Review: KitBrix Elite Organiser Bundle - Lite, KitBrix with Kitstraps |

2021-12-24 01:35:37 By : Ms. HERE MAKERS

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At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The KitBrix Elite Organiser Bundle is a military inspired modular system consisting of two separate bags that can be zipped together for a total capacity of 40 litres, as well as Kitstraps for compressing and separating your Lycra. It's robustly built, with really useful wipeable waterproof surfaces, and offers easy access inside as it stands up, which is very different to backpacks.

It's excellent if you want a big open space for chucking in kit, but there's a lack of smaller pockets or dividers. Two shoulder straps can also be clipped on to use it as a backpack, but this isn't a comfy setup and isn't where the bag excels.

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Being organised for an event is an incredibly important part of your preparation, so you are ready to smash your incoming challenge, whether that's a sportive or race.

There can be an awful lot of kit to bring with you to an event. For hygiene reasons it is best practice not to chill in your Lycra as you travel to and from, so there's that you need to pack. Then there's your helmet, shoes, cycling computer, towel, nutrition... it's a good idea to have a checklist!

Afterwards, there's a fair chance it is going to be all mucky too. Having systems in place and a bag that is part of that routine makes a big difference. The KitBrix offers a practical solution with rectangular cuboid shaped units that can be zippered together for extra capacity.

This bundle option comes with two separate bags, one coloured 'ballistic black' and the other 'gun metal grey'. (Other colour combinations are available, with some options costing £125.) It is a modular system, with each measuring 39cm (l) x 24cm (h) x 24cm (d) and providing you with a capacity of 20 litres, giving you 40 litres with the two together. You can buy extra singular bags to add on the end for £59.95.

Now, these bags are incredibly rugged, both in looks and in construction. The KitBrix are made of a tough, waterproof, TPU laminated nylon. Each bag stands on its own rectangular base. This robust protective shell bottom is incredibly sturdy and makes it easy to rummage through the contents and grab what you want.

It's possible to wipe down the base surface, so I'm less concerned about putting this bag down on dirty changing room floors or toilet cubicle floors when there are no changing rooms at the event HQ (yes, that is a thing unfortunately).

The slippery surface inside is also waterproof and easy to wipe down. What with storing all sorts that have the potential to cause a right mess inside, including gels, powder from energy/recovery drinks and dirty kit, being able to give the bag a thorough clean is incredibly helpful.

The zips are water-resistant and, given cycling kit can tot up to costing a lot, it's great that these come with padlock loops for added security.

Each of the KitBrix bags can be joined up to the other with the outer zips found on the long edges. While it's cool being able to bundle these together, it is also a little awkward to zip them up because of the stiffness of the material. It's not the sort of thing you'd want to do often or when you are in a rush (which can feel like a lot of the time at an event). Also, when you join the two together you lose the use of the exterior pockets down the side on both bags. But this bundle design is useful if you always need the inner capacity of two and want to stick them together before setting off.

Up top on the lid, there's a card-sized see-through sleeve which I found useful for storing my British Cycling racing licence. It helps being able to clearly see if this racing essential is packed when I'm leaving. Alternatively, the sleeve could be used to display your name and contact details just in case of losing the bag.

There's also a larger sleeve panel at one side that allows you to label each bag with three supplied icons: one of a cyclist, the other two of a runner and swimmer. This is of course more helpful for triathletes, but the window sleeve could be used to put details of your club/team or even a checklist for kit you need to remember to pack. KitBrix also offers a custom icon service for these pockets if you want something neater made up.

Netted pockets run down along both long sides for slotting in water bottles and dirty wrappers.

Inside, there's an incredibly useful chunk of space in the centre of each bag. There's a clear pocket on the lid and a zipped pocket down the long side – though it would be handier if the second one was clear too. Both of these pockets are as big as the space allows. Some smaller inside pockets on the short edge would be good for separating out essentials that can get easily lost such as hair bands, a wallet or earphones.

There are plenty of options for carrying the KitBrix about. The bags have a handle at the top for holding in one hand at your side, or you can attach one strap to sling over your shoulder, or attach two to use it like a rucksack.

Clipping on these shoulder straps does give the bag extra versatility, but these are only comfortable enough as a backpack for the shortest of rides as the chunky handle and other attachment points rest against your back, and there's zero padding. They'll work for cycling down the road from your car to the HQ, but this bag doesn't double up as one suitable for a longer journey or commuting.

> 18 of the best cycling rucksacks — carry your stuff the easy way

You also get Kitstraps included as part of the bundle. By inserting the hook end of the strap through the buckle and pulling the hook end back over, you can tightly wrap up individual items of your kit. Lycra can take up a lot of space when just floating about and it can be hard to find the specific item you're looking for when it's all packed loose in the same bag.

I tend to pack a jersey down into one of its rear pockets, and gloves inside one another, and this still seems to be the most effective method for these items of Lycra, but for other bits of kit these Kitstraps are a massive help in compressing each down and separating. The straps can help keep your kit tidy in your drawers too. But with the Velcro design I was a bit worried about it catching on my nice race gear; you'll need to be careful when strapping up, so not ideal for packing in a rush.

Storage-wise, here's how I choose to fill up the bags...

I wanted to set one aside for carrying all the kit I'd need for going over to the HQ to sign into the event and on to the changing room. I slipped my race licence into the lid sleeve, and inside the main compartment of the grey KitBrix I packed: 1 x short sleeve race jersey, 1 x bib shorts, 1 x long sleeve jersey (for warming up), 1 x chamois cream, 1 x leg warmers, 1 x arm warmers, 1 x towel (for post-race showering), 1 x travel sized shower gel and 1 x packable waterproof.

In the see-through lid sleeve I stashed my socks and gloves, as these smaller bits of kit often get lost amongst everything else. For other loose bits, including my wallet (for paying for the event at the HQ), earphones, headbands and safety pins (for pinning on my race number) I used the non-see-through sleeve.

All of this kit is the absolute minimum I'd pack. There is some space remaining for your helmet, but you could easily fill this up with spares or leisure clothes.

The other black KitBrix I used for storing: 1 x cycling shoes, 1 x sunglasses, 1 x saddle bag (with basic tools), 1 x food tub, 1 x tub with recovery powder and 1 x tub with 'during' powder. There are some energy bars and gels in the see-through sleeve, and in the inner pocket I placed my cycling computer.

Down the side I slotted in two water bottles and my recovery shake bottle. Coffee is also an incredibly important part of my preparation, and so my Stanley flask sits in the outer netting on the other side.

Using the two, there's enough capacity for a day event without the bags bulging.

Just to note, I'd normally pack my helmet and cycling shoes into their own bag for protection but I didn't want to hide what the items were in the photos.

At £129, this is cheaper than Scott's RC Raceday 60 Backpack (now £179.99). But the Scott has an extra 20 litres of capacity, lots of useful pockets (14!) and with purpose-built backpack straps it is comfier to wear and has much greater versatility for other activities. To reach the same capacity of the Scott by buying another KitBrix bag, for £59.95, it ends up being more expensive (£188.95).

We haven't tested Castelli's Pro Race Rain Bag, with its removable shoe and grab bags, so can't comment on how it performs. But that option is around the same price as the KitBrix two-bag bundle at £130, so the pricing is around what I'd expect to be paying for a dedicated event/race bag.

Overall, the hardwearing style and wipeable, waterproof surfaces of the KitBrix are just what you need when travelling to a sporting event. Standing on its rectangular base you really can't beat this sturdy position for easy access. But the uncomfortable setup as a backpack does limit how far you can carry the bag when cycling to an event, and the inner pockets are a bit too large, meaning essentials can get lost.

Impressively robust modular event bag with handy wipeable surfaces, but lacks small pockets for separating

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Make and model: KitBrix Elite Organiser Bundle - Lite, KitBrix with Kitstraps

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

KitBrix says: "KitBrix is a robust, modular, military-inspired kit bag for passionate sports people. Each KitBrix bag can be zipped to another to form a rucksack, saving time in transition and travel.

"Each bag 'stands' on a robust base, offering complete visibility and control over contents and ready access to kit for training or competition. Storing kit in separate sections, easily marked with our supplied icons, removes the stress from preparation, leaving you, and perhaps your family, in a state of calm organised readiness.

"KitBrix provides safe storage in the home, garage or car. Its unmatched build quality keeps expensive kit secure and ready to use at a moment's notice, saving time and money.

"Perfect for hand luggage as one or two units, KitBrix is a great travel companion with lockable zips for the main section of each bag."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Measures: 15.3in(l) x 9.5in(h) x 9.5in(d) / 39cm(l) x 24cm(h) x 24cm(d)

Very robust build with high quality materials used.

The most durable bag I've ever come across!

Uncomfortable to wear as a backpack. It does help having the functionality of two shoulder straps so you can ride your bike from the car to the event HQ, but I wouldn't choose to use it as a backpack for longer rides. Instead, it can be carried by your side with the handle on the lid.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

All the kit I needed to take to an event fitted in, with a little extra space for when one panics and packs lots of spares! The wipeable surfaces enable you to keep it clean. But with the lack of smaller pockets and no internal dividers, kit essentials don't have a 'home' and so it is not an organised search trying to find the item you need. That said, the open space is handy for fitting larger items.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Wipeable surfaces. See-through outer sleeve for storing your race licence or displaying your name/contact details. Robust build. The way it stands up for easy rummaging.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Uncomfortable as a backpack. No smaller pockets.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

It's a similar price to Castelli's Pro Race Rain Bag, but would be more expensive than Scott's RC Raceday 60 Backpack if you were to buy another KitBrix to get up to the same 60-litre capacity as the Scott.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if discounted.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Overall, it is great as a dedicated event bag. It is incredibly robust, the wipeable waterproof surfaces are very useful and there are neat touches like lockable zips. But it is expensive for its 40-litre capacity, and it's not as versatile as some because it's uncomfortable to wear as a backpack. Also, smaller pockets are really needed for storing all those little essentials so they each have an organised home. It's good, but a few tweaks could make it better.

Age: 23  Height: 177cm  Weight: 63kg

I usually ride: Road bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track

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Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.

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