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The draw: Lightweight durability
Whichever bike you’re traveling with, the latest Evoc travel bag can accommodate your ride. The wheels go on the outside, leaving plenty of space around your frame if you want to throw in extra supplies. The additional clip-on wheel makes it easier for lugging around the airport. The bag is loud—both in color (it also comes in black) and sound, due to a crunchy tarp-like interior. It weighs around 17 pounds when empty and can easily fold up for storage.
The draw: High protection, easy to maneuver
Protecting your bike in a hard case can provide additional peace of mind on your travels, and at 26 pounds, the AeroTech case isn’t as cumbersome as other hard options. Inside, your frame is held in place via a smart suspension system, and two integrated wheel covers separate them from the frame. Although you can’t throw it over your shoulder, the rotating wheels made this the most maneuverable bike in the review.
The draw: Functional protection
The purposefully designed Jet Pack bag unzips to reveal two separate wheel compartments on the side, with the genius protective element of blow-up inner tubes that protect wheels from the outside. To use this case, you must be capable of removing your handlebars and rear derailleur, but with easy-to-follow instructions, the adjustable mounts allow you to affix your dropouts to the sturdy base. It even comes with a set of Allen keys.
The draw: Integrated work stand
The coolest part of this semi-soft bag is its ability to turn into a work stand, making assembly and disassembly much easier—especially when arriving at your destination. It comes with Ikea-like illustrated instructions on how to pack it, and two nylon wheel bags are including to avoid any frame bumping in transit. It unzipped the easiest of all the bags, but a shoulder strap would be a nice addition for encountering any stairs.
$495 (Hen House), $170 (Wheel Case), Rustersports.com
The draw: Cost savings for the mechanically savvy
It takes a little more deconstruction, but if you can handle removing your fork and derailleurs, you could save a ton of cash with this airplane-fee-avoiding case (check policies before traveling—both American Airlines and Southwest allow you to travel without excess fees). An interior pocket holds your pedals, saddle and other small parts, and the accompanying carry-on protective wheel bag keeps your hubs and components securely stashed.