The Thule RoundTrip bike duffel is designed for cyclists who travel to ride, and it’s clear the designers are bikers themselves. Unfortunately, like most others, I haven’t been doing a lot of traveling this spring, but I have been using the bag for day trips and it will certainly be the one I reach for when it’s time to fly again.
According to Wikipedia, “Thule is the farthest north location mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman literature and cartography.” I’ve actually travelled to a place called Thule (pronounced tooly), in Greenland, and it’s way up there. Thule (the brand) is known primarily for making bike racks for vehicles, and today they also sell a number of bags for hauling soft goods along.
The RoundTrip offers 55L of storage space, which Thule says should be enough for a 3-5 day biking trip. I usually travel with a similarly-sized bag for trips up to five days, but with all the pockets and organizers in the RoundTrip, I bet I could make seven with this bag.
Starting with the big stuff, there’s a pocket on the side for shoes that’s lined with a slick, plastic material to prevent wet, stinky shoes from tainting dry, clean items in the main compartment. The liner looks easy to wipe clean after the trip.
At the other end of the bag, inside the main compartment, there’s space for a helmet. A reasonably-sized, full-face helmet will probably fit, and half shells with visors are no problem. To get another day or two on the trail out of this bag, I’ll plan on stuffing extra shirts and shorts inside my helmet, and on top.
My favorite feature has to be the honeycomb-like organizer in the main compartment. Rolled up shirts, shorts, jerseys, jackets, socks, and gloves fit neatly in each pocket. Not only does this top-down view make it easy to find items, it also eliminates the need to re-arrange everything whenever you get something out. One of the triangular cells is padded and lined, tagged with a sunglasses icon, for storing eyewear and/or a small camera. Once all the cells are filled, there’s still a bit of head space on top for flat items like a towel or small pillow.
The zippered top of the main compartment features the same tarp-like plastic as the shoe compartment liner, and an inner sleeve within the top is designed to keep stinky laundry items separate. (Just look for the universal sign for yuck, the sock with wafting stink lines.) A grommeted hole on the outside top appears to allow the laundry pocket to drain, though it seems unlikely to offer much in terms of ventilation.
Moving to the outside of the bag, there’s a full-length side pocket with internal sleeves and elastic webbing for organizing smaller items like tools and nutrition. Attached to the outside of that pocket, there’s a small pocket for quick-access items like a phone or passport.
Wide, padded handles are placed at the center top, and on the left and right sides of the bag. The included shoulder strap can be attached to the side handles to sling the bag over a shoulder.
I’d love to have another zippered pocket on the left side of the bag to stash water bottles for quick access, and to keep leaky bottles from soaking the rest of the gear. While the honeycomb cells in the main compartment are the perfect size for bottles, I won’t be putting filled ones in there.
The RoundTrip is padded and clad in durable polyester material with high quality zippers, so I imagine it should last for a long time.
MSRP: $119.95USD. Available from Amazon.com.