EVOC Travel Bag Pro Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Intuitive packing process, fits all types of bicycles, excellent rolling ability
Cons: Expensive, could use a bit more frame coverage
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The EVOC case is not the lightest or the most protective bag in the review, and it lacks some of the security features of the burliest options in our test class. That said, the Travel Bag Pro scores well in nearly every category. It packs down well for storage, rolls quite well, is easy to carry, and most importantly, it has the best design. It wasn't an easy choice, but this case took home our Editors' Choice Award.
The EVOC has a relatively straightforward packing process. It is definitely involved, but the Travel Bag Pro makes it simple. We used the directions the first time we loaded this travel case, but after that, we could go off memory.
The first and most overlooked step is inserting the rods that form the skeleton of the case. This case packs down so small because the structural form of the case is removed after use. There are four white rods that you need to insert into specific slots to help build the shape of the case. Two in the front of the bag and two inside of the wheel pockets. This process is a little clunky, but once you figure out what is happening, it's not particularly difficult and just takes a little bit of force. It helps to guide the rods into the slots as you insert them.
Next, prepare the bike. Remove the wheel, pedals and handlebars and put the seat down as low as it goes. EVOC provides a labeled top tube/front triangle guard that has a map printed on it, so you know exactly how it fits on your frame. The most important part is securing your fork and rear end to the silver mounting stand. You need to find the appropriate adapters and slide the fork and rear dropout holders in the correct position. The fork holder has three slots, and the rear end has three as well. The goal is to mount the fork and frame in the lowest position possible. How low you can go depends on your frame design. Our Trek Top Fuel was able to sit in the two lowest slots.
Secure your handlebars to the padding on your top tube using the appropriate velcro clamps. More on this later, but this is one area we do feel could use some improvement. Attach the mounting stand into the bag, attach the provided fork protector using the Velcro, and stick the wheels into the wheel pockets. Zip it up and your good to go. Our extra-large 29er fit in easily with a little room to spare.
The packing process is pretty involved, but it is all laid out cleanly and logically. The provided materials are well-labeled, and we like that you don't have to spend loads of time zipping foam onto your frame to protect it.
The Travel Bag Pro provides nice levels of protection. It ranks near the top of the test but simply can't match the protection provided by a hardshell case.
We like that the wheels, along with the sharp cassette and brake rotors, are separated from the main compartment. The wheel pockets put a nice thick layer of material between your frame and your wheels. Other cases have zipped wheel bags that you put inside of the main compartment; this is a fine idea, except we worry about the zippers of these bags gauging the frame. The EVOC separates the wheels and the pockets fit our 29x2.6-inch tires fairly well.
The Travel Bag Pro leaves your frame and fork stanchions mostly unprotected. The one item we worry about is the proximity of the handlebars to the stanchions. If it comes loose from its Velcro slot on the top tube cover, it's possible that it could cut up your fork stanchions. We didn't experience this during our review, but the bars definitely shifted a little bit. This could be a very expensive fix if the handlebars came loose and made contact with the wrong spot. We can't knock the EVOC for this issue as we are just speculating at this point, but it is an area of concern. We recommend taking some extra steps to protect your fork stanchions, like covering them with some pipe insulation. It could save you hundreds of dollars.
Ease of Rolling/Carrying
The EVOC travel case was very easy to roll. This case uses heavy-duty wheels with a 4.5-inch diameter; these are meaty, rubberized wheels that roll exceptionally smooth. The larger wheel diameter is much smoother over cracks and rough cement compared to the competition. The two main wheels have a 12.5-inch wide stance. This gives a nice stable, and planted feel. This case doesn't feel tippy. A third, quick-connect wheel has a quick attachment to the front of the case. When the third wheel is attached, the case has a 54-inch wheelbase. Pulling this bag is smooth and easy. Far and above the best in the test.
When you are hauling this thing onto conveyor belts or check-in stations, it is easy to maneuver. The Travel Bag Pro has plenty of handles to work with. No complaints here.
The EVOC case weighs 21 pounds 11 ounces. This measurement is taken while the case did not have a bike in it, but did have the included packing materials inside.
This is one of the heavier travel cases in the review. It is not egregiously heavy and is only about four pounds heavier than the lightest options. However, if you are approaching the weight limit, those can be a valuable few pounds.
The Travel Bag Pro has no security features. Simple as that. There are no built-in locks or gizmos to keep thieves out of your belongings. The good news is that luggage locks are mostly a gimmick. If someone wants your bike, they will likely just steal the whole case. A lock on the zipper is only a deterrent for the opportunist who might want to crack into the bag and snag something quick.
You could easily feed a TSA travel lock between the zippers to keep them shut. It is an inexpensive accessory that some might find to be worth the small investment.
Ease of Storage
Thie Travel Bag Pro scored exceptionally well in the ease of storage metric. This is an important metric as most of the time you will not be using your travel case. It will be sitting in your garage, apartment, or basement. Having your case take up as little space as possible is critical.
The EVOC case packs down very small. If you remove the structural rods, the case packs down into itself and can be rolled up into a compact package. It would be easy to slide this case into a tight space in the basement or high on a shelf.
This is the second most expensive travel case in our test class. That is a big chunk of change, and it is certainly an investment. We do feel that the Travel Bag Pro features the best design, is relatively easy to use, and offers great versatility. In addition, it is easy to travel with and haul around; there is a lot to like here.
Riders who might only want to travel with their bike once or twice a decade should look elsewhere. Those who plan to fly with their bike annually may have found the perfect match with the Travel Bag Pro.
EVOC delivered another killer product with the Travel Bag Pro, as it's a rock-solid piece of gear that can haul anything from carbon road bikes to full-blown downhill mountain bikes. Not only is the Travel Bag Pro versatile, but it is also relatively easy to use, packs down small for storage purposes, and it is very easy to carry and roll around the airport. Indeed, this travel case does everything well with no fatal flaws. Yes, it is an expensive piece of gear, but we feel the construction quality and materials are top-notch, and there is no reason the EVOC case won't last 20 years. We love it and you will too.
— Pat Donahue