Is it possible to organise the chaos that usually reigns in duffel bags? Our editor Peter put the Thule RoundTrip bike duffel bag to the test for a year, taking it on a variety of (road) trips. Read on to find out if the bag helped him get more organised and not forget any gear.
There’s a lot of stuff you need to pack if you’re going to shred the trails over the weekend or even if you’re just going for a post-work ride. And if you remember to pack everything you need, that doesn’t mean you’ll find what you’re looking for in the depths of your travel bag. How often have all your friends been waiting for you while you’re digging through your bag, looking for a multi-tool or a missing sock and about to have a nervous breakdown? To avoid this situation, Thule have created the RoundTrip bike duffel bag, dividing the main compartment into smaller pockets to help keep your gear organised. With a volume of 55 litres, the bag offers plenty of space to accommodate your clothes, knee pads, a hip-pack and helmet. However, it’s too large to be considered hand luggage on a flight, measuring 67 x 36 x 30 cm.
There are three zippered compartments on the outside:
- a small one best suited for your wallet or keys
- a large one with mesh pockets and rubber loops, which is great for tools, snacks and other small items
- a shoe compartment with two small ventilation ports and a waterproof lining
You can store your eyewear in a compartment provided for this purpose and there is a pocket with a small ventilation port for your dirty laundry inside the main flap. To carry the bag, it’s got a diagonally attached shoulder strap. The duffel bag is available in black and anthracite grey and costs € 119.95.
The duffel bag offers plenty of space for clothes and you can keep everything from gloves to jackets neatly ordered thanks to the different sized compartments. When packing the bag, we recommend rolling up your clothing so that it fits into the subdivisions. Stuffing everything in might work, but it spoils the neat look of the bag – and who wants their riding kit to look all crumpled when out on the trail? The compartments are open at the bottom, which offers added flexibility when packing, though it means that small items can slide from one compartment to the next and they won’t be where you put them. However, this problem can easily be solved by packing these items into the mesh pockets provided. The shoe compartment is spacious enough to accommodate Peter’s size 47 shoes, which are big enough to fit Hagrid the half-giant. Thanks to the waterproof lining, you can stow away your dirty shoes without soiling the rest of your gear and the compartment is easy to clean. The compartment for your eyewear is nicely padded and protects the lenses from getting scratched.
The strap is comfortable and the padding can be fixed to one end of the strap, allowing you to just throw the bag over your shoulder. Unfortunately, it isn’t comfortable enough for longer distances on foot or by bike. We would have liked additional straps to carry the bag like a backpack. The compartment for dirty laundry is very welcome after a ride, though it’s relatively small. There’s enough room for socks, underwear or light jerseys but you won’t be able to fit larger items such as trousers or jackets. Unfortunately, that isn’t very useful for muddy, winter sessions. The helmet compartment isn’t the biggest either: it’s ideal for a half-shell but too small for a full-face. The workmanship is excellent and the zippers still work perfectly even after 12 months of intensive use.
The Thule RoundTrip bike duffel bag offers enough space and dividers to keep your clothes, mountain bike essentials and snacks organised. There are many useful, bike-specific details, but the helmet and laundry compartments are a bit too small. If you store small items in the designated areas and don’t mind the single shoulder strap, the bag can be a faithful companion for weekend trips and promises a long service life thanks to the high-quality workmanship.
- big enough for your clothes and bike gear
- pockets keep everything orderly
- high-quality workmanship
- just a single shoulder strap
- helmet and dirty laundry compartments are a bit too small
- small items get lost in the main compartment
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Julian Schwede