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review

Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black

7
£110.00

VERDICT:

7
10
The bag's got everything you'd need to keep your kit neat and organised, with its quality matching the price tag and design
Well made
Plastic-lined storage for dirty gear
Plenty of different sized compartments to keep gear organised
Could do with a second strap
Weight: 
1,290g
Contact: 

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The Thule Roundtrip Duffel is a well-made and cleverly designed bag. With removable compartments to keep your gear organised and plastic-lined pockets for stinky socks, Thule has thought it all through. It does come in pricier than your regular duffel, though its quality matches up to the price tag.

The duffel's been designed for a 3-5 day trip, or to house your cycling loot in-between rides. It's robust and comfortable to carry, with multiple storage compartments to keep your kit organised.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - lid pocket.jpg

The duffel's by no means an essential piece of kit, but it is a very nice bit of gear to own.

Storage

In the main body there are 22 removable 'wine-rack-style' slots, one of which is soft and fuzzy, designed to keep your sunglasses in a scratch free cocoon.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - padded glasses compartment.jpg

Cleverly, they're not stitched to the bottom, meaning there's space underneath for non-cycling clothes to lie flat and crease free. And what's more, they're fully removable, so your duffel can live out a double life and you can use it for any trip.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - open.jpg

Everything has its place, perfect if you're taking it to a race and needing to quickly grab a bit of kit. Alongside the 'wine-rack' slots is space for a helmet, while plastic-lined pockets on the top and side keep shoes and stinky laundry separate to the clean stuff.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - helmet compartment 2.jpg

A long pocket opens out on the front. It's meant for small bits and bobs, so has several elastic loops of varying sizes to keep tools and the like locked down.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - front organiser pocket.jpg

Next to them sit three mesh pockets to provide space for other little knick-knacks too. There's also a zip-up side pocket, for easy access to your wallet and keys.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - shoe pocket 2.jpg

The level of thought that has gone into storage compartments is seriously impressive. Of course, Thule is Swedish! The whole bag gives you that sense of well-thought-out design that the Scandinavians do so well. It's wonderfully practical, without sacrificing any of its aesthetics.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - end handle.jpg

Since everything has its place, it makes it seem you've got more storage than a regular 55l bag would give. In fact, I felt I could fit in enough kit and tools for a week's trip, rather than the 3-5 days suggested by Thule. Although perhaps that statement just confirms I'm more feral than the average person...

Durability

The bag's constructed with the kind of quality you expect for the price tag. It's made with a good quality canvas, kept in place with some solid stitching. Thule has also used a black tarpaulin for any place that has plastic lining, meaning it's unlikely to snag or rip.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - top handle.jpg

The duffel's zips also feel super durable. It's so irritating when an entire bag becomes useless from a cheap zip breaking apart. Here the zips are big and strong, so you don't get the sense they're going to bust apart in a years time.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - front zip pocket.jpg

Thule has done a good job here. The whole bag has a feeling of good quality construction, which was one of my biggest questions before I tested it. Yes, the design's smart, but was the quality going to match that of a flimsy duffel bag, or a bag costing £110? It's definitely matched up to that £110 price point.

Comfort

Thule has done two things to make the bag comfortable when you're carrying it. The first is that when it's on your shoulder, the part of the bag that rests against your back has extra stitching and material. This means it holds its structure far better and lies flush against your back.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - logo detail.jpg

The second is adding a good bit of of padding to the cover that goes over the side strap, which prevents it cutting into your body. When fully loaded, it was comfy enough to carry. I could also ride with it, handy if you're pedalling a short distance to a station, or wherever, to start your adventure.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - strap detail.jpg

The only place I feel Thule has missed a trick is not including two straps. The bag has four loops; one in each corner, allowing you to unclip the side strap and switch it to the other side. If they'd included another strap, you could use each loop and turn it into a backpack.

2023 Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black - strap.jpg

I'm 5ft 4 and while I ride a lot, I don't have a huge amount of upper body strength. It was comfy enough, but an extra strap would make it even more versatile, allowing me to spread the weight equally across both my (weak) shoulders. However, let's give Thule some credit here. The fact that the only thing I'd really want to change about it is the inclusion of an extra strap speaks for itself; I'm fishing to think of improvements.

Value

If you're just looking for something for you to lob your sports kit in, there are plenty of cheaper options out there. When compared to cycling specific duffels, Thule's comes in a little more expensive. That said, it's the only duffel offering so many storage compartments.

Evoc does a whole bunch of duffle bags, the closest like-for-like being its 55L Gear Bag that doubles as a backpack and comes in at £30 less. However, though the Thule is pricier, you're getting far more storage compartments, along with wet and dry storage, which isn't on offer from Evoc.

Jez tested the slightly larger 60-litre Ortlieb Duffle back in 2016 but it's still available. He rated it very highly, and it doubles up as a backpack, but it now costs a hefty £148.75.

Rachael reviewed the smaller Osprey Transporter 40 for our sister site off.road.cc. Like the Evoc and Ortlieb duffles it also works as a backpack, but the 40-litre volume only makes it suitable for shorter trips.

Conclusion

The bag's got everything you'd need to keep your kit neat and organised, with its quality matching the price tag and design. The fact that the only suggestion I had was for Thule to include two straps, rather than one, to give the option of wearing it as a backpack too, is testament to how impressed I was with it.

Verdict

The bag's got everything you'd need to keep your kit neat and organised, with its quality matching the price tag and design

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Thule RoundTrip bike duffel black

Size tested: 67 x 36 x 30cm

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?

Thule says the Duffel is "a purpose-built gear bag to house wearables from one ride to the next." It also's designed to be taken on a training camp, or trip, holding "3-5 days of road bike or mountain bike gear".

It's definitely a purpose-built gear bag - Thule has thought through everything a cyclist may need. I also could fit more than 3-5 days of gear in it if I was headed on a trip.

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

Thule doesn't list the exact materials it's made from, but give these specifications:

Size: 55L

Measurements: 67 x 36 x 30cm

Weight: 1.29kg

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The quality of its construction matches the price tag.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Its quality and design matches the price tag. It's definitely not a bargain, but the £110 price point is completely justified.

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

It did exactly what it's supposed to. It held enough gear for a 3-5 day trip and kept everything neat and organised.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The separate storage for dirty laundry or wet items. I also liked that the smaller compartments in the main body of the bag are removable, so it can be used for any trip.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

There was nothing I particularly disliked, although I would have appreciate it coming with an additional strap, so I also had the option of wearing it as a backpack.

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

It's a little more expensive than other duffels out there, but it comes with wet and dry storage, along with plenty of compartments.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

I enjoyed using the bag. It's well constructed and well designed. It might be slightly pricier than other bags out there, but its quality matches the price tag.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 5ft 4  Weight: 147lbs

I usually ride: Dawes Galaxy  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding,

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4 comments

Avatar
IanGlasgow | 3 months ago
0 likes

The interior storage system looks great - I use a Mountain Equipment duffle bag when I'm working away from home and unless you fill it, everything slumps to the bottom when you wear it as a backpack to cycle to the station/hotel.
However, the lack of backpack style straps render it useless to me - I'd struggle to cycle with a heavy bag over one shoulder.

Avatar
jaymack | 3 months ago
0 likes

Something like Alpkit's excellent drydock bag and a few packing cubes is likely to be better value for money. It's so good our daughter snaffled mine so I had to get another. They do other bags with good reviews, their bike bags are terrific, but the drydock bag is simply marvellous.

 https://alpkit.com/products/drydock-50?variant=39991252025449

 

Avatar
mark1a replied to jaymack | 3 months ago
0 likes
jaymack wrote:

Something like Alpkit's excellent drydock bag and a few packing cubes is likely to be better value for money. It's so good our daughter snaffled mine so I had to get another. They do other bags with good reviews, their bike bags are terrific, but the drydock bag is simply marvellous.

 https://alpkit.com/products/drydock-50?variant=39991252025449

Is this only better value for money because you've bought it twice? Seems to be similar value to me - £75 for the (smaller) bag and £8-12 each for the packing cubes and you've spent around the same. Vive la choice and all that.

Avatar
jaymack replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
0 likes

Nope, 'tis likely to be better value as it would seem to be more versatile. Still vive la choice as you rightly said and a bag is a bag is a bag I suppose with few limitations as to what it can actually be used for. It is however a shame that Alpkit don't get more of a plug on this site but as a bit of a fan I am rather biased.

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