For years I carried my tri gear around in a khaki canvas duffle bag that I bought from a disposal store. In fairness, back then, actual tri gear was hard to come by. My mate that I raced around the traps with got so embarrassed by my choice of equipment that he bought me a big Nike sports bag to use instead. I gave in reluctantly.
While these bags managed to accommodate my propensity to over-pack and try and allow for almost any eventuality it did often lead to me having to tip out the contents a few times pre-race to re check and repack items as there was always the odd object that would hide in a crevice of the cavernous Nike bag. Then when specialist tri bags came on the scene they seemed like the perfect solution, except they were either too expensive or not available in Oz.
Thankfully for the scatter brained overpacker there are now a few decent options available locally that won’t send you broke and recently I tested the Rocket Science Rocket Bag to see if it fit the bill.
The Rocket Bag is a rugged looking pack and although it packs down small it has Tardis like qualities. I initially thought it may have struggled to take all my gear but like drunk uni students cramming into a mini there just always seemed to be room for more.
The Rocket Bag expands like a triathlete who dares to eat carbs!
The bags straps and back are well padded and ventilated to allow for cool and comfortable carrying. Externally it has two side pockets which can take a water bottle each or other small items. The lower front has a zippered pocket that can take your secure items like phone and wallet and a clip to hold your keys to save them getting buried and you having to do a lucky dip at race end to try and find the keys to your ride home.
Well padded and ventilated back
Secure side pockets for bottles, there are two, so one could be for a post race bevvy!
A secure and dry spot for your valuables.
Above this is the helmet pocket. The helmet pocket is a snug fit for an aero lid and if you have one with ear flaps the tightness of the pocket may not sit well with your lid. A road helmet though or a short tail small aero lid is no dramas.
The bag zips open like a clamshell to reveal labelled pockets which for mine are the best feature of this bag. Run shoes and bike shoes are both accommodated in separate zippered areas, and a soft pocket for HR strap and a hard case for sunglasses make ensuring you have all your accoutrements a breeze. A separate removable wetsuit bag enables you to bring your wetsuit and anything else you may have that is wet from sweat (or other things) home form the race without contaminating the rest of your kit.
A place for everything.....
.....and everything in its place.
A removable wet bag to keep your "wet" things seperate from our dry things.
So with the bulky items taken care of there is still plenty of space left then for your other racing bits of clothing, accessories, lubes, lucky rabbit’s foot and whatever takes your fancy.
When full the pack sits snugly on your back and is comfortable to ride with one proviso. Like other packs I have tried wearing an aero helmet on your commute to the race is almost impossible as the tail of the helmet fouls the top of the pack. For me even on my short commute to my local trace this means I need to wear a road helmet to the race and then use the aero helmet for the race, not a great drama but an annoyance nonetheless. For commuters the bag also has reflective piping an a clip to hold your tail light to keep you safe.
The light loop and a bungee cord for some additional storage.
The bag along with being well constructed is touted as being water resistant, and the sealed seams would indicate that this is indeed the case. At this year’s Callala tri the weather gods unleashed all fury with a downpour that flooded most of the transition area and the bag compound. I rushed to retrieve the Rocket Bag unsure if “water resistant” meant the same to me as it did to the manufacturers. Luckily, as it was plucked from a quickly deepening puddle, I was a little surprised and very grateful, due to the presence of my wallet and phone, to find all my contents still dry.
The Rocket Bag is available from XOSIZE currently for $160.00 which, given how much stress it removed from my personal packing process, I think is a pretty reasonable price.