Evoc Bike Travel Case Review
If you’re traveling by airplane or car, or simply want to keep your bike in storage, you’ll need a bike travel bag. The Evoc bike travel bag 280L offers portable protection for a wide variety of road and racing bikes. Durable ripstop nylon construction with inline wheels and plenty of carrying straps make transporting your bike easy. We give this bag four out of five stars.
Ripstop Nylon with PU Coating
The case is constructed from tear and abrasion resistant ripstop nylon with a polyurethane coating. Abrasion-resistant panels in the exterior provide additional protection for your bike.
Strong enough to handle conveyer belts, security scanners, busy foot traffic and other hazards of frequent travel. Can be checked on a flight or bus. Also fits into most standard trunks.
Soft-Shell Protective Case
The interior includes 10 mm of padding. Two dedicated wheel pockets also provide additional protection for wheels, with an additional pocket for general gear. The bike is secured inside the case with hook and loop straps.
Easy to Store
The softshell case folds down when empty. Can slide under a bed or fit into the back of a closet. The empty bag weights about 19 pounds and is roughly a third of its size when full.
When expanded, the bag is 53.2 by 31.5 by 15 inches.
Integrated Inline Wheels
Pull the case with ease on the two integrated wheels. Sealed bearings keep out dirt and grime to ensure smooth rolling with no maintenance. Over eight handles help you pull, carry and move the bag without requiring a ton of physical strength.
Let’s unpack some of the finer details about this bag and see how it holds up:
On Mobility and Structural Stability
A travel bag is no good if you can’t transport the bag easily. Fortunately, there were no real problems here. The Evoc 280L has eight handles. Two are at each end of the bag with an additional two handles on the side.
The bag has inline skate wheels, so you can easily lift up the front end and wheel the bag across most paved surfaces without problem. We had no problem pulling the bag through busy airports using the front two handles. Checking it as a piece of luggage was also a no-hassle process.
Generally, the bag was pretty stable. Built-in plastic rails help prevent the bag from tipping over when stationary. You might encounter some issues with stability during heavy winds.
If you find that the bag is frequently getting knocked over, Evoc does sell an aluminum stand. This stand secures the bag with two skewer points on the frame. However, the stand does cost about $100, which might be a needless expense.
On Zipper Quality and General Security
This is a solid, robust bag. Zippers are extra-large gauge YKK. Covered in extra grips, the zippers were smooth and had no tangles.
If the bag is filled to capacity, or filled with irregularly shaped gear, the zippers have a tendency to open when the bag is left unattended. While that’s not great, we found using a few twist ties to keep the zippers closed was an easy solution.
On Packing Ease
Even a duffel bag can be used to carry a bike – if you’re willing to basically take the entire bike apart. The idea of a bike travel bag is that you can transport the bike with minimal disassembly. The 280L does a pretty solid job here.
For most standard triathlon and road bikes, you’ll only need to make minimal alternations to the bike. The wheels will need to be removed completely, but they can still be placed in the bag inside separate wheel pockets. Padded straps hold the bike frame and fork securely.
Unlike many other travel bags we’ve used, the 280L does not require removal of the handlebars. However, you will need to loosen them so they can be turned to the side. Pedals can also stay on in most cases.
Even though it’s not totally necessary, we recommend removing the rear derailleur before packing your bike into this bag. Wrap the derailleur in bubble tape and then tape it down inside the bag. While the bag does provide plenty of protection, removing the derailleur is fast and provides peace of mind when traveling.
This bag is suitable for most standard road, mountain and triathlon bikes. Carries 29ers, TT bikes, road bikes, cyclocross bikes and more.
The biggest potential issue is probably a road bike with integrated seat posts. You’ll likely have to lower the seat as much as possible. If the bike has an integrated seat post over 100mm in height, the bag might be too small.
On Bag Size When Stored
You want a bike bag big enough to hold your bike but small enough to easily store when not in use. While the empty bag is still a bit larger than we would prefer, it’s still easy enough to store in a garage or under a bed. The bag folds down onto itself so both horizontal and vertical storage are possible. Unloaded, this bag is a light 9kg.
The bag also includes two fiberglass stringers. They slot into holders in the back to prevent the rear of the bag from collapsing. When you need to fold the bag down for storage, the two stringers are easily removed.
The bag is available in many different colors, including quite a few bright and flashy designs. If that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, then you’ve likely never had to search for your bag among hundreds of others on a crowded airport baggage carousel.
Biking isn’t always the cleanest activity. After a day spent on the muddy trail, you don’t want to have to clean your bike before storing it for the drive home. The inside of the bag is made from the same ripstop nylon found in surfboard bags. Citrus or eucalyptus cleaner will quickly remove most dirt and grime.
On Overall Protection
Durability is provided by latex and rubber materials on the top and bottom of the bag. These are the areas on any part of luggage which are most likely to be scratched or torn. So a bit of reinforcement will help keep the bag in good condition for a long time.
Your bike should be strong enough to handle rough weather and tough terrain. But most bikes aren’t much of a match for the conveyor belts and cargo holds associated with air and bus travel.
So the bag has to do most of the protection. Fortunately, protection is pretty well done here. The top padding is 4cm thick.
The internal wheel compartments include two plastic pipes inside the holders on the flap. This provides a protective barrier for the wheels. Additionally, two hard plastic plates are placed inside the bag to protect the hubs.
How Does It Compare to Other Bike Travel Bags?
There’s certainly plenty of bike travel bags available in a wide range of quality and price. Here the three competitors who are most like the Evoc bag:
- Polaris Bike Pod
- Scicon Aero Comfort 2 TSA
- BikND Helium
There are a lot of similarities in capacity and size to the Polaris Bike Pod. However, the Evoc 280L has a major advantage. The wheelbase is significantly wider. If you currently use the Polaris bag but are frustrated by the narrow wheelbase, the Evoc can provide welcome (and stable) relief.
The Scicon Aero Comfort 2 TSA and the BikND Helium are two popular bike bags. They’re similar in size and structure to the Evoc. However, both are quite a bit more agile than the Evoc 280L.
A smaller, more agile bag is convenient when moving through crowded areas like airports and terminals. However, this agility does mean these bags won’t stay upright as easily as the Evoc bag.
We found the Evoc to be plenty easy to pull and carry through crowded airports. Plus, the Evoc was quite a bit stronger and more secure than the Scicion and BikND, making it the better choice.
With a nylon softshell exterior which is both durable and lightweight, the Evoc bike travel bag is a great choice for frequent travelers or even just riders looking for a protective storage bag.
This bag hits a sweet spot between flexibility and security. Inline wheels and plenty of handles make travel by plane, bus or car easy.
Three internal pockets hold two wheels and gear. The bag is large enough to hold 29ers, TT bikes, road bikes and most triathlon bikes.A bike travel bag is a bit more complicated than it may first appear. But the bottom line here is the Evoc 280L is large, durable and easy to travel with. If you’re looking for a bike travel bag you can count on, the Evoc Travel Bag-280L is worth consideration.