Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag Review

The Pro-Lite Smuggler is one of Pro Lite’s most consistently popular bags and probably the most unique travel bag out. Surfers know that traveling with boards gets expensive real quick, as many airlines are now charging a flat rate per board. Now Pro-Lite has engineered a very clever way to pack more boards than what appears to the untrained eye. If you’re looking to travel light and save a few dollars in the process the Smuggler is an excellent choice. 


The Smuggler has been out for a few years now, but it still is one of our best selling bags and the one we get the most questions on. Basically it’s a lightweight travel bag that appears to only hold 2 boards while concealing a third. This is a huge advantage because many airlines will charge $50-150 per board while others like Alaskan Air will offer a fair rate but only allow two surfboards per bag. So I think this feature would be relevant to almost all traveling surfers.

Here’s How It Works

Opening the Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag

STEP 1: First, open the bag using the zipper in both the nose and tail.

Putting a Board in the  Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag

STEP 2: Place the first board in through the tail entry of the bag and under the tarpaulin divider.
If you have a board with a spray or some crazy art, I’d put that one in first that way it clearly shows from either entry. 

One Board in the Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag
If you’ve done it right up until this point, it should look like this.

STEP 3: Next, slide a second board on top of the first board through the tail entry. 

Putting the second board in the  Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag
Second Board in the  Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag

STEP 4: Finally, flip the bag over and place the third and final board in through the nose compartment and behind the tarpaulin cover.

Putting the third board in the Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag

STEP 5: Zip it all up and you’re all good! Now, if an airline worker opens the bag from either the nose or tail zipper, they’ll only see surfboards.

All the boards in the Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag
Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag Review
All ready to travel.

Other Features

The Smuggler otherwise is very similar to Pro Lite’s other second selling bag, the Rhino. With 10mm of foam padding throughout and lightweight design, it’s easy to lug around without skimping on padding. There’s a large accessory pocket in the front and a hidden compartment near the top that holds a detachable shoulder strap.

What all of this means is that even if you’re traveling with 2 boards or even just one, the Smuggler is still a sensible choice. If you end up only bringing a board or two, this bag also has velcro cinches on the side of the bag to compact it down. Finally, there’s the same excellent marine grade zipper and air vents found on all of Pro-Lite’s best bags.

Vent on the Pro-Lite Smuggler Travel Bag

The Smuggler is available in two styles and a handful of sizes. There’s a regular shortboard style (board under 20″ in width) and a wider style reserved more for fishes or hybrid shaped board. 


Final Thoughts

This is probably the only travel bag out there that actually pays for itself in the money you save by using it. On top of that, it’s just an all-around well made, lightweight bag that’s a smart pick for most traveling surfers.

Shop the Pro-Lite Smuggler Series of Bags

If you have any questions about this travel bag or any travel bag, feel free to give us a call at 1-888-546-6176, leave a comment, or shoot an email to support@cleanlinesurf.com.

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Established in 1980, with locations in Seaside and Cannon Beach, Cleanline Surf is the Northwest’s Original Surf Shop and remains your leader for surf, skate, and kitesurf needs.

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