s not in use” question: You’ve rolled your skis to the ski rack. Now what do you do with the PortaSki? As small as it is, it won’t fit comfortably into a pocket. It would need to be stashed in a boot bag or a locker.
Another question I had was “how many can one mom (or dad) pull?” While there is no reason a child can’t pull their own skis, if someone has to pull more than one, it could get tricky. I’m thinking one set of skis on rollers per hand, and that might be challenging.
A Good Product for Families with Younger Children
All-in-all, I think the PortaSki is a well-made product for a specialized market. If you don’t like to carry your skis and poles, if your skis are not too fat and don’t have large twin tips and if you ski at a mountain where you can easily stash the device, the PortaSki could be a very handy tool.
I actually think that it is perfect for children. Their skis are usually more narrow, so their gear will usually fit. Children often have difficulty getting skis up onto their shoulder while juggling poles (and walking in boots) and are more likely than adults to drop everything and ask mom or dad to pick up the pieces. Finally, the PortaSki is easy enough for a child to pull.
Older kids might not need this product, but at approximately $42 (the website will convert the price which is shown in British Pounds to U.S. Dollars), including shipping, the PortaSki won’t break the bank even if you use it just for a few years.
The upshot: If your family is skiing a lot and you’re ready for your children to take their own gear to the lodge, you might want to check out PortaSki.
- How Many Skis Can You Carry? Ski Lash Review and Giveaway, November 26, 2012.
- Can Your Poles Really Carry Your Skis? Quickpoles Review, March 19, 2012.
To facilitate this post, I received a PortaSki to review. As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
© 2012, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.Google+