Best bike bags and boxes for cycling travel 2024

Our guide to the best bike bags and boxes to keep your ride protected when travelling the world

best bike bags

Riding abroad can do absolute wonders for a cyclist’s soul. The best cycling holidays offer good weather, premium quality roads and minimal traffic... plus, those big hills are ideal for putting some fitness in your legs.

Many cyclists like to take their own bike with them when they go abroad - rather than hiring a bike on holiday. But that means getting that awkward thing there in the first place.

There are two options if you're flying: you can fly your bike in either a box or a bag. Both have their pros and cons, so we’ll run through both options. If you're driving, a bike rack is a good bet to carry your bike with you and we've got a guide to the best bike racks for cars and a separate guide to the best caravan and motorhome bike racks.

The Quick List

Best bike bags and boxes for cycling travel: Our picks

Best overall

Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag with a bike packed away inside

(Image credit: Future)
Best overall

Specifications

Weight: 8.2kg
Dimensions: 115 x 95 x 28cm
Frame size: Up to 62cm

Reasons to buy

+
Makes travelling quick and easy
+
Very little disassembly required
+
Keeps frame off the ground
+
Lots of padding
+
Separate pockets for wheels and components

Reasons to avoid

-
Question marks over protection of the rear derailleur
-
Bulky so doesn’t fit into cars well

The AeroComfort 3.0 from Scicon is a firm favorite among the Cycling Weekly tech team. We've flown test bikes all over the world, and we like to use this carry case because it makes travelling by bike easy, hassle-free and incredibly quick. It takes just 15 minutes to pack the bike away, and even less time to put it back together.

How so? The outside is a soft, fabric bag, but inside you'll find a metal structure. You simply remove the wheels, loop your chain over a specially designed T-bar and use your quick releases to stand the bike on the metal frame, so it's immovable inside and thus a lot more secure. It couldn't be easier.

There's no need to remove anything aside from the wheels, the handlebars stay straight and don't need twisting. This does make the front end quite bulky, but we found that the protection is good, with a thick soft fabric, designated pockets for wheels, helmets and shoes, and most importantly the rear derailleur is kept off the ground. 

Read more: Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Road Bike Travel Bag full review

Best for ease of use

Multi-coloured Evoc bike travel bag

Best for ease of use

Specifications

Weight: 8.6kg
Dimensions: 130 x 80 x 27cm

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Bike padding kit included

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing

Whilst hard cases give the ultimate reassurance that your bike is well protected, they also take up a lot of room when out of use, and, they're heavy - limiting your ability to pack kit alongside your bike and stay within airline limits.

Enter soft cases, and this Evoc bike bag is an excellent option. Yes, it offers less protection - but the Cycling Weekly team has used it to transport press bikes on plenty of occasions (NB, we once even used a cardboard box for a personal bike, the theory is that baggage handlers will be more careful!).

This Evoc Bike bag really excels in terms of ease of use, too. The side opening makes getting the bike in a cinch, and the handy Velcro makes getting the parts in the right place a piece of cake. The newer model reviewed here now has a reinforced front zip, meaning it should last longer.

Read more: Evoc bike travel bike bag full review

Best value

LifeLine EVA Bike Pod

(Image credit: Future)
Best for value

Specifications

Weight: 6.5kg
Dimensions: 1200mm x 907mm x 280mm

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Fits a bike without too much disassembly

Reasons to avoid

-
Sides are quite flexible
-
Feet prone to damage

Although it's a reasonably compact bike box, the LifeLine Bike Pod will take a smaller sized bike without too much disassembly. It rolls on two rear wheels, with two front feet to stand on. Quick release wheels, although not wheels with thru-axles, can be secured to the outside of the case.

Our tester found that the LifeLine Bike Pod is relatively easy to move around, although since you have to lift the front end and the carrying handle doesn't let you wrap your hand through it, longer carries can be tiring. 

The sides of the bag are quite flexible, so it would be advisable to wrap wheels and frame well inside to prevent crushing. We were also concerned about how robust the feet would be and how well the zip would stand repeated use, but overall, the LifeLine Bike Pod is a relatively inexpensive option for the less frequent flyer.

Read more: LifeLine EVA Bike Pod full review

Most portable

Orucase B2 Bike Travel Case

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)
Most portable

Specifications

Weight: 15lbs
Dimensions: 29 x 34 x 9"

Reasons to buy

+
Highly portable
+
Great for multimodal trips
+
At 15lbs, it's one of the lightest bags on the market
+
Compact in size and storable
+
The backpack strap is pretty unique
+
Cute "Therapy Equipment" tag

Reasons to avoid

-
You have to be comfortable taking your bike apart to pack your bike
-
You have to take off your fork
-
It's time-consuming to pack and reassemble your bike
-
A little lopsided when packed, making it prone to tipping
-
These days, airlines charge per weight more than size
-
You're going to want to purchase the frame protection kit also

We've taken the B2 bike case on a number of domestic and international flights and were left impressed.  It sports a lot of welcomed features, including  backpack straps and a rollable chassis. Combined with it's compact, space-saving size it makes for a sleek, highly portable and trustworthy bag that's we think is a great option if space is limited or you'll be traveling on serval modes of transport during your trip.

We did find that it's not the easiest to pack, and required some disassembling of your bike - so you'll need to be confident of putting your bike back together once you've arrived. It's also far from cheap, but in our opinion, it's likely a worthy investment given the ease of portability and the ability to save on extra fees due to its smaller size.

Read more: Orucase B2 Bike Travel Case full review

Most versatile

Thule Round Trip Pr XT bike bag

Best with built-in stand

Specifications

Weight: 8.6kg
Dimensions: 126 x 89 x 30cm

Reasons to buy

+
Doubles up as a stand
+
Integrated wheels

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than other options we've tested and liked
-
Does have weak spots

The Thule RoundTrip Pro XT falls into the not-quite-a-bike-bag category. It's a softshell but has some structural implants that should keep your bike safe through the worst of it.

However, the bag does have some weak areas and for the price you pay this doesn't induce confidence. But, maybe we're being picky. This is a solid purchase, undoubtedly, and we always add extra bubblewrap around our frames, whatever we're packing them into.

The base, which holds the bike static in the case, can have three legs added, transforming it into a workstand for when you get to your destination - which is a rather 'nice to have', too.

Read more: Thule RoundTrip Pro XT review

Most robust

Blue Velovault2 bike box

Most robust

Specifications

Weight: 12.5kg
Dimensions: 122 x 90 x 30cm

Reasons to buy

+
Spacious inside
+
Quality fixings
+
Sturdy
+
UK made

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy at over 12kg

We really quite liked the VeloVault2 bike box when we had it in for test. It's big and robust, which is what many cyclists need in order to achieve peace of mind when flying with a bike.

However, weighing in at 12.2kg means it should sneak under most airline weight controls. The company has sweated the small stuff, too: the clasps are quality, it's easy to close and it rolls great.

VeloVault2 bike box has a new carrying handle, longer wheelbase, improved strut design and it is roof box ready. Oh, and it's now bright blue... other colours are available if that's not to your liking.

Read more: VeloVault2 full review

How do I pack a bike into a bike bag or box?

Packing the bike into the bag or box sometimes takes quite a bit more effort than expected. The process may differ slightly if your handy companion has some special inserts of internal structure, but the general process goes something like:

There are a few more mechanical adjustments you might make, and if you’re handy with a spanner they shouldn't cause too much grief. For example, you might have to remove the chainset. This will keep it protected en route but it’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll have to reassemble it when you arrive on your hols, so if you're no spanner wizard it might be best to avoid this. It may also mean packing extra tools, which means extra weight to carry around.

Best bike bags vs best bike boxes: which is better?

You might think this is an easy question: it's surely a box, right? However, that's probably before you’ve taken weight into consideration.

A lighter weight bike bag influences two things: how comfortable it is to carry and lug about but also how much of your baggage allowance it eats into - and how much the baggage supplement might be.

The trade off is in the level of protection: a hard flight case like box is going to take the knocks better than a soft bag. That said, soft bike bags will usually protect your bike from the worst of it and they also tend to be cheaper than bike boxes.

There is an in between option. The best bike bags tend to have some more structural inserts inside but retain more of a bag's lightweight nature. Other bike bags can have nifty, in-built storage techniques. For example, some have built in dropouts that allow you to stand your frame upright and hold it tight.

Do I need to add extra padding to my bike bag?

Regardless of how tough your bag or box might be, you’ll definitely want to pad the important parts inside it. We’d recommend bubble wrap and foam piping. If you’re lucky, your local bike shop might have excess from all the bikes they get sent in.

A road cyclist riding with a mountain in the background

With Black Friday coming up on November 24th and running until the 27th, all the major retailers are already starting their discounts. On the tech side of things, we’ve rounded up the best Black Friday Wahoo deals over here and the best Garmin deals over here.

More generally, we have specific hub pages for power meter deals and bike computer deals. With the nights drawing in, we’ve also picked out the best bike light deals as well

Beyond that, we’ve got a hub on the best Black Friday cycle clothing deals, deep winter glove deals and our top picks from Adidas’ Black Friday bike kit deals

And with Christmas coming up, we absolutely have a page on the best kids’ bikes deals - from balance bikes to fully equipped gears.