Taking a bike on your travels can be a worry – which is where bike boxes such as Polaris's EVA Pod Plus come in. It has a semi-rigid ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) clamshell construction secured by a lockable zip and four webbing straps with quick release buckles. There are four riveted webbing and plastic handles, two on each end, but none on top, which means you may need to hold the straps when moving it. It weighs 11.48kg and its external dimensions are 120x98x24cm with flat sides that are easier to slide in to a car than the earlier model.
Straps at each side brace the open Pod, but it needs propping against something because the lid is too heavy to stand unsupported. Inside are two elasticated wheel covers, padded on one side. With wheels fitted, the covers attach to three buckles on each side. Six internal buckle-fastened straps are looped through rings evenly spaced around the interior, and all can be used to secure a road frame up to around 64cm or a 29er MTB.
You’ll need to remove the pedals, bar and stem, plus saddle and seatpost on larger bikes, and it’s wise to unscrew the rear derailleur and secure between the stays. We’d also recommend fitting frame spacers between dropouts and covering all frame tubes in foam lagging – as those hard plastic buckles on each side could rub against your bike. There’s no provision for removed parts, so wrap them up and bungee or tape to the protected frame to stop movement.
The Pod holds the wheels and frame securely, with the frame clear of the edges, but even with all of the bike’s parts inside, there’s still room for shoes, clothing and bottles – subject to your airline’s weight limit. Unpacking is very fast, with just 12 quick release buckles to release to remove the frame and wheels in seconds.
Even though the pod is quite narrow and tall, it is pretty stable when wheeling it along flat surfaces on its two smooth 90mm diameter wheels, and we found the lower of the handles easier on the arms. There’s no slot on the outside of the Pod to add your personal details, but there is a pair of metal eyelets for a cable lock should you have to leave the box unattended.