Bikase Outlier Backpack review

A commuter's three-in-one storage dream

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
USD $129.00

Our review

Versatile travel and commuting companion
Buy if, You’re in need of a functional pack to use on your bike's rear rack and your back
Pros: Surprising capacity; smooth zippers; easy to use zipper pulls; side bottle pockets; secure rack attachment; classic, retro looks
Cons: Length as a backpack is a bit short; few organization spots; classic, retro looks
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Bikase’s Outlier bag does triple duty as a backpack, pannier and trunk bag. Beyond its multimodal transport, the Outlier features a good amount of user features and gear storage options.

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Bikase Outlier features

  • Able to be worn as a backpack or on a rear bike rack as a pannier or trunk bag
  • Four pockets
  • Internal key ring, CO2 cartridge loop
  • 1,200 cubic inches
  • 15-inch laptop compartment
  • Reflective details
  • Shock cord for helmet attachment
  • Two mesh side bottle holders

Loading it up

Loading the Outlier was a bottomless pit sort of experience.

Sure it has 1,200 cubic inches of storage space, but compared to its stature it seemed cavernous. It easily engulfed my laptop and power cord, and then preceded to also haul my bulky camera, books, clothes, notebooks, water bottle and so much more.

It was truly surprising the amount of gear all the compartments could hold. 

What pannier or commuter pack would be complete without a rain cover?
What pannier or commuter pack would be complete without a rain cover?
Russell Eich / Immediate Media

The semi-rigid back panel kept the computer pocket flat and upright, and also made sliding my laptop as well as folders in and out as simple as could be.

The foam barrier also gave a bit of cushioning and protection to my computer.

Also, while seemingly a minor detail, I appreciated the large zipper pulls and the smooth, high-quality zippers. 

On my back

The back panel has quite a lot going on, with Velcro straps, pannier attachment points and of course, backpack straps. Even with all that, it’s well padded and was comfortable while walking and riding. 

I did notice the lack of a lower waist strap but in all honesty I goof around (jumps, wheelies, skids) likely way more than the average bike commuter so it’s not probably an issue for most. 

I found loosening the backpack straps let the Outlier settle down my back farther, which is where I prefer a bag to be situated.

On the bike

The Outlier transitioned nicely from backpack to on-rack bag.

I used a Blackburn rear rack for testing and with the rack’s narrow platform it was imperative to weave the bag’s straps through the rack’s tubes when situated as a trunk bag.

It was a bit fiddly to get the straps sorted, but just strapping it on the rack allowed more side-to-side movement than I liked.  

As a pannier, the three attachment points did a fine job of securing the bag to the rack. Installing and removing was straightforward and the whole system rode quietly.

With the top-loading pockets, my gear was still easy to access, and loading it up was simple as well. 

In addition to being a backpack, the Outlier can also be a trunk bag and a pannier
In addition to being a backpack, the Outlier can also be a trunk bag and a pannier
Courtesy

One last thing, I put classic, retro looks in both the positive and negative columns above as looks are highly subjective.

For me personally, I’ve grown to appreciate the styling. It’s retro, bordering on hipster, but still unique which is good.

The Outlier was interesting because the more I used the pack, the more my appreciation for it grew.

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It’s an ideal gear hauler if your commute has you riding a rack-equipped bike and walking with your stuff. It also excels in carrying capacity with smartly laid out storage and a relatively medium size. 

Product Specifications

Product

Name Outlier Backpack
Brand Bikase