Skis On Wheels? Introducing PortaSki

portaski ski rollers trolley

All strapped on and ready to roll.

As promised earlier this week, today I’m introducing another product designed to make schlepping skis much easier.

brave ski mom logoWhat’s A PortaSki?

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).

opening the portaski

Step one, open the red strap.

flip the portaski open

Flip up the lid to create a platform for your skis.

remove front panel portaski

Remove the front panel with the long red strap. This will become your handle with which to pull the skis.

side view portaski

Side view of the wheel base look like when the skis are on it.

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.

portaski ready to pull

PortaSki recommends putting your pole tips alongside the bottom ski tops on the platform. I found it easier to strap them higher and they were still secure.

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.

ski volution portaski

I love this graphic from the PortaSki package.

Upsides:

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.

portaski in a box

The PortaSki comes in a 5.75 x 5.5 inch box. Everything fits so neatly!

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.

walk with portaski ski roller

Easy to roll, coming and going…

portaski ski carrier

Even in sock feet!

Downsides:

fat skis on portaski

My skis are too fat and the bottom tips too wide to fit on the PortaSki.

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.

Enjoy!

Related Posts: 

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.

About Kristen Lummis

I am the owner, writer and head ski tech at www.braveskimom.com. The mom of two boys in a busy outdoor family, I write about skiing all year round, tossing in some biking, hiking, parenting and even a bit of reflection during the off-season. While my recreational passion is for all things snow, my real passion is for my family.
This entry was posted in Equipment and Gear, Product Reviews, Skiing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Skis On Wheels? Introducing PortaSki

  1. Suzi says:

    This might be a good idea for the little one (definitely at 3 1/2 has a hard time juggling). Do you know how the wheels stand up to snow, ice, slush and the rest of the crap that’s between the parking lot and the lodge?

  2. braveskimom says:

    Excellent question! I haven’t had a chance to pull it through crud, but I would think that the smoother the surface the better the ride. The wheels are sturdy, but if you try to pull them over big chunks of ice, I think they would stop or tip.

    Anyone from PortaSki care to answer?

    Thanks!

  3. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reply and hopefully clarify a few things. With twin tip skis you are not sure if they will fit with Portaski. I have used K2 skis with Portaski and they fitted just fine. The trick here is to bind the base of the Portaski to the lower ski only i.e. clip the skis together at the bindings as normal and attach the upper part of the Portaski – the leash – as usual keeping the whole thing together. Then you can mount the base as normal but wrap the velcro strap around the lower ski only which provides a secure anchor for the unit and away you go! One of your Bloggers has asked “does it work on snow?” The answer is yes as when on snow either fresh and deep or comapcted snow the wheels will give way to the Patented “Wheelsled” with no need to stop walking or do anythng. This allows your skis and poles to be pulled along effortlessly and safely in a cotrolled manner. I hope that explanation helps you all. Mike at Portaski

  4. Suzi says:

    Great! Thanks for the information about the “Wheelsled”, This looks to be a great product for my little guy!

  5. Pingback: The PortaSki for kids? | Kid Project.org

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