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Topeak's Escape Pod is an 'official' take on the DIY water bottle tool carrier, but with a few neat additions to make it a more stylish without ramping up the price.
The Escape Pod – this is the small (520cc) version, but there are medium (620cc) and large (850cc) ones too – isn't exactly ground-breaking. It's a refinement of an old solution. Over the years many have modified water bottles to carry extra kit, but what I like about Topeak's rendition is the addition of a removable neoprene bag.
This stops tools and anything else rattling around, causing noise and creating damage to the walls of the tub. Security is further increased by the foam disc squashing down from under the lid.
Capacity is pretty good too, even in this small version. Topeak reckons it swallows a mini-tool, CO2 inflator and cartridge, a spare tube (700c x 18/25mm) and two tyre levers – and you know what, it does, easily. I also managed to squeeze in some cash and puncture patches as well.
When the bag is full it can be a little tricky to manhandle in and out of the bottle neck, but it's not exactly a big issue.
The bottle itself is a little bit cheap and cheerful, but it does the job and fits securely in all of the bottle cages I tried. It's started to get scratches from the cages, but they don't really show up until you are really close.
The neoprene bag, on the other hand, is well stitched and pretty robust.
I think £10.99 is pretty decent for what you're getting. True you could make your own with an old water bottle and some padding, but this gives a much more refined look and feel (and saves you the hassle). What's more, it's £6 cheaper than the Giant Tool Capsule and is also cheaper than the £15 Vel Tool Bottle.
Overall, I think the Topeak Escape Pod is great way of carrying around tools and spares providing you don't mind sacrificing a water bottle cage. The combined quality of the parts are decent, it does the job well and it should take plenty of abuse.
A sensibly priced, rattle free solution to carrying your tools and spares
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Escape Pod
Size tested: Small
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?
Topeak say, "The Escape Pod allows you to store a mini tool, CO2 inflator, tire levers, spare tube, a mini pump (Large Pod) or any essential gear for your ride. The rigid and durable Escape Pod features interior foam padding and neoprene bag to keep contents quiet and accessible. Easily slides into most water bottle cages giving you the perfect way to carry extra gear on your next adventure!"
It's a simple design with a couple of neat tweaks.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CAPACITY: 520 cc
MATERIAL: Engineering grade polymer
ATTACHMENT: Water bottle cage
SIZE: 13.8 x ø 7.4 cm / 5.4' x ø 2.9'
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Holds your tools and spares firmly, avoiding noise from road vibrations.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Getting the full bag in and out can be a tight squeeze.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It is cheaper than many other solutions that require the use of your bottle cage.
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
The neoprene bag is a neat addition to this tool carrier, which takes a simple design and refines it. The overall quality is good for not a huge amount of money.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!