Bike travel bags explained

Choosing a bike travel bag can be a daunting task. There are so many different bike travel bags currently on the market and working out which one will suit you best can take hours of research. To help you out we have done some of hard work, saving you precious time and making the task a little bit easier. We have searched the web and listed all the bike travel bags we could find in a data table. Each listing shows the weight, dimensions, price and bike type and links back to the manufacturers web site. The table can be viewed in both metric or US measurements so you don’t need to worry about converting from one to the other yourself.

What should I consider when choosing a bike travel bag?

When you choose a bike travel bag for the first time there are five main factors you need to consider:

  • the type of bike you have
  • the combined weight of your bike and the bag
  • your budget
  • frequency and type of travel and,
  • how easy the bag is to pack

We will go through each of these in turn after a quick overview of the types of travel bags available.

The differences between hard, light and soft bike travel bags

Bike travel bags come in three broad categories which we have called hard, light and soft.

Bike travel case by Buxum box

Hard cases are constructed from moulded plastic, aluminium or another rigid material. The biggest advantage of hard cases is the level of protection they offer your bike. This comes at the expense of weight though and you will need to keep in mind the combined weight of the case and your bike, especially when considering airline luggage restrictions. The hard cases in our table range from 8.2kg to 18.5kg. Given their rigid construction there is no ability to reduce the size of the case for storage purposes.

Soft bike travel case by Polaris

Light cases are made from nylon or plastic and provide the least protection for your bike. In our opinion they are only suitable for travel in a car or on a train where you are looking after the bike yourself. These cases weigh anywhere from 0.5kg to 4.8kg. When not in use these cases fold up and take little space.

Bike travel bag by Orucase

Soft cases combine the benefits of the other types to offer good protection without significant weight. These cases generally have a rigid base with wheels and a tough nylon top section supported by battens or a frame. Cases in this category weigh between 4.9kg and 11.8kg. When you get to your destination or return home, you can reduce the size of these cases to make storage easier. We have included the folded dimensions in our table where possible.

Now that you have an understanding of the difference between bags we will go through each of our 5 factors to help you choose the most suitable bag for your needs.

  1. Bike types and bike travel bags

One of the first things you need to consider is the type of bike that you want to put in the travel bag. Are you looking to put a road bike, mountain bike or another type of bike in the bag? Not every bike type will fit in every travel bag so it is important to make sure you chose a bag that will fit your bike. Some bags are designed with a specific type of bike in mind while others will fit all types of bikes. If you have an especially large frame you may find that some bags will not fit your bike. At the end of the day there is a bike travel bag out there to fit every bike and you just need to make sure you match them correctly.

2 The combined weight of your bike and the travel bag

If you are planning to use airlines with your bike and travel bag then the combined weight of the bike and bag is another important factor to consider. Many airlines impose a 23kg limit on bikes while others will allow up to 30kg. The heaviest case on the market weighs in at 18.5kg which does not leave much room for your bike if the airline you are intending to use has a 23kg limit. So make sure you know the weight of your bike when you are looking at different options and consider the combined weight of both.

3 Your budget

The next factor is how much you are able to spend on your bike bag. The cost of bike bags varies significantly. In our table the cheapest bag on the market is £30 while the most expensive is £852. The range of prices for each of the types of bags is as follows.

Hard cases – £120 to £852

Light bags – £30 to £180

Soft bags – £117 to £655

Ultimately it is a personal decision on how much you want to spend on a travel bag and there are bags to suit everyone’s budget.

4 Frequency and type of travel

How you intend to use your bike travel bag is the fourth factor we think you should consider. Will you be using it on airlines? Will you need to fit it in hire cars? How often are you likely to travel? There is no point getting a light bag offering no protection if you are going to be doing lots of air travel and handing your bike over to baggage handlers. When looking at different bags consider the level of protection offered, maneuverability, size and durability.

5 Ease of packing

The final factor we think you should consider is how easy it is to pack your bike in a travel bag. Some bags will simply require you to remove the wheels and place the bike inside while others will require handlebars and/or forks to be removed. If you are not comfortable taking your bike apart you may want to consider cases that don’t require too much dismantling. Likewise if you will be packing and unpacking your bike multiple times in a short period you would probably want a case that is quicker to pack.

What is the best bike travel bag available?

Our table has nearly 60 different bike travel bags that are currently on the market from a range of different suppliers. So how do you work out which is the best one for you? Is one brand better than another?

To help answer some of these questions we suggest a little more research online. These days there are lots of product reviews available through bike magazines and online bike shops. A quick google search will turn up articles such as “Six best bike bags and boxes for travel” and “Best Bike travel case (updated 2020) – Buyers guide” providing plenty of information. The brands listed in our table have all been in business for a number of years and online reviews highlight any quality issues with a particular brand or model.

Online forums are another great tool and there are plenty of discussions about bike travel bags and the different brands to help you make your choice. You can even start your own topic to get information about a particular bag you are considering. This extends also to Youtube where you can find videos reviewing different bags or demonstrating how to pack them.

Our personal opinion is that the best bag for you comes down to a trade-off between our five factors. For example, if you are looking for a high level of protection then that is generally going to come at the expense of weight and cost. So we suggest working through our factors in your order of preference to end up with a short list which you can then research a little further and make your choice.

What’s on the market – bike travel bag table

ModelImageTypeWeight (kg)Length (cm)Height (cm)Width (cm)Total linear (cm)FoldableDimension folded cm (where available)Bike typesPrice (GBP)
B + W Bike Box II bikes224
B + W Bike Case
B + W Bike Guard
Bikebox Alan
Bikebox Alan Traithlon Easyfit
Bonza Bike box
Buxumbox Tourmalet - Large, Track, TT and Cross744
Buxumbox Tourmalet - Medium, Track, TT and Cross744
Buxumbox Tourmalet - Small, Track, TT and Cross744
Buxumbox Ventoux Mtb bikes, Trekking bike and City bikes852
Buxumbox Ventoux Road, Track, TT and Cross852
Elite Vaison
Lifeline EVA Bike Pod
Polaris EVA Pod Plus
Polaris Pod Pro and MTB 26" and 650B only550
Scicon Aerotech Evolution X and triathlon700
Sherpr premium bike box x 75 x 2Road to 58cm frame68
Sherpr Pro plastic semi-rigid to 58cm frame200
Shokbox premium bike box
Shokbox classic bike box
Thule Roundtrip transition X
Topeak Pakgo X Bike Case
Topeak Pakgo XS Bike Case and MTB 26" and 650B only550
Velovault 2
B + W Bike Sack
B'Twin bike cover x 33 x 12Road and MTB 26" and 650B only54
Evoc Bike Cover
Polaris Cargo Bag
Scicon Pocket bike bag x 9 x 34All55
Scicon Travel basic bike bag x 11.5 x 42Road bikes89
Scicon Travel plus soft mtb x 8 x 48Mountain bikes180
Scicon Travel plus soft travel bag x 11.5 x 47Road bikes179
Scicon Travel plus soft triathlon x 11.5 x 47Triathlon bikes179
Tifosi Bike Bag
Vaude Big Bike Bag x 28 x 27All95
Vaude Bike Bag Pro
B + W Bike Bag II
Bonza Bike Bag x 31 x 31Road bikes400
Biknd Helium v4 x 31 x 38All400
Biknd Jetpack x 25 x 26All290
Biknd Jetpack XL x 35 x 32All290
Chain Reaction Cycles Complete Bike and Wheel Bag x 32 x 22All140
Chain Reaction Cycles Pro Bike Bag x 30 x 28All140
Douchebags Savage x 38 x 30All540
Elite Borson
Evoc Bike travel bag x 39 x 25All400
Evoc Bike travel bag XL x 41 x 28All450
Evoc Bike travel bag pro x 36 x 22All550
Evoc Road bike bag pro and triathlon655
Orucase - Airport Ninja
Orucase - B2 x 25 x 23All451
Polaris Axial Bike Case
Pro Bike Travel Case
Scicon Aerocomfort MTB TSA x 42 x 31Mountain bikes529
Scicon Aerocomfort Road 3.0 x 34 x 41Road bikes529
Scicon Aerocomfort Triathlon 3.0 x 41 x 32Triathlon bikes529
Scicon Aerocomfort Tandem
Thule Roundtrip Pro XT
Thule Roundtrip Traveller
Post Carry Co Transfer 135 l x 36 x 36Road and gravel to 56cm frame max305
Post Carry Co Transfer 150 l x 43 x 43Road and gravel to 62cm frame max305
Wiggle Pro bike bag x 30 x 28All100

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