Best bike bags and boxes for cycling travel 2024

Protect your bike and reduce stress when you travel with one of these best bike bags and boxes

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best bike bags

The quick list

  • 1. Best overall
  • 2. Easy to use
  • 3. Best value
  • 4. Most portable
  • 5. Most versatile
  • 6. Most robust

How we test

Best bike bags and boxes 2024.

Image shows Evoc bike box

The list in brief ↴ 1. Best overall 2. Easy to use 3 . Best value 4. Most portable 5. Most versatile 6. Most robust

Advice How we test

Riding new roads and exploring different places bathed in warm sunshine is one of the great joys of cycling, but getting you and your bike there safely can be the most stressful part of a cycling holiday . Some riders choose to hire a bike whilst on holiday, but for others, part of the attraction is the opportunity to ride their familiar bike up famous climbs or through beautiful landscapes - no one wants a week of cycling spoiled by an ill-fitting bike or uncomfortable saddle.

If you decide to fly with your own bike, then you have the choice of using a hard box or a soft bag, each with pros and cons which we will investigate below. If you choose to drive to your destination instead, however, you can read our guides to the best bike racks for cars  and the  best caravan and motorhome bike racks .

Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 bike bag

Best overall

The AeroComfort's soft exterior houses a metal structure to which you fasten your frame so it's held securely. There is very little disassembly required and as the bag is pretty light there is plenty of potential to pack extra kit inside and still be within your airline's limits.

Read more below

Evoc bike travel bike bag

Best for ease of use

As the Evoc Bike Bag is soft, it's light and easy to store when not in use. There is plenty of padding provided to protect your bike when it's in the bag, and the large side opening makes it simple to put the bike in place.

LifeLine EVA Bike Pod against a white background

Best value 

Very light and compact, LifeLine's EVA Bike Pod also offers excellent value for money. Its semi-rigid design offers more protection than a soft bag but they are still quite flexible and as it only has two wheels it can be a little awkward to manoeuvre around an airport.

Orucase B2 bike travel case

Most portable

Another light option, the Orucase B2 even includes rucksack-style straps which are handy if you have packed very light. There is a fair bit of disassembly required though and it can feel a bit lopsided when wheeling it around.

Thule Roundtrip bike bag

Best with integrated stand

Thule's RoundTrip Pro XT bike bag uses an internal frame that can also double as a workstand whilst on holiday, which is very handy. It's more of a reinforced bag than a hard case though and as such is quite pricey.

VeloVault 2 bike box

Most robust

One of the heavier boxes available, the VeloVault2 provides very reassuring protection for your bike. Its quality construction and overall sturdiness will ensure that your lightweight carbon frame should emerge unscathed, but there might not be much weight allowance left once this gets on the scales.

Best bike bags and boxes for cycling travel: Our picks

Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag with a bike packed away inside

Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag

1. Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 Road Bike Travel Bag

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

The AeroComfort 3.0 from Scicon is a firm favorite among the Cycling Weekly tech team. We've flown test bikes all over the world, and we like to use this carry case because it makes travelling by bike easy, hassle-free and incredibly quick. It takes just 15 minutes to pack the bike away, and even less time to put it back together.

How so? The outside is a soft, fabric bag, but inside you'll find a metal structure. You simply remove the wheels, loop your chain over a specially designed T-bar and use your quick releases to stand the bike on the metal frame, so it's immovable inside and thus a lot more secure. It couldn't be easier.

There's no need to remove anything aside from the wheels, the handlebars stay straight and don't need twisting. This does make the front end quite bulky, but we found that the protection is good, with a thick soft fabric, designated pockets for wheels, helmets and shoes, and most importantly the rear derailleur is kept off the ground. 

Read more: Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Road Bike Travel Bag full review

Multi-coloured Evoc bike travel bag

Evoc bike travel bag

2. Evoc Bike Travel Bike Bag

Whilst hard cases give the ultimate reassurance that your bike is well protected, they also take up a lot of room when out of use, and, they're heavy - limiting your ability to pack kit alongside your bike and stay within airline limits.

Enter soft cases, and this Evoc bike bag is an excellent option. Yes, it offers less protection - but the Cycling Weekly team has used it to transport press bikes on plenty of occasions (NB, we once even used a cardboard box for a personal bike, the theory is that baggage handlers will be more careful!).

This Evoc Bike bag excels in terms of ease of use, too. The side opening makes getting the bike in a cinch, and the handy Velcro makes getting the parts in the right place a piece of cake. The newer model reviewed here now has a reinforced front zip, meaning it should last longer.

Read more: Evoc bike travel bike bag full review

LifeLine EVA Bike Pod

LifeLine EVA Bike Pod

3. LifeLine EVA Bike Pod

Although it's a reasonably compact bike box, the LifeLine Bike Pod will take a smaller-sized bike without too much disassembly. It rolls on two rear wheels, with two front feet to stand on. Quick-release wheels, although not wheels with thru-axles, can be secured to the outside of the case.

Our tester found that the LifeLine Bike Pod is relatively easy to move around, although since you have to lift the front end and the carrying handle doesn't let you wrap your hand through it, longer carries can be tiring. 

The sides of the bag are quite flexible, so it would be advisable to wrap wheels and frame well inside to prevent crushing. We were also concerned about how robust the feet would be and how well the zip would stand repeated use, but overall, the LifeLine Bike Pod is a relatively inexpensive option for the less frequent flyer.

Read more: LifeLine EVA Bike Pod full review

Orucase B2 Bike Travel Case

Orucase B2 Bike Travel Case

4. Orucase B2 Bike Travel Case

We've taken the B2 bike case on several domestic and international flights and were left impressed. It sports many welcomed features, including backpack straps and a rollable chassis. Combined with its compact, space-saving size it makes for a sleek, highly portable and trustworthy bag that we think is a great option if space is limited or you'll be traveling on serval modes of transport during your trip.

We did find that it's not the easiest to pack, and required some disassembling of your bike - so you'll need to be confident of putting your bike back together once you've arrived. It's also far from cheap, but in our opinion, it's likely a worthy investment given the ease of portability and the posibbility to save on extra fees due to its smaller size.

Read more: Orucase B2 Bike Travel Case full review

Most versatile

Thule Round Trip Pro XT bike bag

Thule Round Trip Pro XT bike bag

5. Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Bike Bag

The Thule RoundTrip Pro XT falls into the not-quite-a-bike-bag category. It's a softshell but has some structural implants that should keep your bike safe through the worst of it.

However, the bag does have some weak areas and for the price you pay this doesn't induce confidence. But, maybe we're being picky. This is a solid purchase, undoubtedly, and we always add extra bubble wrap around our frames, whatever we're packing them into.

The base, which holds the bike static in the case, can have three legs added, transforming it into a workstand for when you get to your destination - which is a rather 'nice to have' too.

Read more: Thule RoundTrip Pro XT review

Blue Velovault2 bike box

Blue Velovault2 bike box

6. VeloVault2 bike box

We really liked the VeloVault2 bike box when we had it in for test. It's big and robust, which is what many cyclists need to achieve peace of mind when flying with a bike.

However, weighing in at 12.5kg means it should sneak under most airline weight controls. The company has sweated the small stuff, too: the clasps are quality, it's easy to close and it rolls well.

VeloVault2 bike box has a new carrying handle, longer wheelbase, improved strut design and it is roof box ready. Oh, and it's now bright blue... other colours are available if that's not to your liking.

Read more: VeloVault2 full review

How do I pack a bike into a bike bag or box?

Packing the bike into the bag or box sometimes takes quite a bit more effort than expected. The process may differ slightly depending on the specific box or bag, but the general process goes something like:

- Remove the pedals - Partially deflate tires and remove the wheels - Remove the seatpost and saddle - Remove the handlebar from the stem or remove the handlebar and stem together from the steerer - Undo rear derailleur (but leave it on the chain) - Secure the frame and components in the box via the manufacturer-approved method - Pack the tools required to rebuild the bike!

There are a few more mechanical adjustments you might make, and if you’re handy with a spanner they shouldn't cause too much grief. For example, you might have to remove the chainset. This will keep it protected en route but it’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll have to reassemble it when you arrive on your hols, so if you're no spanner wizard it might be best to avoid this. It may also mean packing extra tools, which means extra weight to carry around.

Best bike bags vs best bike boxes: which is better?

You might think this is an easy question: it's surely a box, right? However, that's probably before you’ve taken weight into consideration.

A lighter weight bike bag influences two things: how comfortable it is to carry and lug about but also how much of your baggage allowance it eats into - and how much the baggage supplement might be.

The trade off is in the level of protection: a hard flight case like box is going to take the knocks better than a soft bag. That said, soft bike bags will usually protect your bike from the worst of it and they also tend to be cheaper than bike boxes.

There is an in between option. The best bike bags tend to have some more structural inserts inside but retain more of a bag's lightweight nature. Other bike bags can have nifty, in-built storage techniques. For example, some have built-in dropouts that allow you to stand your frame upright and hold it tight.

Do I need to add extra padding to my bike bag?

Regardless of how tough your bag or box might be, you’ll definitely want to pad the important parts inside it. We’d recommend bubble wrap and foam piping. If you’re lucky, your local bike shop might have excess from all the bikes they get sent in. Don't forget to put it around the frame in places where other items in the box might rub against it.

A road cyclist riding with a mountain in the background

Riding in the mountains

A good bike box or bag has to tread the line between providing the best protection for your bike and yet still being light, easy to carry and simple to pack. These boxes have been used to carry various bikes on multiple flights, being packed and unpacked several times each. They all protected the bikes from any transport damage and none were particularly difficult or awkward to pack but each has its advantages and disadvantages that may clinch the deal for you.

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Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.

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best bike travel case 2023

The Geeky Cyclist Logo

The Best Bike Bags and Cases for Travels in 2023

  • By : Nicholas Watts
  • Updated : April 11, 2024

We are a reader supported site. We earn commissions when you buy through links on our site. Learn more.

With air travels, I often hear horror stories and seen videos where the baggage handlers treat the bike bag just like another suitcase.

One of the primary concerns most cyclists have is whether their bike makes it out from transit safely. The first thing I’d do when I pick up my bike bag at the airport is to do a quick inspection before leaving the airport.

Packing your bike in a cardboard bike box provides very little protection, and you risk it getting damaged during transit.

It’s worthwhile to invest in a bike bag, and even more importantly, know how to pack your bike correctly . No bike bag is 100% damage-proof but at least they do offer wy more protection compared to a cardboard bike box especially if the bike costs thousands.

On this page, I’ll discuss the difference between bike bags and share some of the popular ones used by cyclists to travel.

A Quick Glance : Our Favorite Bike Bags and Cases

Soft Shell Bike Bag : Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 “One of the lightest and easiest to pack bike bags.”

Hard Shell Bike Case : B&W Bike Box 2 “Value for money for a hard shell in terms of price vs the amount of protection.”

Soft Shell Bike Travel Bags

Scicon aerocomfort 3.0.

Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Black

  • Type of Bike : Road
  • Compatibility : Quick Release, Thru Axle
  • To Remove : Wheelset
  • Weight : 8 kg

Scicon is arguably the most popular bike bag brand today.

It’s used by 7 out of 18 World Tour pro cycling teams in 2018 which includes the likes of Bora-Hansgrohe, Mitchelton-Scott, Bahrain-Medida, AG2R La Mondiale, and Quick-Step Floors.

The Aerocomfort 3.0 is the improved version of the very popular 2.0 version. Scicon has made several improvements based on customer feedback. The 3 most significant improvements are the addition of the thru-axles compatibility, new wheels system which was prone to breaking previously, and a reinforced internal bike mount.

It’s still without a doubt the lightest bike travel bag in the market today .

At only 8 kg, it’s even lighter than its already lightweight predecessor. With the bike packed inside, you’re definitely way below the 20 kg allowance that most airlines impose.

The thing I really liked about the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 is the ease of packing and the minimal disassembly required. I’d say most first-timers would probably need less than 10 minutes to have their bike securely packed and ready to go.

  • Pros : One of the lightest and easiest to pack bike bags.
  • Cons : Smaller base can be unstable and prone to tilt over.

Evoc Bike Travel Bag

Evoc Bike Bag

  • Type of Bike : Road, TT, CX, MTB
  • To Remove : Wheelset, Handlebars, Saddle, Seatpost
  • Weight : 9.1 kg

Evoc is a German brand well-known for its outdoor and travel bags. This Evoc bag is among their most popular products in their lineup. The unique feature about the Evoc Bike Bag is its one bag fits all concept. The same bag can fit all bike types from road to time trial, cyclocross, and mountain bikes.

Evoc uses an interchangeable internal bike stand to mount bikes. Each type of bike would require a different type of stand due to its shape and design. If you’re buying this bag for your road bikes, make sure you remember to get the bike stand!

Packing wise, the Evoc Bike Travel Bag requires a bit more work by removing the pedals, seat posts, twisting the handlebars sideways, and removing the standard wheel.

The good thing with such removal is the bag packs down into a compact size, which makes the baggage handlers’ work easier. I bet you wouldn’t want an aggressive baggage handler handling your bags, don’t you?

  • Pros : Fits all types of bikes.
  • Cons : Outer layers are not as durable as advertised.

Thule Roundtrip Pro XT

Thule Roundtrip Pro XT

  • Weight : 8.6 kg

Thule is a Swedish company well known for its travel products. This mid-level bike bag has an internal bike mount that doubles up as a work stand, which will make assembling and disassembling your bike quick and easy.

Most road bikes will fit comfortably into the Thule Roundtrip Pro XT bag unless you’re riding anything above size 60, and it includes an adapter for thru-axles. It has a separate wheelset compartment so that your wheelset doesn’t come into contact with your bike frame.

The two roller wheels make it a snap to pull your bag wherever you need to go.

  • Pros : Internal bike mount can double up as a temporary workstand.
  • Cons : Soft case doesn’t provide 100% protection against rough baggage handlers.

Biknd Helium V4

Biknd Helium V4

  • Weight : 9.0 kg

Biknd is a Canadian brand that is all about developing innovative bike bags. In fact, their first product is the Helium bike bag which is now in its 4th version, hence the V4.

What makes the Biknd Helium V4 special is the unique way the protection mechanism is implemented. It uses inflatable airbags that strategically placed at both sides of the bag.

Packing the bike would require some disassembly work by removing the wheels, pedals, seat posts and twisting the handlebars sideways. To make packing easier, both the side and front panels can be opened completely.

Now if you’re traveling with 2 sets of wheels, you’re in luck because the bag can fit all of them. Unlike other bags where you keep one wheel on each side panel, the Biknd Helium V4 can hold 2 wheels on each side.

  • Pros : One of the best protection for a soft case.
  • Cons : Costs more than the average soft case.

Hard Shell Bike Cases

B&w bike box 2.

B&W International Bike Box 2

  • Weight : 11.5 kg

B&W is a German brand that has been making innovative outdoor bags since 1998. The Bike Box 2 is the successor to their original Bike Box and has won the prestigious 2018 German Design Award .

The B&W Bike Box 2 is among the lightest available. At almost 12 kg, you’ll most likely fall under the 20kg weight allowance most airlines allow.

However, take note that even though it can fit almost all types of bikes, you’d go above the allowable weight allowance should you fit a mountain bike, which is generally heavier than a road bike.

Packing is made easier with the two shells of the bag coming apart into 2 separate left and right. Once you’ve the bike disassembled, there are internal straps that hold it in place, and extra protection is achieved via the additional foam layers provided.

There’s no dedicated wheels storage compartment. B&W provides 2 separate wheel bags which are also placed inside the bag when you close it.

  • Pros : Most value for money for a hard case.
  • Cons : Smaller bag design means more to be removed when packing.

Thule Roundtrip Transition

Thule Roundtrip Transition Bike Bag

  • Weight : 12.0 kg

The Thule Roundtrip Transition is the hardshell equivalent of the Roundtrip Pro XT. In fact, it’s Thule’s top-level and most secure bike case.

It has a sturdy aluminum base and when combined with a strong ABS shell, it provides excellent protection to your bikes.

You can pack your road bike, TT, CX, or mountain bike with this bag, making it very versatile.

As a bonus, thru-axle adapters for 15mm and 20mm axles are included besides the standard quick release.

The unique thing about the Thule Roundtrip Transition bike case is the internal mounting stand can double up as a mobile work stand, making assembly/disassembly and maintenance easier when you’re traveling.

  • Pros : Very high-quality build from a reputable brand.
  • Cons : Heavier than the average hard case.

Scicon Aerotech Evolution X

Scicon Aerotech Evolution 3.0 Bike Travel Bag

  • Weight : 11.0 kg

The Scicon Aerotech Evolution has been around for 10 years now and the 3.0 is Scicon’s latest version which was released in late 2017. The major improvement made in this version is adding the thru-axles compatibility.

Without a doubt, the Aerotech Evolution is Scicon’s one of the most secure bike travel cases out there. With premium pricing, Scicon has ensured no corners are cut. The bag has been thoroughly tested to ensure maximum protection for your bike.

The hard shell is made of very durable and hardened plastic, or what Scicon likes to call, thermoplastic . Internally, there is padding everywhere for your bike frame and straps strategically located to hold them in place. It would require some additional work to pack your bike into the bag.

Unlike the Aerocomfort 3.0 where only the wheels are removed, you’ll need to remove pedals, seat posts and twist the handlebars in addition to that.

You probably notice by now that most hardshell cases are bulky and heavy. While it’s still bulky (the shape and size remains), Scicon has managed to bring down the weight by 1 kg compared to its predecessor by using newer and more advanced materials.

At 11 kg, the Scicon Aerotech Evolution 3.0 is among the lightest bike case available.

  • Pros : One of the lightest hard cases around and offers a very high level of protection.
  • Cons : Be prepared to pay more.

BuxomBox Ventoux

BuxomBox Ventoux Bike Case

BuxomBox is a small, UK-based company that specializes in bike boxes. In fact, bike boxes are their only product available.

The Ventoux Road is arguably the best one around when it comes to maximum protection. Its entire construction is top quality. With that, it also comes with a premium price tag. You’ve been warned.

For starters, the BuxomBox is made entirely from aluminum. It’s the same 6061 aluminum that’s used to make high-end aluminum race bikes. Not only do they look really good, but they’re also very durable and impact-resistant.

There are 3 sizes for you to choose from, depending on your bike size. Besides, you can also choose whether to support quick release, through-axle, or both.

With 4 handles, 2 at the top and 2 at the sides, you can maneuver the bag around the airport with ease. The 2 fixed and 2 caster wheels make things even easier.

  • Pros : Good looking, lightweight, and maximum protection.
  • Cons : Packing can be a chore for first-time users.

Bike Travel Cases Buying Guide

1. type of bikes.

This is the most important thing to consider when buying a bike bag or box.

The type of bike you’re planning to travel with will determine the bag’s shape and dimension and the box you’ll need.

Some newer ones like the Evoc Bike Bag , Buxom Box Ventoux , and Thule Roundtrip Transition can fit all bike types.

While it’s obvious that the bike frame of a road, cyclocross (CX) , time trial (TT), and mountain bike look different, there are more to that.

Among other differences are the handlebar’s shape, wheel hub width, and wheel size and diameter.

Geek Tip : Some bike travel cases are bike-specific, whether it’s for road, TT or mountain bike. Make sure you’re buying the right variant.

2. Quick Release vs Thru Axles

Quick Release vs Thru Axles

Today there are 2 types of braking systems for road bikes.

Traditionally, all road bikes use caliper brakes but disc brakes are getting popular recently for their better braking capabilities especially in the wet.

The mechanism used to attach the wheels to the bike is different between these two.

  • Quick Release. The QR was invented by Tullio Campagnolo and has been around for more than 90 years. It’s a wheel locking mechanism found in all road bikes with caliper brakes.
  • Thru Axles. The TA was first introduced in mountain bikes in the ’90s. Today, it’s used in all disc brakes road bikes. The axle needs to be pulled out completely to remove the wheels.

Why is this important?

The bike frame has a different design at the dropouts to accommodate either Quick Release or Thru Axles. And so does the bike bag to fit the different dropouts especially if they have an internal mounting stand.

Geek Tip : Newer travel cases are compatible with both quick release (caliper brakes) and thru axles (disc brakes) through an adaptor.

3. Ease of Packing

You’ll need to do some disassembling to pack your bike. You’ll need some of the common bike tools such as hex and torx wrenches .

The amount of disassembly needed depends on the bike travel case, but in general, this isn’t too hard to accomplish. If in doubt, you can always check out YouTube .

Thule Bicycle Travel Bag

All bike travel cases are designed to fit bikes without the wheels, so no matter the make or model, you should expect that removal of the wheels will be necessary.

Some travel cases like the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 require minimal disassembly, while all bike boxes require quite a number of components to be removed prior to packing.

Generally, the list below needs to be removed :

  • Rear Derailleur
Geek Tip : How good you’re with the wrench is an important factor when it comes to choosing a bike bag or box that suits your needs.

4. Airline Weight Allowance

If you’re planning to fly with your bike, weight can be an important consideration. Most airlines have a check-in baggage weight allowance between 20 to 30 kg.

Bike boxes weigh more (anywhere between 12 to 18 kg) due to the hard and solid materials used.

On the other hand, bike bags weigh less, between 8 to 12kg, and can be carried more easily when you’re on the move.

Depending on your bike’s weight, you’ll probably end up with around 16 to 25kg baggage check-in weight.

Bike Bags vs Bike Cases : Which is Better?

You’ll often see cyclists pack their bikes either in a bike bag or a bike case. So you’d probably be wondering;

Which one is better to transport for you?

Bike bag or bike case?

  • Bike Case is the harder version and provides the most protection for your bike and is very durable. They’re made from tough materials like thermoplastics. It’s also sometimes referred to as a hard case or hard shell.
  • Bike Bag is the softer version that typically has internal structures to maintain the bag’s shape and protect your bike. The soft outer sides are made from nylon or canvas which could be vulnerable to tears over time. Some refer to it as soft shellbags.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which bike bag can fit my road, TT, and mountain bikes?

I understand that some of us have a few bikes and the bike we travel with depends on the type of riding we’re going to do.

In this situation, I recommend you consider a bike bag that is one size fits all. Generally, these bike bags don’t have internal mounts which limits your choice of bikes.

Have a look at the Biknd Helium V4 or the B&W International Bike Box 2 .

2. How do I provide additional protection to my bike on top of what’s provided by the bike bag or box?

There are several ways to do this. You can either,

  • Buy additional foam paddings and wrap them around the top tube, down tube, seat stays, and fork. 
  • Use a cable tie to tie the chain to the chainring to avoid it from falling off.
  • Remove the rear derailleur if it gets in the way.

3. What is the lightest bike bag and box available today?

Many cyclists concur that the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 is the lightest bike bag today. At only 8 kg, you’ll have plenty of weight allowance left to pack your bike.

For the bike box, you can choose from either the Scicon Aerotech 3.0 or the B&W International Bike Box 2 .

Author Recommended Reads

  • How to Pack Your Bike for Air Travels
  • How to Ship A Bike and How Much Will it Cost?

Nicholas Watts

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The Best Bike Travel Case in 2024

Whether you are transporting your bike in your car with luggage and other items or on an airplane at the mercy of baggage handlers, a bike travel case protects your bike and the money you have invested in it.

Best bike travel case

In addition, if you are taking your bike with you, then you are planning on using it. So you are not only protecting your bike, but you are also protecting your investment in your trip. So either way, a bike travel case makes sense.

We have created a buyer’s guide to discuss the important features you should consider when choosing a bike travel case.

SCICON Sports Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Triathlon Bike Travel Bag

  • Practical and versatile: This EVOC bike bag is light, stable and offers enough space for all kinds of bikes, including cross country, all mountain, enduro, freeride, downhill, road or triathlon.
  • Maximum mobility: The bike bag storage is easy to transport thanks to the extra-wide Clip-On Wheel chassis and

Evoc BIKE BAG lightweight bike transport bag, almost all bikes

  • Practical and versatile: The EVOC BAG is light, stable and offers enough space for all kinds of bike types, including cross country, all mountain, enduro, freeride, downhill, road or triathlon.
  • Maximum mobility: The extra-wide chassis, grip options and particularly smooth gliding wheels make it a great bike storage

1. Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA – Best Triathlon Bike Travel Case

Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag Review

The Scicon Aerocomfort travel bag was designed with input from time trial riders and triathletes. You do not need to remove the seat post or the handlebar, so your bike is out of the case and ready to ride quickly. The case measures 50.7 inch x 17.7 inch x 38.5 inch. It is lightweight at 17.64 pounds empty, which will add less to your baggage weight limit and fees.

The case is made of nylon and includes padding and rigid inserts to protect your bike. The base holds your bike upright in the case and can be used as a bike stand. It is compatible with both the quick-release and thru-axle systems. For maneuverability, the

Aerocomfort’s eight ball bearing wheels rotate 360° to help it turn corners. For security, it includes a TSA padlock that allows airline security to easily inspect the bag. It also offers a 3/4 length zipper and two wheel pockets.

2. EVOC Road Bike Bag Pro – Best Hybrid Soft/Hard Shell Bike Case

Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro Reviews

The EVOC Road Bike Bag Pro has a hybrid soft/hard shell design to help you pack and unpack your bike easily.

How easy? The only pieces you’ll need to disassemble are your wheels and pedals. The bag was designed with an extra wide wheel chassis so it’s sure to fit most road and time trial bikes.

To ensure that your precious bike is protected the case has aluminum slide rails from front to back.

All the extra protective materials sound heavy to some, but EVOC thought ahead. The travel case has clip on wheels and extra handles so you can maneuver through airports, bus and train stations, or just getting into your hotel room.

The case’s lid is made of highly durable polycarbonate and the pressure-proof P600D PU sides are strengthened with removed hard plastic rods.

Along with the bag, EVOC also provides a bike stand, wheel bags, and a clip-on front wheel for those who want a little extra protection.

If you travel by plane, the bag has a TSA approved lock if they need to look in your bag.

Bikers who have bought the bag like it because it’s makes packing their bike easy. There’s minimal assembly because it’s a soft and hard traveling case. And, when not in use, the bag can be folded up and stored in a discreet spot. It’s not the best for overseas trips but the bag is ideal for short trips close by.

I’d recommend this bike bag if you frequently travel within your country or make short trips with your bike. The case will be perfect and you can be assured your bike will be in good hands.

3. Evoc Bike Travel Bag – Most Versatile Bike Travel Case

Evoc Bike Travel Bag Reviews

The size of a case is one of the most important factors. How much will you have to disassemble your bike for it to fit in the case? If you are among the cyclists that have more than one bike, will this case fit all your bikes? How will the case fit in your car, and how will it fit in a vehicle when you reach your travel destination? Where can you store it both at home and on a trip?

This case measures 53.2 inches x 31.5 inches x 15 inches. The weight of the case packed with your bike is not only something you have to manage with other luggage, but it will also be calculated into your baggage weight limit and baggage fees. This soft case weighs 18.9-pounds empty.

When Evoc was designing this case, they took into consideration the extra protection provided by a hard case versus the weight, maneuverability, and pliability of a soft case. They chose to create a soft case. The Evoc bike travel bag is made from rip- and tear-resistant ripstop nylon with a polyurethane coating that provides water-resistance. It has 10-millimeter padding and rubber reinforcement to protect your bike. This bike bag provides a full-zippered enclosure, a zippered pocket on the front, several handles, two wheel bags, an accessory bag, and 2.5-inch inline skate wheels with reinforced wheel pockets.

To fit your bike in this bag, take off the wheels, turn the handlebars parallel to the frame, and use the padded straps provided to secure your bike in the bag. Place the wheels in their bags. This bag will easily hold 29-inch bikes, road bikes, time-trial bikes, and cyclocross bikes

4. Thule RoundTrip Transition – Most Protected Bike Travel Case

Thule Roundtrip Transition Reviews

Thule makes hard-shell bike cases that make it one of the most protective cases on the market. It would be a good choice for those who travel internationally with bikes for pleasure or races.

The bike’s safety is guaranteed since the bike case is made from ABS shell with a durable rail of lightweight aluminum. This construction cradles and protects your bike during transport.

This would be especially important during air transport since bag attendants never handle any luggage with care.

Additionally, the bike case has multiple functions and can be used as a bike holder and work stand. If you bring your own tools, it would save you a trip to the bike store after landing. You can adjust and assemble your bike. And, it would ensure your bike is put together properly.

The inside of the case has a built-in fork mount that makes it easy to disassemble and assemble your bike.

As this is a hard-shell case, it won’t be easy to lug around everywhere. Luckily, the case comes with wheels and handles which makes it less burdensome to “carry” around an airport.

Bikers like it because it’s easy to travel with on planes. And, is easy to use once they understand how everything works. The case does a great job of packing everything in so nothing gets damaged- no matter how the airlines treat it. And, most didn’t have a problem wheeling the case around the airport.

I highly recommend this for people who go on long journeys with their bikes. You’ll see all the damage done to the case and your bike will come out unharmed.

5. Scicon AeroTech Evolution X TSA Hard Case

Scicon Aerotech Evolution X Review

The Scicon AeroTech Evolution X TSA hard bike case offers bikers padded protection and enough space for all the bike parts while being lightweight. Of course, there is minimal disassembly on your part when you need to travel with your bike.

The case was specifically designed for race bikes and can accommodate nearly every bike size.

Inside the case, you’ll find a suspended frame system that holds the bike in place while offering stability and protection. Just like what a seatbelt does for you.

The case has special storage space for your pedals, saddle, and wheels when you take apart your bike. To make things easier, you won’t need to remove your handlebars. However, you will need to loosen them and turn them to ensure they fit into your bike box.

If you travel by plane, the case is built with TSA approved key locks. This ensures that your bike is safe and customs has access to the bike if needed. This holds true for airports in the USA, Canada, and other major international airports.

Yes, the case sounds bulky and heavy and hard to move, but no fear. Even for the smallest triathletes out there, it’s easy to travel with. The wheel system rotates in a circle so it ensures your bike case won’t fall down and you’ll silently traverse the airport terminals.

I recommend this bike case if you need one that will last for years and is durable. There is some disassembly required for this case. Be sure you’re comfortable with that part before you buy it.

6. Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Bike Case

Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Reviews

First, measure the parts of your bike or bikes that you intend to leave in one piece when you are traveling. Then check the sizes of the different cases to make sure they are large enough.

The Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Bike Case measures 49.5 inches x 11.8 inches x 35 inches. Now calculate the weight of the items that you will be packing in your bike case and add that to the weight of the empty cases. This is what you will be transporting to and from the airport and your hotel. It will also be included in your baggage weight limit and fees. The Thule RoundTrip case weighs 19-pounds empty.

This soft case is made from durable ripstop nylon with aluminum supports and can be used for road bikes, cyclocross bikes, and mountain bikes with a 46-inch wheelbase or less. It offers four integrated wheels, five integrated handles, and two 29-inch wheel bags. Since it is a soft case, when it is not in use, it folds up compactly for easy storage.

7. B&W International Bike Guard Curv

B&W Bike Guard Curv Travel Box Review

The Bike Guard Curv® Case has been designed to provide you with the protection of a hard case at a reduced weight. This also reduces the concern of excessive baggage fees. It weighs 18.1 pounds empty without the protective inserts, which is in the range of soft cases. With the protective inserts, its weight only goes up to 24 pounds, which does not take that much extra off of your airline baggage weight limit for you to skip receiving the extra protection of a hard case. The Bike Guard Curv® uses self-reinforced polypropylene (PP) Curv®-material. It is weatherproof, scratch-resistant, eco-friendly, and 12 times stronger yet lighter than ABS plastic.

The two sides are not attached but instead interlock. This protects the case from “slide-by” compression. For storage, the two sides can be nested inside of each other, which saves space, especially in a hotel room. The case can be packed with only one of the two pieces. This case was designed for 29-inch mountain bikes, road bikes, and triathlon bikes. The Bike Guard Curv® has two fixed wheels and two free-rolling wheels. The four handles give you the option of two carrying handles, a handle for pulling, and another adjustable handle for pulling. A TSA pad-lock can be attached to lock the case.

The interior inserts include two wheel guards, foam padding for between the frame and the wheels, a rear derailleur protector, a foam spacer for the handlebar, a foam block for the chainring, and four frame accessory bags.

8. BIKND Helium V4

Biknd Helium V4 Bike Bag Review

The BIKND Helium V4 bike case is a light and easy-to-carry case with air protection.

To ensure maximum protection, the bike has inflatable padding which is truly one of a kind.

And, what makes this case even more unique is its size. It’s the smallest bike case with the most protection. It can fit in the trunk of the smallest cars.

The case was designed with additional compartments for all your bike accessories and even an extra wheel set.

Although it is small, you won’t have to disassemble your bike that much.

Like the EVOC case, this one uses both soft and strategically placed hard materials to make it incredibly protective at a low weight.

The inflatable parts of the case are on both sides of the frame and give the same protection as a hard case but without the extra weight.

Bikers like this bag because it is light weight with strong protection technologies, which make it easy to fly with. The bag opens 360 degrees which makes it easy to pack and unpack the bike. It’s compatible with most road bikes which makes it useful for a triathlon family.

I’d recommend this bag once the company fixes the airbag technology issues. There have been reports of the bags not staying inflated for the entire journey.

9. PRO Mega Bike Travel Case

Pro Mega Bike Travel Case Review

The PRO Mega Bike Travel Case is a larger soft case. The size makes it quick and easy to pack, including just dropping the seatpost. The large size leads to a debate over whether you need to remove the handlebars or not. Some just loosen the handlebars and turn them parallel to the frame. The PRO Mega Bike Case measures 51 inches x 10 inches x 30 inches.

Despite its size, this bag does not weigh that much more than the other soft cases. Even with all the packing inserts included, this case only weighs 18.1 pounds empty.

The hard plastic base with the aluminum frame and the packing inserts are the highlights of this bag. There are also two plastic poles at each end to add support to the bag. The base has movable brackets for attaching the front and rear axles. Since the brackets can be moved, you can adjust them for your bike’s wheelbase. The maximum wheelbase that can be accommodated is around 47 inches.

You take off the wheels and secure the dropouts to the base using your skewers. If you have some old skewers, you do not need to put your current skewers at risk. There are straps to hold the skewers in place. The brackets have two levels for attaching your bike. The lower level is intended for taller bikes and mountain bikes. There is a chain holder on the rear bracket that keeps the chain under pressure along with a chain cover.

The packing inserts feature large padded blocks that can be Velcroed where needed, including two for the head and seat tube junctions on the frame.

This case is made with foam-padded, ripstop nylon. There are pockets on the side for the wheels and accessories. Inside there is a mesh bag for accessories. It has multiple handles and four wheels that can rotate 360°. These type wheels can be hard to control especially on unpaved or uneven surfaces. The extra handles can be helpful, but you will also have other luggage.

How To Fly With Your Bike

Packing a bike safely, dragging the bike transport bag or box around, and paying the exorbitant excess baggage fee is frustrating, but it’s part of our sport. Let’s make the experience as low-stress as possible by taking a few precautions.

There are two ways to get your bike to the race site: ship it days before, or bring it with you on the plane. Shipping your bike means packaging it and sending it via a carrier that will take large items. You can send it to a bike shop or any other physical destination that can take daytime deliveries. If timed properly your bike will be there waiting for you, perhaps assembled and ready to ride of you sent it to a bike shop. The downside is the planning involved and time without your precious training buddy.

Most athletes do take their bike on the plane with them though…

Taking it with you on the plane has its benefits and drawbacks. You’re always with your bike (unless the airline loses it); you can ride it the day you pack it and as soon as you reassemble it at the race site. On the other hand, you’ll need to find a vehicle big enough to transport the bag or box to and from the airports (perhaps a companion’s bike as well), and it’s going to cost you plenty in excess baggage charges unless it’s an international flight (note: this policy is changing on many airlines).

Like it or not, there’s an excess baggage charge on bikes for domestic flights, hopefully none for international flights if you have only 2 pieces of checked baggage. The fee has steadily risen from $12 since I began flying with a bike many years ago, to $60-$100 now. To me the high fee says that the airlines would really prefer not to take checked bikes, and this attitude often comes across through ticket agents and baggage carriers.

If you believe baggage handlers really don’t want to deal with your bike, you’ll understand why you’d better pack it carefully. I’ve seen bikes dropped from significant heights, luggage weighing hundreds of pounds loaded on top, and generally handled with contempt. This doesn’t mean that it’s always the case, but it happens.

The case you use and the care you take in packing your bike can make all the difference. There are padded nylon bags with supportive metal frames inside, hard ‘sandwich style’ cases with foam layers inside, and hard cases with a metal framework inside to secure your bike’s frame. All the different types of bike cases work well, but none is a guarantee that your bike will be impervious to damage. If you don’t want to spring for the $250 to $750+ price to buy your own bike case, look for a bike shop that rents them for a fraction of the cost.

If you’re doing the packing job yourself you’ll need some basic tools and minor disassembly/assembly skills. You’ll need to remove wheels, handlebars, seat, and pedals, then reassemble it at your destination. Teaching you how to do this is a job for a bike shop or a mechanically skilled friend, but I can give you a few packing tips.

Your goals are to crush-proof the bike and avoid metal against metal contact. If your bike case doesn’t have a supportive framework, you should put spacers where the wheels’ axles would normally be in the frame’s fork and rear triangle. This does much to strengthen the frame, thus avoiding damage from outside forces like weight or dropping the box/bag. When you remove the handlebar with brake and shift cables still attached, it will have to rest next to, or beside the frame. This is fine as-long-as it’s secured with substantial padding at contact points. I like to use old-style toe straps to keep the handlebar from moving around and potentially denting the frame or damaging paint.

I recommend that you be self-sufficient and bring all the tools you’ll need. Also bring rags for padding and cleaning, as well as lubricant, a pump, spare tubes and tires. Bike cases allow room for other items that may not fit into your luggage. Use this space as needed for your gear, but don’t overload, as very heavy bike cases make for irate baggage handlers!

Allow extra time when checking-in with your bike. Bicycle transport bags and cases move more slowly than normal luggage on their way to the plane and ticket agents are often baffled when presented with a passenger traveling with a bike (if you’re lucky, they may not charge you).

Make sure you have an extra day at your destination before the race. For whatever reason, bikes often don’t make it there with you. But, every airline I’ve flown with has a policy of delivering the bike for free to you at your destination.

For me, luckily, this has always occurred within 24 hours of my arrival. If the bike doesn’t make it with your other luggage, don’t panic. I’ve found that the more connections you make, the more likely your bike will get ‘lost.’ On flights with connections, my bike has been ‘delayed’ about 20% of the time!

In many years of flying with my bike, it’s always made it to my destination – eventually. But just in case it doesn’t and you’re waiting there in a panic, make an alternative plan. Maybe you could borrow a friend’s bike who’s in another race, or perhaps a loaner/rental from a local bike shop could save the day. Traveling with your bike is a drag, but it could be worse: Be glad you don’t have to travel with a surfboard or a kayak!

How to choose bike travel case

Bike bag or bike box.

The first choice is whether you want a bicycle transport bag or box, and by box, we mean a hard case, not a cardboard box. Some people will say that they have used cardboard boxes and have not had any problems. They will say they know how to pack their bike in a cardboard box so that it is safe.

Best Bike Travel Bags

As mentioned earlier, you have money invested in your bicycle and on your trip. A hard or soft case will better protect your financial investment in your bike and your trip, provide you with a better chance of never having your bike damaged when you are traveling, and prevent you from suffering the disappointment of not having your bike available to use on your trip. So we recommend that you do not try to cut corners and use a cardboard box to transport your bicycle.

For transporting your bike, you can choose a soft bag, a hard case, or a hybrid-combination bag. Softer hybrid cases can have inserts in the base and upper frames that provide some structure and protection, or they can use the wheels to provide structure. These are still lightweight and made of soft materials. Other hybrid cases are made of the semi-rigid polymer that provides more protection and weighs a little more than the cloth of the softer versions. Hybrid cases are in the mid-price range between soft and hard cases.

Soft bike travel cases are the least expensive of the three choices. They also use less of your baggage weight allowance. Therefore, they cost less to transport by airplane than hard and hybrid cases. In addition, soft cases are easier to carry than hard cases, especially if they have more than one handle such as an over-the-shoulder strap and a hand carrier. An additional advantage of a soft case is the ability to use it for a variety of bikes if you are among the cyclists who have more than one bike. As for storage when you are not using a soft case, it can be easily folded and stored out of the way. However, soft cases do not offer as much protection as hard cases or even hybrid cases once your bicycle has left your care. So the softer the bike travel case, the more carefully you need to pack your bike.

Hard cases will protect your bike the best if the case falls, is thrown by a baggage handler, or ends up at the bottom of a stack of luggage. They have hard plastic shells with interior reinforcement. The hard plastic does make these cases more likely than soft cases to slide off elevated surfaces and fall on the floor. Since they are not as flexible as a soft case, it can be harder to get your bike parts to squeeze into open spaces in hard cases. This can be an additional issue when airport employees examine and repack your case. Hard cases also pose the problem of where to store them, both at home and when you are traveling. Additionally, hard cases are the most expensive and weigh the most, so they use more of your baggage allowance and cost the most to ship.

Many cases have built-in dropouts that help your bike stand securely in the case. You can also go to a bike shop and get the dropout protectors that were used in shipping to protect your frame in case your bike is mishandled. Another consideration is whether or not the bag you choose mounts the bicycle to the base, if it does, then you need to make sure that the axle of your bicycle is compatible with the base.

Evoc Bike Travel Case Wheel

With soft bike cases weighing up to 17 pounds empty, they and most hard cases do have wheels to make it easier to handle them. Recessed wheels are better protected from damage, and wheels that can be replaced prevent your bike suitcase from becoming less functional because of a broken wheel. So be sure to check the durability of the wheels on the cases you are considering. In addition, before you are ready to pack it for a trip, check the condition of the wheels to make sure that none of them need to be replaced.

Besides the wheels, you will also need sturdy handles to help you transport your case on stairs, over curbs, and over unpaved areas. Our suggestion is to look for a case with both a sturdy top handle for carrying by hand and a sturdy shoulder strap to distribute the weight better and free your hands. Not only should the straps be sturdy, but you should check how the straps connect to the case to make sure that the connection will not break with you. Also, check to see if the straps can be easily replaced like the wheels. Additional handles on the sides will give you something to grip so that you can roll the case in tight spaces. Just as we recommended with the wheels, you should check the handles before trips to see if they need replacing.

If you are taking your case on an airplane, then locks either have to be TSA-approved or left unlocked so that airport security can examine the contents of your case. So while you are choosing a case, if the locks are not TSA-approved buy some that are TSA-approved.

Measure your bike and decide on your preferred way of packing it. With a standard 56-centimeter road bike and a normal seat post, you should be able to use most cases. Size issues arise with larger frames, integrated seat posts, and mountain bikes with full suspension. Also if you are among the cyclists that have more than one bike, you will want to make sure that the case you choose fits all your bikes.

Transporting a bike in a case can also mean considering what type of vehicle you will need to get to the airport and when you arrive at your destination. Soft cases with some disassembly can create a smaller bundle than a hard case, and you will not need a larger vehicle. Also, as mentioned earlier, hard cases present a storage issue both at home and when you are traveling

Obviously, you will be doing some amount of disassembly on your bike, and you will not want the parts just piled in the bag to scratch and bang against each other. Many cases attach the wheels to the sides of the case with quick-release skewers. Using older skewers with some padding protects your new skewers from damage. Some other cases have wheel bags. Removing the pedals and padding them is another preventive measure along with padding your tools. One recommendation for padding the various parts of your bike is pipe insulation from the hardware store.

Weight and Airline Restrictions

B&W Bike Guard Curv Travel Box Reviews

Remember you will not only be carrying other luggage, but you will be adding the weight of the case along with the weight of your bike and anything else you pack in the case. All of that will be calculated into your airline baggage weight limits. We suggest that you determine the weight of your bike’s case with everything packed inside. Then check the different airline policies and charges before you book your flight. Check to see if there are any airlines that transport bicycles for free . Some airlines with higher base ticket prices may be cheaper in the end when you add baggage fees.

Be sure you also check the maximum dimensions for luggage from various airlines before purchasing tickets. In addition, check for other restrictions such as how far in advance to book to be sure that the airline will accept your bike. Since working with a passenger who is traveling with a bicycle is a less common experience, when you find all of this information, print a copy of it and take it with you to the airport as proof in case an airline employee doesn’t know the company policy.

We have already mentioned several times that purchasing a good bike travel case is protecting what you have already spent on your bike and your trip. However, there is still quite a price range between good, protective cases. So you should be able to stay within your budget and protect your bike. If you choose a case at the higher end, you will get a more durable, protective case that is easier to transport. However, there are less expensive cases that provide adequate protection, although some of them may be smaller and require more disassembly of your bike. So while shopping for a case at the good price may not be the top reason for selecting a particular case, you can let it be a consideration without worrying that you might be buying a case that is not quite as good.

Packing Your Bike

Evoc Bike Travel Case for Road Bike

As you are considering different travel cases, think about how you will disassemble and pack your bike in each case. For most cases, you will take off the wheels, the rear derailleur, the pedals, and the seat post. If you can leave the seat post, you will probably lower it down to the frame. You will also turn handlebars so that they are parallel to the frame. If you are considering removing the chainset, we advise only doing it if you are good with a spanner. Strapping removed parts to the frame keeps parts more secure and organized in your case.

Another step in packing your bike that cyclists debate is whether or not you need to deflate the tires. While it may not be really necessary, it saves the stress of dealing with an airline employee, who thinks it’s something that must be done. This final step in considering how your bike will need to be disassembled to fit in a case should help you with choosing a case.

Travel Insurance

A final recommendation is to buy travel insurance for your bike even if your case makes it unlikely that your bike will be damaged. As stated previously, you have an investment in your bicycle and your trip. Travel insurance will protect that investment so that your bike is covered and so is the part of your trip that centers around riding your bike.

In our product reviews, we presented four soft cases and one hard case. In our buyer’s guide, we recommended that, because of your investment in your bike and your trip, other issues were more important than cutting corners on the cost of a case. So for the best protection, a hard case is really the best choice. However, spending a little more to get a better case is a one-time expense. Transporting a hard case will mean an excess baggage fee every time you travel with a hard case. That is one reason that we are choosing a soft case as our top choice.

However, we reviewed the B&W International Bike Guard Curv® Hard Bike Case which, as one of the lightest hard cases, can reduce the excess baggage fee. It also eliminates the issue of the space needed to store it because it has two sides that can nest inside of each other. However, it does not offer enough internal restraints to keep your bike secure, and the two interlocking sides are complicated to restrap. Airport security may not restrap this case once they inspect it. That is another reason that we have chosen a soft case.

Our recommendation is still to get travel insurance that will provide you with coverage on your bike for loss, damage, or misdirection, including replacement so you have a bike for the portion of your trip during which you planned to use your bike. Then you are covered even when using a soft case.

After comparing the four soft cases, we have chosen the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA as the winner. The base provides adjustable brackets for attaching your bike that accommodates different wheelbases and bike heights. It holds your bike securely and has a chain holder that keeps tension on your chain and derailleur. The base has large foam blocks that use Velcro, so they can be placed wherever they are needed to protect your bike. It is also the case that helps you pack your bike the quickest which is most important when you are at your destination. To us, all of this makes the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA the top choice.

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15 thoughts on “The Best Bike Travel Case in 2024”

Thanks, well written and useful!

Soft vs. Hard

American Airlines flies bicycles as regular luggage now, but states that if the bicycle is not in a hard-sided case it will be subject to “Fragile Handling”.

Is there a hard case for tri-bikes where you do not need to takeoff the handlebars and/or aero bars?

I know only next bike cases where you do not need to takeoff the handlebars: Evoc Pro bag and Scicon Aerocomfort Triathlon 3.0, but the Scicon is a soft case.

alan triathlon hard case, nothing to dismantle

is it available case and light weight bike made for exact fit?

For more options where you can leave handlebars on, have a look at the large aluminium Buxum Bike box, or the brand new Evoc Pro bag

Hello, I have a size 44 Trek Domane with clip on aerobars. Any recommendations for a hard bike case that will let me leave pedals, saddle, handlebars on? Or as much as possible! Thanks!

Hi Megan, Closest I can think are not hard cases: – Scicon TSA Tri Bike bag; – new Evoc Road Pro. I have the Scicon and I basically pop the wheels off my bike, set it in the bag, attach the padding, zip it and go. Please note that some airlines are requiring that handlebars are removed before accepting it regardless of what the bike case allows.

The Scicon looks like a good case but people have posted photos of broken frames when using the soft one versus the hard one.

I just flew back to NYC with my road bike in the Scicon TSA Tri Bike bag – easy to maneuver and plenty of room inside to pack all my bike and running gear and clothes – I basically didnt bring an extra luggage – bike survived the trip.

I loosensed the brake handles a bit as advised by some tri friends –

Surprised you didn’t include BikeboxAlan. Most common case I see at events, which is why I bought mine and love it.

the best one and with 7 years guarantee

I frequently use Fedex to ship my bicycling to avoid the problem of it not fitting in a rental car. Do you think any of the softsided /hybrid cases would be suitable for shipping by Fedex? Thank you, Jay

I have a carbon recumbent. Any recommendations in a cases?

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Best bike bags 2024: Bags, boxes and cases that will protect your bike when you fly

The best bike bags to protect your pride and joy from heavy-handed baggage handlers

A bike packed into a bike box

Best for roadies

Best for minimal disassembly, best for integrated handlebars.

  • Best for MTB and road bike users

Integrated repair stand

Best budget bike box.

  • Best for airbag protection

Best for low weight

  • Best simple hardcase

Easy to manouvre

  • How to choose

How we test

Quick list 1. Best for roadies 2. Best for minimal disassembly 3. Best for integrated handlebars 4. Best for MTB/road bike users 5. Best for an integrated repair stand 6. Best budget box 7. Best for airbag protection 8. Best for low weight 9. Best simple hardcase 10. Best for the nervous traveller How to choose How we test

The best bike bags, bike boxes, and travel cases for bikes are incredibly well-designed these days. 

Many cyclists travel abroad with their bikes for holidays or to compete. This means flying with your bike which can be a daunting proposition. Most of us have heard horror stories of riders opening their bike bag to find a damaged bike inside after a flight. Choosing the right bike bag or rigid travel case or box will ensure your bike is protected and will make your journey easier , meaning you can relax and just enjoy riding. 

Another thing you might want to consider while travelling with your bike is an insurance option. Even with one of the best bike bags things do occasionally happen. We have a list of the best bike insurance options, some of which cover your bike even when travelling, so if the unthinkable happens and your bike doesn't arrive in one piece, you'll want to have insurance in place to help ease the blow. 

You might also want to check out our list of the best bike torque wrenches . Modern bike components have specific torque specs and some of the options on our list will require some disassembly of your bike before use. Don't get caught at your destination without the tools you need to ensure your bike goes back together exactly how it's meant to. 

With those considerations in mind, please keep reading to see our list of the best bike travel cases and the best bike travel bags available today. We have flown with many of the bike bags in this guide, so that we can properly review packing procedures and durability on a flight. 

Best bike bags, travel cases and boxes: quick list

Best bike bags

The Evoc Pro holds a road bike with pedals and wheels removed. A hard upper section adds protection.

Read more below

Best bike bags

Popular with the pros, the Scicon AeroComfort just needs you to remove your wheels to be ready to go.

Best bike bags

Bike Box Alan's largest box, the Tri Aero Easyfit will accept bars up to 50cm wide without disassembly.

Best bike bags

Very large capacity means that this PRO bike bag can fit any type of bike with room to spare.

Best bike bags

Bikes need disassembly to pack, but this Thule bag has an integrated workstand to make reassembly easier.

Best bike bags

This B&W box makes packing easy, it closes with velcro and there are no latches or hinges to break.

Best bike bags, travel cases and boxes

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro

1. Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

The Road Bike Bag Pro pairs a soft lower and hardcase upper to offer protection without being too heavy. It includes an aluminium tray inside that attaches to the axles of the bike inside the bag, holding it secure and out of harm's way when in transit. This can double up as a workstand too, if you remove the pedals. 

To pack, only the pedals and wheels need to come off, and the saddle may need lowering. Then the frame is secured with a range of Velcro straps and purpose-built padding, the wheels go into individual wheel bags, and there's plenty of space to fill with kit, which doubles up as extra protection. 

There are internal pockets for tools and pedals, as well as an external pocket for the roller-skate-style wheel, which can be removed to prevent damage. 

The internal braces that add structure to the soft lower half are necessary, but they are stiff, so can hurt your hands when trying to get them in and out. The stitching between the upper and lower might also need care, as ours has started to show signs of wear. 

Despite that though, this is still the best bike travel case if you want to avoid any wasted time on your trip. Just check out our Instagram reel for how quickly Josh can unpack his bike for proof. 

Read more details in our full Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro review.

Scicon AeroComfort 3.0

2. Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 Road Bike Travel Bag

The beauty of the Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 TSA is you can pack your bike without turning a single bolt (unless you have thru-axles); all you have to do is remove the wheels. 

With a rigid Frame Defender metal base, the bike slots in using your quick-release or thru-axles, and comes with plenty of additional padding and a gear bag that's secured to the base under the downtube. 

At 9kg empty, the bike straps into the bag securely, and the 360-degree wheels allow for easy one-handed dragging. With all of that said, we’ve seen baggage handlers stack Scicon bags upside down on baggage carts on multiple occasions so they won’t roll away, so consider some additional padding for your handlebars and shifters.

Read more details in our full Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 TSA review.

Bike box Alan Triathlon aero easyfit bike box

3. Bike Box Alan Triathlon Aero Easyfit

Bike Box Alan makes a number of hard case bike boxes in Yorkshire, UK. The Triathlon Aero easy fit is the largest bike box the company produces and with a max width of 50cm means there is no need to disassemble the front end of your bike to pack it into the box. 

All that is required is to remove your wheels and pedals and you're good to go, making this box a great option for time trial or triathlon bikes, road bikes with more complex integrated handlebars or cable routing or for people who just don't want the extra hassle. 

The boxes are available in six different colours, we tested the red version. You can also choose customisable stickers and the box carries a 7-year manufacturing warranty as well as a range of spare parts. 

You can read more details in our full Triathlon Aero Easyfit review.

Best for MTB and Road

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: PRO

4. PRO Mega Bike Travel Case

With room to easily swallow road, TT and mountain bikes , the Pro Bike Mega Case is huge and features an aluminium base frame which connects to your bike at the axles. With so much room inside the case, the seatpost doesn't need to be removed, just lowered, and in most cases, you can get away with simply spinning your bars.

The inside of the bag has plenty of well-padded provisions to hold your frame securely, and even with the four 360-degree wheels at the bottom, the bag tracks easily in a straight line but it can be cumbersome in crowded baggage claim areas or train stations. 

The outer fabric seems to mark a bit in transit, however, it's robust and weighing a hair over 8kg you should be able to get your bike and a bit of extra gear inside before you tip into overweight baggage territory.

Thule Roundtrip Bike travel case on a white background

5. Thule Roundtrip bike travel hard case

There are some bike travel cases that require a lot of disassembly and others that don't. The Thule Roundtrip Bike Travel Case falls into the category that requires taking things apart but they've been smart to embrace the concept. Parts of the bag that add support and protection come out and assemble into a work stand. There's even a clever triangle that you rotate to match your desired front axle standard. 

You can use the work stand to keep the bike supported and at a comfortable working height while you either get it ready to travel or get it ready to ride. It's a good enough work stand that although we have a list of the best bike repair stands you might be able to get away with a two for one purchase if you aren't much of a home mechanic. 

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: BW International

6. B&W International Bike Box II

Sometimes simple is best, and that's precisely what the B&W International Bike Box II has to offer. There are no complicated packing procedures - instead, you get a few layers of foam to protect the frame from the wheels and box, and it all fits inside two interlocking plastic sides.

The clamshell design utilises six self-tightening Velcro buckles to prevent the case from slipping open, and it features a surprising number of handles given the design. B&W International has updated the case with a new plastic designed to flex and not crack, and there are no latches or hinges to break.

With room for up to a 62cm frame, the case rolls on four wheels, two fixed and two free rotating and weighs 11kg with the included padding.

Integrated airbags

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: biknd

7. Biknd Helium V4

Using unique inflatable partitions and strategically placed rigid reinforcements, the Biknd Helium V4 is one of the most well-padded cases of the bunch. With the ability to carry two wheelsets, the Helium bag puts two airbags on either side to absorb impacts while the rigid base and front cover protect fragile handlebar components.

The bag opens flat to simplify packing, and the bike connects to the frame at the axles. There are special compartments for your pump, helmet and shoes and sturdy end caps to prevent hubs from poking through the bag.

Even with the airbags, the Helium is not all that light tipping the scales a 9kg, but it does offer considerably more padding than any other soft case.

Orucase B2 bike bag

8. OruCase B2

While many airlines are abandoning the extra fees for checking bikes, some still haven't taken note, and that's where the OruCase B2 comes in handy. Travelling with the OruCase B2, when asked by desk agents what's in the bag we've told them everything from massage tables and trade show gear, to 'it's just a really weird duffel bag’ — just make sure you’re not wearing a bike t-shirt, trust us.  

The OruCase sneaks in under most airlines’ maximum external dimensions limits for baggage and features plastic armour panels that are backed by foam to keep your ride safe. You'll need to remove your pedals, handlebars, front brake, fork and seatpost, and the bag is still a tight fit, but it comes in two sizes to fit a range of frames.  

Weighing in at under 7kg empty, there is plenty of free weight for you to fill the bag with riding clothes (which also work great as extra padding), and there are plush backpack straps to help you get around with minimal fuss.

Best for simplicity

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: Bike Box Alan Premium

9. Bike Box Alan Original Premium

The Bike Box Alan Premium is a hard case box that claims to fit road bikes up to 65cm in size. Our 58cm test bike had plenty of room to spare, so we're confident the claim is true. It is a super sturdy, hard-wearing box that comes with a seven-year warranty. 

The solid plastic case takes the brunt of all heavy-handed impacts while your bike is in transit, and the inclusion of an anti-crush pole prevents lateral pressure on your chainstays and forks, should your chosen airline decide to stack your bike at the bottom of the pile. There is a weight penalty, however - an empty box weighs in at 11.2kg. 

Two layers of foam padding prevent damage from within, and the myriad Velcro straps and internal instructions make packaging a straightforward process. 

Removal of your handlebars, seatpost, wheels, pedals, and rear derailleur is required, which does take up some of your precious ride time but for the protection on offer, it's a sacrifice worth making. 

Topeak Pakgo X Bike Carrier

10. Topeak PakGo X

The Topeak PakGo X is a bit like the kind of carry-on luggage you'd recognize on every flight except it's super-sized. Once packed the bike sits with the fork facing the ground and the tail of the bike up in the air. This means a more upright outer silhouette that's easier to manoeuvre.

More important than the orientation of the bike though is the well-thought-out protection. There are a number of protective elements and each one has a label on it. As you are packing it's easy to find which piece goes where and every part of the bike is both protected and securely held to avoid movement in transit. You will need to remove the bar and stem, saddle and seatpost, rear derailleur, and wheels but there's a place for everything. 

The one thing to be aware of is the weight of the case. Topeak lists the weight as 10 Kg for the case only but that's not how you'll use it. Instead, you'll want to look at the 12.8 Kg weight that includes all the protective pieces. Unless you have a lightweight road bike it's unlikely you will avoid overweight fees. 

Read more details in our full Topeak Pakgo X Bike Carrier review.

What to look for in bike bags, travel cases and boxes

There are quite a few considerations when choosing the best bike bag or case for your bike. We'll break these down below, to help you to make an informed choice of the best bike bag for your needs.

Hard or soft shell?

Hardshell bike travel cases were the best way to travel with a bike for quite some time; however, engineers at bike brands are pretty clever and softshell bags are nearly on par for protection, weigh less, and often have removable ribbing so they can be neatly rolled up for storage. 

How much does empty weight matter?

With a plastic base, wheels, internal skeleton, and robust materials, bike travel cases are heavy before you put anything inside, and some are pudgier than others. 

Most airlines will give you 23kg / 50lbs before they hit you with an exorbitant overweight baggage fee, some budget airlines even less. If your bag weighs 12kg empty, when you pack a 6.8kg lightweight road bike, shoes and a track pump you'll be nudging up against that limit. 

What size do I need?

Are you just looking to travel with just your road bikes, or will you be taking trips with your mountain bike too? Are you riding an aero road bike with integrated handlebars or TT bars? Are you riding an XL frame? 

These are all things to take into account when shopping for a bike bag because some of the more compact options are simply too small for certain bikes and frame sizes.

Do I need to disassemble my bike?

No bike bag will take your bike fully assembled, but some require considerably more disassembly and mechanical acumen than others. At the very least you’ll have to pop your wheels off, but some bags also require you to remove your seat post, handlebars, and even the fork. 

That's going to cut into riding or relaxing time once you get to your destination and require you to carry more tools to rebuild your bike. As mentioned above, a torque wrench is essential if you're going to have to reassemble delicate components.

Do I need to worry about wheels and handles?

For something designed to help you move around with a bike in tow, bike travel cases and bike bags can be, unsurprisingly, awkward and cumbersome to move around with. 

If you want to avoid a back injury, a set of wheels should be a minimum requirement, especially if you're walking much after you land - some bike bags even use easily replaceable roller blade wheels, as they're prone to damage when being loaded and unloaded. 

In addition, you'll want plenty of handles to help you hoist your bag onto a conveyor belt or into the back of a car.

Do I need to remove my derailleurs and rotors?

Take them off. Just about every bike bag out there comes with some sort of protection for your rear derailleur and brake rotors, but airlines have a knack for rendering them ineffective. 

Learn from our mistakes and just take them off. The last thing you want is to start your holiday with a bent rotor or a broken derailleur hanger. If you are removing disc-brake rotors, don't forget to put a brake block in the caliper to prevent the pads sticking together or the pistons getting stuck - in a pinch, a folded over business card works, too.

What's the fastest way to get my bike back together?

Saddle height and bar roll aren’t something you often think about until either one is a little bit off, and the last thing you want to do on your riding vacation is to pull over constantly and faff with minor adjustments. A couple of dots and lines with a paint pen will allow you to replicate your preferred position on the bike first try, every time.

Should I add extra padding?

Yes, we have just spent the last few hundred words saying how great the best bike travel cases, bags and boxes are, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of added peace of mind. 

Some bags come with foam tubing, however pipe insulation is perfect for an extra layer of protection. You can also pop into your local bike shop, and if you ask nicely, they're likely to have plenty of spare packaging from a newly unboxed bike.

If you have a few spare kilos in your bike bag once it's packed, throw your shoes, riding clothes, bars and gels and whatever else will fit without tipping your bag over the limit. If you've paid for 23kg / 50lbs, you may as well use it, although be aware that some airlines stipulate that a bike bag should contain nothing but your bike.

Do I need to deflate my tyres?

When you’re packing your bike, take a second to let the air out of your tyres. Airlines don’t allow anything pressurised into the cargo hold because it violates civil aviation safety regulations.

Before the engineering types slide into the comments, yes we know that the cargo hold is pressurised to ~10,000ft which will only add ~3-4psi to your tyres, and it’s extremely unlikely a tyre will burst in transit.

The reason you need to take this step, is because if you do send your bike through with the tyres inflated, there is the distinct possibility that an airline employee will pull your bag aside and attempt to deflate them. At the very least, it'll mean someone heavy-handedly rummaging through your neatly packed case, but we’ve heard horror stories of bags and tyres cut.

Avoid the drama and just let the air out. If you're running tubeless, drop them to a reasonable PSI that won't result in a sealant shower. 

Is there anything else I should consider?

If you need to remove your handlebars , put the faceplate back on your stem so you don't lose the four bolts. 

If you need to remove your stem, refit the top cap, then a zip tie around the steerer will keep your fork, headset and spacers from rattling loose. Be careful not to damage the steerer when cutting the zip tie off. 

If you have Di2, unplug the battery. At the very least, it'll save some battery life, but it may also prevent your tightly packed derailleurs from shifting in transit and overworking the motor. 

If you have an internal seatpost wedge clamp, remove and pack it safely. You don't want to spend the first hour of your trip fishing it out of your frame.

Take a spare derailleur hanger with you. For the price, it's worth having a spare anyway, not least when thousands of miles from home. 

Some airlines will let CO2 cartridges through, but others will stop the bike and remove them. If you're going to risk it, make them easy to find so the baggage handler doesn't have to empty your entire bag. 

If you're using zip ties to hold things in place, you'll need cable cutters or scissors in your case for unpackaging at the other end. You'll also need more ties for the return journey. Maybe pack a screwdriver that'll allow you to undo the zip ties without cutting them. Not only does it save you zip ties, it saves the planet from a little bit of single-use plastic. 

Take your tools. If you're having to disassemble your bike to fit it in the box, you'll need to reassemble it at the other end - make a note of the tools used and don't forget to pack them. Especially your torque wrench. You don't want a 90km/h descent of Alpe d'Huez with badly torqued carbon handlebars. 

Bottles are a great hardshell for storing potentially damaging things - e.g. allen keys, or items that will pop if crushed - gels, suncream, toothpaste. Wrap them in a carrier bag, though, or you might have oddly flavoured water on your first ride. Shoes are equally useful for this. 

If you've got space in the bike bag, wrap your cycling kit in plastic bags and fill the gaps. Not only does this leave room in your other bag, it will act as padding. 

Don't forget food. Your riding holiday is likely going to involve increased mileage, and speaking from experience, you can't always trust the local tuna sandwich. 

The crew at Cyclingnews is a dedicated group of cyclists who, just like you, care deeply about their bikes. When we travel, we have to trust baggage handlers just like you. 

We're lucky to be able to travel a lot in the course of sharing all kinds of relevant cycling technology with you, so we take the opportunity to try out different cases and hope we get a working bike back at the other end. 

Every experience informs the next and we are sharing a collection of options we think are the best available for a whole range of different needs. 

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Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing. 

Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine. 

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best bike travel case 2023

Best MTB travel bags and boxes 2024 – the safest way to pack your bike for travel

Our expert round-up of the best mountain bike travel bags and boxes to buy for your next trip abroad

Evoc Pro Travel Bag

1. Best for big wheels

2. best for versatility, 3. best for easy packing, 4. best big size, 5. best budget hardcase, 6. best inflatable padding, 7. best cardboard box cover, 8. best free option.

  • How to choose
  • How to pack your MTB

Quick list 1. Best for big wheels 2. Best for versatility 3. Best for easy packing 4. Best big size 5. Best budget hardcase 6. Best inflatable padding 7. Best cardboard box cover 8. Best free option How to choose How to pack your MTB

Whether you're going on vacation with your bike or heading abroad for a big race, the best MTB travel bags, cases and boxes are a worthwhile investment for getting it there safely. 

It's scary to send your best mountain bike down the conveyor belt at the oversized baggage check-in and put it in someone else's hands for an extended period of time. You can be as cautious as you like, but overworked baggage handlers and automated baggage systems may not be quite as gentle. There are horror stories of airlines destroying bikes, but bike bags and boxes are pretty well designed these days and do well to deliver your pride and joy to your destination and back unscathed.

That's why it's important to pack it as well as possible, using the best mountain bike travel bags and boxes. These travel bags and boxes are specially designed to pack your mountain bike safely, with dedicated compartments and nooks and crannies for the most delicate components. Other things to consider include their portability, durability, and value for money.

To make this buying process easier for you, our expert reviewers have tested out the best MTB travel bags and boxes that you can buy today. Our top option is the Evoc Travel Bag Pro, while our budget choice is a cardboard box – usually free from your local bike shop. Read on for our complete list, or skip to the bottom of the article for our buying advice to help you choose the best option for you, and our tips and tricks for packing your mountain bike safely for its travels.

The best MTB travel bags and boxes

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We'll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

The quick list

Evoc Travel Bag Pro

Best MTB travel bag for big wheels

Excellent protection with plenty of Velcro straps and padding, sturdy handles, and an internal stand.

Read more below

Pro Bike Mega Travel Case

Best MTB travel bag for versatility

A lightweight, robust nylon bag with an aluminum base frame which connects to your bike at the axles.

Scicon AeroComfort MTB travel bag

Best MTB travel bag for easy packing

Designed for easy packing, the Scicon bag is built around an internal bike stand which is 12mm and 15mm thru-axle ready.

Thule RoundTrip Traveler bag

Best large MTB travel bag 

Lightweight, soft-shell case with an integrated mount, and multiple internal and external pockets.

B&W International Bike Box II

Best budget hardcase MTB travel bag

With a hard shell offering superior protection, the case is held together by a self-tightening strap system.

Biknd Jetpack travel bag

Best inflatable padding MTB travel bag

The Jetpack uses inflatable air bags to offer great protection for your bike and its components.

See the next 2 bags and boxes ↓

YT Industries Body Bag

Best cardboard box cover MTB travel bag

A box cover, made from water-resistant nylon with replaceable rollerblade wheels, and reinforced base and corners.

Cardboard bike box

Best free MTB travel box

Lightweight, free, recyclable, and the easiest option for those who don't travel frequently.

Evoc Travel Bag Pro

Specifications, reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Around any bike event, you're likely to see a sea of Evoc bike bags, because they are some of the best you can buy. With room for anything from a lightweight roadie to a long and slack 29er enduro bike, the Pro version includes an aluminum tray that attaches to the axles of the bike inside the bag, and doubles as a work-stand when it's time to rebuild. 

Inside the bike is secured with a range of Velcro straps and purpose-built padding, and the external wheel pockets will hold up to a 29 x 2.6in wheel and tire. Inside the bag, there are internal pockets for tools and pedals and the removable plastic ribbing allows the bag to be rolled up for storage. 

The back features two ultra-smooth rollerblade wheels, and there is a third which slots into the front handle for easy transition from the baggage claim to your accommodation. 

Pro Bike Mega Travel Case

Pro Bike Mega Travel Case

With room to easily swallow road, TT and mountain bikes, the Pro Bike Mega Case is huge and features an aluminum base frame which connects to your bike at the axles. With so much room inside the case, the seatpost doesn't need to be removed, just lowered.

The inside of the bag has plenty of well-padded provisions to hold your frame securely, and the four 360-degree wheels at the bottom make the bag move easily in a straight line, but can be cumbersome in crowded baggage claim areas or train stations. 

With handles galore, the outer fabric seems to mark a bit in transit, however, it's robust and, weighing just over 8kg, you should be able to get your bike and a bit of extra gear inside before you tip into overweight-baggage territory. 

Scicon AeroComfort MTB on a white background

Scicon AeroComfort MTB

The beauty of the Scicon AeroComfort MTB is you can pack your bike and hardly turn a bolt. Packing is as simple as removing the wheels. 

The bag is built around the Antishock Bike Frame (ABF) which is 12mm and 15mm thru-axle ready and designed to secure mountain bikes of all sizes with up to 29in wheels. The reinforced wheel pockets are located inside the bag and feature plastic caps so your cassette won’t poke through the bag. 

At 14kg empty it is a bit heavy, but the weight penalty is more than made up for in packing ease and convenience. The bike straps into the bag securely, and the 360-degree wheels allow for easy one-handed dragging . With all of that said, we’ve seen baggage handlers stack Scicon bags upside down on baggage carts on multiple occasions so they won’t roll away, so consider some additional padding for your handlebars and shifters.

Thule Round Trip Traveler

Thule RoundTrip Traveler

Bike bags are expensive, and if you don't have a bundle to drop on a soft-travel case, the Thule RoundTrip Traveler does well to toe the line between price, performance and protection. Using removable plastic ribbing for shape, the RoundTrip Traveler folds down completely flat when not in use.

The bike is secured with a fixed-fork block which has adaptors for all modern axle standards and uses a padded bottom-bracket block, similar to the standard Evoc bag. Inside there are heaps of zippered pockets for items such as tools and pedals, and the bag sees padded wheel pockets big enough for 29er wheels and tires. 

At the back, there are two sizeable alloy roller wheels that don't get caught up on cracks or doorways and, at 7.7kg empty, it's noticeably lighter than pricier models.

B&W International Bike Box II on a white background

B&W International Bike Box II

The B&W International Bike Box II is one of the simplest options on the market. There are no complicated packing procedures – instead, you get a few layers of foam to protect the frame from the wheels and box, and it all fits inside two interlocking plastic sides.

The clamshell design uses six self-tightening Velcro buckles to prevent the case from slipping open, and it features a surprising number of handles given the design. B&W International has updated the case with a new plastic designed to flex and not crack and there are no latches or hinges to break.

With room for up to a 62cm frame, the case rolls on four wheels, two fixed and two free rotating, and weighs 11kg with the included padding.

Biknd Jetpack

Biknd Jetpack

Using unique inflatable padding and strategically placed rigid reinforcements, the Biknd Jetpack is well padded and big enough for just about any bike. The Jetpack does well to keep everything separated and insulated from clanging into other parts of the bike during transit, and the inflatable cushions insulate your wheels from the outside of the bag without adding much bulk. 

The bag opens flat to simplify packing, and the bike connects at the axles to an aluminum frame – Biknd includes adaptors for every modern axle standard. With access to both sides of the bike, packing is simple, although you will need to remove your bars.

YT Body Bag

YT Industries Body Bag

The YT body bag combines the best aspects of using a cardboard bike box and purpose-built bag to travel with your bike. The Body Bag is basically a box cover, made from water-resistant nylon with replaceable rollerblade wheels on and handles galore. 

With reinforced corners, the bag features internal cinch straps, the zipper goes nearly all the way around the case, and YT even includes a TSA friendly lock. 

Weighing just 4.5kg, you’ll need to source a box that measures 34 x 90 x 134cm, which unsurprisingly happens to be the dimensions of the boxes YT uses.

Which brings us to...

Cardboard Bike Box

Cardboard bike box

Yes, we realize the irony in recommending a cardboard box after we've spent all this time talking about the merits offered by purpose-built bike travel cases; but considering a box is how even the most expensive bikes are shipped from the factory, they work pretty well for travel, too.

First and foremost bike boxes are free. Boxes are also lightweight, meaning you can throw other gear in for extra padding. Sometimes it can be a struggle to manipulate your bike and get it securely packaged inside but it's the easiest solution for those who don't travel frequently.

That said, a cardboard box is not weather resistant and if it's raining or gets wet, the integrity of the box can be compromised.

How to choose the best mountain bike travel bags and boxes

Hard or soft shell.

Hard shell trombone-case-style bike bags were the best way to travel with a bike for quite some time; however, engineers at bike brands are pretty clever and softshell bags are nearly on par for protection, weigh less, and often have removable ribbing so they can be rolled up for storage. 

Does its empty weight matter?

With a plastic base, wheels, internal skeleton, and robust materials, bike bags are heavy before you put anything inside, and some are considerably bulkier than others. Most airlines will give you 23kg / 50lbs before they hit you with an exorbitant overweight baggage fee, and when your bag weighs 12kg empty, when you pack a 10kg mountain bike, shoes, and a track pump you'll be nudging up against that limit. 

Do I need to disassemble my bike?

No bike bag will take your bike fully assembled, but some require considerably more disassembly and mechanical acumen than others. At the very least you’ll have to pop your wheels off, but some bags also require you to remove your seatpost, handlebars, and even the fork. 

What size box do I need?

Are you just looking to travel with your bike, or will you be taking trips with your mountain bike, too? Does your roadie have an integrated seat mast or aero bars? Are you riding an XL frame? These are all things to take into account when shopping for a bike travel case because some of the more compact options are simply too small for certain bikes and frame sizes.

Are wheels and handles a useful addition?

For something designed to help you move around with a bike in tow, bike travel cases are surprisingly awkward and cumbersome to move around with. At the very least you'll want plenty of handles to help you hoist your bag onto a conveyor belt or into the back of a car. If you'll be walking much after you land, a good set of wheels will make your life easier.

How to pack your bike into a bag or box

All bike boxes and travel cases require a different amount of disassembly, but these tips and tricks to packing your bike should help you make a smooth job of it.

1. Remove the derailleurs and rotors

Just about every bike bag out there comes with some sort of protection for your rear derailleur and brake rotors, but airlines have a knack for rendering them ineffective. Learn from our mistakes and just take the suckers off, as there's nothing worse than beginning to unpack your bike to find a bent rotor or a broken derailleur hanger. If you are removing rotors, don't forget to put a brake block in the caliper to prevent the pads sticking together or the pistons getting stuck – in a pinch, a folded over business card works too.

2. Deflate your tires

When you’re packing your bike, take a second to let the air out of your tires because airlines don’t allow anything pressurized into the cargo hold because it violates civil aviation safety regulations. Before the engineering types slide into the comments, yes we know that the cargo hold is pressurized to ~10,000ft which will only add 3-4psi to your tires, and it’s extremely unlikely a tire will burst in transit. The reason you need to take this step, is because if you do send your bike through with the tires inflated, there is the distinct possibility that an airline employee will pull your bag up and attempt to deflate them – we’ve heard horror stories of bags and tires cut. Avoid the drama and just let the air out. 

3. Add some extra padding

Yes, we have just spent the last few hundred words saying how great bike bags and boxes are, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of added peace of mind. Some bags come with foam tubing, however pipe insulation or a sliced up pool noodle is perfect for an extra layer of protection. You can also pop into your local bike shop and, if you ask nicely, they might even give you some of the packaging from a newly unboxed bike.

4. Fill the gaps

If you have a few spare kilos in your bike bag once it's packed, throw your shoes, riding clothes, bars and gels and whatever else will fit without tipping your bag over the limit. If you've paid for 23kg / 50lbs, you should use it.

5. Invest in a paint pen

Saddle height and bar roll aren’t something you often think about until either one is a little bit off, and the last thing you want to do on your riding vacation is to pull over constantly and faff with minor adjustments. A couple of dots and lines with a paint pen will allow you to replicate your preferred position on the bike first try every time.

Born and bred in Colorado, and now based in Australia, Colin comes from a ski racing background and started riding as a way to stay fit through the summer months. His father, a former European pro, convinced him to join the Colorado State University collegiate cycling team, and he hasn't stopped since. It's not often he pins on a number nowadays, and you'll likely find him in search of flowy singletrack, gravel roads and hairpin corners. Colin has worked at Bikeradar and is a regular contributor to Australian Mountain Bike and Cyclist magazines. 

Rides: BMC Team Machine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9, Ibis Ripley

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best bike travel case 2023

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  • Travel Essentials & Accessories

13 Best Bike Travel Case for 2024

Published: September 5, 2023

Modified: December 27, 2023

by Elianora Valles

  • Tech & Gear

13-best-bike-travel-case-for-2023

Introducing the "13 Best Bike Travel Case for 2023" – a comprehensive guide that highlights the top-rated bike travel cases to consider for your upcoming adventures. Whether you are a professional cyclist or a passionate bike enthusiast, having a reliable travel case is crucial to ensure the safe transportation of your valuable bicycle. This expertly curated list features the latest models and designs equipped with innovative features, sturdy construction, and convenient portability. Discover the perfect bike travel case that will provide optimal protection for your bike while facilitating hassle-free transportation in 2023.

Jump to Review

CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case

CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case

This product has a rating of A. * What does this rating mean?

Overall Score : 8.5/10

The CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case is the perfect accessory for traveling with your beloved road bike. Made from high-quality EVA material, this lightweight and durable case provide excellent protection for your bike during air travel. It features a hard shell design with ample storage space, allowing you to pack your bike securely and easily. The case is compatible with 700C road bikes and comes with a TSA lock for added security. With smooth-rolling wheels and convenient soft handles, transporting your bike is a breeze. The case is equipped with various buckles, straps, and strong zips to ensure that your bike parts stay in place. Overall, this bike travel case offers great value for money and provides the peace of mind you need when traveling with your bike.

Key Features

  • Suitable for 700C road bikes
  • High-quality EVA material
  • Hard shell design for maximum protection
  • Smooth-rolling wheels and soft handles
  • Includes TSA lock for added security

Specifications

  • Color: EVA (700c Road Bikes ONLY)
  • Dimension: 47.24Lx35.83Wx10.24H
  • Size: Default
  • Provides excellent protection for your road bike
  • Ample storage space for easy packing
  • Smooth and effortless transportation
  • Strong and secure buckles, straps, and zips
  • Comes with a TSA lock for added security
  • Includes a 2-year warranty for peace of mind
  • Bulky and can be difficult to roll
  • Lacks padding on one side of the case
  • Some durability concerns with zipper and wheels

The CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case is a reliable and practical solution for transporting your road bike during air travel. Despite its minor shortcomings, such as bulkiness and durability concerns with the zipper and wheels, this case offers excellent protection and security for your bike. With its ample storage space, smooth-rolling wheels, and soft handles, it makes traveling with your bike a hassle-free experience. The added TSA lock and 2-year warranty provide further peace of mind. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or an occasional adventurer, this bike travel case is a worthy investment to ensure the safety of your beloved road bike. Get ready to explore the world with your bike by your side!

Thule Road Bike Travel Case

Thule Road Bike Travel Case

The Thule Roundtrip Road Bike Travel Case is the ultimate companion for any cycling enthusiast. With its sleek design and durable construction, this travel case ensures the safe transportation of almost all road, gravel, or cyclocross bikes. It features a work stand that makes bike maintenance, assembly, and disassembly easier whether you're on the road or at home. The padded interior packing panels protect all parts of your bike during transport, while the rigid side panels and molded HDPE bottom tub provide superior protection. This travel case is designed to fit a wheelbase of up to 110cm. With its black color and dimensions of 48.82Lx12.99Wx33.46H, it is perfect for road biking enthusiasts. Customers have praised its quality and design. However, there have been a few reports of the front swivel wheel falling out during trips.

  • Safely transports almost all road, gravel or cyclocross bikes
  • Included work stand for easy maintenance
  • Securely fasten the bike to the workstand inside the case
  • Padded interior packing panels for complete protection
  • Rigid side panels and molded HDPE bottom tub for superior protection
  • Color: Black
  • Dimension: 48.82Lx12.99Wx33.46H
  • Size: Road Bike
  • Safe and secure transportation for bikes
  • Convenient work stand for maintenance
  • Quality construction and design
  • Reports of front swivel wheel falling out during trips

The Thule Roundtrip Road Bike Travel Case is a reliable and practical solution for transporting your beloved road bike. Its sturdy construction and thoughtful design ensure that your bike remains safe and secure throughout your travels. The included work stand is a game-changer, making maintenance tasks effortless, both on the road and at home. With padded interior packing panels and rigid side panels, your bike is protected from any bumps or knocks during transport. While there have been a few reports of the front swivel wheel falling out during trips, the overall quality and convenience of this travel case make it worth considering. If you’re a road biking enthusiast looking for a reliable travel companion, the Thule Roundtrip Road Bike Travel Case is an excellent choice.

Verpiason Bike Carry Bag

Verpiason Bike Carry Bag

The Verpiason Folding Bike Carry Bag is a versatile and durable bag designed to transport folding bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes. It features a spacious interior with an internal divider compartment to protect your bike and a front zipper pocket for storing additional accessories. The bag is made of heavy-duty 600D oxford fabric and 300g non-woven fabric, ensuring its strength and durability. With its adjustable shoulder strap, the bike bag can be carried on your shoulder or in hand, providing convenience during travel. It is suitable for 26-29 inch folding bikes, 27.5 inch mountain bikes, and 700 C road bikes. The Verpiason Folding Bike Carry Bag is an excellent accessory for any cyclist looking to transport their bike safely and securely.

  • Dimensions: 55.12" x 31.49" x 11.02"
  • Weight: 5.29lb
  • Suitable for 26-29 inch folding bikes, 27.5 inch mountain bikes, and 700 C road bikes
  • Made of heavy-duty 600D oxford fabric and 300g non-woven fabric
  • Internal divider compartment and front zipper pocket for storage
  • Adjustable shoulder strap for easy carrying
  • Spacious interior to accommodate various bike sizes
  • Durable construction for long-lasting use
  • Adjustable shoulder strap for convenient carrying
  • Internal divider compartment for added protection
  • Front zipper pocket for storing accessories
  • Thin fabric may not provide sufficient protection during air travel
  • Lack of padding for extra cushioning

The Verpiason Folding Bike Carry Bag is a reliable and practical option for transporting folding bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes. Its spacious interior, durable construction, and adjustable shoulder strap make it a convenient choice for cyclists. However, it may not provide enough protection for air travel due to its thin fabric. Overall, it offers good value for its affordable price and is suitable for car or RV travel.

Scicon Sports Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Road Bike Travel Bag

41Xq0z7Gu3L. SL500  - 13 Best Bike Travel Case for 2024

Overall Score : 7.5/10

The Scicon Sports Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Road Bike Travel Bag is a must-have accessory for road cyclists who frequently travel with their bikes. This travel bag is specifically designed for road bikes and is built for air travel, equipped with a Travel Sentry Approved (TSA) padlock. Its internal support structure allows you to pack your bike without removing the handlebars, saddle, and seat post. Made from high-density woven Nylon, this bag provides excellent protection for your bike during transportation. The Twin Wheel System with eight wheels allows for easy maneuverability in any direction. With a sleek black design, this bag is both stylish and functional.

  • Weight: 10.5 Kg
  • External Dimensions: 115x95x28 cm
  • Disk breaks ready
  • Rim breaks ready
  • Road bikes only
  • Built for air travel. Travel Sentry Approved (TSA) padlock equipped
  • Internal support structure
  • No need to remove handlebars, saddle and seat post
  • Made from high-density woven Nylon
  • Twin Wheel System: eight wheels, 360 degrees
  • Dimension: 42.91Lx19.69Wx40.55H
  • Easy to pack bike without disassembling
  • Durable and protective material
  • Convenient Twin Wheel System for maneuverability
  • Attractive black design
  • May not fit larger or wider road bikes
  • Expensive compared to some alternatives
  • Not suitable for shipping carbon bikes

Despite a few limitations, the Scicon Sports Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Road Bike Travel Bag is a solid choice for road cyclists who frequently travel by air with their bikes. The bag’s design allows for easy packing without the need to remove important components, while providing reliable protection for the bike during transportation. The Twin Wheel System adds convenience with its maneuverability, and the high-density woven Nylon material ensures durability. However, users with larger or wider road bikes should be cautious, as the bag might not accommodate these sizes. Additionally, the bag is relatively expensive compared to some alternatives on the market. Overall, if you’re looking for a stylish and functional travel bag for your road bike, the Scicon Sports Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Road Bike Travel Bag is worth considering.

CyclingDeal Travel Bike Carry Bag

CyclingDeal Travel Bike Carry Bag

Overall Score : 8/10

The CyclingDeal Transport Travel Bike Carry Bag is the perfect solution for safely transporting your bike during travel. Made with high-quality Nylon 600D, PVC-coated material, this bag offers full protection for your bike, with an extra-wide carriage that securely holds the bike frame. The bag features a friction system that prevents scratches, and a disc protection design to separate wheel compartments. With its durable and flexible construction, this travel bag is suitable for 26", 27.5", 29" MTB, and 700C Road bikes. It is water-resistant, dust-proof, and easy to clean. The bag also comes with a 2-year warranty for worry-free use. Whether you're going on a road trip or flying to your next cycling destination, the CyclingDeal Transport Travel Bike Carry Bag is the ideal accessory to keep your bike safe and secure.

  • FULL PROTECTION: Fast and easy transportation with extra-wide carriage.
  • COMPATIBILITY: Suitable for 26", 27.5" 29" MTB and 700C Road bikes.
  • DURABLE MATERIAL: Made of Nylon 600D with PVC coating.
  • SPECS: Color: black; Inside size: 130 x 27 x 80cm ( 51.1" x 10.6" x 31.5”); Package measurement: 140 x 38 x 28cm (55.1" x 14.9" x 11”); Net weight: 8.3kg/18.3lbs.
  • ORDER NOW, WORRY-FREE! 2-year warranty!
  • Color: Soft (26"-29", 700c)
  • Full protection design
  • Durable and flexible material
  • Suitable for various bike types
  • Friction system prevents scratches
  • 2-year warranty
  • Not a perfect fit as pictured
  • Internal straps and grommets could be improved

Overall, the CyclingDeal Transport Travel Bike Carry Bag is a reliable and durable option for transporting and storing your bike. Its full protection design, durable material, and compatibility with various bike types make it a great choice for cyclists. While it may not be a perfect fit as pictured, it still does the job effectively. The bag’s internal straps and grommets could be improved for better functionality. However, with its 2-year warranty and reasonable price, this bag offers great value for the price. Whether you’re a bike enthusiast or a casual rider, this travel bag provides peace of mind knowing that your bike will be protected during transport or storage.

EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro – Durable, Secure, and Easy Rolling

EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro - Durable, Secure, and Easy Rolling

The EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro is a must-have accessory for bike enthusiasts who love to travel. With its durable P600D exterior and well-padded interior, this bag ensures that your bike is protected throughout your journey. Its TSA Approved locking zippers provide added security, and the large skate-style wheels make it easy to move around. The EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro fits most bike types, including XC, All Mountain, Enduro, Freeride, Road, Gravel, Cyclocross, and Triathlon bikes. While it does not include a Fork Protector, it does come with a Frame Pad for added protection. However, some users have reported issues with the bag's size and front rotor damage. Overall, the EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro is a reliable travel companion for your bike, scoring a solid 8 out of 10.

  • FITS MOST BIKES – almost all XC, All Mountain, Enduro, Freeride, Road, Gravel, Cyclocross, and Triathlon bikes
  • DURABLE – P600D exterior and well-padded interior
  • SECURE – TSA Approved locking zippers
  • EASY ROLLING – Large skate style wheels
  • INCLUDED PADS – Only the Frame Pad is included with the Travel Bag Pro
  • Dimension: 59.00Lx15.00Wx9.50H
  • Size: One Size
  • Durable and well-padded for bike protection
  • TSA Approved locking zippers for added security
  • Large skate-style wheels for easy rolling
  • Fits most bike types
  • Included Frame Pad for added protection
  • No included Fork Protector
  • Size may be problematic for some users
  • Front rotor damage reported by some users

The EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro is a reliable and durable accessory for bike enthusiasts who travel with their bikes. It offers great protection for various bike types and is easy to maneuver with its large wheels. The TSA Approved locking zippers provide added security. However, it is important to note that the bag does not include a Fork Protector and some users have reported issues with front rotor damage. Despite these minor drawbacks, the EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro is a solid choice for those in need of a dependable and secure travel bag for their bikes.

Thule RoundTrip Sport – Hard Shell Bike Travel Case

31UC6GdexBL. SL500  - 13 Best Bike Travel Case for 2024

Overall Score : 8.2/10

The Thule RoundTrip Sport is a durable hard shell bike travel case designed to protect your bike during transportation. It features a polyethylene construction with integrated wheels for easy transport. The case includes dividers to keep the wheels separated from the frame, ensuring safe and secure travel. With dimensions of 47" x 30½" x 10½" (outer) and 45" x 28½" x 10" (inner), it offers ample space for most bike sizes. The case is black in color and is designed to withstand the rigors of travel. Although it may be a bit unwieldy to navigate through airports, it provides excellent protection for your bike. It is also versatile, as it can be used for luggage or other items that need to be safeguarded from the elements.

  • Durable polyethylene construction with integrated wheels
  • Dividers keep wheels separated from the frame
  • Ample space with dimensions of 47" x 30½" x 10½"
  • Versatile and can be used for luggage or other items
  • Black color and sturdy design
  • Dimension: 33.90Lx18.30Wx16.50H
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Ample space for most bike sizes
  • Excellent protection for your bike
  • Versatile for other use cases
  • Unwieldy to navigate through airports
  • Straps may not be secured properly after TSA inspection
  • No latches to secure the two halves together
  • Slightly flimsy plastic

The Thule RoundTrip Sport is a dependable hard shell bike travel case that offers excellent protection for your bike during transportation. It is durable, spacious, and versatile, making it a great choice for frequent travelers. The integrated wheels facilitate easy transport, although it may be a bit challenging to maneuver through airports. The case’s dividers ensure that the wheels and frame remain separate, minimizing the risk of damage. While it has a few minor drawbacks like the straps not being secured properly after TSA inspection and the lack of latches, overall, it does an exceptional job safeguarding your bike. With its solid construction and thoughtful design, the Thule RoundTrip Sport is a reliable companion for anyone seeking reliable bike transportation.

Aophire Folding Bike Bag

Aophire Folding Bike Bag

The Aophire Folding Bike Bag is a must-have accessory for travelers who want to bring their bikes along. This durable bag is designed to fit regular 26-inch bikes and can even accommodate 27.5-inch bikes with the wheels and handlebar removed. It is easy to load in by simply disassembling the front wheel and handlebar and zipping up the bag. Made with high-quality materials, including heavy-duty 600D oxford fabric and 300g non-woven fabric, this bike bag provides excellent protection for your bicycle. It is also convenient to use for bike transfer on cars, trains, subways, and more. The unfolded size of the bag is 55.1 x 31.4 x 11 inches, while the folded size is 15.7 x 7.4 x 5.5 inches. With its practical features and sturdy construction, the Aophire Folding Bike Bag is an essential travel companion for cyclists.

  • Suitable for 26-inch and 27.5-inch bikes with wheels and handlebar removed
  • Easy to load in
  • Made with high-quality materials
  • Dimensions: Unfolded – 55.1 x 31.4 x 11 inches, Folded – 15.7 x 7.4 x 5.5 inches
  • Convenient for bike transfer on various modes of transportation
  • Size: X-Large
  • Provides excellent protection for bikes
  • Convenient for travel and transportation
  • Easy to load and unload
  • Does not fit all 29-inch wheel mountain bikes
  • Lacks padding for air travel
  • May not withstand rough handling during plane transfers

Overall, the Aophire Folding Bike Bag is a reliable and convenient travel companion for cyclists. While it may not fit all 29-inch wheel mountain bikes and lacks sufficient padding for air travel, it excels in providing durable protection for bikes during transfers on cars, trains, and subways. The bag’s high-quality materials and sturdy construction make it a reliable option for storing bikes in the garage or transporting them in vehicles. With its compact folded size, it is easy to carry and store when not in use. Whether you’re planning a biking adventure or need a storage solution for your bike, the Aophire Folding Bike Bag is a worthwhile investment.

Aophire Bike Transport Case

Aophire Bike Transport Case

The Aophire Folding Bike Bag is a must-have for travelers who want to bring their bikes along on their adventures. This bag is suitable for regular 26 inch bikes and can even accommodate up to 27.5 inch bikes with the wheels and handlebar off. It is incredibly portable and easy to load in, simply disassemble the front wheel and handlebar, put the whole bicycle into the bag, and zip up. Made with heavy-duty 1680D Polyester, this bike bag is designed to last. It also features strong shoulder straps and an accessories pocket for tools. Not only is it perfect for bike transfer and air travel, but it also doubles as a storage bag. The Aophire Folding Bike Bag is the ultimate companion for bike enthusiasts on the go.

  • Suitable for regular 26 inch bikes, up to 27.5 inch
  • Easy to load in with removable front wheel and handlebar
  • Made with heavy-duty 1680D Polyester
  • Includes strong shoulder straps and accessories pocket
  • Multifunctional as both a bike transfer bag and a storage bag
  • Dimension: 100.00Lx100.00Wx50.00H
  • Size: Large
  • Portable and easy to load
  • Durable materials for long-lasting use
  • Includes shoulder straps and accessories pocket
  • Multifunctional for various travel needs
  • Some customers received used bags with mold spots
  • Zipper may be prone to breaking or getting stuck
  • Lacks additional support and straps
  • Not suitable for high-end street bikes

The Aophire Folding Bike Bag is a reliable and convenient accessory for bike enthusiasts who frequently travel. Its portability, durability, and multifunctional design make it a great choice for bike transfer, air travel, and storage purposes. However, some customers have reported receiving used bags with mold spots and experiencing issues with the zipper. Additionally, the bag lacks extra support and straps, which may be a drawback for those with high-end street bikes. Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable and functional bike bag, the Aophire Folding Bike Bag is worth considering.

EVOC Bike Travel Bag

EVOC Bike Travel Bag

The EVOC Bike Travel Bag is a versatile and durable accessory that makes traveling with your bike a breeze. With its hybrid construction combining the benefits of a hardshell case and a soft bag, it provides maximum protection with minimal weight. It fits most types of bikes and has a capacity of 285 liters, along with convenient features like wheel compartments, a reinforced fork mount, smooth-rolling skate wheels, and multiple carrying handles. The bag is backed by a 24-month warranty from evoc. While some users have noted minor issues with the reinforcing ribs shedding glass splinters, overall, the EVOC Bike Travel Bag is highly recommended for its excellent performance and portability.

  • Hybrid construction for protection and ease of use
  • Fits most types of bikes
  • Large capacity of 285 liters
  • Multiple convenient features for easy travel
  • Dimension: 54.50Lx15.25Wx9.00H
  • Maximum protection with minimal weight
  • Versatile and fits various types of bikes
  • Smooth-rolling replaceable skate wheels
  • Convenient carrying handles
  • Reinforcing ribs may shed glass splinters
  • Not as durable as some users expected

The EVOC Bike Travel Bag is a reliable and well-designed accessory for bike enthusiasts who frequently travel with their bikes. Its hybrid construction provides the best of both worlds, offering excellent protection while remaining lightweight and easy to maneuver. The bag’s spacious capacity and versatile compatibility make it suitable for various types of bikes. Although there are some minor drawbacks, such as the issue with glass splinters from the reinforcing ribs and occasional durability concerns, the overall performance and functionality of the EVOC Bike Travel Bag are highly impressive. Whether you’re a professional cyclist or a casual rider, this bag is a worthwhile investment to keep your bike safe and secure during your travels.

CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case – For 700c, 26",27.5" and 29" Bikes

CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case - For 700c, 26

The CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case is a must-have accessory for cyclists who want to take their bikes with them securely and easily. With its hard shell design and massive storage capacity, this case ensures that your beloved bike stays protected during air flights. The case is made from EVA material, providing high impact strength and tear resistance. It is compatible with bikes up to 29 inches, excluding XL frame 29er MTBs. The case features excellent quality wheels for smooth and effortless travel, as well as soft handles for easy maneuvering. It offers thick protection to prevent damage to your bike's wheels and frame, and comes with a TSA lock for added security. With a 2-year warranty and positive customer reviews, the CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case is a reliable choice for transporting your bike.

  • SECURITY: Hard shell design for secure and easy travel
  • MATERIAL: Made from EVA material for high impact strength
  • COMPATIBILITY: Suitable for bikes up to 29 inches
  • QUICK ACTION: Excellent quality wheels and soft handles for easy maneuvering
  • PROTECTION: Thick layer and buckles/straps for added bike security
  • Color: EVA (26"-29", 700c)
  • Dimension: 48.82Lx11.42Wx40.16H
  • Size: Large: 700c Road Bike 29" MTB
  • Durable hard shell design
  • Easy to pack and assemble
  • Comes with a TSA lock
  • Excellent quality wheels for smooth travel
  • Thick layer protects wheels and frame
  • Does not fit XL frame 29er MTBs
  • Struggles to fit medium-sized mountain bikes
  • Expensive compared to other options

The CyclingDeal Bike Travel Case is a reliable and durable solution for transporting your bike securely. It offers excellent protection, easy maneuvering, and a 2-year warranty. However, it may not be suitable for XL frame 29er MTBs and struggles with medium-sized mountain bikes. While it is more expensive than some alternatives, its positive customer reviews indicate its worth. If you’re a cyclist who frequently travels with your bike, this travel case is definitely a worthy investment.

Rhinowalk Folding Bike Carry Bag

Rhinowalk Folding Bike Carry Bag

This product has a rating of B. * What does this rating mean?

Overall Score : 7.5/10/10

The Rhinowalk Folding Bike Carry Bag is a convenient and portable solution for transporting your bike during air travel. Made from heavy-duty 600D oxford fabric and tear-resistant non-woven fabric, this bag provides strong and stable protection for your bicycle. It features a front zipper pocket for storing personal items and comes with a storage bag for easy organization. The bag is designed to fit 26 to 29 inch bikes, with the option to remove the wheels and handlebar for a better fit. Safety is ensured with reflective silver strips and logos for enhanced visibility. With its easy operation and high-quality material, the Rhinowalk Folding Bike Carry Bag is a reliable choice for bike travel. Score: 7.5/10.

  • Unfolded size: 55.11131.4 inch
  • Folded size: 15.77.45.5 inch
  • Portable and convenient with storage bag
  • Easy operation for disassembling and zipping up
  • High-quality tear-resistant material
  • Reflective silver strip for safety
  • Size: 26-29 Inch
  • Convenient and easy to carry
  • Durable material for strong protection
  • Reflective strip for nighttime visibility
  • Dimensions may be smaller than advertised
  • Some customers received different products

The Rhinowalk Folding Bike Carry Bag offers a practical and reliable solution for transporting your bicycle during air travel. With its durable materials and easy operation, you can confidently protect your bike from damage. The compact size when folded and the included storage bag add to its convenience. However, it’s important to note that some customers have reported discrepancies in the dimensions and received different products. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Rhinowalk bag remains a good value for its price and provides adequate protection for your bike. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or occasional rider, this carry bag is worth considering for your biking adventures.

Rhinowalk Folding Bike Bag

Rhinowalk Folding Bike Bag

The Rhinowalk Folding Bike Bag is a must-have accessory for travelers with folding bikes. Made of high intensity nylon, this bag is lightweight, durable, and waterproof, perfect for car, train, or plane trips. It fits folding bikes ranging from 20 to 26 inches and features strong webbing for enhanced strength. The bag is easy to use, thanks to its shoulder strap and small storage bag for convenient carrying. It also doubles as a picnic blanket when fully unfolded. With its multi-purpose design and practical features, the Rhinowalk Folding Bike Bag provides excellent protection and convenience on your biking adventures.

  • Durable & Lightweight
  • FITS 20"-26" FOLDING BIKES
  • Strong webbing
  • Easy to use
  • Multi-Purpose
  • Color: Black 26inch
  • Made of high intensity nylon for durability
  • Waterproof design for all-weather protection
  • Suitable for 20-26 inch folding bikes
  • Enhanced strength with strong webbing
  • Convenient shoulder strap for easy carrying
  • Includes a small storage bag
  • Can be used as a picnic blanket
  • Some users reported ripping after multiple uses
  • Lacks carry handles on the sides

Overall, the Rhinowalk Folding Bike Bag is a reliable and versatile accessory for travelers with folding bikes. Its durable and waterproof design provides excellent protection for your bike during car, train, or plane trips. The strong webbing ensures long-lasting use, while the easy-to-use features, such as the shoulder strap and small storage bag, add convenience to your travels. Additionally, its multi-purpose design allows you to use it as a picnic blanket. While some users mentioned issues like ripping and the lack of side carry handles, the bag’s overall quality and functionality make it a great investment for any folding bike owner.

Things to Consider:

  • Hard Case: Offers maximum protection but can be heavy.
  • Soft Case: Lightweight and versatile but provides less protection.
  • Hybrid Case: Balances protection and weight, combines features of both hard and soft cases.
  • Size and Compatibility:
  • Ensure that the travel case accommodates your bike's dimensions, including frame size and wheel size.
  • Look for adjustable features to accommodate various bike types, such as road, mountain, or folding bikes.
  • Durability:
  • Opt for sturdy materials, such as heavy-duty nylon or impact-resistant polycarbonate, to protect your bike during transit.
  • Consider reinforced corners, padding, or hard shells for added protection against impacts and rough handling.
  • Portability:
  • Check for built-in wheels, handles, and shoulder straps for easier transportation through airports or train stations.
  • Look for collapsible or foldable designs to minimize storage space when the case is not in use.
  • Choose a case with secure latches, lockable zippers, or TSA-approved locks to prevent unauthorized access or tampering during travel.
  • Consider cases with additional strap or buckle systems to further secure the bike inside the case.
  • Ease of Packing:
  • Look for cases that provide clear instructions and include internal padding or custom foam inserts for easy and secure bike packing.
  • Consider cases with separate compartments or pockets for storing accessories, such as helmets, pedals, or tools.
  • Weight and Carrying Restrictions:
  • Check weight restrictions imposed by airlines or transportation services to ensure the case meets their requirements.
  • Consider lightweight options if you frequently travel by air and want to avoid bulky baggage fees.
  • Assembly and Disassembly:
  • Check if the case requires extensive disassembly of your bike or if it allows for minimal breakdown and reassembly, saving time and effort.
  • Compatibility with Transport:
  • Determine if the case fits within the dimensions of your vehicle for easy transportation to and from airports or train stations.
  • Consider stackability to allow for multiple cases to be securely stacked during transportation.
  • Price Range:
  • Set a budget that aligns with your requirements and frequency of travel.
  • Remember that investing in a more durable and feature-rich case may provide better long-term value.

Frequently Asked Questions about 13 Best Bike Travel Case for 2023

Yes, you can use most bike travel cases for international flights. However, make sure to check with individual airlines for any specific regulations or restrictions regarding dimensions, weight, or packing requirements.

Bike travel cases are typically designed to accommodate various bike types, including road bikes, mountain bikes, and folding bikes. However, it’s essential to verify the case’s compatibility with your specific bike’s dimensions and features.

To pack your bike safely, start by removing any loose or fragile parts, such as the derailleur, pedals, and handlebars. Securely pad these components and use additional padding or foam inserts to protect the frame and wheels. Refer to the case manufacturer’s instructions for more specific guidance.

Generally, bike travel cases are considered oversized or special items and may have separate check-in procedures or fees. Verify with your airline or transportation service to ensure you follow their policies and avoid any unexpected charges or inconveniences.

When using a soft bike travel case, consider using additional protective layers, such as bubble wrap or foam, to provide extra cushioning. Ensure the case is securely closed and tightly strapped before transporting to minimize any potential damage during transit.

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Bike Travel Cases

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Pro Bike Travel Case

Pro Bike Travel Case

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Not so good

The Pro Bike Travel Case is a soft bag that's full of nice touches to make packing your bike away for travel easy, but it suffers terribly from poor construction and just can't go the distance.

Check out our guide to the best bike boxes and bike bags for more (robust) options.

The Pro case follows the template of many other soft bike bags, with a solid base with wheels on, a foam padded body that's resistant to both water and baggage handling abuse, an internal frame to secure your bike to once a level of disassembly has occurred, sleeves and pockets to put wheels and bits in, and a bunch of handles to help with dragging it around.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Open Bag Full.jpg

Like all soft bags, it's a compromise – it's better than a cardboard box in being more waterproof, easier to move about and needing less pipe lagging and packing tape, but not as protective as a full bike-enveloping plastic clamshell case, although it's lighter and easier to store.

Bag assembly

All bike bags require a bit of a knack to packing that gets easier each time you use them, and the Pro Bike Travel Case is no different – although the process is increased considerably by having to build the bag up from its initial packed state, and the supplied instructions are pretty basic and require a bit of thought and intuition to decipher.

The bag is given its shape and a level of rigidity by a series of rods that need to be inserted around the three upper edges of the bag on both sides. There are two long rods to fit along the top of the bag and four up the sides. They're a struggle to insert into their respective nylon webbing pockets at the ends, so while it needs to be that way to give the bag some of its structural integrity, you don't want to be doing this assembly every time you use the bag. You have to flex the upright poles a worrying amount to get them to fit into their end pockets and it's all very fingers-and-thumbs in the dark, hidden corners of the non-zipped side.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Internal Black Pad.jpg

The positive to this system is that when all the rods are removed from the bag it squishes down to a fraction of its size, making it easier to transport, store or hide under a bed. Being the owner of a solid bike case that won't fit in the loft hole and takes up a lot of the spare room, this is a definite advantage for the majority of weeks of the year when the bike isn't going away.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Internal Cradle.jpg

But if you needed to squish the bag down for storage during your holiday, taking these out and then replacing them for travelling home again would be a tedious chore.

There are also four shorter thicker rods that fit in the side panels to protect the bike from side blows, a bit.

Packing a bike

Construction over, it's time to put the bike in. With its wheels off, the bike fits onto an alloy cradle that straps in the bottom of the bag, making it easily removable to facilitate this part of the process.

As long as its wheelbase is less than 124cm your bike will fit, and the bike carrier supports are adjustable along the cradle arms to fit whatever distance there is between your bike's dropouts. They're held in place with four hex key-tightened collars.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Cradle Ring Clamp.jpg

It's pretty fiddly to set up initially but when it's done, it's done, unless you plan to use the bag for a variety of bikes. Your bike is held into the internal frame with its own quick release/bolt-through skewers; there are blue adaptors on the arms to swap around to suit whatever size dropout width and configuration your bike has. The right rear one also has a chain guide built in to keep that tidy. There are additional wide Velcro straps on both arms to wrap up and over the skewers for extra stability and security.

2023 PRO Bike Travel Case - Rear Dropout Chain.png

Next up, it's seatpost and bar and stem removal time. The Pro case comes with a frame pad that wraps around the front of the bike's frame triangle, with Velcro straps to hold seatpost/saddle and stem/bar safely out of the way. If your seatpost is heavily greased it might make everything a bit grubby, so a plastic bag might come in handy here. I found that the cable routing of one of my bikes didn't like the bar being stored to the left, as the supplied frame pad would like, so I had to reverse everything to get things to play nicely. There's usually a bit of adapting and adjusting to fit everything in any bike bag, and this appears to be this one's area of fudge.

2023 PRO Bike Travel Case - Packed Handlebars.png

Note: if you have a small bike or not much seatpost showing then it's possible you could fit the bike in the bag with the saddle and seatpost still in. This does mean it becomes more of a structural part of the bike bag and subject to any external forces that might make themselves known, which you might not fancy.

You then shuffle the hitched bike frame and carrier combo back in the Travel Case and secure it to the base with the straps.

Now the frame can be secured to the side of the bag with straps at the head tube and seat tube cluster areas. These are attached to large foam blocks to keep the bike away from the side of the bag and provide some squash and thump protection.

2023 PRO Bike Travel Case - Seatcluster.png

Pop the drivetrain cover on to stop any other stuff you might put in the bag from getting oily smeared.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Frame Pad + Drivetrain Cover.jpg

Wheel pockets

The wheels slot into cavernous pockets each side of the bag and are held taut with a pair of Velcro straps. They're offset front and back to help with tidy packing, and there are large reinforcing plastic discs on the outside to lessen axle rub and rotor damage.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Front Wheel Support.jpg

Extra protection

For further protection, four foam blocks are supplied to stick to the bag via Velcro strips running either side towards the bottom, so you can mount them where your bike might be most sensitive to baggage strikes and clumsy loading.

The base and the bottom 30cm of the inside of the bag is lined with a silver foil type material that will help towards waterproofing, and more importantly it makes it easier to see where you've dropped that 3mm bolt when you're assembling the bike in a dim hotel basement.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Open Bag Close.jpg

The Pro Bike Travel Case also comes with a big drawstring bag to put your helmet or shoes in, and there's a large zipped mesh pocket to store pedals, energy bars and whatnot inside the rear end of the bag, and another open mesh pocket for knick knacks on the side towards the base.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Internal Mesh Pocket.jpg

I fitted a 56cm road bike in the bag and there was plenty of room to spare, you could easily fit a mountain bike in if you wanted, although rangier full-suspension bikes and modern geometry long-low-slack bikes might struggle.

2023 PRO Bike Travel Case - Packed Bike.png

I've spent some time in the past packing and unpacking various bikes into a large variety of bike bags and boxes, and once the initial setup is done the Pro Bike Travel Case is one of the good ones. Mounting the bike onto the cradle and then putting it in the bag is genuinely useful, especially at the other end when you might be putting the bike back together in a hotel room, where this frame can serve as an impromptu bike stand – so you can build most of the bike back up without making a mess of the carpet.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Rear Wheel Support.jpg

On the move

The base of the bag has four solid bars bolted to it for rigidity and to protect the bottom from rubs and scuffs, and moving the bag around is made easier by the four wheels.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Rear Roller Wheels.jpg

The rear two are integrated into the bag and slightly recessed into a large corner boot of plastic, while the front pair are removable.

The front ones are castor wheels, which help with steering, and they can be clicked off with a push-button to stop them getting damaged in transit – a neat feature, on paper. A small external zipped pocket to put them in would be handy so you don't have to reopen the bag to hide them in before they disappear into the hold, especially if you've made use of the zips' ability to have a small padlock or zip-tie slotted through them, but that's a minor whinge.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Detachable Wheel Sockets.jpg

There's a webbing grab handle on each side of the bag and one on the top for general heaving about, plus two handles on the front edge, both thickly padded with rubber, one on the top corner and one at the base, so you can comfortably pull the bag along on all four wheels or lift the front and roll along on the back ones.

best bike travel case 2023

It doesn't like strong winds either.

Lots of pros, but...

So there's a lot to like about the Pro Bike Travel Case. It's lighter than a plastic clamshell case and folds down small when not needed. The twin-railed metal frame in the base gives a secure footing for the bike and out of the bag makes it very easy to disassemble/assemble for packing/unpacking. The wheel pockets are huge and will fit a mountain bike wheel, and the internal pockets are handy too. It's a pleasingly compact and manoeuvrable bag, although dragging it around can be a frustrating affair at times. Unfortunately the Pro Bike Travel Case has a problem, and it's a big one.

It doesn't handle the chuck, thump and crush of airline travel at all well. It's impossible to predict how kindly a bag will be treated once it goes through the plastic flaps of no return, and we've all heard horror stories while probably never having an issue ourselves. But even taking the abuse lottery into account, the Pro Bike Travel Case really isn't up to the task.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Hole In Corner.jpg

On its first outing the pop rivets holding the plastic foot that house the rear wheels gave way, I suspect because of the main body having a certain amount of flex to it in relation to the base, allowing too much movement for the rivets to cope with. This was quickly fixed with some nuts and bolts, but it wasn't a good or reassuring start.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Bottom Rear Plastic Boot.jpg

As if to prove it, on the case's next travels, one of the upright struts forced its way through its nylon end pocket, which compromised the bag's rigidity, protection and integrity. And there was some serious scuffing to the zip on a top corner.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Base Strut Sleeve Fail.jpg

On its third trip away, that loose pole punched its way through the bottom corner of the bag, possibly thanks to a blow from above, and a pole that runs along the top of the bag went through its webbing pocket too. The metal studs that stand proud of the inserts that the removable front wheels click into were showing damage too, likely from being dragged across the floor by a ground crew employee who isn't paid enough to care. This became worse over successive trips, so that enough of these studs has been worn away that the wheels don't clip in any more, so they're useless now. It's also maybe how one of these removable wheels got lost in transit somewhere. Oh, and a bit of the zip has come away from the body of the bag on a corner.

2023 Pro Bike Travel Case - Removable Wheels Post Wear.jpg

Overall, the Bike Travel Case really looks like it's been through the wars. Despite all of this, though, and with an increasing degree of trepidation each time I've used it, the bike inside has emerged completely unscathed. But it's an unacceptable and worrying amount of damage for a bag to sustain in so few trips that it doesn't inspire much faith for future travels. For the Pro Bike Travel Case's sake it's probably a good job that we're being encouraged to minimise air travel to help save the planet.

On paper, the Pro case isn't badly priced for what it is, but its performance lets it down. More protective, more robust bike bags and boxes can be had for less.

If you don't need the packability of a soft case, the Bike Box Alan Premium Bike Box is arguably the benchmark bike bag for safe travelling. Go anywhere near an oversize baggage belt and you'll see one. It's a plastic shell that requires more bike breakdown than the Pro, but it's cheaper (£440, and currently on sale for £374), and a sturdy box that should set your mind at rest however often you travel.

The Merlin Cycles Elite Travel Bike Bag looks similar but has a cheaper rrp of £429, up from £380 when Nick reviewed it in 2020 (and because it's Merlin it's probably on sale right now – oh yes, it is, £289). It doesn't have the bike cradle or bag-reinforcing struts and only has one set of wheels, but it packs away small too and in the course of testing appeared to hold up well.

The Evoc Bike Travel Bag always seemed to a popular and sturdy soft bag when I was hoicking bikes out the backs of vans, and comes with an optional frame to support the bike like the Pro case, but is still cheaper at £424.99. The members of the road.cc staff who helped with the testing recommended it, with one even considering buying it for themselves.

The Bikebox Online VeloVault2 is more expensive than the Pro, at £545. It's another hard case that's quite roomy, although that translates into it being quite a big box. Mat was impressed, though, saying it was strong, well made and very easy to pack. (And just as he said in his review in 2018, if you don't want to stump up the cash to buy one, they're also available to hire.)

'Soft' travel bags are always going to have their issues and be more susceptible to grazes and injuries than hard cases when dealing with being handled poorly and loaded into luggage compartments with the likelihood of piles of other heavy things chucked on top of them, but it's the compromise that many are happy to make for a bag that's light to move around and easier to store when not in use.

Over my years of travel with bikes I've stood nervously at the baggage carousel waiting to see what might have happened to countless bikes in bags and boxes, and I've never seen a bag suffer such a succession of damage in such a short time. Normally you'd have to wait a few years and get a-few-times-round-the-world amount of air miles under your belt to come to a satisfactory conclusion about the protection and longevity capabilities of a bike bag, but there's no need here.

For this sort of money you're going to expect a bag that will look after your bike for many years of travel, and while there's always an element of luck in such matters, a large amount of the Pro Bike Travel Case's misfortune seems to be poor design and construction choices.

A soft bike bag with some great features that would be even greater if it could stay in one piece

road.cc test report

Make and model: Pro Bike Travel Case

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?

Pro says: "The PRO Bike Travel Case features a reinforced frame to provide a sturdy, protective, travel case for your bike. Designed to provide you with a better sports' bicycle experience the PRO Bike Travel Case was developed to fit all bikes; including 29'er mountain bikes, gravel bikes and road bikes. It features a reinforced inner frame and improved protection, when compared to the previous version of PRO's Bike Travel Case. Inside the Bike Travel Case there are 2 wheel compartments, which have been placed to further ensure the strength of the frame. It rolls on 2, rear, caster wheels and 2, front, fixed wheels to efficiently carry its 9-kilograme weight."

On paper it should be a good bike bag because there's lots to like in the details; in real life, however, it's worryingly poor. Sturdy it is not.

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

Improved function and durability for the ultimate travel bag

Renewed frame design combining super durable materials with a stress-free set up

Glass fibre rod construction for extra strength

Upgraded wheel compartment placement ensuring additional security

Fixed roller wheels on the back for easy manoeuvrability

It looks well made and there's been some intelligent thought put into the features, but it seems like it just wants to fall apart.

On the one hand it's a good bag if you want something that can pack away smallish, has a great bike cradle and some genuinely useful design features; on the other, its ability to self destruct puts doubts in your head about its ability to look after a bike.

It broke on its very first outing.

As a soft bag it's going to be quite lighter than a full plastic box – handy with airlines' random baggage weight restrictions.

More protective, more robust bike bags and boxes can be had for less, plus its performance lets it down.

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

Technically it did its job in being able to protect a bike from the adventures of air travel, but the fact that it started to fall apart on its first outing casts doubt on it being able to do that for much longer.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Light, packed down for storage, bike cradle.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's just not up to the job.

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

If you don't need the packability of a soft case, the Bike Box Alan Premium Bike Box is arguably the benchmark bike bag for safe travelling. It's a plastic shell that requires more bike breakdown than the Pro, but it's cheaper at £440, and currently on sale for £374.

The Merlin Cycles Elite Travel Bike Bag looks similar but has a cheaper rrp of £429, up from £380 when Nick reviewed it in 2020, and is currently on sale for £289.

The Evoc Bike Travel Bag comes with an optional frame to support the bike like the Pro case, but is still cheaper at £424.99.

The Bikebox Online VeloVault2 is around the same price as the Pro, at £545. It's another hard case that's quite roomy, although that translates into it being quite a big box. (If you don't want to stump up the cash to buy one, they're also available to hire.)

Did you enjoy using the product? It was nice in that it was simple to pack, manageable to walk around with, light and squished down small for storage, but its ability to self-destruct under the bumps and scrapes of travel was very, very disappointing.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

There's lots to like about the bag, but its willingness to self-destruct under transit trauma makes it unfit for purpose. You can get more robust, more protective bags for less.

Overall rating: 3 /10

About the tester

Age: 50   Height: 180cm   Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: It varies as to the season.   My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time

I've been riding for: Over 20 years   I ride: Most days   I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun

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best bike travel case 2023

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

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I've been away on 4 trips to Europe l, and a friend with the same case,with this case and the bikes have always survived fine. I think it offers great protection for the bike. Wheeling it isn't great. I haven't had the same damage from baggage handlers as Jo. It has a few scuffs and marks but nothing that a suitcase wouldnt pick up as well. I think 1.5 stars is a bit harsh and makes it seem like a seriously unviable option, which it definitely isn't., I'd give it 3 stars at least,

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If your bike is going to be handled by other people, outside of your sight, then:

Hard case > Cardboard box > Soft Case > Nothing

But they have their benefits for other uses.

Avatar

I prefer big fish -> little fish -> cardboard box myself. 

If you have an expensive bike (particularly if its carbon) and travel with anything other than a hard case box, you really are asking for trouble IMO.  You might get lucky indefinitely, but if you travel a lot then I'd say there's a high chance it'll end in tears.  Maybe I was particularly unlucky, but on my second flight using a Scicon soft bag, it got crushed / dropped / manhandled so badly that the steel QR holding the rear wheel to the internal frame was bent and the mech hanger of my Trek Madone ripped off.

Latest Comments

Sadly we have two private roads near us 1 has access and 1 doesn't. They pay for all the road maintenance and if its private thats it im afraid....

TVP used to be quite good......

Exactly what previous generations said about television, rock 'n' roll music, the wireless…there were probably cavemen back in the Stone Age...

I think that is what most are calling for, an updating in light of a full and comprehensive review of the law  regarding road offences and collisions.

Trouble is that sign Encourages punishment passes. Drivers think cyclist shouldn't be in the highway lane because they've been told to dismount and...

You had me at cardinal points. Take my money!!! (After I consult the wife)

Boring even down to the paint job. Boring, boring, boring.

To be fair, in this case I think it was probably a joke at their own expense.

Rosie Holt (Tory MP) has tweeted "It was today I learned that immigrants are CLOGGING UP THE ROADS #bbcdebate" Finally, it's not cyclists!

Apparently Ribble have sourced & sent a bunch of replacement bikes to them

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The Adventure Pub

10 Best Bike Travel Cases | June 2023 (Reviewed & Ranked)

 last updated on june 12, 2023, 10 minutes.

* The Adventure Pub independently reviews and recommends products through the use of advanced data analysis practices. By clicking the links on this page, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

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best bike travel case 2023

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WHAT WE LIKE:

best bike travel case 2023

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Bike Travel Cases Buying Guide : What You Need To Know

Theadventurepub's #1 Pick For The Best Bike Travel Cases

*Our top pick for the best Bike Travel Cases

Attributes Of High Quality Bike Travel Cases

- Bike Travel Cases should be made of durable materials that can withstand being jostled around and protect your bike from the elements. - They should have a secure closure system to keep your bike in place, as well as straps or handles for easy transport. - Bike Travel Cases should also be lightweight and compact so that they are easy to carry and store.

How To Choose The Best Bike Travel Cases

Bike travel can be a great way to see the world and get some exercise at the same time. But it can also be a pain if you don't have the right gear. Bike travel cases are essential for anyone who wants to take their bike on the road with them. But with so many different options on the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs? Here are a few things to consider when choosing a bike travel case: 1. Size and weight The first thing to consider is the size and weight of the case. You need to make sure that it is big enough to fit your bike, but not so big and heavy that it is difficult to transport. If you are planning on flying with your bike, keep in mind that most airlines have weight and size restrictions for luggage. 2. Protection Your bike travel case needs to offer enough protection to keep your bike safe from damage during transport. Look for cases that are made from durable materials like aluminum or hard plastic. Avoid soft-sided cases, as they offer little protection against bumps and drops. 3. Wheels If you are planning on traveling with your bike by car, look for a case that has wheels. This will make it much easier to move around, especially if the case is large and heavy. Cases without wheels can be more difficult to transport and may require multiple people to lift them. 4. Price Bike travel cases can range in price from around $100 to $1000 or more. The type of case you choose will largely depend on your budget. If you are only going to use your case occasionally, you may not need to spend as much money on a high-end model. However, if you are planning on using your case frequently or for long-distance travel, it is worth investing in a higher quality case that will offer better protection and last longer.

What To Avoid When Looking For The Best Bike Travel Cases

When choosing the best bike travel case, there are a few things to avoid. First, make sure that the case is big enough to fit your bike. You don't want to be stuck with a case that's too small and can't accommodate your bike. Second, avoid cases that are made of cheap materials. You want a case that will protect your bike from the elements and from being damaged during transport. Third, avoid cases that are difficult to assemble or disassemble. You want a case that's easy to put together and take apart so you can get your bike in and out without any hassle. Finally, avoid cases that are too heavy or bulky. You want a case that's lightweight and easy to carry so you can take it with you on your travels.

Additional Details

As a result of our extensive research into the best Bike Travel Cases, we discovered 428 products and condensed that list down to the top 10 products. Using our state-of-the-art AI powered system, we've collected and anayzed 1,063 customer reviews, compared 108 product features, and cross-examined 264 product specifications. From this data, we've discovered that most customers purchase Bike Travel Cases that costs around $571.39 and have an average customer rating of 85%.

At the Adventure Pub, we believe finding the perfect product can be a journey. With millions of products  competing for our attention, it's easy to get lost in the endless web of possibilities.  That's why our team is dedicated to finding the best products and making your researching experience more streamlined by doing the heavy lifting for you. Using state of the art quantitative analysis, machine learning, and natural language processing, we excel at cutting through the noise and finding the products that are actually worth your time considering.

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best bike travel case 2023

Bikepacking & Adventure Cycling

Best Bike Travel Cases Bags For Your Next Adventure

best bike travel case 2023

Bike travel cases are the perfect solution to allow you to pack your bike up and travel to the furthest corners of the world with your bike.

This has personally been an area of struggle I have had with bike travel

As I opt for a cardboard box of my travels.

As these seem to be the best solution if you plan to bike tour and don’t have the ability to carry a bag with you or leave it at a hotel. Especially if you are moving about very often.

best bike travel case 2023

But they offer the best protection for your bike and organization

Compared to a cardboard box.

Also, most bike travel cases pack relatively small so you can avoid those oversized baggage fees.

I am doing more bikepacking adventures that range from a few days in length these days.

So having a bike travel case is the best solution.

And as I am currently in the market for one.

I was doing all this research comparing most bike travel cases available on the market and thought while I am at it, why not write an article for you guys.

So here we go, here are the best bike travel cases ready for your next bike adventure!

EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro

best bike travel case 2023

When looking at this bag by EVOC it seems to be very popular amongst fellow bike travelers.

The 310-liter bag can fit almost any type of bike, has separate compartments for your wheels with padded protection or your rotors, internal frame protection and straps, and even has rolling wheels.

The monocoque wheel chassis is stiff and lightweight and the molded bottom case with aluminum side rails and Aluminum front handle system makes for a durable design.

Fits most bikes: Cross Country, All Mountain, Enduro, Freeride, Downhill Bikes up to 29“, Gravel, Road, and Triathlon Bikes

Only takes a few minutes and all you need to do is remove the handlebar, pedals, and wheels.

Weighing in at 9.6 kg / 24.4 lbs

Dimensions : 147 x 37 x 85 / 57.8 x 14.5 x 33.4 inches / 310-liters of space

Thule Roundtrip MTB Travel Case

best bike travel case 2023

Transport your road bike or MTB safely and easily with Thules Roundtrip travel cases.

The above is their MTB travel bag, they also sell a road bike bag

What I liked most about this case is the integrated workstand for bike maintenance, assembly, and disassembly easier while traveling. This is always a bit of a struggle when putting your bike together on the road. So excited that they offer this feature.

Also, the workstand’s fork mount fits all front axle sizes, including 15 x 110 boost, 15 x 100, 20 x 110, and 12 x 100 mm thru-axle, as well as 9 mm quick-release

The case safely transports almost all mountain bikes, fitting wheelbases up to 130 cm and tires up to 29 x 3.0 in

Also, the padded interior packing panels are tailored to protect all parts of the bike during transport

There are even brake rotor pockets located in the optimal packing position and protect rotors from bending stress while traveling

Weight 13.44 kg / 29.63 lbs

Deminsions : 144.02 cm x 88.9 cm x 38.1 cm / 56.7 x 35 x 15 inches

DAKINE Bike Roller Bag

best bike travel case 2023

This bike travel case is the lightest option we have shown so far at 8.05 kg / 17.74 lbs

Weight is a big deal when it comes to bike travel, especially if you are flying. If you are traveling with all your camping gear as well it’s ideal to free up as much weight as possible.

This bag does just that and it’s the most affordable option when have mentioned so far too, check price!

This bag allows you to easily transport and store your downhill MTB or road bike with 360° padded protection and smooth-rolling, replaceable urethane wheels.

The rear triangle foam block and derailleur pocket stabilize your bike, while the internal padded bags hold your wheels and fork.

Also, the zipper is lockable (no lock included though)

Dimensions: 139.7 x 33 x 86.3 cm / 55 x 13 x 34 inches

PRO Bike Mega Travel Case

best bike travel case 2023

The PRO Bike Travel Case is a durable and protective travel case designed specifically for bicycles. It features a reinforced frame for added strength and improved protection.

This travel case is suitable for all types of bikes, including mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and road bikes.

It comes with two-wheel compartments strategically placed to enhance the frame’s stability.

The case is equipped with two rear caster wheels and two front fixed wheels, making it easy to maneuver despite its lightweight of 9 kilograms.

Key highlights include the reinforced design, universal bike compatibility, inner pockets for wheel storage, and the convenient wheel system for easy mobility.

Deminsions: 130 x 25 x 77 cm / 51.18 x 9.84 x 30.31 inches

Scicon Sports Aerocomfort

best bike travel case 2023

A road bike travel case

The Aerocomfort 3.0 Road is a convenient and foldable soft-shell bike case designed for cyclists on the go.

It features an internal bike stand that securely holds your bike in place, while a unique outer shell shape allows you to keep your handlebar and seat post intact.

With minimal bike disassembly and no tools required, you only need to remove the wheels.

Your bike settings remain undisturbed, and the case offers comprehensive protection with internal pads and safety belts.

It supports standard quick releases and 12mm thru-axle skewers and includes Thru-Axle to Quick Release adapters.

The case is lightweight, with external dimensions of 115x95x28 cm, and weighs 10.5 Kg, suitable for road bikes, and is designed for air travel.

It has an internal support structure and is made from high-density woven Nylon. The Twin Wheel System™ ensures smooth, silent movement with eight 360-degree wheels.

Additionally, the case is Travel Sentry Approved, and a TSA padlock is included for added security.

LifeLine EVA Pod Bike Travel Bag

best bike travel case 2023

Again one of the lighter cases to choose from

LifeLine’s EVA Bike Pod is the ideal solution for easy bike transportation.

Made from high-impact resistant EVA material, it provides excellent protection against impacts and abrasions.

This pod is designed to fit most modern bikes, securely locking them in place to prevent any damage during transit.

Not the most ideal choice compared to other cases as the reviews vary, which is why I was hesitant to include it.

The EVA Bike Pod features a clamshell design that allows it to fully open for effortless bike storage and removal.

It is securely sealed with industrial-strength zips and quick-release buckles.

The pod is equipped with multiple handles, making it easy to lift and maneuver. It also meets all major airport security baggage handling restrictions.

About The Author

best bike travel case 2023

Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.

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ROLLBag Pro Plus NEW 2023 - Bike Travel Case Special Air Travel - Maximum Strength & Resistance - Offset Wheels, Rigid Bottom, PE Board Reinforcements, Ergonomic Handles, All Accessories - Buds-Sports

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best bike travel case 2023

ROLLBag Pro Plus NEW 2023 - Bike Travel Case Special Air Travel - Maximum Strength & Resistance - Offset Wheels, Rigid Bottom, PE Board Reinforcements, Ergonomic Handles, All Accessories - Buds-Sports

About this item.

  • Polyester 600D - high density foam padding
  • NEW 2023! BIKE TRAVEL BAG with 13 mm HIGH DENSITY shape memory foam and PE board sides reinforcements FOR AIR TRAVEL
  • BUDS-SPORTS ORIGINAL ACCESSORIES INCLUDED FOR MAXIMUM SAFETY: Fork Protect, Frame Protect, Universal Support, MTB HandleBar Protect. The ROLLBag Pro comes with all the necessary accessories to offer the best protection to your road or mountain bike.
  • SOME SIMPLE STEPS TO FIT YOUR BIKE INTO THE COVER: 1 - Remove the two wheels and place them in the dedicated padded pockets on the sides of the cover. 2 - Install the accessories on the frame in seconds. 3 - For MTB, remove the handlebar and slide it into the Handlebar Protect / For a Road Bike, turn the handlebars 90°. 4 - Adapt the saddle height to the height of the cover. That's all!
  • THE ROLLBAG PRO ALSO KNOWS HOW TO BE DISCREET: Because you're not always on the go, the ROLLBag Pro folds up and knows how to be forgotten when you're not using it. It will easily find a place in a closet or in a small space, stored in its carrying bag.
  • RESISTANCE: Optimum quality and extremely resistant materials: PE600D exterior and TPE-lined interior for easy maintenance - 13 mm high-density foam padding with shape memory on all sides + PE BOARD reinforcements. Dimensions of the unfolded bag: 52 x 33.5 x 11.8 In / Folded bag dimensions: 52 x 11.8 x 11.8 In / Manufacturer weight: 16,53 lbs
  • We recommend that you check with your airline company to see if your insurance covers any damage when using a soft bag.

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Product guides and documents

Product information, technical details, additional information, warranty & support, product description.

RollBag Pro - Funda para bicicleta de montaña, funda acolchada para bicicleta

[NEW 2023] Buds-Sports ROLLBag Pro Plus - Fully Padded Bike Bag with big wheels, rigid bottom and sides reinforcements - ideal for Air Travel

The all new Buds ROLLBag Pro Plus bike travel bag has been designed to safely transport all types of bikes (up to 29″) by plane.

Rigid bottom, offset wheels, sides reinforcements, ergonomic handles, reinforced zips and numerous reinforcements make the ROLLBag Pro Plus the ultimate bike transport and travel case.

Because you are not always on the move, the ROLLBag Pro can be folded and forgotten when not in use.

Compatibility: road, triathlon, gravel, MTB (up to 29″) including downhill bikes.

Some simple steps to fit your bike into the bag:

  • Remove the two wheels and place them in the dedicated padded pockets on the sides of the bag
  • Install FRAMEProtect, Fork Bike Protect and Universal Bike Support
  • For a MTB: remove the handlebar and slide it into the HANDLEBARProtect
  • For a Road Bike: simply turn the handlebars 90° - no disassembly necessary
  • Adapt the saddle height

RollBag Pro - Funda para bicicleta de montaña acolchada

Easy handling

3 ergonomic and reinforced carrying handles for easy handling. Easy identification of the ROLLBag Pro Plus and papers at hand thanks to the transparent outer pocket.

RollBag Pro - Funda para bicicleta de montaña acolchada

Unmatched quality and protection

The ROLLBag Pro Plus is made of the most resistant materials: PE 600D outer / nylon 240 inner / tarpaulin reinforcements. A rigid bottom, honeycomb/PE Board sides reinforcements and an ultra high density 13 mm foam padding over the entire surface ensures maximum protection of the whole bike.

RollBag Pro - Funda para bicicleta de montaña acolchada

Mobility and stability

For better mobility and stability, the large and robust chassis is equipped with high-quality, replaceable large-diameter castors. You will appreciate the high stability of the cover when moving.

RollBag Pro - Funda para bicicleta de montaña acolchada

Frame and Fork Protection

The ROLLBag Pro Plus comes with 4 original accessories to ensure a maximum protection during the transport: Frame Protect, Fork Bike Protect, Universal Support and MTB Handlebar Protect.

RollBag Pro - Funda para bicicleta de montaña acolchada

Derailleur and crankset protection

An adjustable Universal Support Bracket, which can be easily attached under the bottom bracket, protects both the rear derailleur and the bottom bracket. This way the bike does not rest directly on the ground.

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ROLLBAg Pro installation

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Installing the mountain bike in the MTBag Travel

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This $6 Amazon Essential Keeps My Medications and Vitamins Organized When I Travel

By Meaghan Kenny

A collage.

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The one essential I keep in my carry-on no matter where I'm headed or for how long: a travel pill case from Amazon. The best travel pill cases are compact, secure, and easy to open on the go, and mine checks all the boxes. 

I used to bring the entire bottle of my daily medication in my carry-on and put loose vitamins in a plastic seal top bag—needless to say, this wasn't the best use of space (or single-use plastic). A year ago, I purchased a $6 travel pill case to save some packing room , stay more organized, and have something I could reuse trip after trip . Since then, it's been a packing non-negotiable for me and has made taking my medications, vitamins, and supplements while I'm traveling easier than ever. 

best bike travel case 2023

It's nearly impossible to stick to your normal routine when traveling. While I don't mind missing a few workouts or healthy meals on the road, I do want to stay on top of taking my supplements and vitamins every day. This sleek, portable case has eight separate compartments that hold everything I need for a week's vacation in one place and make it easy to track what I'm taking. It features two separate sections: One side with six small chambers for storing daily pills and a second side with two larger chambers that holds capsules and vitamins. Having a pill case with compartments of varied size makes it easy to pack as many pills as you need and organize them however you'd like. I use the smaller chambers for my daily allergy pills and the larger chambers to store emergency essentials that I like to have on hand, like Advil ,   Benadryl , and Tums . 

The size of this travel pill organizer is perfect for most trips I take. The compartments are spacious enough to hold at least a week's worth of pills, but the case is still compact enough to fit in my Dopp kit (for reference, it's smaller than an iPhone). I've packed this pill organizer on numerous trips and it's never opened while in transit or spilled any of my items. To secure each chamber, simply snap the plastic top down. After filling the compartments with your medication, snap the two sides of the case together and toss it in your carry-on . 

Something I love about this travel pill case compared to others on the market is its sleek design. When it's closed, no one would ever know you have a week's worth of supplements on hand. And of course, the price is right. This $6 travel essential from Amazon has accompanied me on short weekend getaways to the Catskills , a 10-day European cruise , and countless business trips —and I plan to bring it with me wherever I'm headed next.

If you're worried about carrying a pill case through airport security, rest assured that travelers are allowed to bring their prescription medications and over-the-counter supplements with them. TSA allows travelers to bring medication in pill or solid form in carry-ons and checked baggage—so you can bring your pill case no matter what bag you're packing. 

While I love traveling with this case, there are plenty of great options on the market with high ratings and glowing reviews. Below, a few more of the best travel pill cases that we recommend bringing on your next getaway.

More travel pill cases we recommend: 

best bike travel case 2023

Best day-by-day organizer

This best-selling pill organizer has over 57,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. It has two separate compartments for each day of the week with clear AM and PM labels, so you'll always remember if you took your medication or not. While it's designed for everyday use, it also doubles as a travel organizer for longer trips. If you're looking for an everyday pill box that will keep you on track or are headed on a two-week vacation, this one's for you.

best bike travel case 2023

Best for organizing by AM/PM

Another Amazon bestseller is this weekly pill case with AM and PM labels. Each day of the week has its own portable, pocket-size case that can be removed from the box and carried on its own for day trips or hikes . 

best bike travel case 2023

Most compact organizer

If you prefer something a little more discreet, this daily pill box has a simple yet polished design. The slim, lightweight organizer slides open and locks into place when you close it, so there's no need to worry about any of your pills falling out. Inside, there's a separate compartment labeled for each day of the week. 

best bike travel case 2023

Another very compact option

This small pill box fits in just about any purse or fanny pack you're bringing on your next adventure. It features four separate compartments that each fit several capsules or vitamins, making it an ideal choice for weekend trips when you need two to four days' worth of medications. 

best bike travel case 2023

Best multipurpose organizer

Cadence capsules are one of our editors' favorite reusable toiletry bottles , but they're versatile enough to neatly store pills, too. I keep a few emergency Tums stacked in one of these airtight, leakproof capsules in my tote bag at all times. 

best bike travel case 2023

The Best Luggage Brands to Buy in 2024

These are the top-tested suitcases for all of your travel needs.

best luggage good housekeeping

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Our top picks

Samsonite

Best Overall Luggage

American Tourister

Best Value Luggage

American tourister.

Away

Best Carry-On Luggage

Briggs & Riley

Best Luggage for International Travel

Briggs & riley.

Amazon Basics

Best Under-$100 Luggage

Amazon basics.

Hartmann

Best Luggage for Frequent Flyers

Béis

Best Viral Luggage

TravelPro

Best Luggage for Flight Crews

Heys

Best Printed Luggage

Calpak

Best Fashion Luggage

Each piece of luggage is evaluated by experts in the Lab as well as consumer testers on the go. In the Lab, we look at factors like durability, ease of use and more. We also pack each suitcase with a standard load to see how much it can hold and how easy the compartments are to access. Consumer testers come into the Lab to use the luggage in an obstacle course, where they weigh in on handle comfort, wheel performance, maneuverability and more. Finally, we send luggage out with travelers into the real world for firsthand feedback.

You can learn more about how we test luggage and what to consider as you shop — including how to decide between hardside and softside luggage — but first, here's everything you need to know about our top-tested luggage brands.

Samsonite earns our top spot for the best luggage brand because it has a wide assortment for every preference — from business travelers to vacationers — and has continuously proven to be high quality as we've tested it over the years.

In particular, it stands out for its durability and ease-of-use features: There's been no struggling to open and close the cases, and packing them has been a breeze , thanks to the functional compartments that maximize space. It's certainly not inexpensive, but as direct-to-consumer luggage brand prices have skyrocketed, Samsonite's have remained fairly consistent.

Both hardside and softside styles from the brand have excelled in our tests. We've also been impressed by each of the sizes, including carry-ons, checked bags and underseat luggage. Some of our favorite models include the Freeform hardside (pictured here), the Solyte DLX softside and the Stryde Glyder , which is a checked case that's wide instead of tall so it's less likely to tip over.

best luggage brands samsonite luggage testing at good housekeeping

A consumer tester rolling the Samsonite Freeform carry-on through an obstacle course at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

If you're on a budget or you don’t use luggage regularly — i.e., it doesn’t need to be the most durable and you don’t need all the bells and whistles — American Tourister offers competitive pricing and an excellent variety to choose from . There are a lot of options if you prefer bright colors and fun prints, plus there are cases for the entire family, including a Disney collection . Between the designs and versatile offerings, the models are fun, functional and especially ideal for vacationers.

Just note that while luxury hardside cases are usually made of polycarbonate, American Tourister typically uses ABS plastic, which is more affordable but more prone to scratches. Still, it gets high ratings from online reviewers who note that the bags are surprisingly spacious. Another perk: The brand offers luggage sets for an even better value, especially if you need to purchase multiple pieces. Pictured here is the Pop Max Softside set , which at $150 for a set of three, is less than other single cases.

Away is one of the most popular luggage brands on the market, and our testing shows it actually lives up to its hype. Though the brand has a wide range of offerings, we especially love the hardside carry-on.

It's made of 100% polycarbonate that proved to be durable and lightweight in our evaluations — even lighter than some fabric bags we’ve tested. It was also surprisingly spacious and held a full packing load in our review. The company offers a 100-day return policy on unused items; it also offers a lifetime limited warranty on its suitcases that covers any "functional damage."

Besides the main Carry-On model , it comes in variations like a Bigger Carry-On (which the brand says can hold 20% more) and a Carry-On Flex (which has an expandable zipper). We also love the brand's Everywhere Bag , which is a stylish and surprisingly spacious weekender.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW: We Tested Away's Trendy Carry-On to See If It's Worth The Price

an empty away carry on laid open flat on a white table, good housekeeping's luggage review

An inside view of Away's The Carry On.

Briggs & Riley

Briggs & Riley bags are pricey — a carry-on can cost over $600 — but they come with a lifetime guarantee that will cover all repairs if the luggage ever gets broken or damaged. They also come with innovative features, such as the brand's signature compression packing system. Bags that have this feature expand to let you pack and then compress down after they're filled. In fact, one of our testers said she packed a week's worth of summer clothes for two people into a compact carry-on, and it easily fit into an airline's overhead bin.

The suitcases also use top-notch construction and timeless designs in a range of styles, including hardside, softside, carry-ons and checked bags. The Baseline Global Carry-On Spinner (pictured here in the 21-inch version) has been a selected as GH Family Travel Award winner for the past two years after travel testers gave it perfect scores across the board. Its nylon fabric also aced our Lab's abrasion tests.

a view of the interior of briggs and riley baseline carry on luggage

The interior compartment of Briggs & Riley's Baseline Carry-On, including its easy-to-use expansion button.

It’s hard to find good luggage for under $100, but Amazon’s luggage does not disappoint. There are softside and hardside styles to choose from, plus garment bags , duffels and more. Amazon also boasts extensive testing to make sure their products will hold up, and though the luggage might not the absolute best quality out there, the price can’t be beat.

We were impressed with its hardside 20-inch spinner carry-on (pictured here) when we tested it on our Lab. Our analysts found it to be exceptionally easy to pack, though the ABS material wasn't as scratch-resistant as other models in our tests. Still, consumer testers liked the maneuverability and wheel performance. This style also comes in two other sizes (24 and 28 inches) and can be purchased as a two- or three-piece set.

This luxury brand is on the pricey side but has timeless designs — from hardside to tweed fabric — that never go out of style. In fact, the brand’s marketing and aesthetics are focused heavily on its heritage. It has been a top performer in our tests, thanks to its spacious interior that's easy to pack and its wheels and handles that make it smooth and comfortable to maneuver.

The hardside cases have earned high scores in our tests — especially standing out for being scratch-resistant, lightweight and spacious — but we also love the softside Legend collection (pictured here), which is made of durable tweed fabric and leather trim.

This fashionable yet functional travel brand was founded by actress Shay Mitchell and incorporates smart features designed to make traveling easier. It also has a stunning aesthetic, including monochromatic color schemes in which the handles and hardware match the case.

Pictured here is the Carry-On Roller, its best-selling case that comes in a range of neutral and fun hues. It was spacious for packing and easy to maneuver in our tests, and though it did scuff during use, it resisted dents well during our Lab's drop tests. Another popular style is its Mini Weekender , which can be used as a personal item that fits underneath the airplane seat in front of you.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW: Experts Weigh In on Buzzy Travel Brand Béis

a photo of the beis carry on luggage and beis weekender bag

The Béis carry-on and compact weekender bag being used as a travel set.

This company was founded by a pilot, and it makes luggage specifically for airline personnel who travel for a living. Still, it's just as functional for business and leisure travelers.

The brand primarily sells softside luggage, though it does have some hardside options available. There’s excellent attention to detail that makes frequent flying easier, like cushioning around the handles for comfort, self-aligning wheels that let you roll the luggage in any direction and abrasion-resistant nylon fabric.

The Platinum Elite softside luggage (pictured here) stood out in our Lab tests. Not only was it durable, but it was also spacious enough to hold our entire load with room to spare. The downside was that it was heavier than others, but it's a fair tradeoff for the top-of-the-line features.

This brand increases the fun factor and makes it easier to spot your luggage in a sea of solid colors. There are adorable animal sets for kids' luggage , animal prints for adults and more. There are also options for licensed teams and art (like Britto, shown here), making your suitcase a playful yet functional accessory.

When it comes to materials, most Heys suitcases are hardside and made of polycarbonate and ABS composite. This means it's mostly ABS plastic but has a polycarbonate coating on the outside for added protection. The brand wasn't the most durable in our tests, it but earned high ease-of-use scores.

Style is certainly important when it comes to luggage — it's an accessory, after all — but you don't want to sacrifice quality and functionality. Calpak's cases are both well-made and have unique designs. Though its assortment is tailored with fewer models than some of the big brands, Calpak still has a wide range of materials to choose from, including sleek hardside polycarbonate, printed ABS/polycarbonate blends and ripstop polyester.

Calpak's Ambeur carry-on (pictured here) was one of our testers' favorites; they especially loved the easy-to-use telescopic handle and metallic color. We also found it to be easy to pack and though it wasn't as scratch-resistant as some others we tested (which is expected for ABS composites), it still withstood dents and damage from our durability drop test.

Tumi

Rolling TUMI luggage through the airport is like a status symbol; the brand is highly recognized for its upscale products for both business and leisure travelers.

In addition to its suitcases , it makes accessories like briefcases and backpacks and has components that make traveling easier, like an anti-slip strap on carrying bags and an extra hook on rolling bags so you can wheel multiple items at once. On top of that, the brand stands out for its unique service offerings, like repairs and luggage registration to help you find lost bags.

We especially love Tumi's Alpha collection (pictured here is the Alpha carry-on ) with its durable materials and removable garment sleeve. One GH analyst who has been using a backpack in this collection appreciates that it fits more than you'd expect and has a versatile design for travel, work and beyond.

L.L.Bean

If you’re going away for weeks or just have lots to pack, L.L.Bean’s duffels are roomy enough to stuff in everything you need. There are options with or without wheels and lots of sizes to choose from (the Adventure Rolling Duffel , shown here, is incredibly durable and one of our go-to picks for vacations with kids).

The flexible shape of the duffel also allows it to store easily under your bed, so it’s perfect for college students or anyone tight on storage space. It’s also made of sturdy, water-resistant nylon fabric that's made to last no matter where your travels take you — in fact, one of our experts says it's lasted for years without signs of wear. She does note that it's a little more cumbersome to pull than four-wheel spinner luggage and it's spaciousness makes it easy to go over the 50-pound weight limit for airlines, but says it's perfect for packing for two kids.

Monos

Monos says its design philosophy is "less is more," — meaning the bags are made to be simple and timeless to avoid passing trends and high quality so they can stand the test of time. Most of its hardside bags are entirely polycarbonate, though some combine polycarbonate and aluminum for increased durability. They also have useful packing features like wide compression straps to help you fit more in the case.

The Check-In Large was a winner of last year's GH Family Travel Awards because of its spacious interior and maneuverability. Testers said it was easy to roll and they loved the sleek appearance. It's also worth noting that the brand has a 100-day return period so you can get a refund if it's not a good fit.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW: Here's Why Travelers Love the Monos Luggage Collection

a group of blue luggage

Monos luggage shown in three sizes: Check-in Large, Check-in Medium and Carry-on

Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek

Whether you’re backpacking internationally or exploring a national park, Eagle Creek gives you both the convenience and durability you need in a bag. Some have various compartments so you can stay organized (or store shoes and dirty laundry separately), and some bags have backpack straps if you need to be hands-free.

We especially love the Cargo Hauler Duffel for shorter trips: It’s affordable, spacious, lightweight and folds up into a small pouch for easy storage. For longer getaways, the Migrate Wheeled Duffel (pictured here) is larger and has two wheels with a telescopic handle. It also opens wide so you can easily access the contents.

best luggage brands how good housekeeping tests luggage

Eagle Creek's Migrate Wheeled Duffel, left, being checked in at an airport terminal.

Headshot of Lexie Sachs

Lexie Sachs (she/her) is the executive director of strategy and operations at the Good Housekeeping Institute and a lead reviewer of products in the bedding, travel, lifestyle, home furnishings and apparel spaces. She has over 15 years of experience in the consumer products industry and a degree in fiber science from Cornell University. Lexie serves as an expert source both within Good Housekeeping and other media outlets, regularly appearing on national broadcast TV segments. Prior to joining GH in 2013, Lexie worked in merchandising and product development in the fashion and home industries.

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a person riding a bike on a tacx trainer

The 10 Best Indoor Bike Trainers

Our expert picks the top indoor trainers you can buy right now for all types of riders and budgets.

How We Tested

What's new in trainers, direct drive trainers, friction trainers, training bikes, the four types of indoor trainers, what is a smart trainer, other things to consider.

An indoor bike trainer is a valuable tool whether you’re training for an event, trying to keep a regular riding schedule, or simply prefer the safety of riding inside. But which one should you get? There are several basic kinds, and the options proliferated over the past few years. And added to the mix are smart trainers that allow connection to virtual cycling worlds and online training programs.

Below best-performing trainers from our testing, then scroll down for in-depth reviews and buying advice for the other top trainers we tested.

Best Indoor Bike Trainers

  • Best Overall Value: Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One
  • Best Easy-to-Use Smart Trainer: Zwift Hub One
  • Best Trainer with Motion: Tacx Neo 3M
  • Best for Travel: Feedback Sports Omnium Over-Drive

We used every one of these trainers to squeeze Zwift workouts into our busy workday and even hauled a few of them with us for race-day warm-ups. All of the trainers were tested with third-party apps as well as the brands’ companion apps—and untethered for riders who prefer choosing or building their structured workouts.

Every trainer was put through the same steady-state intervals, max-power sprints, and Tabata-style efforts (high-intensity intervals) to test ride feel, stability, resistance, reliability, and repeatability. As we mentioned, we tested ambient noise levels while riding at 15 and 25 miles per hour to determine the real-world disturbance you’ll cause during your pre-dawn trainer session. In the end, we were left with this list of the best indoor trainers you can buy right now.

wahoo rollr

The latest trend that seems to be hitting this trainer season is motion. Although it would be fair to say that this is a case of "what's old is new again." Motion has been something that various trainers and indoor devices have been trying to incorporate for a while. Kurt Kinetic has been making its Rock and Roll trainer for many years. Wahoo introduced its Axis feet, which added a small amount of movement to its trainers in 2020. Additionally, rocker plates have been around for a while as a way to add motion to a trainer that lacked it.

This year, manufacturers like Wahoo and Tacx have introduced high-end models that aim to integrate motion into their trainers more centrally. These trainers don't just offer more degrees of motion, but they offer it in multiple axes, and with the ability to toggle it on and off.

How important these features might be to you depends on how much time you spend on the trainer in one go. If you're someone who does longer endurance-type rides on the trainer, then motion can provide a welcome addition of comfort and realism. But if you typically limit your trainer time to sessions that are less than 90 minutes, then motion might be an expense worth skipping for now.

The Gold Standard

Wahoo kickr v6.

Kickr V6

Wahoo’s Kickr helped change indoor riding and training for many riders. The sixth version of the venerable smart trainer is more of an update than a wholesale redesign. Still, it again places Wahoo ahead of its competition in terms of connectivity, this time by adding WiFi to the mix.

The new Kickr looks virtually identical to the previous version. And because both versions use the same flywheel, the ride feel is also the same. The new Kickr ramps up smoothly and correctly as you accelerate. Power accuracy seems very good, with shorter efforts showing the most discrepancy, but anything longer than one minute is well within the claimed 1% accuracy. It is hard to test these things conclusively, as I could only check how close the Kickr reads to my current power meter. Still, it was assuring to see things line up so closely.

Despite the high price and the lack of cassette choice, the latest Kickr is a solid update that tackles the most significant issue riders face with their smart trainers. WiFi connectivity should substantially increase reliability and ensure that the trainer is always up to date with the latest firmware. Being the first trainer offering WiFi connectivity will likely give Wahoo an edge over other high-end trainers, at least for a little while. Whether or not the price is worth it will likely be determined by how much trouble you have with signal dropout on your current indoor setup.

Also, check out the new Kickr Move . It’s the same as the Kickr with an added motion system for a more immersive virtual riding experience.

Best Overall Value

Wahoo kickr core zwift one with 1-year zwift membership.

Kickr Core Zwift One with 1-Year Zwift Membership

The newly launched Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One combines Wahoo’s excellent base-model direct-drive trainer with Zwift’s singlespeed Cog and virtual shifting. The trainer sets up easily and works with almost any bike, regardless of gear range or number of speeds. This enables multiple riders in a household to share one trainer, even if their bikes have different drivetrains or gearing.

kickr core zwift one

The Kickr Core Zwift One uses virtual shifting in Zwift to change gears instead of your bike’s shifters and derailleurs. The 24-speed virtual gear range is very wide, allowing riders of all abilities and sizes to ride in Zwift. Unfortunately, virtual shifting only works in Zwift, so if you plan to ride without Zwift or on another platform, purchase the Kickr Core model with a cassette . Additionally, you can easily replace the Zwift Cog with a cassette if you don’t like the virtual gearing.— Tara Seplavy

READ FULL REVIEW

Best Easy-to-Use Direct Drive Trainer

Hub

Zwift is so popular with riders that its name is often used as a verb for riding indoors. Despite this popularity, many riders face barriers to accessing the platform, ranging from cost to hardware compatibility. Zwift’s Hub One helps lower the cost of an immersive Zwift experience with its low price and ease of use (plus, it includes a 1-year membership).

The new Hub One uses a singlespeed rear cog (compatible with 8 to 12-speed systems) in place of a traditional cassette. The cog pairs with a wireless button to control virtual gear shifts. This makes it a no-fuss set-up if multiple riders in a household share a trainer.

In terms of feel and inertia, the Hub One is as good as Wahoo’s Kickr Core. It’s essentially silent—The only noise you’re likely to hear will be either your drivetrain or your fan. The only biggest critique I can make of the Hub is that it doesn’t fold up or have adjustable legs. But if you’re not tight on space and have pretty even floors, this is the most cost-effective way to get the full virtual training experience that Zwift offers.

Best Simulated Road Feel

Tacx neo 3m smart trainer.

Tacx NEO 3M Smart Trainer

The Neo 3M is similar to the Kickr in power measurement (up to 2,200 watts with 1 percent accuracy) and maximum gradient simulated (up to 25 percent). But the Neo 3M has two features found nowhere else. It generates its electricity, meaning you can use it without external power—although it works best when plugged in. And, like an old-school Nintendo Rumble Pack, the Neo 3M vibrates to simulate a wide range of road surfaces—from gravel to cobblestones to concrete slab roads—when you’re riding on Zwift. Combine that with the 3M newly built-in motion plates, and you've got a trainer that provides some impressively realistic indoor ride feel.

Unlike other direct-drive trainers that use belts or rollers for power transmission, the Neo 3M has a metal flywheel with magnets that interact with electrical coils to moderate resistance. You turn the flywheel directly as you pedal; the more electricity that flows through the coils, the larger the magnetic force. It also comes with pedal-stroke analysis and a thru axle adapter that accommodates 142 x 12mm and 148 x 12mm axles, plus is compatible with Shimano and SRAM 8- to 12-speed drivetrains. Though an 11-speed 11-28t cassette now comes pre-installed.

The downside of the Neo 3M is that it's missing a few key features that I'd want to see in a trainer at this price point. Mainly, it lacks built-in WiFi. Yes, you can purchase a WiFi accessory separately from Tacx, but that feels clunky compared to the built-in WiFi of Wahoo's Kickr V6. Additionally, the Neo 3M lacks the high-speed data transfer mode of the V6. Are these things strictly necessary? No, but the Neo 3M is a top-of-the-line trainer that aims to compete with the Kickr V6, which is priced at $700 less than the Neo.

Best Storage

Elite suito t.

Suito T

The Suito T is the perfect mid-range trainer. It uses a similar-sized flywheel to the Kickr Core and Zwift Hub, has a higher max power output of 1900 watts, and costs $50 less. If that wasn't enough, it also folds down quite small. Which is handy if you're someone who only occasionally rides the trainer.

If you're a Zwift racing pro or just someone who does high-intensity workouts inside, you'll appreciate the very sturdy four points of contact on the Suito T. These make for a very stable trainer platform, and in our experience, the Suito T was as stabled as the much higher priced Wahoo Kickr. Its stability was miles better than other trainers in this price range. Our only knock against the Suito T was that it did not ship with a cassette.

Best Cheap Trainer

Kinetic by kurt kinetic rs power trainer.

Kinetic RS Power Trainer

Kinetic’s RS Power Trainer is a great value if power data is all you need. While it doesn’t automatically control resistance, it will connect with training apps such as Zwift, TrainerRoad, and more. It also pairs with ANT+ and Bluetooth-enabled computers and head units.

The RS Power has a stable base with floor-safe rubber feet. Its 10 kg flywheel delivers a good road feel and is relatively quiet at only about 60 dB. If you're someone who does lots of sprint training indoors, then the 700w rating on the built-in power sensor will probably be a deal breaker. But it can be a good deal for riders looking to get started on Zwift or other indoor training platforms.

Best Fast Set-Up

Wahoo kickr rollr / powrlink bundle.

Kickr Rollr / Powrlink Bundle

With the Rollr, Wahoo designed a trainer with ultimate user simplicity in mind. Their target user is someone who doesn’t want to remove the rear wheel from their bike, deal with drivetrain compatibility, or navigate various rear skewers or thru axles. It’s also ideal for riders who might want to train on multiple bikes indoors without adjusting for axle or cassette standards.

To accomplish this, Wahoo has created a novel-looking trainer. At the front, there is an A-shaped bracket that holds the front wheel at the tire. The front wheel clamp uses a tool-free adjustment and can accommodate a tire up to 2.1” (or 53mm) width. At the back of the Rollr are two drums that cradle the bike's rear wheel and an external flywheel that adds resistance. While the frame of the Rollr is adjustable for different wheelbases, the adjustment is limited and is optimized around road bikes. This means that particularly long mountain bikes might not fit. However, most road or gravel bikes shouldn’t have any issues.

We do not recommend the Rollr for riders who do a lot of out-of-the-saddle, high-intensity training, or riders who regularly race on Zwift. A direct drive trainer will be better suited to these tasks. But riders that find these trainers to be too cumbersome will love the smooth ride feel and easy on-and-off set-up of the Rollr.

Best Outdoor Riding Feel

Nero

If you hate the “locked-in” feel of traditional trainers but want to ride on third-party virtual platforms, the Elite Nero Interactive Rollers are the answer. On its own (in other words, not plugged in and connected to any devices or apps), the Nero functions like a set of traditional rollers, except with the bonus of progressive resistance.

However, strong riders may overpower the resistance and momentum. For sustained efforts over 400 watts, our tester was nearly maxed out at the bottom of the cassette to maintain the effort level. The rollers also slide back and forth on a fixed frame, which makes for a somewhat natural ride (if you ignore the feeling of sliding backward) as the bike has the freedom to move not just side to side but forward and back as well.

Along with the freedom to move, these rollers give you the freedom to join the world of virtual cycling. At first, it feels odd to experience resistance changes as you hit climbs and descents on Zwift while riding rollers, but it quickly feels as normal as riding in a virtual world can, aided by the free-flowing movement of the bike. Don’t get carried away thinking these are the magic bullet for indoor training. Roller purists will find there’s too much resistance for high-cadence technique work, and trainer lovers won’t like that they can’t zone out for hours on end with nothing to think about but keeping the pedals turning. In other words, the Nero offers a comfortable middle ground.

Best for Travel

Feedback sports omnium over-drive.

Omnium Over-Drive

Ubiquitous in parking lots and team tents at bike races, the Omnium Over-Drive is ideal for race day and travel. The Omnium’s compact size and lightweight (14 pounds) also make it great for riders who vanlife or with small apartments. It comes with a durable tote bag that lets you stow it under a bed or shove it into an overhead bin on a plane.

However, this portable trainer isn’t light on features. Two four-inch magnetic drums provide progressive resistance up to a max of 1,050 watts at 55 mph and make for an incredibly quiet ride that won’t disturb the peace while you’re cranking out a workout in your hotel room. Thanks to its height-adjustable fork mount and sliding base, the Over-Drive accommodates various bikes, wheel sizes, and quick-release or thru-axle configurations.

At first glance, you might think the Over-Drive’s simple design sacrifices stability. But even during out-of-the-saddle sprints, our tester didn’t tip it over or make the rear wheel skip off the rollers. If you like the concept of the Over-Drive but don’t want the resistance, Feedback Sports offers the Omnium Zero-Drive , which is identical except the rollers have no resistance. Both models’ sleds (the part that holds the rollers) are interchangeable and sold separately, so if you want both options, you don’t have to buy two complete trainers.

READ FULL REVIEW VIEW 22 IMAGES

Best Dedicated Set Up

Wahoo kickr bike shift.

Kickr Bike Shift

The new Wahoo Kickr Bike Shift is ideal for anyone committed to improving their fitness through indoor training. At $3,000, the Kickr Bike Shift costs as much as many bikes (and this one you can’t ride outside) and it’s heavy and takes up a lot of space. But if you want the convenience of riding at a moment’s notice with little set-up or don’t want to ruin your pricey road or gravel bike on the trainer, this is a great option.

Since the Kickr Bike Shift has no actual gears to—err—shift, you program its levers to mimic Shimano, SRAM, or Campagnolo shift logic and the gear ratios you prefer. While the Shift lacks the climbing tilt adjust and Race Mode of the pricier Kickr Bike , it maintains the great ride feel and easy adjustability. This adjustability makes it easy to share the trainer with multiple other riders in a household.

Although there are many variations of each, most trainers come in three basic styles.

  • Direct-drive trainers attach to the rear dropouts, replacing your wheel and providing a direct connection to the resistance unit. These are easily identified because they require a cassette. They’re typically the most expensive but also the most accurate, with the highest levels of resistance.
  • Friction trainers place a small roller against the rear wheel and utilize either magnetic or fluid resistance. They tend to be lighter and more portable than direct-drive trainers but are noisier and less accurate. The trade-off comes in cost. You can get a smart friction trainer for about half as much as a direct-drive model.
  • Rollers are the most basic style and also require the most technique since the bike isn’t held in place but rather perched atop three rollers. Resistance can range from almost nothing up to as much as any direct-drive trainer. They are also very useful for refining your pedaling technique.
  • Training bikes are a great option for indoor riders with a lot of extra space. These are dedicated trainers made to mimic the fit and feel of an outdoor bike but without needing to hook up a bike. They are ideal for riders who share a trainer as they are easily adjustable for various rider heights.

Automotive exterior, Vehicle, Auto part, Cutting tool, Wheel, Bumper, Steel, Tool,

Typically the term Smart Trainer means that a trainer can wirelessly communicate power data with a training app on a smartphone or computer. Most Smart Trainers will also interact with virtual riding platforms like Zwift and RGT by automatically adjusting resistance to simulate changes in terrain. The popularity of Zwift and other apps means most newer trainers are “smart” and will both transmit your data and adjust resistance. These features do add to the cost of a trainer, but prices are falling, and you can now score a smart trainer like the Wahoo Kickr Core for $500.

a person riding zwift

If riding virtually is not interesting to you, a trainer that only transmits power data, such as the Kinetic Road Machine Smart 2 , can be a much cheaper option.

If you'd like to try Zwift and you currently don't have a Smart Trainer, you can still start logging virtual miles with the addition of a Bluetooth speed sensor. Check out our guide to getting started here.

  • Compatibility : With axle attachment standards and widths changing almost yearly, check whether a trainer you’re interested in offers different attachment options such as thru-axle adaptors and, for direct-attachment trainers, free-hub options. Some trainers come with them. If yours doesn’t, you’ll have to purchase them separately.
  • Noise : With more people exercising indoors and with families working at home, looking for a quieter option may be more of a priority than before (as well as getting a good fan when you work out). While most manufacturers can get away with using words like “silent” and “virtually silent” to describe the noise level of their trainers, there are other factors to consider, such as the sound your bike’s drivetrain cranks out as you pedal and, if you use one, the fan that’s whirring away to keep you cool and simulate wind speeds. To get a better idea of how loud “silent” actually is, we used a decibel meter to record the noise levels of each trainer being ridden at 15 and 25 mph. Decibels ranged from 68 (comparable to a vacuum cleaner) to 85 (diesel truck going 40 mph); the fan alone measured 71. To get an idea of how significant a seemingly minor jump in decibels can be, 70 is twice as loud as 60, and 80 is twice as loud as 70.‌
  • Stability : Trainer crashes are rare, but not unheard of when you’re going cross-eyed trying to beat your PR on that workout. Typically, the broader the trainer’s base, the more stable it will be. Many have a leveling feature for uneven surfaces.

Check out this short video on why a Ramp Test might be better for you than the traditional FTP test.

zwift hub

Test Editor Dan Chabanov got his start in cycling as a New York City bike messenger but quickly found his way into road and cyclocross racing, competing in professional cyclocross races from 2009 to 2019 and winning a Master’s National Championship title in 2018. Prior to joining Bicycling in 2021, Dan worked as part of the race organization for the Red Hook Crit, as a coach with EnduranceWERX, as well as a freelance writer and photographer. 

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13 best carry-on luggage pieces 2024 - we tested them all.

Discover the best carry-on luggage for your unique travel style and needs.

The Best Carry-on Luggage

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Original – Large.

Rachael Hood | U.S. News

Things aren't always as they seem – especially when it comes to luggage. In our quest to find the best carry-on bags, we discovered that while some suitcases look good, they don't always hold up to the demands of travel. Some designs have attractive features that add bulk but not additional functionality, while others just don't live up to the hype.

To determine the best carry-on luggage, we tested dozens of bags on countless trips to find the ideal bag for every travel need. Read on to find the best option in a variety of categories, tested and reviewed by our team of experts.

Best Overall: Solgaard Carry-On Closet Original – Large

  • Jump to features and expert insights ↓
  • Overall Runner-up: Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-on Hardside Spinner

Best Hard-sided: Away The Carry-On

Best soft-sided: samsonite solyte dlx carry-on spinner, best lightweight: july carry on light, best for international travel: delsey paris helium aero international carry-on - expandable spinner, best affordable: amazon basics 20-inch hardside spinner.

  • Best Expandability: Briggs & Riley Essential 22" Carry-on Expandable Spinner
  • Best Underseater: CALPAK Luka Soft-sided Mini Carry-On Luggage

Best for Business Travel: Amazon Basics Expandable Softside Carry-On Spinner – 20.4 Inch

Best luxury: carl friedrik the carry-on pro.

  • Best Carry-on Duffel: The North Face Rolling Thunder–22"

Best Carry-on Backpack: Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

(Note: Prices were accurate at the time this article was published; they may fluctuate due to demand or other factors. Original photos were taken by our editors during luggage testing.)

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Original – Large

Price:  $315 or less

Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.6 x 9.6 inches | Weight: 8.1 pounds; 8.85 pounds with closet insert Packing capacity: 4-7 days |  Color options:  Red, purple, navy or 6 others, plus precious metals options Hard- or soft-sided:  Hard-sided   | Warranty: Lifetime

Sturdy and attractive, this suitcase is set apart from the rest by its patented and removable shelving system. This unique design feature makes packing easier, keeps items in place and removes the need for unpacking at your destination. Rather than a zippered clamshell design, the Solgaard Carry-on Closet has two latches that open with just the squeeze of two levers together; it secures with a TSA-approved lock.

The waterproof polycarbonate exterior has an aluminum frame and corner guards so this suitcase can withstand all the rigors of travel. There's also an ergonomic handle and frictionless wheels, which make it easy to maneuver on all types of terrain. What's more, this sustainable suitcase helps to repurpose 6 pounds of plastics that may have ended up in the ocean.

What our editors say:

This carry-on suitcase has it all! From the power bank (sold separately) to the super sturdy and comfortable handle to the removable closet feature – not to mention the attractive yet functional appearance – this suitcase packs a punch. I really like how easy it is to pull on a variety of surfaces, including carpet and brick. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

Best Overall Runner-up: Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Hardside Spinner

The Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Hardside Spinner in cream on a pathway outside.

Leilani Osmundson | U.S. News

The Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Hardside Spinner in cream.

Price: $369.99 or less

Dimensions: 23 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 8.1 pounds Packing capacity: Up to 10 days; 45 liters | Color options: White, red, blue, green or gray Hard- or soft-sided: Hard-sided | Warranty: Limited lifetime

The Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Hardside Spinner is a truly well-rounded carry-on with a plethora of unique features. USB A & C ports on the outside of the bag give easy access to charging. (A power bank is not included, though the bag does have a pocket for one inside the expansion zipper.) Self-aligning magnetic wheels – a reviewer-favorite feature – allow painless travel through the airport as well as on roads, sidewalks, uneven surfaces and more. A built-in TSA zipper lock offers ultimate protection for your possessions.

Even without the features listed above, this Travelpro spinner is, at its core, a high-quality piece. The hard outer shell is ultra-strong and 100% polycarbonate; aluminum corner guards further protect your belongings. The clamshell-style suitcase has two large interior compartments along with three extra pockets, one of which is water-resistant, and the expansion zipper allows for an extra 2 inches of packing room. Plus, this carry-on is made with genuine leather trim, so you can travel in style as well as comfort.

There are some amazing features on this carry-on, but my favorite is the wheels – as someone who typically prefers hands-free travel (primarily backpacks), I found that the way this suitcase easily glides around everywhere absolutely changed my mind about wheeled luggage. Just know that since this is one of the larger bags on this list, I would still check your airline's carry-on size requirements before traveling (though it's been tested for most major domestic airlines, and it fit perfectly on Delta). – Leilani Osmundson, Senior Digital Producer

The Away The Carry-On in green.

Amanda Norcross | U.S. News

The Away The Carry-On in green.

Price: $275 or less

Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.4 x 9 inches | Weight: 7.5 pounds Packing capacity: Up to 5 days; 39.8 liters | Color options: Black, navy, blue gray or olive, plus 2 glossy options Hard- or soft-sided: Hard-sided | Warranty: Limited

When it comes to hard-sided carry-on luggage , nothing beats The Carry-On by Away. The bag is lightweight yet indestructible thanks to a 100% polycarbonate exterior. Plus, you can easily wipe away most scratches with a magic eraser.

In late 2023, Away launched a new iteration of The Carry-On that somehow made it even more efficient. The most notable new features are an additional underside grab handle, three extra interior compartments, and an enhanced compression system that upholds the bag's ability to accommodate nearly a week's worth of clothing. The bag's 360-degree wheels are also slimmer than those of its predecessor for improved maneuverability. While Away has long been known for its neutral colored matte options, glossy options of this bag are now available.

The Away Carry-On is my ride or die. I've taken it on so many trips over the past five-plus years and it's still in perfect shape. I know I'll have it with me for many years to come. – Amanda Norcross, Senior Content and SEO Strategist

Samsonite SoLyte DLX Carry-On Spinner in blue in an alley.

Catriona Kendall | U.S. News

The Samsonite SoLyte DLX Carry-On Spinner in blue.

Price: $199.99 or less

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 7.1 pounds Packing capacity: Up to 7 days; 32 liters | Color options: Black, gray, green, aqua blue or royal blue Hard- or soft-sided: Soft-sided | Warranty: 10-year limited

This classic soft-sided option from Samsonite offers everything you need for a smooth trip. There are three spacious pockets and a trolley strap on the outside so you can stack it on top of another rolling suitcase, as well as a USB port for charging your phone (though you'll have to purchase a battery separately).

Inside the suitcase, three more zippered pockets – including one for wet items – help you stay organized, while buckles keep the main compartment's tie-down straps out of your way while packing. This spinner can conveniently expand by 0.75 inches, but keep in mind if you're flying that overpacking may put it over your carry-on size allowance.

I've used other spinner suitcases in the past, but none of them glide as smoothly as this bag, with its 360-degree dual-spinner wheels. I also love the high-quality, lightweight material, but my favorite part is its organizational features – especially the WetPak pocket. I'd highly recommend the Samsonite SoLyte DLX for anyone who needs a trusty soft-sided carry-on for a flight; it definitely fits more than I thought it would. – Catriona Kendall, Editor

 July Carry On Light in black against a sunny window.

Price: $245 or less

Dimensions: 21.25 x 14.17 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 3.9 pounds Packing capacity: Up to 7 days; 32 liters | Color options: Beige, light green, dark green, lilac, charcoal or 3 others Hard- or soft-sided: Hard | Warranty: Lifetime with 100-day returns

Weighing just under 4 pounds, this bag is the lightest hard-sided carry-on we found on the market. It's constructed with an extremely durable German polycarbonate shell, and the interior has two mesh zippered compartments to keep your belongings from shifting. The inner nylon lining is also resistant to water and stains. To make the suitcase easy to maneuver, there's a top carry handle, a telescoping handle and dual-spinner wheels.

I was absolutely shocked by how light this suitcase is. While some lightweight designs can be extremely flimsy, this July carry-on is very durable and holds a good amount of clothing. With compression packing cubes I was able to pack enough clothing for a week. It was extremely easy to put in the plane's overhead compartment, and the wheels rolled very smoothly for my entire journey. The only thing I noticed is that since the bag is so lightweight, the trolley bag I had was making it want to topple. Next time, I'd use a smaller tote or a north-south design to avoid that issue. – Rachael Hood

The DELSEY PARIS Helium Aero International Carry-On - Expandable Spinner in blue.

Erin Evans | U.S. News

The DELSEY PARIS Helium Aero International Carry-On - Expandable Spinner in blue.

Price: $179.99 or less

Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 10 inches | Weight: 8.16 pounds Packing capacity: 5-7 days; 41 liters | Color options: Black, blue, red or gray Hard- or soft-sided: Hard-sided | Warranty: 10-year limited

This DELSEY PARIS carry-on is a well-built piece of hard-sided luggage. It meets carry-on suitcase size restrictions for most international airlines and offers an easily accessible front compartment – ideal for a laptop up to 15.6 inches or other items you want to be able to grab quickly. The suitcase has a TSA lock and two spacious internal compartments for clothing, shoes and travel gear. The double-spinner wheels glide smoothly across all types of surfaces, and the handle pulls out and retracts with ease.

I was incredibly impressed by this little workhorse of a carry-on bag. There are so many different pockets and compartments within it for organization, and it fits a surprising amount of clothes, shoes and accessories. The handle and wheels make it easy to maneuver, and the glossy exterior makes it look sleek and chic. – Erin Evans, Managing Editor

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Textured exterior of Amazon Basics 20-Inch Hardside Spinner.

Price: $80 or less

Dimensions: 21.46 x 14.76 x 9.45 inches | Weight: 7.34 pounds Packing capacity: Up to 7 days; 23 liters | Color options: Black, navy blue, orange or light blue Hard- or soft-sided: Hard-sided | Warranty: 1-year

The Amazon Basics 20-inch Hardside Spinner is similar to many other hard-sided luggage products on the market, but it's available at a fraction of the price. The ABS shell is textured, so even if you – or luggage handlers – bang it around a bit, it does not show scuffs or scratches easily. The double-spinner wheels (a must, honestly, in today's luggage landscape) make the bag effortless to maneuver.

Inside, one side of the bag features a compression strap, while the other has a large fabric zippered closure, complete with a few organizer pockets for smaller items. Thanks to its availability on Amazon Prime, the carry-on luggage ships quickly, so it's also a great option if you need new luggage in a crunch.

This carry-on bag is a superb selection for the budget-conscious traveler. I appreciated how much I was able to get into this bag (it doesn't look huge, but it fit quite a lot), and the textured exterior really ups the durability factor. The compression straps and the interior organizer even helped me squeeze in a bit more. – Erin Evans

Best Expandability: Briggs & Riley Essential 22" Carry-on Expandable Spinner

Briggs & Riley Essential 22" Carry-on Expandable Spinner in blue against stone wall.

Price: $699 or less

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 (up to 11.5) inches | Weight: 10 pounds Packing capacity: Up to 7 days; 37-48 liters | Color options: Black, navy or olive Hard- or soft-sided: Soft-sided | Warranty: Lifetime

The Briggs & Riley Essential 22" Carry-on Expandable Spinner has a standout feature that other bags on this list don't: one-touch CX expansion. Exclusive to Briggs & Riley, this technology allows your bag to expand and compress in one swift motion. Simply press and pull up on the red levers found at opposite ends of the bag, and it will grow 2.5 inches. Once you've packed your belongings, push down on the buttons to compress the bag before zipping it up.

This bag also features a garment folder to reduce wrinkles in a suit or dress, as well as cinch-down garment panels to secure the clothing in place. Other convenient features include interior mesh compartments for organization, an exterior pocket for airport essentials (or even your laptop) and a signature PowerPocket where you can charge your smartphone.

While the bag is undoubtedly an investment at $700, its "simple as that" guarantee (free repairs forever, no questions asked) – plus sturdy features like impact-resistant corner guards and self-repairing zippers – means you'll have it for life.

When it comes to quality, this is the best luggage I've ever used – period. The compression/expansion system is just the icing on the cake. – Amanda Norcross

Best Underseater: CALPAK Luka Soft-Sided Mini Carry-On Luggage

The CALPAK Luka Soft-Sided Mini Carry-On Luggage in black.

Price: $165 or less

Dimensions: 16 x 14.5 x 9 inches | Weight: 5.1 pounds Packing capacity: 2-4 days; 34 liters | Color options: Chocolate, oatmeal or rose quartz Hard- or soft-sided: Soft-sided | Warranty: 2-year limited

Compact and filled with useful features, this CALPAK underseater has a water-resistant exterior, a TSA-approved lock, and side and top handles for easy lifting into the overhead or pushing under the seat. There's a telescoping handle, a luggage trolley sleeve and two exterior pockets for stowing small items like your passport, boarding pass and earbuds.

On the inside, there's a padded laptop sleeve, multiple interior pockets and compression straps. For added convenience, the main panel can be secured via built-in snaps to get your laptop out while traveling (and keep your other belongings from spilling out), or you can unsnap it while packing to maximize the interior storage space.

When I'm traveling on a quick trip with my laptop, this is my go-to bag. Its compact size glides easily under the seat, and it's also compact and light enough to fit into the overhead bin even on the smallest regional planes. I love the laptop sleeve and the zippered exterior pocket for my book, earbuds and wipes. To maximize the interior space, I use compression cubes from Lug , and I'm able to squeeze in four to five outfits, a pair of shoes and daily necessities. – Rachael Hood

The Amazon Basics Expandable Softside Carry-On Spinner – 20.4 Inch in black.

Price: $83 or less

Dimensions: 20.4 x 14.9 x 8.2 inches | Weight: 6.35 pounds Packing capacity: 2-3 days; 26 liters | Color options: Black, olive, gray, red, blue or purple Hard- or soft-sided: Hard-sided | Warranty: 1-year

This simple but sturdy carry-on piece from Amazon is a great option for business travelers, thanks to its front pocket for easy laptop access, smooth double-spinner wheels and TSA lock. This Amazon Basics soft-sided carry-on also features a handle on the bottom between the wheels, which makes it easy to put the bag up into and pull it out of the overhead bin. On some airplanes, it may even be small enough to fit under the seat.

The interior of the bag features one large compartment with two compression straps, plus two zippered pockets on the opposite site. The 20.4-inch option is ideal for shorter trips, but this style is available in larger sizes as well. Another bonus: It's available on Amazon Prime, so it ships quickly.

This Amazon Basics option is on the smaller side for a carry-on, but that's what makes it a solid choice for business travelers going on short trips who only need to pack a few things. The laptop pocket is easily accessible, and the handle on the bottom of the bag is super useful for hauling it out of an overhead bin. The black color is professional, and the price can't be beat. – Erin Evans

Carl Friedrik The Carry-on Pro in black against chair.

Price: $565 or less

Dimensions: 21.7 x 15 x 9.6 inches | Weight: 9.5 pounds Packing capacity: 5-7 days; 43 liters | Color options: Gray/cognac, gray/chocolate, gray/black or black Hard- or soft-sided: Hard-sided | Warranty: Lifetime with a 100-day trial

Constructed with premium materials, this luxury carry-on has Italian leather accents, Japanese spinner wheels and a polycarbonate exterior with an aluminum metal frame for stability. It closes via two secure latches with combination locks (rather than a zipper). There's a front laptop compartment with a smaller pocket and pen slots to keep business essentials or travel documents easy to access.

The interior has leather details, compression straps and a removable compression pad with a pocket – ideal for small items like ties, fashion jewelry or silk scarves. Travelers can also purchase an additional compression pad to have a pad on each side of the interior compartment.

This suitcase exudes luxury with its Italian leather trim and understated elegance. The design of it looks very sleek, the interior is spacious, the handle is very sturdy and the wheels glide with ease. I especially liked that the top of the suitcase is very flat, which gave my trolley bag a secure base so it wasn't moving around while I was at the airport, and the front compartment was ideal for accessing my laptop on the go. It feels very sturdy, but the only downside is it weighs more than a typical carry-on. – Rachael Hood

Best Carry-on Duffel: The North Face Rolling Thunder – 22"

The North Face Rolling Thunder – 22" in black on rooftop.

Price: $270 or less

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 7.34 pounds Packing capacity: Up to 5 days; 40 liters | Color options: Black Hard- or soft-sided: Soft-sided | Warranty: Limited lifetime

The North Face's 22-inch Rolling Thunder duffel doesn't have the bells and whistles of other carry-on options, but it's a sturdy and reliable option for those who want a duffel style on wheels. The duffel has a hard-sided back panel, two wheels that can withstand various terrain and plastic bumpers for abrasion resistance. The soft-sided top of the bag is made of water-resistant Base Camp material and nylon for extra durability. There are two zippered pockets on the outside to stash small items and a mesh pocket inside for some added organization.

I brought this duffel on a trip to New Zealand, and it held up very well. The Rolling Thunder had no issues after being checked on six different flights, and the flexibility of the style allowed me to easily store it out of the way in my campervan once I had unpacked. It's definitely a simpler style, but it does its job well. Be aware, though, that this wheeled style doesn't have straps that would allow you to carry it like a duffel; it can only be rolled. – Catriona Kendall

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L in purple.

Price: $200 or less

Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 10 inches | Weight: 3.5 pounds Packing capacity: 5-10 days; 35 liters | Color options: Multiple options but color availability changes frequently Hard- or soft-sided: Soft-sided | Warranty: Lifetime

When it comes to hands-free and adventure travel, the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L can't be beat. This lightweight carry-on backpack comes with a sternum strap, a removable waist belt and a weight-distributing harness system, all to make for a comfortable carry (since sore shoulders can be a concern when it comes to carrying backpacks through time-consuming airport experiences).

Organization is a breeze with a top zippered pocket – perfect for storing travel documents or a Cotopaxi hip pack – and a padded laptop sleeve on the outside. Internally, you'll find two mesh compartments, one large and one subdivided, that work great with Cotopaxi packing cubes . The backpack's straps can be tucked away for more streamlined travel, and the bag even comes with a rain cover (though the Allpa is already TPU-coated to be water-resistant).

Furthermore, Cotopaxi is dedicated to sustainability : 94% of Cotopaxi products contain repurposed, recycled or responsible materials. The vibrant, one-of-a-kind Del Dia Allpa backpacks , for example, use remnant fabric.

I've taken my Cotopaxi Allpa on countless adventures and it's survived everything – wind, rain, being shoved into tiny rental cars, you name it. Besides being incredibly durable, I love how much this backpack can fit; my longest trip so far with only the Allpa 35L as my luggage has been a comfortable nine days, and that included packing bulky cold-weather gear. I just wish it had a water bottle pocket like the Allpa 42L does! – Leilani Osmundson

Also Recommended

Solo New York Re:Serve Carry-On Spinner: While the Solo New York Re:Serve Carry-On Spinner is a solid (and sustainable) carry-on bag for less than $200, it doesn't offer quite enough space – especially for someone who may be traveling for longer.

Away The Aluminum Carry-On Bag: This is a well-built carry-on bag. The only downfall is that it's on the heavier side, weighing nearly 11 pounds. Away's Aluminum Carry-On is also more than twice the cost of the standard carry-on by Away, which works just as well.

Lipault Plume Cabin Size Spinner: This is a great soft-sided option if you're looking for a lightweight suitcase. Featuring a sleek nylon construction, a large front exterior pocket and internal zippered pockets, the Lipault Plume Cabin Size Spinner works well but isn't as lightweight as the July Carry-on Light.

Monos Carry-on Plus: It's a high-quality suitcase with a lot of internal details, but given its larger size this bag doesn't fit in the overhead compartment on multiple planes (especially regional jets). That said, if you're traveling domestically on larger planes, the Monos Carry-on Plus could be an option to consider. Or, the smaller standard Monos Carry-on could be a good option as well.

Pros and Cons of Hard-sided Luggage

Pros and cons of soft-sided luggage, frequently asked questions.

Aside from traditional rolling suitcases, the following items can be used as carry-on luggage provided they meet carry-on size limitations (which vary by airline) and fit in the overhead bin or fully under the seat (not sticking out) in front of you.

  • Duffel and weekender bags:  This includes weekenders and duffel bags with wheels . Just note that wheels are included in carry-on dimension restrictions.
  • Garment bags:  These are also considered carry-on baggage by most airlines. You can place your garment bag in the overhead bin, or in some cases, a small closet on the plane.
  • Pet carriers:  Some airlines consider pet carriers to be carry-on luggage. Check with your chosen airline when preparing for your trip with Fido.
  • Backpacks:  If your carry-on backpack fits under the seat, it will count toward your personal item allowance on most major airlines. This means you'll have the option to bring an additional bag for the overhead bin.
  • Diaper bags: If you're traveling with a baby, diaper bags and other baby travel gear generally don't count toward either allowance – meaning you can bring these items in addition to your carry-on bag and personal item.

Purses , briefcases and camera bags can be carried on the plane as well, but usually aren't considered carry-on bags and are instead labeled personal items. Underseater bags – often designed specifically to fit comfortably under a plane seat – are also ideal as a personal item.

Typically, travelers can bring one carry-on bag (for the overhead bin) and one personal item (for under the seat) on the plane, free of charge.

Carry-on luggage sizes can vary by airline. Several major U.S. carriers, such as American Airlines and United, impose a 22 x 14 x 9-inch rule. If you're buying new carry-on luggage, this is a good default size to choose – especially if you fly with a variety of airlines.

For international airlines, it's often 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches. To be sure about dimensions as well as any weight restrictions, see our guide to Carry-on Luggage Size & Weight by Airline . It usually doesn't matter how heavy your carry-on bag is, though some airlines do monitor the weight.

  • Hard-sided: The hard-sided July Carry On Light weighs less than 4 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight carry-on bags on the market. Other lightweight carry-on bags we recommend include the hard-sided Away The Carry-On (7.5 pounds) and the Amazon 20-Inch Hardside Spinner (7.3 pounds).
  • Soft-sided: If you're looking for a lightweight, soft-sided carry-on bag, consider the Lipault Plume Cabin Size Spinner (4.8 pounds) and the Samsonite SoLyte DLX Carry-On Spinner (7.1 pounds).

Hard-sided luggage is often heavier than soft-sided luggage – but only by a few pounds. If you're planning to purchase a hard-sided carry-on bag, look for something that's made of polycarbonate or polypropylene, both of which are lightweight yet durable materials.

How We Tested

Our team tested 26 carry-on bags across several price points and on a variety of trips spanning overseas flights, weekend getaways, overnight trips and more. We traveled by car, plane, train and cruise and packed for a variety of climates and activities, from shore excursions in Mexico to rainy road trips around Iceland. For bags with wheels, we tested their maneuverability on multiple surfaces, including gravel, pavement, grass, moving walkways, cobblestone and carpet. After four months of testing, we deem these carry-on bags the best of the best for 2024.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

The following editors personally tested the luggage recommended in this article:

Erin Evans , Managing Editor: Evans loves a durable bag and also can't say no to a good deal. Considering how banged up luggage can get, her picks on this list are both well-made and affordable.

Rachael Hood , Senior Editor: Hood rarely checks a bag, yet she loves to pack a lot and pick up some new finds along her journey. She looks for a combination of durability, functionality, interior space and overall appearance.

Catriona Kendall , Associate Editor: Kendall opts for convenient and versatile carry-ons that can work well for weekend and weekslong trips alike.

Amanda Norcross , Content & SEO Strategist: Norcross has mastered the art of traveling with a carry-on bag only, but believes this is only possible with the right luggage.

Leilani Osmundson , Digital Producer: Osmundson prefers lightweight, streamlined luggage that's ideal for adventure travel.

You might also be interested in:

  • What to Pack in Your Carry-on Bag
  • What Is Allowed in a Carry-on Bag
  • The Best Travel Insurance Companies

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Checked bag allowances.

Changes to bag allowances and fees have been updated as of February 20, 2024.

Travel within / between the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands – 1st checked bag fee is $40 ($35 if you pay online) and the 2nd checked bag fee is $45.

Travel to / from Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and Guyana – 1st checked bag fee is $35 and the 2nd checked bag fee is $45.

All bag fees are non-refundable and apply per person, at each check-in location, each way, even if you purchase or get an upgrade that includes free checked bags. If you believe you've been incorrectly charged for bag fees, contact an American representative for help or file a refund claim within 45 days.

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Checked bags

How many bags can you take?

Check up to 10 bags on american airlines operated flights if your trip is:.

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Check up to 5 bags on American-operated flights if you’re traveling to / through / from:

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*There are seasonal and year-round bag restrictions

We calculate the size limits of your bag by adding the total outside dimensions of each bag, length + width + height.

For all regions, except to / from Australia or New Zealand, your checked bag allowance is:

  • Dimension: 62 in / 158 cm
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For all confirmed customers on flights to / from Australia or New Zealand:

  • Weight: 70 lbs / 32kgs for complimentary bags and 50 lbs / 23 kgs for excess charged bags
  • Oversize and overweight bags

What it will cost

In some cases, you won't have to pay the fees for up to 3 bags when traveling on itineraries marketed and operated by American Airlines. If you qualify for complimentary bags based on your AAdvantage ® status or one world ® status, the benefits are based on your highest status level at time of ticketing or check-in.

If your status level is:

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  • Lower at ticketing than at check-in, current benefits will automatically apply

Free checked bags may not apply to codeshare flights operated by our partners. Visit the website of the airline operating your flight for details.

Other airlines

1st checked bag is complimentary for:

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or when traveling to these destinations:

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*Excluding Basic Economy

^Excluding Basic Economy for tickets issued on / after June 7, 2023

1st and 2nd checked bags are complimentary for:

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*Applicable only to Flagship ® First International, Flagship ® First Transcontinental and Flagship ® Business Plus. AAdvantage Executive Platinum ® status, AAdvantage Platinum Pro ® status and oneworld ® Emerald members traveling in Flagship ® First may check a 4th bag at no charge

**Free checked bags apply when traveling on American marketed and operated itineraries. Free checked bags don't apply to codeshare flights operated by our partners.

Save time, pay online

Don’t wait in line at the airport – get the best price available and check up to 3 bags when you check-in on aa.com or in the app.

Pay for your checked bags online within 24 hours of departure and receive the best price available for travel on domestic flights within and between the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, and select markets in the Caribbean and Central America.

For tickets issued on / after February 20, 2024, save $5 on the 1st checked bag fee for travel within and between the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

For more information about paying for your bags online, visit our customer service FAQs.

Customer service FAQs

All published bag fees apply at each check-in location and are base rates according to travel dates and destination; applicable taxes are not shown.

All bag fees are non-refundable and apply per person, each way, even if you buy or get an upgrade that includes free checked bags. If you believe you were incorrectly charged for bag fees, contact an American representative for help or file a refund claim within 45 days.

^Main Plus includes 1 extra free checked bag in addition to the Main Cabin allowance (max of 2)

^^A $30 1st checked bag fee and a $40 2nd checked bag fee applies for tickets issued on / before February 19, 2024. A $40 1st checked bag fee ($35 if paid online) and a $45 2nd checked bag fee applies within / between the U.S. (including HI / AK), Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands for tickets issued on / after February 20, 2024. Otherwise, a $35 1st checked bag fee and a $45 2nd checked bag fee applies for tickets issued on / after February 20, 2024.

*Free bag excludes Basic Economy: For Basic Economy travel to / from Haiti, a $30 1st bag fee applies for tickets issued on / before February 19, 2024 and a $35 1st bag fee applies for tickets issued on / after February 20, 2024. For Basic Economy travel to/from Panama / Colombia / Ecuador / Peru a $45 1st bag fee applies. For Basic Economy travel to / from South America (excluding Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname) a $45 1st bag fee applies for tickets issued on / before September 19, 2023 and a $60 1st bag fee applies for tickets issued on / after September 20, 2023. For Transatlantic Basic Economy travel, a $75 1st bag fee applies. For Transpacific Basic Economy travel for tickets issued on / after June 7, 2023 a $75 1st bag fee applies and for tickets issued on / before June 6, 2023 there is no 1st bag fee.

**For travel to / from Panama and South America (except Guyana and Suriname), a $65 2nd bag fee applies for tickets issued on / before September 19, 2023 and a $100 2nd bag fee applies for tickets issued on / after September 20, 2023.

Flights departing Canada

Find out how much you'll pay for checked bags and other fees on roundtrip and one-way flights departing Canada, displayed in CAD.

Bag and optional fees - Canada

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Through checked bags

We only through check bags if all your tickets are in the same reservation and you’re connecting to another American Airlines or one world ® flight.

Each passenger traveling to Cuba may only check up to 2 bags* with a maximum weight of 70 lbs / 32 kgs per bag, plus 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item.

  • Carry-on bags

*Seasonal exceptions apply to Havana, Cuba effective for travel on / after March 14, 2023

*For travel to Cuba, a $30 1st bag fee applies to Basic Economy and Main Cabin for tickets issued on / before September 19, 2023. For tickets issued on / after September 20, 2023 a $30 1st bag fee applies to Basic Economy and there is no 1st bag fee for Main Cabin. For tickets issued on / after February 20, 2024 a $35 1st bag fee applies to Basic Economy and there is no 1st bag fee for Main Cabin.

**For travel to Cuba, a $200 2nd bag fee applies seasonally for travel from November 16 – January 9. A $150 2nd bag fee applies otherwise. Excludes Main Plus for tickets issued on / after September 20, 2023.

^Main Plus includes 1 extra free checked bag in addition to the Main Cabin allowance (max of 2).

What else can you travel with?

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Restricted items

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25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023

Looking for your next adventure? You’ll find it on our annual list of the world’s best destinations for travelers.

Travel inspiration is everywhere you look. The question is where to go next. Here’s our annual list of superlative destinations for the year ahead—places filled with wonder, rewarding to travelers of all ages, and supportive of local communities and ecosystems. Reported by our global editors and framed by five categories ( Community , Nature , Culture , Family , and Adventure ), these 25 destinations for 2023 are under the radar, ahead of the curve, and ready for you to start exploring.

Community: Where conservation benefits everyone

A man visits and leans on the Profitis Ilias chapel overlooking the sea

Discover Karpathos, Greece, a surprising and sublime spot in the Dodecanese Islands , where women-led ventures are leading the charge in sustainable tourism. Spend a long weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin , a vibrant Great Lakes city that celebrates its cultural community as much as its breweries. Experience how long-held traditions and contemporary perspectives intersect, with Indigenous tourism outfitters in Alberta, Canada . Board a new high-speed train that makes lesser known regions of Laos accessible to tourists and brings economic opportunities to locals. Head to Ghana to explore Black heritage and hang out with a fashion-forward crowd in the capital, Accra. ( Learn more about how these Best of the World destinations support their communities. )

Nature: Escapes to wild, beautiful places

A zebra herd exits a deep spillway on the Selinda Reserve

Marvel at the biodiversity of Botswana —as well as the programs to rehabilitate endangered species, create wildlife corridors, and develop community-owned tourism projects. Linger in the   Scottish Highlands , where a rewilding movement is aiming to restore the original landscape and native flora and fauna. In Slovenia , a longtime leader in sustainable tourism, set off on new gastrotourism biking routes that visit farms, vineyards, cheesemakers, and other food producers. Big Bend National Park   brings to life the frontier legend of Texas—but the landscape will also surprise you. In the Azores ,   applaud   award-winning sustainability programs that conserve the natural wonders of this volcanic archipelago known for whale watching and thermal springs.   ( Delve into our best destinations for nature lovers. )

Culture: Places where history and heritage rule

Portrait of Dr. Mohamed Abdel Moneim Megahed, Egyptian Archaeologist, inside the tomb of Khoi in Djedkare Cemetery at the Archaeological Area in Saqqara

Visit King Tut’s new home in Egypt at Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum and see Luxor’s Avenue of the Sphinxes. Tap into the creative energy of Asia’s top film festival and sip craft beer in Busan, South Korea , the nation’s second largest city. Make a pilgrimage through history along Italy’s Appian Way , Europe’s ancient “superhighway.” Explore culture and history—with a side of Low Country cuisine—at the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Caroli na . See one of the world’s largest assemblages of stone statues at Longmen Grottoes , a UNESCO World Heritage site in Henan Province, China.   ( Here’s how to visit these Best of the World destinations .)

Family: Inspiring journeys for all ages

A train in Switzerland runs on the track along the coast through the wine country

In Switzerland , ride the rails to quaint Alpine towns for chocolate, hiking, and skiing. Help save the turtles in Trinidad & Tobago , one of the most important leatherback turtle rookeries in the world. In San Francisco, California ,   gather around a campfire with Golden Gate views at Presidio Tunnel Tops and hike the urban Crosstown Trail.   Go birdwatching in the avian paradise that is Colombia , the enchanted land of Disney’s Encanto.   Visit the playing grounds of a storied soccer team in Manchester, England —and be inspired by the city’s art scene as well.   ( Explore more of these family-friendly destinations .)

Adventure: Adrenaline-pumping outdoor excursions  

Aerial view of the Hanan zone (high) and the hurin zone (low) of the Choquequirao arqueological center

Trek to Choquequirao, Peru ,   an isolated Inca site that’s under the radar—but soon to be more accessible. In New Zealand , the country that invented bungee jumping, rekindle your sense of adventure post-pandemic. Get your adrenaline rush in less visited areas of the popular adventure state of Utah . In Austria , hike the cross-country Bergsteigerdörfer network of mountaineering villages to sample local culture. Finally, add Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico , to your itinerary. Its protected waters, supported by National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative, hold one of the largest aggregations of sharks and manta rays in the world.   ( Dive deeper into these adventure trips. )

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Parker Hall Ryan Waniata

The Best Wireless Earbuds for Everyone

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more . Please also consider subscribing to WIRED

Pixel Buds Series A

Best Overall Google Pixel Buds A-Series Read more

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

Best Noise Canceling Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Read more

Sony WF1000XM5 Earbuds

Best Upgrade Sony WF-1000XM5 Read more

Anker SoundCore Space A40 Earbuds on purple backdrop

Pro Earbuds for Less Anker Soundcore Space A40 Read more

Wireless earbuds are one of those ideas that sounded like a dream at first. Pop a little headphone into each ear and listen to music or take calls untethered from everything. The first wireless buds were gigantic, died after a few hours, and had a bunch of other problems. Times have changed. There are now tons of new models that sound fabulous and work perfectly. After testing hundreds over the past few years, these are our favorite wireless earbuds, in a wide range of styles and prices.

For more top picks, check out our other audio guides, like the Best Wireless Headphones , Best Noise-Canceling Headphones , Best Cheap Headphones, Best Workout Earbuds , and Best Wired Headphones .

Updated March 2024: We've added the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds to our top recommendations and added the Montblanc MTB 03 to Honorable Mentions.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get WIRED for just $5 ($25 off) . This includes unlimited access to WIRED. com , full Gear coverage, and subscriber-only newsletters. Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

Best Overall

Comfortable fit, solid sound, good looks, and a sub-$100 price make the Pixel Buds A-Series ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) our favorite wireless earbuds for most people. In addition to an AirPods-matching five hours of listening time and an IPX4 sweat-resistance rating for workouts, these headphones pair instantly with Android devices, and Google Assistant integration is excellent. (They still pair very quickly with iPhones, but not as fast as buds made by Apple. You won't be able to use Google Assistant on iPhones.) The egg-shaped case adds an extra 19 hours of listening time.

The ear fins keep them very stable in the ears, and the audio quality is also better than Apple's entry-level buds, with bolder bass aided by the excellent seal formed by the silicone ear tips.

Best Noise Canceling

We’ve said it before, and by God, we’re going to say it again: If you want absolutely, positively the most effective noise-canceling around, buy a pair of Bose. The QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are simply untouchable. The noise-canceling leaves you free to enjoy their naturalistic, vivid sound, without giving any indication of leaving even the faintest trace of counter-signal or any other indication of how hard they must be working. If you want to leave the outside world behind while you’re enjoying your favorite tunes, these are the earbuds for you. — Simon Lucas

Best Upgrade

Sony's fifth generation WF-1000XM5 ( 7/10, WIRED Review ) earbuds are again the best it has ever made, with a more sculpted and ergonomic case, as well as some of the best noise reduction I've ever heard from a pair of regularly sized wireless earbuds (read: everything other than the bulky Bose models ). They cost a bit more than the outgoing XM4 model, but these new headphones boast some of the most advanced functionality in terms of EQ, touch controls, and adaptive noise canceling available on the market. They even sound decent on calls.

You get eight hours of battery life with noise canceling on, 12 with it off, and two additional full charges in the wireless charging case (which happens to be one of the sleeker cases on the market).

Pro Earbuds for Less

These sub-$100 earbuds from Anker ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) boast noise canceling, wireless charging, and up to 10 hours of battery life when they're in your ears. That's a lot of features for such cheap earbuds. Pair that with decent overall sound quality with a comfortable and lightweight design and they nearly give Apple's AirPods Pro a run for their money. If you're in need of a pair of noise-canceling earbuds but don't want to spend three figures, these are the best we've tried. Too bad they're not as stylish as Google's Pixel Buds A-Series.

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Best for iPhones

The latest AirPods Pro ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) come with USB-C in the charging case and a revamped audio architecture, but otherwise they're identical to the previous generation. Along with six hours of juice and a case with a speaker to help use Apple's “Find My” feature, they have touch controls for quick volume adjustments.

Noise-canceling and call quality are among the top of the market, and make these excellent for both work and play. Plus, a new IP54 rating means they're resistant to both dust and water (great for gym rats). Updates with iOS 17 mean that existing AirPods owners and new buyers alike can enjoy new transparency features, including the ability to have the headphones turn down the volume automatically when they detect you speaking. This is great for those who hate removing an earbud for a quick chat, although I've found it as more of a wake-up call to how much I speak to my pets. If you own an iPhone and like to listen to songs at home or on the go, these are a really great choice.

Google Pixel Buds Pro in orange

Best for Android Phones

If you're an Android owner who wants the simple experience touted by your Apple-toting friends, the Pixel Buds Pro ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) offer the best bang for the buck. You get a relatively wide soundstage with punchy bass, plus all the bells and whistles you'll want in the modern world. Beam-forming microphones and noise-canceling tech make these great on calls and in airports, and eight hours of battery life with noise canceling on means you'll make it to your destination before needing to pop the buds back in the included wireless charging case. Another cool feature is multi-device pairing, which allows you to be connected to your phone and laptop at the same time.

Google has since added some new features via a firmware update, including support for Bluetooth Super Wideband to improve the quality of voices over phone and video calls; support for Clear Calling to reduce background noise; and Conversation Detection, which will pause music when you start talking and switch to Transparency mode so you can hear who you're talking to without having to take the buds out.

earbuds

Best Under $50

Not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on wireless earbuds. Thanks to JLab, you can spend as little as $30 (and they frequently go on sale too ). The company has made a name for itself building big-name-rivaling earbuds for much less, and the Go Air ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) are no different. For $30, you get five hours of battery life and a comfortable fit—plus they're sweatproof. The downside? They're heavier on the bass than other models, and the open-topped case will need frequent cleaning, as it attracts gunk.

Jabra Elite 8 Active Earbuds

Best for Workouts

The folks at Jabra scanned thousands of ears to come up with sleek, comfy designs, and that continues with the Elite 8 Active. WIRED associate reviews editor Adrienne So says these remain some of the best-fitting earbuds and they also stay secure. They have an IP68 water resistance rating, and the sound quality, noise-canceling tech, and mic quality are excellent. The best part? Physical buttons to control your music! Your sweaty hair will no longer interrupt your tunes.

Jabra often continues to sell old models for years, which means you'll have no problem replacing ear tips, the case, or even a bud as needed. That also means you should keep an eye out for a nice discount for the still-great Elite 7 Active .

JLab JBuds Mini earbuds

Best for Small Ears

These teeny tiny earbuds from JLab are meant to be stored on your keychain, allowing you to always have a pair of headphones in a pinch. But I like them for another reason: They're perfect for all the small-eared folks who complain they can't get a good fit from a pair of wireless headphones.

At $40, these are worth a shot for anyone who can't seem to find a pair small enough for them. They even come in five cool colors, which makes them easy to match your vibe. An IP55 rating keeps them safe from dust and water, with three sizes of tips to make sure they seal well in your ears. The only downside? Battery life, which is just 5.5 hours per charge, or 20 hours total with the case.

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro with case

The Best for Samsung Owners

If you own a Samsung phone and are trying to get the most out of it, these are your best buds. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) might not have the multi-device connectivity of the Pixel Buds Pro, but they more than make up for that on sound, where a pair of dual dynamic drivers deliver hyper-clean hi-fi.

You'll also get a super comfortable fit and five hours of playback per charge with noise canceling on, and an IPX7 rating means they're good for workouts. Other “pro” features include support for spatial audio and 24-bit sound, provided you have a modern Samsung device to pair these to. Best of all? They come in an adorable purple, and the wireless charging case easily fits in even the smallest pants pockets.

Beats Studio Buds Plus

AirPods Alternative

The Beats Studio Buds+ are some of the most comfortable earbuds I've tried, and they're also some of the easiest to use, thanks to physical buttons on the outside of each bud. They pair perfectly with Android or iPhone, despite Apple's ownership of the brand, and they come in a variety of colors.

These earbuds replace the older Beats Studio Buds we also liked, and in this model, there's up to 1.6X more noise reduction, better microphones for calls, and a larger 36 hours of overall battery life including the juice from the charging case. Like the AirPods Pro, these also support spatial audio, so you can watch your favorite films and listen to your favorite Dolby Atmos audio tracks with ease.

Light purple rounded rectangular case with black interior is open holding 2 small purple inear devices

Most Secure Fit

The Beats Fit Pro ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) have the same H1 chip featured inside the older Apple AirPods Pro but pack a much more comfortable and ergonomic design that stays put in nearly any scenario. Add to that the six hours of battery life with active noise canceling turned on and some of the best sound we've heard south of the $200 mark, and you've found yourself some of the best workout earbuds for the iPhone, and beyond.

These buds work well with Android devices too, thanks to an app that allows you to adjust the functions of the buttons and take a fit test. You even get style options with your choice of four colors, ranging from stark white to pinkish purple.

Technics EAHAZ80 Wireless Earbuds and Charging Case

For Multitaskers

Technics' EAH-AZ80 ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) have the ability to pair to three different devices at once, which makes this high-end workhorse pair the best we've found for those who tend to be bouncing between phone and Zoom calls.

Beyond that party trick, they also have excellent noise canceling and multiple ear tip shapes and sizes for a comfortable fit. Sound is superb, with the sleek buds offering a clear and precise stereo image—WIRED contributor Ryan Waniata says these are among his overall favorites for sheer audio performance.

Sony LinkBuds

Best for Traveling Around Town

It can be dangerous working out in public or riding your bike with earbuds on. That's why I like the Sony LinkBuds ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ), which have physical holes in the middle of each driver to allow sound in from the outside world. You'll hear announcements at the supermarket alongside your tunes, or an oncoming car before you cross the road. They also come with a super small charging case, which makes them good to leave in a jacket pocket.

Shokz OpenRun Pro wireless headphones

An Earbuds Alternative

Fellow WIRED reviewer Eric Ravenscraft loved his time with the Shokz OpenRun Pro ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ), which wraps around your head and uses bone conduction technology to let you hear music and the outside world. I like the smaller footprint of the above Sony LinkBuds, but these have a more secure design and come with 10 hours of battery life for extra-long workouts.

Grado GT220 headphones

For Headphone Nerds

If you want a more audiophile-like wireless listening experience, check out this no-frills pair from Grado Labs. The Brooklyn brand is known for its excellent headphones and turntable cartridges, and it has branched out to truly wireless earbuds. The GT220 ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) are comfortable and ergonomic, and they deliver a quality version of the company's transparent sound. In fact, WIRED senior associate editor Adrienne So says they fit so well you don't need noise canceling. 

An IPX4 rating and six hours of battery life outside the included charging case are respectable specs, and they look nondescript enough to take with you anywhere, unlike Grado's larger, flashier headphones.

wireless earbuds

Honorable Mentions

Every month seems to bring new sets of earbuds with longer battery life and more compact designs. As such, we can't list everything we like. But if you're still hunting, here are some other recommendations.

Montblanc MTB 03 for $395 : These earbuds are priced out of reach for most buyers, but if you've got the cash, you'll be rewarded with a luxury experience worthy of the brand. Montblanc has called in some heavy hitters from the audio industry to design and voice these buds. The result is a small, comfortable, and quite flashy-looking pair of wireless earbuds that sound really impressive.

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 for $100 : Even several years in, Samsung's Buds2 ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) are a great value. For cheaper than a pair of AirPods, you get noise canceling, transparency mode, and some of the lightest, most comfortable buds around. Frustratingly, the companion app only works for Android, so iPhone users will miss out on most features. Some people have also had issues with these earbuds causing irritation in their ears . We did not experience this, but if you do, be sure to return the buds immediately.

Apple/Beats Powerbeats Pro for $180 : Apple's beefy Powerbeats Pro ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) provide a super-secure fit, sound far better than Apple's standard AirPods or Beats pairs before them, and squeeze an impressive nine hours of life out of a charge. They're getting long in the tooth and forego now-standard extras like transparency mode and ANC, but could still be worth consideration for those after serious stability.

OnePlus Buds Pro for $140 : These AirPods-esque earbuds sound great, look great, and work just about the same as the Apple product, though they're designed for Android. If you want that, go ahead. I just happen to think some of the designs above are much sleeker.

JBL Tour Pro 2 for $250 : When I first saw photos of these headphones at CES 2023, I believed that a screen on a pair of wireless earbuds—to see how much battery is left, play and pause music, etc—would be awesome. It turns out that while the earbuds are totally fine and they are totally decent sounding, I don't need a screen on the case. At all. I don't think I looked at it once, beyond testing, while using the headphones. So much for that.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 for $179 : Sennheiser's aging Momentum True Wireless 2 are still available, and now at a much lower price point. Apart from fantastic sound, Sennheiser also fixed the bug in the first Momentum pair that drained the battery after a week or so even if you didn't use them.

Raycon Everyday Earbuds for $80 : These YouTuber-beloved earbuds are actually a decent cheap pair ( 7/10, WIRED Review ). They are small and light, and they come with an IPX6 rating, which makes them great for workouts.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport for $299 : The Sport are a great option that come with active noise canceling and a striking design, but the high price keeps them out of the reach of most people.

Closeup of a person touching a wireless earbud in their ear

How We Define Wireless Earbuds

We've seen this category go by many names: true wireless earbuds , truly wireless earbuds , completely wireless earbuds , fully wireless earbuds, wirefree earbuds . These days, if a pair of earbuds connects to your phone/computer via Bluetooth and has no cord that connects the left bud to the right, we just call them wireless here at WIRED. Wireless sets typically come with two popcorn-sized buds, each with a battery inside, and a charging cradle that carries extra battery power and keeps them safe when you're not wearing ’em. Other kinds of wireless earbuds have a cable or neckband that connects the two buds together, usually found on workout earbuds .

Ridding yourself of all cords can feel liberating, but these do come with issues, such as limited battery life (don't buy any with less than five hours), confusing controls, and reliance on a charging case. They're also easier to lose than traditional earbuds, and replacing one bud can be expensive.

Apple Airpods 3

Earbuds to Avoid

As a general rule, you should avoid earbuds that don't support the Bluetooth 5.0 standard (or higher) or don't offer at least five hours of battery life. Batteries in wireless headphones degrade over time, so the better your battery life is at first, the more tolerable it will be in two to three years.

There are so many models available now that it's tough to mention all the earbuds we're not huge fans of. But we do want to note that while Apple's standard AirPods (first, second, or third-gen) do some things well, we just don't like them all that much. ( Read our review. ) They get OK battery life, come in a compact case, and work well for calls, but they don't fit all ears well, and since they don't have ear tips or wings, you're out of luck if they're loose. Want clear, high-fidelity music? Get another pair on this list or the AirPods Pro (see above), which cost a bit more but are legitimately great headphones.

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best bike travel case 2023

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    The Best Bike Travel Case in 2024. SCICON Sports Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Triathlon Bike Travel Bag. $ 599 . EVOC Bike Bag PRO Lightweight Bike Transport Bag (incl. Clip-ON Wheel 2.0, DISC Protection, Fork Mount stabilisation, Bike Stand PRO, Frame PAD, 305l, max. wheelbase 130 cm), Black ... June 2, 2023 at 12:29 pm .

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