Purpose-Built Cycling Case Ideal Solution For Toting Your Gear
A few months ago a Quick Tip from one of our readers extolled the virtues of a golf gear trunk organizer as a great way to carry your cycling gear to a ride.
Not long after that, another reader wrote to say that he knew of an even better product – one made specifically for cyclists. As the long-time user of an old large backpack for the purpose (which never really quite filled the bill), I was intrigued enough to write the company, Cat5Gear, based in Canada. They sent me one of their Cyclist Cases to try out.
Purpose-Built, Compartmentalized Case
The photos tell a fairly accurate story but don’t give you all the details. In short, the case is made of the same heavy-duty nylon you might find ina typical suitcase. It also has a stout handle on top, as well as a padded shoulder strap for carrying hands-free.
The front of the case (which can be zipped off completely – we’ll get to that in a moment) features two mesh panels to air it out post-event. At the bottom of each panel is a mesh storage pocket with a velcro closure, perfect for food, gloves, or other small items. Between those panels (you can see the white “stripe” in the photo, left) is a clear plastic sheath holding a white “checklist” card you can fill out to ensure you didn’t forget to pack anything. On both sides of the case are water bottle holders for conveniently toting your bottles.
Inside the case, a series of nylon-covered hard plastic panels with velcro on each end fasten to the sides of the case to create the compartments that allow ample storage of all your big stuff: helmet, shoes, towel, change of clothes, sunglasses case, etc. And one inside panel has another two mesh storage pockets for even more little stuff.
Pretty well everything you need for an event can be fit into the ample compartments. See photo for case measurements.
After an event, when you’ve removed your stinky clothes and (depending on the event, possibly dirty shoes), instead of putting them directly back into the case, you might want to pick up an add-on product Cat5Gear developed just for that purpose: they call it “the sac.” It’s a $7.25 nylon draw-string closure bag sized to fit into one of the two main compartments in the case. (See photo, below.) However, it also has a built-in hook that allows you to hang it outside the case.
The case itself, coming in five different colors to suit your fancy, sells for the extremely reasonable price of $69.
Packs Flat for Storage
Getting back to that zip-off top I mentioned before, here’s the reason for that: The case is made so that you can remove the top and those velcro-fastened inside structural panels and fold the case flat for easy long-term storage.
It takes only a couple of minutes to reinsert and fasten the structural planels, then zip the top back on. That said, I’ve elected to keep the case intact and store it along with other backpacks and small rolling cases on a top shelf in my closet. It’s always ready to go when I am.
The only minor quibble I have with the case is that there’s no padding at all on any of the panels. Even a thin layer might be welcome if the case got pushed against something or dropped. But in any kind of reasonable use – placing it in your trunk or the back of your SUV on a drive to an event – it’s perfectly fine, as is.
The Bottom Line
The Cat5Gear Cyclist Case is just about the perfect solution to the age-old quandary of how to best carry all your gear to an event. It’s got loads of various-sized pockets and compartments, is made of durable materials in a variety of colors, can be broken down flat for easy storage – and, unlike a lot of cycling gear, seems very reasonably priced.
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of “less than podium” talent, he sees himself as RBR’s Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR’s great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That’s what we’re all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John’s full bio.