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review

Topeak PakGo GearPack

9
£109.99

VERDICT:

9
10
High quality hardshell kit bag works brilliantly for both travel and home storage
Pockets are the perfect proportions
A great size
The hardshell is sturdy and protective
Relatively heavy
Weight: 
1,340g

The Topeak Pakgo GearPack is not only a great way to transport riding kit easily and safely, it works really well as neat home storage too. The numerous pockets are perfectly proportioned and the pack is perfectly sized for planes. It's expensive and relatively heavy for a kit bag, but the quality, performance and hardshell protection make it worthwhile.

During the last few months I've travelled a fair bit with road and cyclocross bikes, and the Topeak Pakgo GearPack has quickly become essential.

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At 41 x 31 x 30 cm the GearPack is a really good size for taking shoes, helmet, spares and kit without a tight squeeze, and it's inside the usual cabin luggage limits for planes, too. I've found its boxy shape excellent for storage at home too, as it fits efficiently into tight spots (and perfectly into Ikea cube shelves...)

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - top.jpg

Empty it weighs 1.28kg – not super light, but still not enough to feel heavy fully loaded or trouble airline scales. The two side compartments are hardshell, which offers good protection for the contents (something it's easy to appreciate when packing a helmet).

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - clothing pocket.jpg

The whole bag folds right down when empty so it's not bulky to store, the two handles are sturdy, and the detachable shoulder straps convert it into a backpack.

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - shoe pocket.jpg

Inside the GearPack is compartmentalised really well with well-sized slots for shoes, a helmet and general 'kit' – an HRM, gloves, chamois cream and the like.

The two hard shell side compartments are great for spares, chain lube and so on, plus for stashing sweaty or wet kit post ride (the lining is waterproof to prevent damage, and there are drain holes in the bottom).

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - side pocket.jpg

There are four further small internal pockets – I use these for valuables, the Garmin and food – and an array of outer straps for lashing on extra gear.

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - storage pockets.jpg

Topeak even recommends the folded-down hardshell as a tray for shoes and kit during triathlon transitions.

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - helmet pocket.jpg

Basically, the pockets cover all the bases. Yes, you can use a standard gym bag for travelling, but the GearPack's organisation and shaping just makes the whole process easier.

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - clothing pocket open.jpg

The construction is high quality, with that rugged hardshell and solid straps and zips, but at £109.99, the Topeak PakGo GearPack is an expensive replacement for a £20 gym bag. It does, however, offer useful features regular bags lack.

2020 Topeak Pakgo Gear Pack - mesh pocket.jpg

The £59.95, sports-focused KitBrix Bag is similar, but significantly smaller with fewer pockets. Castelli does the similarly-sized Weekender Duffle for £85, though its pockets are for clothing and laptops rather than cycling gear, while the Scicon Essentials Cycling Kit Race Day Rain Bag also has fewer pockets, is less versatile and costs more at £115.

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I'm really impressed with the Topeak PakGo GearPack. I've been surprised how much I've used it day to day, and am now a massive fan of dedicated kit bags for cycling gear. It's certainly better than a gym bag, and the GearPack is a well constructed, well designed way to store and transport your kit.

Verdict

High quality hardshell kit bag works brilliantly for both travel and home storage

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak PakGo GearPack

Size tested: 40L

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 says: "Carry all your cycling gear in one easy-to-pack bag when you head out for your riding adventure. Featuring the same cool shape as our PakGo travel cases, the hard shell GearPack features three divided compartments, six side pockets and keeps your helmet, cycling & post ride clothes, water bottles and more neatly organized, packed and ready to go."

The bag meets the brief; on holiday with my cyclocross bike, it could easily fit all the equipment I needed to travel with.

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

From Topeak:

COMPARTMENTS - 3 compartments, 6 side pockets

CAPACITY - 38 L / 2320 ci

MATERIAL - 600 D / EVA foam

MAX LOAD CAPACITY - 3 kg / 6.61 lb

ADDED FEATURES - Shoulder strap, Carry handle

SIZE - 41 x 31 x 30 cm / 16.1' x 12.2' x 11.8'

WEIGHT - 1.28 kg / 2.82 lb

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The zips, exterior and pockets all feel really high quality.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

The hardshell makes this more durable than your typical kit bag.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
4/10

1.28kg is heavier than most bags of this size, but fully packed weight easily clears 'small baggage' weight limits for planes.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
5/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

At £110 it's expensive for a kit bag, but average against other hardshell luggage.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The numerous pockets are the perfect shape and size for their purpose.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Relatively heavy for a kit bag.

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

at £109.99, the Topeak PakGo GearPack is an expensive replacement for a £20 gym bag. It does, however, offer useful features regular bags lack. For instance, the £59.95, sports-focused KitBrix Bag is similar, but significantly smaller with fewer pockets.

Castelli does the similarly-sized Weekender Duffle for £85, though its pockets are for clothing and laptops rather than cycling gear, while the Scicon Essentials Cycling Kit Race Day Rain Bag also has fewer pockets, is less versatile and costs more at £115.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I have!

Use this box to explain your overall score

This bag exceeded my expectations in making travel really easy with bike gear, and it actually works really well for storing equipment at home too. Its design and construction are high quality. If it was significantly cheaper it could be a 10 – it's a lot to spend on a bag – but even so it's a nine.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 182cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Pro  My best bike is: Specialized CruX Expert

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, cyclo cross, club rides, Gravel on a CX bike

Nick hails from the west country and combines riding bikes with hitting balls with cricket bats and golf clubs. You'll find him riding a mix of road, cyclocross and XC MTB.

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