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Verdict: 
Well made, fits loads of easily accessed kit and compact size – all of which makes this easy to recommend
Weight: 
518g

Castelli's Race Rain Bag makes a compact kit bag that holds enough gear to deal with a wide range of conditions. For those of us without a team car, this is a great race day option.

  • Pros: Easy to pack, compact, fits loads of kit, kit is easy to access
  • Cons: Pricey compared to a small holdall, no shoulder strap

Castelli's Race Rain bag isn't really designed for full kit bag duties. You'll more commonly see several of these wedged into the back of the team car, stuffed with wet weather gear and shoes, a just-in-case policy to guard against crashes and changing weather. Each rider on a pro team will get their own labelled bag with kit in their size; that way, should a rider need a jacket or an extra warm pair of gloves, they're easy for the mechanic in the back to find.

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As most of us don't have a team car and a helpful mechanic, it's primarily going to serve as a dedicated kit bag, be that for sportives or, in my case, local races. For this purpose, I've found it to be absolutely perfect. The bag is compact, taking up very little space in the car and in front of the washing machine post-race. It packs loads of kit in which is easy to get to, with a large main section and some smaller dividers. Shoes are housed in a separate compartment and I clip my helmet onto the top handle.

Castelli Race Rain Bag 3.jpg

In the bag, I can fit three baselayers, a Gabba, jersey, bib shorts, skinsuit, shoes, sunglasses, leg, knee and arm warmers, mitts, warm gloves, socks, overshoes, a bag of pins, my licence, a towel and, most importantly, race snacks. The heavier, winter items are stored towards the bottom, and for most spring/summer races I'm just reaching for a skinsuit.

Castelli Race Rain Bag 1.jpg

Castelli has prioritised reducing pre-event faff to a minimum, as the last thing you want before you head to the start line is undue stress. Having dedicated compartments for smaller items like warmers, socks, mitts and overshoes means that they're always in the same place, making a last-minute kit adjustment much easier.

The bag is made using a pretty standard rucksack material. It's pretty resistant to wear and doesn't look worn despite sitting on the tarmac and other rough surfaces in car parks. The zippers that Castelli has used on the outside of the bag are oversized and really easy to open quickly. The shoe compartment is vented and can be detached from the rest of the bag if not needed. You get a name panel on the top of the bag for easy identification.

Castelli Race Rain Bag 4.jpg

Under the flip-open top there are two mesh pockets. They're perfect for little items that you'll need for every race as you can see what's in there and get at the contents quickly.

Castelli Race Rain Bag 6.jpg

Packing kit back into the bag is quick too, and once I get home from a race, the small size means that this isn't getting in the way when left in front of the washing machine. Once the kit is dried, the bag can be packed up again with everything in its place, ready for the next race. The ease of organisation that this bag brings is great.

What's not so great is the price compared to a basic rucksack which, if you want to ride to your event, is going to be much more useful. It is, however, much cheaper than Scott's RC Raceday 60, though that is a highly organised bag. Scicon's Race Rain Bag is similar, just with slightly more organisation, but the £104 price tag is quite a lot higher.

> Buyer's Guide: 17 of the best rucksacks

At the same price, you've got KitBrix Kit Bags. These come with a shoulder strap, allowing you to ride to a race and they also zip together should you buy multiple bags. For me, the slightly larger size of the Castelli bag and the extra compartment for shoes fit my requirement better.

If you're going to be going to a lot of cycling events, be that sportives or races, you'll be well-served by the Castelli Race Rain Bag. It's perfect for packing up at the start of the year and holding your kit for any conditions.

Verdict

Well made, fits loads of easily accessed kit and compact size – all of which makes this easy to recommend

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Castelli Race Rain Bag

Size tested: 30 x 25 x 20cm

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?

Castelli says, "Traditionally the Race Rain Bags sit in the team car so a rider can request personal gear mid-race without the need to go into the riders main bag. The Castelli Race Rain Bag has multiple mesh pockets to organise everything from spare gloves to your Gabba. But it's not just for racers these bags are great for sportive riders too - the multiple pockets make organising and finding your kit really easy helping to take the stress out of 6 am car park kit selections.

"Two is the ideal number, for any rider to own, use the rider name label to mark the bags wet and dry and pack one each for those conditions. No more confusing Thermoflex and Nano-Flex arm warmers, or losing your nano Omloop's among your Primo's, 5 minutes before your start.

"The Castelli Race Rain Bag also has a detachable vented shoe bag use it for carrying shoes or to keep your wet smelly kit in quarantine till you get home."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Castelli:

Key Features

The pro's choice for race day essentials

Bottom zipped vented shoe compartment

Shoe compartment can be separated

Loads of internal mesh pockets

Flip open top pockets

Reflective accents

Name panels

External dimensions 30 x 25 x 20cm

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

This is looking like it'll last really well. I wouldn't be surprised if it does over 10 years.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

I know it's just a bag, but it has taken away some of the pre-race stress as it's much easier to leave this packed with kit than have to repack a rucksack a few times a week.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No signs of wear from rough car park surfaces.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Pricey compared to a small holdall, but good against closer rivals. To its credit, it's well made and does everything that it claims, and it's also a one-time purchase.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Perfectly. Compact yet holds everything I need.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It'll hold all of the kit that I need for any road race all season. It's also very easy to organise.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The lack of a shoulder strap limits this to driving to races only.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Much cheaper than Scicon's Race Rain bag. The biggest challenger is KitBrix which is better for those who want to ride to their races.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Holds all the kit that I need for racing in a wide range of conditions while also being very compact. A detachable shoulder strap would make this a perfect 10.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

3 comments

Avatar
eminusx [14 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Would this also function as a 'cooler bag' of sorts? or is it simply a garment bag?

I need something to keep in the car boot that will keep a few bidons cool for when I return several hours later. . .

Avatar
Liam Cahill [178 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
eminusx wrote:

Would this also function as a 'cooler bag' of sorts? or is it simply a garment bag?

I need something to keep in the car boot that will keep a few bidons cool for when I return several hours later. . .

It has no insulation at all. So best get a cheap cool bag for that.

Avatar
cdamian [260 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I have one of these for a while now. I use as cycling clothes and nutrition bag when I am travelling somewhere with a car and bike. It is also useful on organized cycling trips if you have a support car.

If you don't pack it with clothes you can even fit in a helmet.

Quality is very good and it has tons of pockets. There are so many pockets that it sometimes takes me a while to figure out where I put the thing I am looking for.

Originally I was looking for the Scicon Race Rain Bag, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I wonder how that one compares.