An often-overlooked cycling accessory, cycling kit bags can make for a great alternative to the best cycling backpacks if you’re travelling to or from the start of a ride or race.
They provide a compact, structured solution when you’re heading on a riding holiday and can also be used for organising your kit while commuting.
Here are six of the best cycling bags as tested by BikeRadar.
Five things to look for in a kit bag
- Make sure the bag is large enough to carry what you need.
- Decide if the way the bag has been divided into its respective sections works for you. Most will feature separate areas for storing clean and dirty kit.
- You should consider if helmet storage is important. Helmets are odd shapes and they don’t fit nicely into all bags, so you may have to carry it separately.
- Make sure the bag is comfortable to carry when fully loaded. Virtually all use either shoulder straps or a carrying handle.
- Consider if you need the bag to be weather-proofed if leaving it out in the elements.
The best cycling kit bags in 2022, as rated and reviewed by our expert testers
Ogio Endurance 7.0 duffel bag
- Price: £95 / $170
You get enough storage for a long weekend’s worth of kit, and the main section is lined with a bright material, which makes small items easy to find.
It’s comfy to carry full, thanks to broad shoulder straps and a padded back panel. The expandable wet-kit pocket is handy, and the shoe compartment is vented to aid drying.
The only chink in the Ogio Endurance’s armour is that there’s no carrying handle, just the shoulder straps.
dhb Transition bag
- Price: £75 / $95 / AU$130 / €85
The Transition bag scores points with its numerous pockets, aiding kit organisation. These include a main compartment that’s easily accessible thanks to a long double-pull zip, a separate shoe section, stash pockets on the side and top, and removable helmet webbing.
Side straps cinch in non-full loads well. A decent back panel and shoulder straps make it comfy to wear, with the former also stopping it collapsing. Waist and sternum straps add stability.
The downsides are the top of the bag is a little floppy when opened up, and the helmet webbing is prone to catching in the zips. There’s also limited wet/dry separation.
Mudhugger Kit bag
- Price: £38
The Mudhugger represents excellent value with two sturdy bags and a changing mat included in the price. The larger bag is huge, and has a sleeve on one side to neatly stash the mat in.
We found the slightly smaller one handy for separating dirty kit from clean, and big enough for a single day’s riding kit if we were limited on space.
The padded changing mat keeps feet warm, dry and comfortable when you’re stripping off post-ride. We’d have liked the mat to be larger though.
We also found the mesh sleeve in the smaller bag can snag when you’re stuffing kit in. Both bags collapse when empty, making them trickier to fill.
The following products scored less than four out of five in our test but are still worth considering.
Fox Transition Duffle Bag
- Price: £100
Waterproof fabric and storm-proof zips mean kit should stay dry, and the bag shrugs off grime when left on the ground. A large main compartment and separate bottom section give 45 litres of storage.
There are a couple of small internal pockets, too, and a changing mat. Shoulder straps and two handles boost portability.
The major downside with the Fox Transition is the main zip only extends two-thirds of the way down, restricting access. If the big compartment is open, you have to flip the pack over to access the bottom one.
This looks to still be the case on the new version of the bag, released after we started our testing.
Ion Universal Utility Bag
- Price: €30
As simple as they come, Ion’s bag suits those who just want to chuck kit in and go – especially wet and muddy gear.
Shoulder and hand straps aid portability, and a single sturdy zip keeps the contents secure.
Two neoprene side pockets add organisation, plus a bit of protection when carrying it on your shoulder. It’s light and relatively cheap.
Unfortunately, we found locating small items can be difficult, because of the bag’s depth and black material. If you stand it on the floor, the top is prone to collapsing in on itself.
Ion claims it can be used as a wheel bag, but we couldn’t fit a 650b wheel in, with the tyre deflated.
Topeak Pakgo GearPack
- Price: £130
Topeak’s offering scores points with its specific pockets for items such as shoes and a helmet, making it easy to organise your kit. Efficient use is made of all the internal space (as long as you pack well), and its cuboid shape aids ‘car Tetris’, too.
The bag’s construction is good, with plenty of carrying handles, as well as sturdy zips and waterproof materials, plus water-drain ports.
We struggled to fit bulkier open-face helmets in the designated pocket and found it better to carry lids separately, because it leaves room for other accessories, such as hip packs.
The side pockets would be more useful if they were expandable. The bag is also an expensive proposition.