One of the most fun sets of reviews we’ve started are the gear bag reviews. This is a crowded field with many non-triathlon options. For our first few triathlons, we used a combination of a Timbuk2 bag and an extra duffel bag that we had laying around. However, it took both bags to make this work and created a ton of complications, not limited to our inability to carry all our gear while riding our bike from the parking lot to the transition area. A few weeks ago, we did an initial review and final review on the Rocket Science Sports Real Joe/Real Jane bag and an initial review on the RSS Elite Bag. Both great bags that hold a ton of gear.
Today, we’re doing our initial review of the T2 Triathlon Bag from Yankz!. This is a freshly re-designed bag from the company that makes the Yankz! speed lacing system. Yankz! acquired the manufacturer of these bags, TriathalonBags.com and the TriathlonBags founder continues to lead the development and production of the Yankz! TriathlonBags line. Thanks to Yankz! for the review bag.
Yankz! began in Spring 1999 when Pierce Pape, an avid runner, realized there was a better way to lace your shoes in a race. Even though Pierce started the company for runners the standard Yankz! product has become a must have for triathletes. If you don’t have a set of Yankz! laces, you need to pick them up. We’re going to do a quick review of the Yankz! lace system in the next few days, but since we’ve been using them for a while now, we can tell you that they’re a great product and totally worth the $8 you’ll pay.
Yankz! acquired TriathlonBags.com and retained the founder, Dean, to work on other product development. The T2 bag has been recently redesigned and the nice folks at Yankz! even lowered the price from $120 to $99. This makes this bag one of the most full featured bags available at that price point.
T2 Triathlon Bag Details:
The T2 Triathlon Bag has a capacity of 2500 cubic inches, an absolutely huge amount of storage in what appears to be a standard sized package. The bag is made of heavy nylon and is well constructed. We found no improper stitching or careless seams. The bag is clearly made to last, but the fabric isn’t so heavy that it seems too heavy for the job. The bag features an adjustable front pocket to hold your helmet, a cell phone/iPod pocket, a removable swim gear bag made of mesh to facilitate drying, mesh inside pockets to hold your gear, front slash pockets for smaller gear, an additional interior pocket to hold other small gear, two drawstring closure side pockets for water bottles, and a really nice handle. You’ll also find a padded back for comfort, nicely padded straps, both shoulder and waist, and lots of reflective tape for your safety.
Our test bag is in basic black with red embroidered lettering on the side, a nice embroidered logo on top, and a large reflective logo on the front of the bag. When you first fill the bag, you’ll notice that the bag is designed to sit upright. We like this feature since we’re not excellent bag packers and the design allows easy access to all parts of the bag.
As mentioned above, the bag provides 2500 cubic inches of storage. For this test, we tried to squeeze our standard amount of kit into the bag. You can take a look at the picture below to get some idea of what we’re carrying, but basically we used our standard kit. You’ll see a pair of trainers, a pair of bike shoes, towels, change of clothes, goggles and ear plugs, Hammer Gel, water bottles, socks, jersey top, sandals, and a helmet. We didn’t include our wetsuit. More on that later.
As you can see here, it all fit pretty well. If we had included our wetsuit, a XL, we might have had to work a bit harder to get it all closed. That said, if we included our wetsuit and the bag didn’t close, we could have easily removed the wet gear bag and hung if off the side of the bag. On our first try we got everything into the bag with some space left. After a little practice, we could probably do quite a bit better getting the gear in. This was our experience with the Rocket Science Sports bags, a little practice makes the bags more effective. We’ll update you after a few packing and unpacking evolutions.
Our practice packing other gear bags came in handy here. The back of the bag is padded which greatly reduces the number of sharp points sticking into your back. That said, the T2 is engineered to reduce the problems with gear poking out, the back is very thick which makes inept packing an insignificant issue.
Putting the bag on for the first time, we noticed it fits very well. The straps are very adjustable and are well padded. The bag features a waist strap and a chest strap. These two straps help balance the load and make sure you’re not too off balance.
We’re really excited to test this bag. Our first impression is that it features a ton of usable space, organized in a way that is really useful to triathletes. The bag is well made and doesn’t have a lot of useless ‘extras’ that prevent the use of the space. The folks at Yankz! clearly pay attention to their design, evidenced by the simple stuff like the cell phone pocket. Other bags we’ve tested had useful, but cheaply made. The phone pocket on the T2 bag is well made and shows an attention to detail that is lacking in some of the other bags we’ve tested.