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Nothing signals the easement of a global pandemic like a fresh range of board bags from ION. Foiling sports necessitate a fresh look at travel bags to safely transport your gear to your hard-won holiday destination and neatly negotiate the airline baggage policy with a minimum of fuss. ION have had their thinking caps on to get a range of sizes to practically accommodate all these strange-shaped boards we’re now insisting on riding.
First of all, let’s talk environmental impact. The majority of the bag’s material is 100% recycled PU-coated nylon, and ION have a carbon offsetting scheme with a hydro power plant in Sri Lanka. This should help you feel marginally less guilty about getting on that plane in the first place.
On the top, two large TPU patches with vents sit at either end of the bag to allow some airflow, so if you’ve left in a bit of a hurry without drying things, it should moderate the amount of festering gear potential on a long plane ride back from the tropics. A small pocket sits in the end of the bag which can house an address card, and is perfect for storing away your foil fixings, so they don’t distribute themselves too liberally during the flight. There’s a small separate compartment sewn into the lid internally which is ideal for stowing footstraps.
The end handles clip on and off to allow you to potentially clock them on to a roof rack, or tag onto another bag; there’s some helpful D rings provided on the corners here as well. In the center of the bag some gray seatbelt grade webbing forms the main carry straps and can be slung over your shoulder if necessary for winching it onto the luggage carousel with steeze.
Wheels are an essential for any travel bag that might harbor more than 25kg, and ION haven’t scrimped in this department with two larger bearing-spun wheels any inline skater would be pleased with. It glides along effortlessly, taking rough airport tarmac well, and will hop down a curb with ease.
The Curve plate and wheels sit at one end, making this end rigid so aim more delicate items here, and the opposing end has a rugged scuff cover with the center of the bag soft. Bear in mind that your board will essentially form the longitudinal structure or spine of the bag, so make sure it fits well to avoid any sag in the middle. This is clearly to save weight and as a bonus the bag rolls up from one end to make it very compact to store when not in use.
A top loading zip opens a huge aperture enabling easy access to shuffle things around to confuse the check-in staff if you’re perhaps a little over your allowance. The zips are chunky, and slide well with large zip loop pullers, so very easy to operate. The ION Gearbag TEC is an extremely well thought out and detailed bag system that’s going to make your traveling as easy as possible. It’s a wingfoiler’s best companion. RB