Best bike boxes and bike bags 2024 — bike-specific luggage options to keep your prized possession safe when travelling |

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Best bike boxes and bike bags 2024 — bike-specific luggage options to keep your prized possession safe when travelling |

If you’re travelling with your bike one of your biggest concerns will likely be making sure it arrives safely. The team has travelled hundreds of thousands of miles over the years with our bikes, using a variety of bike boxes, bike bags and flight cases, and below you'll find our selection of the best plus some handy bonus advice too.  

The best bike bag, bike box or flight case would protect your bike from anything short of a direct artillery strike. It should require minimal faff to get your bike into it, can carry various bike genres and wheel sizes, and shouldn't make too big a dent in your luggage weight allowance. It should also cost a sensible amount of money, or if it's expensive, last you for many years. 

There's some tension between all those requirements. Extremely protective cases tend to be heavy and expensive, while cheaper bike bags don't protect your bike as well. Nevertheless, if you plan to travel with your bike even once or twice a year then a bike box or bag is a very worthwhile investment. Nothing ruins a cycling trip more than your bike lying crushed on the Tarmac before you've even cleared customs!

> How to fly with your bike

Even if you're not flying, a bike box, bike bag or flight case can be useful. Sure, you can just put your bike in your car, but if you want to get lots of other luggage in too, a bike bag will protect your bike from bumps and scratches.

Without further ado, here are our top picks with everything from cheaper padded options costing as little as £60, right up to indestructible hard cases costing over £800! 

The BikeBox Alan Triathlon Aero Easyfit Bikebox is a secure, easy-to-pack bike case that's brilliantly thought out. The wide section for handlebars means there's no need to start dismantling your bike, but that extra bulk can cause a few issues with car boots and check-ins.

The Triathlon Aero Easyfit immediately has a significant advantage over other boxes, because it doesn't require you to remove your handlebar. That's not just a good feature for those who are picky about position, it's also nice not to be wrestling with dismantling and reassembling an integrated front end – something we commonly see on road race bikes these days.

If you've got the cash and want an easy life, this is a brilliant choice, and certainly not just for triathletes!

While it doesn't come cheap, Topeak's Pakgo X is a high quality box that is easy to manoeuvre around, offers great protection, and comes with some nice additions that make it an ideal travel companion

The shell is lightweight and flexible Makrolon polycarbonate, which stood up to several flights and trips during our reviewer's testing period. To pack your bike, a mini workstand of sorts is provided inside for you to mount your frame to before loading it back into the shell, the standout feature according to our reviewer and one which really helps to keep the bike secure. Unpacking is even faster, and you should be able to fit almost any type of bike in it with the wheelbase limit at 112cm. 

The final party piece is the upright design, with wheels that make strolling through the airport with the Pakgo an absolute breeze. Go for this if you want protection that is almost as good as the most super tough bike boxes out there, yet in a reasonably light package that is easy to cart around. 

Made of aluminium, the Buxumbox Tourmalet is super strong and easy to pack. Yep it's expensive, but there's no reason it won't last you a lifetime of cycling travel. 

The Tourmalet has fixing points for bike wheels with thru-axles or quick-release, and you just need to remove both the wheels, the pedals and the seatpost to pack it. It was all very simple according to our reviewer, with the seatpost and saddle stored at the bottom of the box, held in place by elastic cord.

It's not light at around 13kg, but this is a well thought-out bike case that’s built to take anything baggage handlers can dish out. In fact, it looks like it'll survive anything short of a direct artillery attack. 

To summarise, the Buxumbox Tourmalet will carry your bike as safely as it is probably possible to when flying. The price and possibly the weight are hurdles.

The Bike Box Alan Premium is more compact than the Triathlon Aero Easyfit, with the same steel catches to hold the sides together and good wheels to make travel that little bit easier. You can even choose your own stickers!

Our reviewer described it as a well-designed and sturdy box that will keep your bike well-protected through the vagaries of airport baggage handling. You can hire or buy one, which you do would depend on how frequently you travel. Either way, it's quite easy to recommend.

BikeBox Online's VeloVault2 bike case is a sturdy, easy to pack and easy to transport option for keeping your bike safe when you fly. It is made from high-quality components that should stand the test of time. Like the options here from Bike Box Alan, you can't justify stumping up the cash to buy one, they're also available to hire.

This super strong bike box from bike luggage experts Scicon is made from a tough plastic polymer, and it provides superb protection for your bike. It’s also simple to pack and rolls on four wheels with proper bearings.

Our reviewer was able to pack it without swearing once, and it simply involves whipping off the wheels and one pedal, rotating the bars downward and taking the seatpost out before fitting your frame inside. Everything sits perfectly stable in transit without parts bashing into each other.

While the RRP on this box might be a sticking point, it can often be found for much less if you shop around online. 

The Bike Guard Curv is a high-end bike case which gives excellent protection to your pride and joy. It comes in two halves, and there's no hinge holding them together. Instead, the edges of the case slot together, alternately inside and outside the other, around the circumference of the case. It's a bit fiddly the first time you do it according to our reviewer, but once you've done it a few times it won't take long. 

In our reviewer's travels their bike arrived unscathed, with the straps and dense foam blocks holding everything together nicely on the inside and the straps on the outside securing the shell.  

 At a little over 8kg it's light for a hard case, but it's also rather expensive. Go for this if you're prepared to invest but want a bike box for life. 

The Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro is a very good, lightweight softcase with excellent features. 

It's lightweight, packs down well and protects your bike while travelling by plane, train or automobile. This bag is also easy to assemble with four PVC tubes that reinforce the wheel pockets and four fibreglass sticks that strengthen each end of the case. Inside are a number of Velcro and clip fittings that wrap around your bike and secure it to the inside of the case.

A standout feature is the removable front castor wheel. This clips onto the aluminium handle so the bag sits level, allowing you to steer it in any direction with just your little finger in one of the three topmost handles. You could even secure a lanyard to your belt if your hands are full, which makes for a very convenient airport experience.  

While it's not far off the price of a hardshell, it's lighter at just 8kg, leaving more luggage allowance for other stuff, and folds down for storage so you don't need a huge cupboard under the stairs for it.

The softshell Merlin Cycles Elite Travel Bike Bag allows secure, easy packing of your bike, with plenty of remaining space for all the items you would usually need when travelling with your bike. It has plenty of straps and handles to make travelling with the bag easy. 

The Elite Travel Bike Bag does a great job at an excellent price. Our reviewer found it was relatively easy to load into a car and manoeuvre onto baggage carousels too. It's also helpful that, when unloaded, the bag folds down to a small size, taking up roughly a quarter of the space needed when fully loaded.

This bag is really best used for transporting your bike by car, ferry or any place where baggage handlers aren't involved, because it offers very little in the way of protection but if you use a lot of extra foam padding and bubble wrap, it could be risked on flights if you're not overly attached to your bike. Even so, it's very good value and will keep your bike fully protected from the elements. 

It has a large bike compartment, two wheel compartments and a rigid base. It weighs 3.6kg and, like most other bags of this kind, it comes with a shoulder strap. It's amazingly cheap and light, but as we said you're probably going to want to add protective layers of foam or cardboard to beef it up a bit.

Evoc’s highly rated bike bag comes with a reinforced fork mount, external-loading wheel pockets, compartments for smaller parts, and multiple handles. It’ll even take big mountain bikes and packs down for simple stowage.

Internal reinforcement strengthens and supports the soft out shell and pulled and picked up by the handle, it rolls easily on a pair of rear wheels. In that regard it's not quite as nice as Evoc's Bike Travel Bag Pro, our top-rated bike bag, but at typical retail prices it's a fair bit cheaper.

Db Equipment’s The Djärv Bike Bag (formerly known as The Douchebags Savage) really does a great job of protecting your bike.

The internal cage arguably makes it more robust than many boxes, building up like a tent with your bike inside so there's nothing touching the outsides of the bag. 

It's very easy to assemble and pack, although it is a little difficult to cart round airports and may be a struggle to fit in a car – and some extra protection might be needed beneath your drivetrain – but we don't think you'll be disappointed if you opt for one.

Now in its third iteration, Scicon's Aerocomfort offers pretty exceptional protection for a bag, and does at least as good a job as many hardshell bike boxes. 

You fix your bike to a frame inside the nylon ripstop bag, and hold it steady with a strap system. A waterproof polyurethane base and high-density foam padding provides plenty of protection for your bike.

The internal wheel pockets are a very neat feature, as they allow customs officers (who might not care about your bike as much as you) to inspect what's in the bag without having to remove anything. It also comes with a padlock to deter impulsive thieves. 

Yes it's expensive, but this bag is a serious investment if you travel with your bike frequently. 

Because you can't rely on anyone else to look after your bike the way you would! Travelling by air is the situation where you'll most commonly want to stash your bike in a protective case. After all, baggage handlers aren’t known for their finesse or delicacy of movement. No disrespect to those guys but they’re not going to move every bag and case as if it contained a priceless Ming vase, are they? Would you, if you were in their position? Luggage often gets flung about, dropped or stacked sky high, and you don’t want your bike to be subject to any of that with anything other than heavy-duty protection.

We’ve heard tales of people who thought they’d take their bike abroad in a soft bag or a cardboard bike box and it all going horribly wrong. You might get away with it, of course. You might get away with it many times. But what about that one time when your bike is at the bottom of a tower of cases being sorted by a bloke who’s already late finishing his shift?

It happens. Really, it does. And arriving in the Pyrenees with your bike frame snapped in two is, let’s face it, a disaster. Aside from needing to replace your bike in the long term, you need to salvage a trip for which you’ve already paid.

The best bike bags and bike boxes might be expensive but chances are they’re not as expensive as your bike or your holiday. Invest in something that’s right for your needs and it’ll likely last you years.

Soft, padded bike bags are lightweight, easy to store, and they’ll protect your bike from scratches and scrapes. As a rule, they’re also cheaper than rigid boxes. Some come with aluminium frames and rigid spacers for the frame and fork dropouts to help prevent damage.

Next, there are boxes made from semi-rigid polymers that offer good impact strength. In terms of weight, they’re somewhere between a soft bag and a rigid bike box.

Then there are boxes with rigid walls that provide loads of protection, although these tend to be the heaviest and most expensive options out there.

Between that lot there are plenty of variations.

In short, rigid bike cases provide more protection than soft bike bags, but are heavier, more expensive and harder to store when you're not using them.

All the bike boxes we know of and a lot of soft bike bags come with wheels that allow you to pull/push them to and from a car, around the airport and so on, and that’s a hell of a lot easier than carrying all that weight.

Wheels that are recessed into the base of the box are less vulnerable to getting broken off in transit and wheels that can be replaced after a mishap might save you needing to buy a completely new bike bag or box.

In related vein, you can’t drag your bike bag or box everywhere – you’ll inevitably need to lug it up some steps or over some gravel at some stage. That’s when some form of carrying handle or strap comes in useful; more that one option helps. A shoulder strap will save your arms doing all the hard work.

Locks might seem useful but, realistically, how often are you going to let a loaded up bike box out of your sight anyway?

Okay, it’ll be separated from you for the flight, but bear in mind that if you check in a locked bike box and the customs officials want to look inside, they’ll bust the locks open. They need to be able to check what’s in there and a simple lock isn’t going to stop them (otherwise drug smuggling would be really, really simple).

All things considered, it's better to leave it unlocked for the plane, but you might want to lock it if you're leaving your bike in the box at a hotel or elsewhere... and even then, a thief would likely recognise what's in the box was valuable, swipe it and worry about the lock later! What could be useful in this scenario is some sort of GPS tracker, but you can get discrete ones that slot into various places on your actual bike nowadays anyway. 

You should make sure the solution you go for is big enough to take your bike easily. If you have a 56cm road bike with a normal seatpost, you’re unlikely to have a problem with any of the options out there; however, if you take a very big frame, have an integrated seat post (an extended seat tube rather than a separate seat post), or if you have a full-suspension mountain bike, things might get more complicated.

Check the minimum dimensions you need before you part with your cash, and allow a bit of wiggle room. You don’t want to have to remove every component and use masses of force to get your bike into a box; you need something that’ll take your bike easily. International travel is stressful enough without adding to it with bike packing pressures.

You can often fit other stuff inside your bike box or bag, in the spaces between the frame tubes, although this obviously adds to the weight and that might be a consideration when you’re flying. Some airlines, such as Easyjet and British Airways explicitly forbid putting anything in a bike bag other than your bike.

If you intend to drive to the airport rather than take public transport, remember to make sure your bike bag or box will fit in your car. As long as you can fold the rear seats down, that’s not usually a problem. Oh, and remember that you’ll have to store your bike bag or box somewhere at home. One of the drawbacks of a hard-shelled bike box as opposed to a soft bag is the extra storage space you’ll need for it.

Another thing you might want to think about here, when you've made sure your bike box or bag can be stored, will fit in a vehicle and complies with most airline weight limits, is the not-so-careful baggage handler on a long shift scenario. Something that is super light and easy to lob around is perhaps more likely to be treated badly than an object that is a bit trickier to lift and manoeuvre; so even if it's a bit more of a chore for you to move around, a bike storage solution with plenty of protection (and therefore more weight) and larger dimensions could actually keep your bike safer, and that's surely worth the slightly achy arm. 

Getting a bike bag or box that’s large enough (see above) is the essential first step, but beyond that some options are much easier to pack than others.

You’ll have to take the wheels off your bike, either spin the handlebar or remove it from the stem, and remove a pedal (or both of them). You’ll likely have to remove the seatpost or push it down too (depending on the size of your bike). You’ll have to deflate the tyres for flying too. (Yes, we know tyre pressure is far too low to be hazardous, but as our commenters have pointed out, life's too short to teach airline check-in staff the laws of physics.)

If you have to remove the rear mech and/or the chainset, things can start to get boring. You obviously have to rebuild the bike at your destination, then take it apart for the return journey and rebuild it again when you get home. As long as you have half-decent spannering skills, that’s unlikely to be a problem. It only takes minutes on each occasion, but it just adds to the faff and might shorten valuable riding time.

You need some means of stopping the various bits of the bike from damaging one another. Some wheels attach to the walls of a bike box with their quick-release skewers (we've had a skewer take a knock and get ruined in this way, so you might want to consider using old skewers for the job) and have some form of cover to avoid harm, others have their own separate wheel bags, as do many bike bags.

Look for other means of storage for removed pedals, the tools you need for rebuilding your bike, and so on.

If you’re ever in doubt, you can always fall back on the cyclists’ favourite, simple pipe insulation from your local DIY store, to protect the various parts of your bike.

There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to weight. First, you have to move your loaded up bike bag or box around so lightness makes life easier.

Second, you have to stick within airline weight limits. Currently, EasyJet allows you 32kg for a boxed up bike and the Ryanair limit is 30kg. Sticking within those boundaries shouldn't be a problem.

British Airways, though, say that items over 23kg may incur a heavy bag charge. Larger items (in dimensions rather than weight) like bike boxes can be carried for an oversized bag charge, although they waive this at the time of writing.

The point is, you need to check your allowances with your airline before you travel (and preferably before you book) in order to avoid expensive surprises.

Yes! Even the best bike boxes don’t guarantee you against damage to your bike, so get yourself some insurance that covers the value of your bike.

Safe (and secure) cycling travels folks!

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Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

The original bikebox alan is still the best imo: had mine since 2015 and used it on six foreign trips to likes of channel Islands and USA without incident.

Buxumbox owner here. It is great.

I had previously rented a B&W Bike Box II, very similar to the B&W curve above. It was good, but.... 1. There was enough flex to leave me just a little anxious about the bike getting through the journey unscathed. 2. The interlocking clamshell design can be fiddly sometimes. I got it together just fine on the way out, but on the way home, under time pressure to get out of the door and to the airport I struggled. I would get the interlock on one side to work, for it to pop out on the other, and so on.

The buxumbox is very sturdy. I've flown a few times with it, and I just have 0 worries about risk of damage to the bike. The downside is that it is heavy - 13+ kg odd. It is also large. You may need a larger rental car, or you may need to get a larger taxi. Other cases will have this problem too, but the Buxumbox is definitely just a little larger. On the plus side, there is 0 problem storing a track pump and other stuff in the bottom of the buxumbox - there are bungee cords there precisely for this.

I would just go buxumbox for piece of mind, every day.

very happy with my Velovault 2. Easy to pack, with plenty of space for a larger frame. The customer service was excellent too

The other thing you need to know about is inflatable roof racks.  They fit on most cars, excluding softtops and those with roof rails without a gap underneath them.  

It takes about 20 minutes to fit a rack and a bike box to a small hired hatchback at an airport.

HandiRack | Inflatable Roof Rack | Universal Roof Bars (

Ooh, that is a _great_ idea

The Scicon aerocomfort is terrific. My brother and I share one which has now been humped and bumped all over the place without incident.

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Best bike boxes and bike bags 2024 — bike-specific luggage options to keep your prized possession safe when travelling |

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