To Date, over 8000 Plastic Bags Kept from Landfills

Hayward, Wis. (May 16, 2019) — Everywhere you looked during Birkie week 2019 you were certain to witness skiers using their reusable Birkie gear bags. First introduced in 2017 and now in its third year, the reusable Birkie gear bag program is going even greener. The ABSF has collaboratively designed an all new custom Birkie gear bag, this time with the active, outdoor, lifestyle experts at SWIX.

As part of ski race registration, 2020 Slumberland American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, and Prince Haakon skiers have an opportunity to help the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) go greener by donating $45 to the ABSF toward a reusable Birkie gear bag. The $125 value reusable backpack style bag will be used in lieu of the large plastic bags skiers typically receive as part of their packet at bib pick-up. The exclusive Birkie gear bag is available only during the registration process.

The reusable Birkie gear bag program has been extremely successful with event participants securing over 8000 gear bags to date, ultimately reducing thousands of plastic bags in our nation’s landfills. As part of the program, the ABSF will only accept an official 2018, 2019, or 2020 Birkie gear bag, or the provided plastic bag received during bib pick-up, at bag drop-offs during their February ski events.

“We designed this technical SWIX – Birkie Green gear bag specifically for Birkie, Korte, and Prince participants. SWIX was asked to engineer a pack to hold every essential a racer would need in preparing for a race, and that’s what we did. Our designers went through every inch of the pack to ensure that all pockets and interior and exterior areas were utilized. Shoulder strap location and pack design also ensure exceptional balance for heavier loads, making it feel like you’re walking to the start line … packless. Thanks to the ABSF for this chance to be part of their “going greener” Birkie experience!” – Steve Poulin, President, SWIX USA

The 2020 Birkie gear bag, by SWIX, features:

  • Tarpaulin panel on the bottom section for waterproofing and greater durability
  • Bottom wet-sealed compartment for Nordic Boot storage (fits up to size 13 Nordic boot)
  • Fleeced lined Sports Shield zipped compartment for glasses or visor, with brushed lining to prevent lens scratches and quick, easy access
  • Large top-load zippered compartment for warm-up clothing, extra hats, and gloves
  • Two zippered side compartments for extra water bottles and accessories
  • Inside secured pocket for valuables; mobile phone, keys and wallet pocket
  • Main pack body is made from tough 600D PVC backed polyester, internal frame-sheet transfers weight evenly and contours to the wearer’s back, padded EVA foam back offers cushioning and breathability over pressure points, and padded shoulder straps and harness system to distribute weight evenly

“We’re thrilled that over 8000 skiers have already engaged with the reusable Birkie gear bag program. By choosing to go greener, they are making a direct impact on waste reduction at Birkie events,” said Ben Popp, Executive Director, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “SWIX has been a long-time supporter of Birkie events and we’re excited to partner with them on this important initiative.”

The Birkie week of events is slated for February 30-23, 2020, with the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon on February 21 and the American Birkebeiner on February 22. Registration for all races opened on May 1, 2019. Interested skiers can register at

Posted May 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm