Burton Wheelie Locker Review

Ok, so I’ve booked flights with KLM and I’ve never flown with them before. This got me thinking about the airline’s rules for baggage allowance; how much is it going to cost me to take my snowboard? Now, I’ve got one of those swanky Burton Wheelie Lockers and I think a review of which will be of use to some people. Here goes…

First things first

I’m gonna start this review by saying that I love my Wheelie Locker. Remember that when you get to the end of the review. Here’s why:

  • It’s huge. You can get so much stuff in there. I’ve packed three snowboards, my gear and half of my girlfriend’s gear into the thing. Everything kept in one place!
  • It’s tough. The spiel on Burton’s website is true. It’s built to last and Burton back it up with their support (I’ve had a new replacement)
  • The design is great. Separate sleave for the boards. Separate compartment for clothers. Tough external pocket for handy access. A removable bag for your boots and another for your bindings… If you’re a tidy freak it makes it easy to pack; if you just want to chuck stuff in, there’s loads of space. See my photos for more on the features

Spot on!

But is it practical?

Unfortunately I think you have to ask this question. I love the idea and I really like the design of the bag – but is it practical for lugging around airports? I’d have to say the answer is no. Read on.

Maximum weight allowance

I’ve found that most airlines (well, the ones that I have used) operate with a maximum weight allowance of around 32kg, for a single bag. That is, each item of luggage must weigh less than 32kg. I know this to be true as I was called to the front of the line on an Easyjet flight and asked to take stuff out of my wheelie locker. I ended up removing my boots (with their own dedicated bag, sick) which the stewardess insisted would be sent separately. You can imagine my frustration when waiting in Geneva airport, all of our bags collected except the boots…

So, the fact that the wheelie locker allows you to pack so much stuff becomes a little irrelavant as you’re constrained by 32kg.

What are you talking about? 32kg? That’s madness, you don’t need that much stuff!

You’re probably right. So why have a bag that’s that big? Also, don’t forget that when you start adding your mates board to save on costs, the extra jacket, the waxing iron – things start to add up. To me, that’s the point of the wheelie locker – there’s loads of space.

Note also that you don’t save on the fact that you’re only taking one bag. Explanation. Your friend has his regular suitcase with an allowance of 20kg and he’s paid a flat fee to take a snowboard in a separate bag. They weigh this bag to make sure it’s not super heavy, but they don’t seem that bothered about its exact weight. You on the other hand have you single wheelie locker. Let’s say that you’re travelling light and the total weight is less than 20 kg. Do they offer you a discount? No. You pay the same.

Forget the airline’s weight allowance, the damn thing is heavy!

I’m not the strongest person in the world but I’m not the weakest either. When the wheelie locker is rammed full it is heavy. Simple as that.

So you’ve flown to Geneva and as usual it takes the board bags ages to arrive. It’s getting tight for the last train. Your wheelie locker finally arrives and now you’ve got to run to the train station…

It’s not easy! Dragging 30-odd kg while running is hard work! I’m not being sexist here: Ciara can’t lift the wheelie locker when it’s full. It’s heavy.

It’s not just the airport though. Not all apartment blocks have lifts. My first trip to Tignes, we were on the top floor. Having all of your gear in one bag no longer seems like a good idea when you’ve got to carry it up 3 or 4 flights of stairs. The length then also becomes a problem. Stairwells aren’t always wide. At 1.8 meters or so it can be hard to get the wheelie locker around narrow corners.

It’s worth adding though that the wheelie locker does have good quality hand holds on the top of the bag, and a shoulder strap.

Other points

  • If you take the board out of the bag and leave the rest of the gear in (for whatever reason), pulling the bag on its wheels becomes a problem
  • I’ve found that I don’t use the bag on road trips – it’s too big for the roof rack
  • You can’t really use the wheelie locker in other situations, e.g. other holidays

Burton Wheelie Locker vs. Burton Wheelie Double Deck

So what’s the alternative? Well, take a regular shaped suit case and a separate board bag. Enter the Burton Wheelie Double Deck. Ciara uses one of these in combination with a board bag, or, sometimes she off-loads onto me and I carry her board as well. The Double Deck shares a lot of the clever design features of the Wheelie Locker and is made to the same high quality.

…And you can fit a lot of gear in this thing too! I’m certain that using a decent travel bag along with a board bag is a more comfortable, easy to operate solution. Also, overall you can probably take more gear (if you feel the need) as you’re not limited to 33kg. It doesn’t have to be the Double Deck, I’ve seen the Dakine Split Roller and that seems really good too. However my experience is with the Burton travel gear and I know that it ‘feels’ really good – that quality comes through.

Summary – So what am I using for the Deux Alpes trip?

I hate the thought of leaving my Wheelie Locker behind, but I’m gonna use the Wheelie Double Deck travel bag, and take my board separately. In comparison, the Wheelie Locker just seems to much of a struggle to move around. I guess I’ll let you know the final verdict when I get back.

Get hooked up!

If you’re looking to get hold of the Wheelie Locker or any other snowboard luggage for that matter, there’s a great selection of board bags at dogfunk.com. They re-stock regularly and have one of the best selections when it comes to different colours and sizes. Go check them out.

26 Comments

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    No problem man! There are definitely peeps out there that prefer the locker, but I’m definitely with the Double Deck style.

    Check out my latest review of my luggage setup – a smaller board bag plus Double Deck style case πŸ™‚ I much prefer it!

    Cheers, Gav

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Linda

    would this be the same for the wheelie board case?

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    I don’t think so. Looking at the wheelie board case – it’s not as big as the wheelie locker.Are you intending on using the board case as your only travel bag, or will you suppliment it with another case?My wheelie locker worked out good enough on the recent trip to laax, but I still prefer a case + board bag setup… the type of board bag that you can carry over the shoulder.

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    thank you so much for your review of the Burton Wheelie Locker. I was strongly considering it, but after much research and upon further review, I decided to get the Burton Wheelie sub instead with a separate board bag.I think it is the better choice in the long run. I was concerned like you with the weight and getting the Wheelie Locker into small hallways, doors, etc. Plus, yes, I can use this bag for other non-snowboarding trips.So thank again for posting your review which influenced my decision.Kevin

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hey Kevin,thanks for the comments πŸ™‚ Glad the review was a help. I’ve been away quite a few times since writing the review and I’m still of the same opinion.When mine finally runs out, or I sell it, I’ll be replacing it with a wheelie case & seperate board bag…Cheers, Gavin

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Loved your review of the wheelie locker. Photos are very handy…I know this is about two years late but what was your verdict in the end?I’m going on a trip by myself doing reviews of six different resorts in eight days and wanted to take only 2 bags – the wheelie locker and a small back pack.What do you reckon?

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Dude,Thanks for the prompt reply. I’ll get my bathroom scales out and make sure I’m under 30kg!Looks like the locker is my best bet if I can do this. Gives me free hand/shoulder if I need to carry anything else.Do you know a cheap website to buy one? Or where I’m likely to get a second hand one?Can’t wait for the trip. hard work, but should be awesome.Thanks again.Rob

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hi,I think my views are still in line with the review. I recently used my locker on a two week trip to Fernie. I had the locker plus my back pack. We had upgraded our flights so our main luggage allowance was 30kg. We were allowed to add a snowboard bag to that.I just took the locker and it weighed in at 34kg – I had to take a few things out, at the front of the queue, to get it under the absolute limit of 32kg.Had I been using a smaller board bag at say, around 12kg, and then one of the many split cases, I’d have gotten through the weight restrictions no problems. And not been lugging around a 34kg bag!If you’ve got the option, I would recommend board bag plus case. But if you know you’re either very close to, or around 30kg, a locker is still good.Enjoy doing those reviews, it sounds really good!

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Morning Gav,Yeah, pricey items. I had a good trawl around this morning and I think circa Β£170 is the going price. The 185cm is the one I need as I’m using it for skis 175cm long.I’m looking at a second hand head wheelie bag on Sat. It’s designed for 4 sets of skis but with only my set, the guy said I’ll be able to get boots and gear in no problem. It’s on at Β£30 which is totally within my budgetHowever, if you’re considering selling your locker, then let me know how much you’d part with it for. I much prefer the design and my budget could be expanded to cater for this!!The reviews are for the a Footprint european ski guide to come out for next season. I’ll keep you postedRob

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hi Rob, I’ve had a quick look around. I forgot how pricey they are! The best I found, and it was only a quick look, was < HREF="http://www.urbansurfer.co.uk/Products/Burton_Wheelie_Locker_166" REL="nofollow">here<>.That’s the 166 version. If you’re after a second hand one, I’ve got the 185cm bag, and would consider selling it…Snowboarding the World is a great guide, I think. It has a fresh angle. Pretty cool that you’re doing those reviews! So are they gonna be for the ski version, or some other project?Gav

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Just been reading a bit more on your blog and noticed you recommend Snowboarding The World. The reviews I’m doing are for Matt Barr. He’s doing a ski version for Europe that’ll come out next year…..Just thought I’d fill you in on that coincidence.Rob

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hey Rob, if you send me an email: gavin dot hope at gmail dot com, I’ll send you some details about the bag, and a price. I’ll hook some pictures up too. Cheers, Gav

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Hi Gav,Just wondering if you were going to sell the wheelie locker. I think the Head bag might be too big – 20cm too long. Plus it doesn’t have the compartments that the locker does.Send me a price if you want to sell it…Rob

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hi Alexa,I wouldn’t worry. The main concern for me is the weight limit for airlines. No matter what I take each year my bag always comes out around 33/34kg, and that sometimes lands me in trouble.You’re gonna score with having less bags and I’m sure rushing with this bag isn’t too different from your previous setup πŸ™‚Let me know how it goes, cheers, Gav

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    hmmmm …wish I had read this before! Love your review, pictures, details, etc. Just ordered a 166 wheelie locker! ..I’ve been travelling with a wheelie bag + board bag (the one that goes over the shoulder)+ back pack and didn’t find it quite convinient to be honest so I thought the locker would be the solution. I ussually travel by myself and ussually by train so having the 3 items it’s always been a nightmare, at airports it’s easy but trains… horrible! so I thought I could really do with a free hand… my policy is: travel with I can carry without a helping hand so the weight allowance doesn’t worry me much ..but what you say about tight conners and pulling the thing around when in a hurry …that’s a bit of a worry :-S My next trip is over easter, will see how that goes! Cheers,Alexa

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Hi Gavinthanks for the review. Im considering buying one of these boardbags and throwing all my clobber in there. How heavy is this wheelie locker? 2kg-5kg-10kgs? do airlines accept this as a normal bag? what other bag would you suggest if i were to get a simple board bag with my gear in a standard bag and how much Xtra does one pay for the board bag ( rouigh estimate ) loads of questions i know but any help would be appreciated thanks dave

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hi Dave,I don’t think airlines will accept this as normal luggage, it’s likely gonna be the case that they’ll class it as oversized, so will want you to pay for “ski” luggage (or similar).I don’t know the weight of the bag itself, but I’d guess it’s around 5kg (I’ve sold mine, so I can’t weigh it πŸ™‚I’ve actually just bought a seperate board bag, one much smaller than the wheelie locker. It’s the Dakine Tour Bag, 165cm. It’s Β£40 normally, but I picked it up with 30% off in the sale πŸ™‚It’s padded, big enough to get you boots, bindings and some outerwear in there, so I think it’s perfect for combining with another luggage bag!I think airlines charge roughly Β£15 each way for snowboard luggage…Hope this helps, Gavin

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    No problems.I bought the new bag in my local snowboard shop (LD Mountain Centre in Newcastle). I don’t remember seeing it anywhere online in the sale, which is a shame. I’ve been looking for a Split Roller also, and they’re mostly still at full price πŸ™

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Thanks gavinThat helps me out heaps. Im going to look at the Dakine model ( any tips where you found this bag for so cheap? )cheersdavide

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    I went to the mall today and saw the B.W.D.D. bag and was thinking of getting it. But then I was also thinking about the locker bag as well.After reading your review, you’ve definitely helped me decide how to go about transporting my gear on the plane. B.W.D.D. it is!Thanks bro!

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    David

    Hi: Thanks for your comments Gavin. I enjoyed reading them very much before I bought the Burton wheelie locker 166. I already had the Burton Gig Bag. Here in Mexico and the USA, different airlines have different limits. Some will say 247 centimiters meassured lineary (LxHxD) and 25 Kilograms of weight, which allows for a Burton Locker. Others clasify sports equipment and have limitations. So having two bags adds versatility and you can decide which way to go during the planning of your trip. Thank you, David

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    David

    Hi again: This is an update. I’m going to Park City, Utah, USA, in February 2010. The maximum weight for international flights from Mexico City is 60 Kilograms worth of equipment (Mexicana Airlines)….cooooool. . Burton Wheelie Locker 166 A OK. Thank you, David

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hi David,

    thanks for the comments – good news on the 60kg allowance πŸ™‚ No doubt Park City will be awesome, have a great time, cheers, Gavin

  • Reply September 9, 2010

    April

    I have the Burton Board Locker as well, and, man, you are absolutely right, that it is a great bag, especially when you gotta carry multiple boards and when the airline let you. When I flew by Air Canada, everything worked out perfectly. All you gotta do is to call the airline before the departure to register the bag as a snowboard equipment. That was it…no extra fee charged, no extra process needed. I am positive, not every airline is cool like that, so the suggestion is to always call them prior to try to register your snowboard bag as a extra large bag so that when you get to the airport, they dont make you take things out or having you pay unexpected charges.

  • Reply September 9, 2010

    Gavin

    Hey April,

    another fan of the Locker, nice πŸ™‚ Yeah it’s definitely good advice to check in with the airline ahead of time, and it sounds like Air Canada are pretty damn good!

    Cheers, Gavin

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