If there’s one thing that might just get more casual ladies bums on saddles, it’s some snappy bike accessories. The Dutch know the score when it comes to cycling lifestyle kit, rather than strictly technical equipment, and Basil show that admirably with this range of attractively floral and girly bike bags.
I’ve been happily using the Basil single bag for quite some time, so I had high hopes when the Double arrived on the doorstep. The packs are light at about 1050g for the pair, and fasten easily onto any rear rack. Principally these bags aim to be fashionable form of luggage for day trips, shopping or recreational rides, rather than out and out touring packs, and their design reflects this. Although made of tough water repellent polyester fabric, they are very light and don’t feel particularly sturdy, meaning really heavy loads are probably best avoided. The lid fastens simply, with a chunky but cheap feeling clip, over the single compartment. There are no internal pockets, but each pannier has three external Velcro fastening pockets. There’s a large zipped pocket in the lid for objects requiring more security and peace of mind.
The main fabric is water repellent, and as such also repels the worst of road grime and muck as well, but the integral stowaway hi-viz raincover is a nice touch, especially given the non-secure nature of most of the pockets.
The packs attach with straps that rest over the top of the rack, then fasten onto it as well. The bags then hang over the sides securing at the bottom with simple Velcro straps. This design is easy to use, but the fact that the bags cannot be separated from each other does limit their versatility a little. It’s quite tricky to unfasten the packs from the rack once in place as well, especially when loaded, so shopping would need to be brought to the bags, rather than vice versa. This does mean that the bags are less useful for ultra light touring, but isn’t going to bother most people who just want to fit them onto the bike and leave them there.
For versatility and genuine usefulness, I found the Basil Sports Single Bag Lady, with its detachable shoulder strap and easy clip-on attachment to be superior to the Double.
Good looking inexpensive choice for those who want casual bags for the bike, but not as versatile as they could be.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Basil Sports womens double rear bag
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A pair of casually styled lightweight panniers, best suited to shopping and recreational riding, although they'd do the job for ultra light weekend touring at a push.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tough, lightweight, water repellent polyester fabric.
Several velcro fastening outside pockets.
Zipped top pocket.
Strap fastenings for attaching to rear rack.
Stowaway integral hi-viz rain cover.
No actual faults in construction but give the impression of being quite cheaply made.
Do just what they are supposed to, but would have liked them to be more easily removed and to separate from each other.
At 1050g for the pair, these are sufficiently light that you could just leave them on the bike.
For £55 you're getting an attractive and well thought through set of casual use panniers, which is a pretty good deal.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well as casual panniers for light recreational use. Would even allow for ultra light weekend touring if required.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Aesthetically appealing, easy to use and very light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not as versatile as if you could use them separately.
Non-weatherproof outer pockets.
Feel slightly cheaply made.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but prefer the single bag model.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Inexpensive and lightweight casual luggage option. Good looking and straightforward.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.