BIKND Jetpack V2 XL Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Packs down very small, nice rolling abilities, attractive price
Cons: Not the most protective, packing process is a little clunky
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Jetpack V2 is a functional and reasonably easy-to-use travel case. There is a lot to like with this case. In fact, it earned a Top Pick for Ease of Storage. The ease of carrying/rolling was rock-solid too, but the packing process was funky and had some notable quirks. Certain elements of the protection were stellar, while other aspects leave something to be desired. All-in-all, this is a serviceable bike case that does its job well and is an excellent choice for those who are short on storage space.
The process of loading up the Jetpack V2 is not dramatically different than the rest of the test class; the end result is a bicycle standing up within the travel case. That said, the BIKND bag does have a unique approach to achieving this. It is clear the design team thought outside of the proverbial box. It is fair to say the process is a little clunky in a few small areas.
The first step is to unzip the case. The two main side flaps will unfold, exposing the loading zone in the middle of the case. This area in the "spine" of the case has a fixed mount for the fork and a place for users to attach the mast where the rear axle will eventually mount to. One clunky design aspect is the center spine of the case, which the flaps zip to, is always in your way. The "center" of the bag just kind of lays/dangles in your way. Constantly.
This is where the unique feature number one comes in. Locate the two blue air cushions and inflate them. Next, slide them into the wheel sleeves located on the interior of each side flap; this is a unique feature to this bag, and it's hard to tell why this feature is necessary. It would seemingly be much simpler to have the wheel sleeves be padded instead of having to inflate two cushions and slide them into place. This isn't difficult, but it is an extra step, and the cushions are just two more things to lose.
Next, prepare your bike by removing the wheels, derailleur, and handlebars, slam your seat down as low as possible. Use the labeled top tube wrap to cover your top tube and secure your handlebars to this pad. We followed images on the directions as to how to secure the bars to the pads. The instructions have the bars secured by the grip/brake lever, which is quite odd. This isn't a secure hold, and the bars are a little floppy. These handlebars are in a prime location to damage your ultra-delicate fork stanchions or your frame. We would suggest covering your fork with some pipe insulation.
Next, attach the rectangular stand that will hold the mount for your rear axle. Use one of the provided pins to attach the stand to the case and the other to set the axle holder into place. You want to get the axle mount in the lowest possible position. These pins are functional, but we wonder if there could have been a better solution. They are quite small and could be easily lost.
Next, mount your fork into the mount with the appropriate provided adapter, which is another odd design element. There isn't much space to align the axle and slide it through your fork and mount, and the flaps of the case don't open enough to provide you the necessary space. As a result, this is a super awkward move and requires some brute force to get the axle into position. Find the correct adapter and mount your rear triangle. Zip the bag up, and you're ready to roll. Our extra-large 29er fit with plenty of room to spare. Long and slack bikes should have no problem fitting in this case.
The levels of protection were a bit of a mixed bag with this case. While the wheels were appropriately and sufficiently separated from the rest of the case, the frame and fork are mostly unprotected.
Let's start with the good. The inflatable air cushion system is a bit clunky and requires some extra steps, but it does keep your wheels, rotors, and cassette away from your frame. It does a delightful job of securely separating the wheels from the rest of the case, and there is little to no concern about the wheels coming loose and damaging your beloved bicycle.
We don't care for the handlebar security or lack thereof. The bars are positioned in a high-danger area with no protection on the fork stanchions at all. It is incredibly easy to imagine the handlebars shaking loose or migrating and doing several hundred dollars of damage to your fork. We would suggest some pipe insulation to wrap your fork, as it's easy to picture the handlebars damaging your frame too. This likely would not be a structural problem, but it was unsightly.
Ease of Rolling/Carrying
The Jetpack V2 scored quite well in terms of ease of rolling and carrying. Whether you are dragging this case around the airport or heaving it into the back of a taxi, it is easy to move around. There are plenty of handles to work with on each surface of the case, and it doesn't feel as big or clunky as some other cases.
Rolling abilities were above average with this case. It rolls on three-inch plastic wheels that have a 10-inch stance. The wheels are relatively smooth and work very well on smooth surfaces. On cracked pavement and beat-up sidewalks, they work fine.
We used a Park Tool Digital Scale to measure our travel case, and it weighs 25.65 pounds without a bike but with the necessary packing materials. This makes it the second heaviest case in our review.
Weight is not a huge deal when purchasing a bike case. Most of the weight is going to come from your bike and not the case. That said, if you are rapidly approaching an airline's weight limit, a couple of pounds difference can be critical.
The Jetpack V2 has no security features, but it's possible to add an aftermarket TSA-approved lock to secure the zippers. While this would act as a deterrent for an opportunist who wants to sneak into your travel case, it isn't going to stop a thief who is more likely to steal your entire case.
Ease of Storage
Ease of storage was quite impressive with the BIKND case. When collapsed, it packs up into a 55x11x14-inch item. The manufacturer provides straps that allow you to cinch the bag into a dense rectangle that resembles a candy bar.
The fact that this case packs down tightly and neatly is huge. While other cases collapse down relatively small, you are often left with a flimsy and messy item to try and store in your garage or closet. The Jetpack packs very neatly and can be easily stacked onto a shelf or tucked away neatly. This cannot be overstated. While other cases were flimsy messes, this is a tight and compact item.
The JetPack V2 is one of the less expensive cases in our test. We feel this travel bag does its job quite well. Blend an attractive price point and a nice level of functionality, and the result is a strong value. Yes, we feel that some of the bike cases perform better, but the BIKND case delivers a nice blend of value performance. There is a lot to like.
The BIKND Jetpack V2 is a versatile and functional travel case that does its job dutifully. This bag as a unique approach compared to the competition, and we appreciate the manufacturer thinking outside of the box. The loading process is decent, the case offers slightly below-average levels of protection, and it is pretty easy to drag around on mixed surfaces. Unfortunately, there are a couple of minor quirks that keep this travel case from reaching the top of our test class.
— Pat Donahue