Norwegian travel bag company DB Equipment, or rather Douchebags as they are known in their homeland, has just rolled out a new mountain bike travel bag that offers the best of both softshell & hardshell cases with their unique collapsible design. (Yes, that is their real & unfortunate name, thank you very much English as a second language.) The new bag called The Trail uses a zip together construction like on their ski & snowboard bags, as well as the The Tour road bag that Team Sky uses to get around with their Pinarellos. The bags combine a protective hard shell that surrounds the bike with a series of softer, foldable side panels that gain structure when zipped all together. But then when not in use, the entire bag can be collapsed down to minimize storage at home, also making it easier to get around when traveling once the bike is one two wheels….
The Trail combines a mix of durable 1680D polyester outer fabric with rigid plastic and honeycomb internal panels for stiffness and support, then polyethylene foam inside to keep everything safe. The bag is said to work with everything from road to downhill bikes, with all the 29er mountain bikes you can think of in between, simply by taking the wheels, pedals, and handlebars off.
Wheels get pockets integrated into the side of the bag (including rotor guards), pedals & other small gear also get their own internal storage pocket, and the handlebars get a secure strap to the inside of the bag too. The bag rolls on a wide set pair of plastic wheels that should provide a stable base. All of those zippers around the outside can be locked, and since it zips from both sides it’s easy to get at whatever you have packed inside. A snap on shoulder strap makes it easy(ish) to get up and down stairs and a single pull strap should keep it easy to wheel through the airport.
Overall weight for the collapsible bag is a reasonable 8.9kg/19.6lb (putting is about the same as one of the last soft bags we reviewed.)
The bag isn’t cheap at $699/609€, but it promises the protection of a hard case without having to figure out where to store it once the travels are over. I get the feeling that with a little ingenuity it might even be something you could drag behind the bike for those quick rides away from the airport once you touch down, put your bike together, and need to pedal to your bed for the night.
The Trail bag comes in either blue or black, and ships to customers throughout Europe and the US, or is available through their retail partners. Plus, thankfully Douchebags keeps the logos simple, so you just get a big “Db” printed on the side, and it’s up to you what you come up with to tell everybody that stands for.