The Madison rack trunk would be perfect for a ride through the posh Seattle neighborhood of Madison Park. Use this as a briefcase off the bike and coworkers will want to know what fashion boutique you bought it at; use it on the bike for a convenient way to transport your gear. Includes rack attachment straps, hide-away rain cover, and removable shoulder strap. Plenty of padding protects your electronics or acts as great insulation for carrying lunch or a picnic!
- Capacity – 9.2 liters (560 in3)
- Material – Coated Nylon
- Dimensions – 35.6 cm long x 25.4 cm tall x 19.1 cm wide (14 in x 10 in x 7.5 in)
- Hidden Raincover
- 2 External Pockets
- 1 Internal Zippered Mesh Pocket
- 3 Internal Drop in Pockets
- 4 Adjustable Webbing Straps for Securing to the Rack
- Removable Shoulder Strap
- 2 Tuck away handles
- Measured Weight – 830 g (29.3 oz)
- Retail – $72
I have seen Detours gear here and there but never really had any experience with their products. Detour is a company out of Seattle, Washington. They specialize in bike bags, creating stylish and functional bags to help you transport your stuff on the bicycle. Detours has a connection to the community of Seattle and other bike clubs across the country. This spring they reached out to me to test a couple of products. The Madison Rack Trunk is the first of the two rack bags I am reviewing.
I tested the Madison Rack Trunk mainly on my commutes. I have a 16 mile each way commute and am always taking stuff back and forth from work. I also tested the bag on a couple of smaller trips around town. I did not have any rain to deal with so the weatherproofing was only able to be tested with the hose. =)
The Detours Madison Rack Trunk is a rectangular shaped trunk bag. The bag is made of a tough nylon fabric. This fabric can take abrasion and still comes back for more. The Madison has some style to it. I really like the look of it. I tested the Gray color scheme with blue accents and lime green inner fabric. The bag is made to be clipped to the top of a bicycle rack. There are six different straps on the outside of the bag that can be used to connect the bag to the rack. They are all adjustable and attached by a plastic buckle. The trunk has two external pockets. These pockets are thin slits that can be used to stuff the handles into while riding. I also found them great to stuff other small things in there when on the go, or if you just need them handy. When not on the rack the two handles can be pulled out to be used to carry the bag around. It also comes with a shoulder strap that can be unclipped when not in use.
The inside of the pockets and main compartment of the bag are made of a lime-green nylon fabric. This makes it brighter inside and easier to see your gear. The bag has a main zipper with structure underneath to make it easier to use. Over the top of the zipper is a flap that can be folded over for more storm protection. Inside the bag, there are four total pockets. One large mesh zippered pocket on the side and two drop in pockets with elastic tops on the other. Inside one of these pockets is a leash clip for keys or anything else you want to secure. In the back inside of the bag is another drop in pocket. This one is a little looser and shaped for a water bottle or whatever else you want to use it for.
The whole bag is padded to help protect your contents. This padding also helps insulated colder items if you put them in the bag. The bottom of the bag has a reinforced bottom to add structure. Furthermore, on the bottom of the bag is a zippered pock with a rain cover inside. This cover can be pulled out and wrapped around the whole bag for storm protection. The bag has two small reflective straps, one in the front and one in the back. When the rain cover is on these are covered but there is reflective locoing on the cover to make up for it. The bag feels very tough and has not shown any issues up until now. All the stitching is very solid, and I do not expect anything to fail, but I will check in here if something does.
I did try to find out information on how sustainable the bag is. I was not able to find any information about the bag or any information about any initiative’s Detour has regarding sustainability. I know they are a big proponent for cycling and alternative transportation so on that merit alone I gave them a two for sustainability.
Ease of Set Up (25%)
Protection of Contents (10%)
Use of Space (15%)
Weather Resistance (15%)
I used the Madison Rack Trunk primarily as my commuter bag. On my commute I normally need to carry some clothes, my lunch, and a couple of other items to and from work. The Madison was a great size to fit all this with a little room to spare. I never felt like I did not have enough space where I was squishing things in there. The pockets on the inside are good for organizing items but if something is in the pockets, then there is less room in the main compartment. It is a trade off on whether or not to separate the items. I did find this handy for clothing and other sensitive items. The outside pockets are thin, but they work well for stuffing in the straps or other small items. I liked using them for stuffing in a hat or arm sleeves when it warmed up.
The padding of the bag is just enough to protect the insides while not being too bulky. While I didn’t use the shoulder strap much. It works well but I generally preferred the handles to the strap. Most of the time I was just lazy to pull the strap out and connect it. The handles worked well so I did not think about it. The main zipper works flawlessly and with the storm flap, it protects the contents well. If it really gets nasty you can pull out the rain cover and wrap it over the bag. Since I did not get a good test on this, I decided to try the hose and it with stood my man-made rainstorm.
The trunk is really easy to attach to a rack. All you need to do is unclip the straps in which you want to use, wrap them around the rack and clip them back in. There are six total straps that can be used. Most of the time I used four on my rack and never had any issues with the bag moving. The straps can be a bit difficult to adjust but when you get them where you want you should not have to change it assuming you use the same bike each day. I was a bit disappointed with the reflective elements on the bag. There are two small ones, one on the front and one on the back. The rain cover also has reflective logoing when it is being used. While this covers the front and back, I wonder why there is not any on the sides. I think this would be a logical place to have more reflectivity. The back reflective strap can also be used to connect a light, but this will cover up the reflective strap.
Overall, I have really liked using this truck on my commutes. Not only has it performed well, but it also looks cool. When you get to the office, you have a bag with some style. It is also good for going around town and carrying a couple of items. While not as big as a set of panniers, the Madison Rack Trunk is enough for a commuter like me who has figured out that less is better. If you have to take a computer with you, then this is not going to be your bag, but it is good for most everything else. I do store some items at work, so I do not have to carry them, like shoes. My first experience with Detours has been a very promising one; the Madison is very carefully thought out and seems well made. I hope to get lots of use out of it. The Madison Rack Trunk retails for $72, which I thick is a fair price. I would definitely recommend it. As always, your mileage may vary.
- Looks good
- Good organization
- Padded exterior for protection an insulation
- Great storm protection
- Needs more reflectivity
- Hard to adjust the connector straps
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