Antler Ultimate Commuter suit bag review

Antler bag reviewLike many cyclists, I’m forever searching for a rucksack that is ideal for my commute to work five days a week: one that will allow me to carry my suit jacket, shirt, trousers, pants, socks, shoes, towel, shower gel, shaving gel, deodorant to work in a convenient and practical carrier.

It’s a long list of items – and that’s why my search goes on. Many companies have tried to find the answer but most commuters have found one fault with each.

The latest company to attempt to solve the cycle commuter’s luggage issue is one best known for making suitcases – Antler. They certainly have experience in creating space for lots of luggage, but in the Antler Ultimate Commuter they’ve created a rucksack which they promise will give “a crease-free commute”.

That is of course the main problem we have – getting clothes to work isn’t usually the issue, it’s getting clothes to work crease-free that causes issues. The press release for the Ultimate Commuter promises just that, as well as some things you would expect – padded straps, back-support, high-vis straps; and some things that might surprise you – a coat hanger, an internal shoe bag and another for toiletries.

A suit carrier on your back

Antler bag review outside viewThe shape of the bag is just like a folded suit carrier, so it’s quite large in size and the company claims that you could actually carry enough shirts and suits for a whole week, rather than taking fresh clothes in each day.

The space inside, is surprising when you open the bag for the first time. Zips are everywhere – for shoes, toiletries on the inside, for your mobile on the outside, and many that I still don’t know what they are there for.

The most suit carrier-esque aspect is of course the coat hanger, a useful and practical design aspect and one that makes it quite clear how the bag should be used.

Being waterproof, there’s no need for a waterproof rucksack cover. The rain falls off without touching your suit, which is always nice to know.

Practical and impractical at the same time

Antler bag next to bikeThis bag has been designed and built on its practicality. Yet, I find myself feeling that there is something very impractical about it. With all the space inside, and all the many different compartments, it’s unsurprising that the bag is big. But it’s the width of the bag, that comes from quite literally hanging a suit jacket inside it, that has caused me a couple of issues.

It won’t have escaped your notice that London is a congested place, and thanks to Wiggo, the Olympics, the Boris Bikes and the cycle superhighways, more and more Londoners are cycling. As a result, when cycling in a pelaton of sorts, I’ve been nudged a couple of times due to the width of the bag. Nothing major, but as a cyclist who likes to keep himself to himself, being nudged in the side has caused a couple of slight wobbles.

Aside from that, the size of the bag can make it quite uncomfortable on longer commutes, and it’s not a bag where you can shift the weight around. My commute is to one of two offices during the week, one being a fairly long ride, and I think I’ll be saving this bag for the shorter of the two commutes.

[See also: Roundup of suit bags for cyclists]

Joins the ranks of other good commuter bags – but it’s not perfect

All that said, when I got to work this bag was perhaps more useful than when it was on my back – everything has its space, meaning there is no routing around for your deodorant can.

There is a lot going for the Antler Ultimate Commuter, and while I don’t think it’ll blow people away, at around £75, it’s not completely unaffordable and with 31 litres of space, you certainly get a lot of space for your buck.

Antler Ultimate Commuter is available from Amazon or from directly from Antler.

3/5

Join 9,241 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

,

3 Responses to Antler Ultimate Commuter suit bag review

  1. Jeroen (NL) 14/03/2013 at 12:42 pm #

    This really looks nice if it does what it promises. Except for the size I agree. Plus its unavailability outside the UK! Andreas can you please talk to Antler and urge them to ship Europewide? Even Amazon does not ship this outside of the UK, common market or not! At least Slicks are considering international shippping they told me.

    • Jeroen Vree 16/04/2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Attention shoppers, now reduced to cleat at GBP 42,50 at John Lewis and Antler.co.uk
      Normally end of produce line … I got me one for this price.

  2. Andy Boylan 17/06/2013 at 6:45 am #

    I picked one of these up at an Antler outlet store. Yes it is wide, but it is perfect for business trips where you want to take your bike on a train (or even leave the bike at home). The bag can take a week’s worth of suits/shirts and two pairs of shoes.

    I put heavier stuff in panniers and use the backpack to keep clothes free of creases. This would also be a solution for longer commutes.

    The best way to use this bag is to take enough kit for a few days and then travel light on the others.

    Have just got back from a week away on business and without this bag I would not have been able to take my bike.

    I’ll also be using the Antler bag when not cycling – the fact that it goes on my back frees me up to use a trolley bag for other luggage.

Leave a Reply