Brompton Bags Full Range Review

It may seem like all I blog about is bags, but I will eventually prove to you that that is not the case. However, the bags have been stacking up at London Cyclist HQ so we thought we would have a blitz. This is more of a roundup post than a review.

For all you current and aspiring Bromptoneers out there, here is a barebones review of all the bags Brompton make for their bikes. If you don’t have a carrier block on your bike you will need one of those too, they cost £15.

Brompton T Bag- £95

Brompton T-Bag

Capacity: 30 liters

Handlebar compatibility: M, H and P, although you cannot overfill it on the P bars

Good for:

  • Carrying a lot of stuff – clothes, groceries, other bulky things
  • Putting an existing briefcase or handbag in to get it to work
  • Touring – that’s why it’s the T-bag

Bad for:

  • Carrying around off the bike – flimsy shoulder strap, although it is removable, therefore replaceable.
  • In bag organization – it is just one big cavity
  • Easy access during the day – the bag uses three buckles to keep it closed

Available for £95 from Evans Cycles

Brompton C Bag – £105

Brompton C-Bag

Capacity: 25 liters

Handlebar compatibility: M, H and P

Good for:

  • Taking to the office- good organization and access, will fit a large laptop
  • Carrying clothes – has quite a large main compartment
  • Carrying around off the bike – good, padded shoulder strap

Bad for:

  • Being trendy – it’s not the best looking courier bag, but it’s not bad
  • Small people carrying around off the bike – I am 5’4” and it’s a bit awkward

Available from Evans Cycles for £105

Brompton Folding Basket – £50

Brompton Folding basket

Capacity: 24 liters

Handlebar compatibility: M, H and P

Good for:

  • Carrying most things – being a basket you can just add whatever you want.
  • Going to the shop – you can use the bag/bike combo as your shopping trolley
  • Carrying a small dog – this is not a supported use by myself or Brompton, but is possible

Bad for:

  • Security – obviously it is just open, although there are two hand straps that can be used along with a small clip to anchor your bags.
  • Weather-proofing – its open so things will get wet in the rain, although the rain cover that comes with other bags can be purchased separately and fits if the basket is not too full

Available from Evans Cycles for £50

Brompton S Bag – £105

Brompton S-Bag

Capacity: 20 liters

Handlebar compatibility – All

Good for:

  • Taking to the office – it is just a smaller version of the C-bag so has all the same pockets and organization
  • Changing your mind – the front flap is removable and can be changed to a new one or different pattern
  • Using as a basket – as you can remove the flap you can use it as a basket if needed

Bad for:

  • Carrying a lot of clothes
  • Carrying large laptops – the mouth of this bag is quite narrow due to the way it is made so will only easily fit 13” laptops and compact 15”

Available from Evans Cycles for £105

Brompton O Bag – £200

Yellow Brompton O-Bag

Capacity: 18 liters

Handlebar compatibility: All (although advice is too not overfill on S type but this in not possible if you want to close the bag anyway)

Good for:

  • Taking to the office – it is a very smart bag with lots of internal organization and a laptop sleeve
  • Keeping your things dry – it is made by Ortlieb and so is completely waterproof
  • Adding more personality to your bike – it is available in a variety of bright colours as well as black
  • Durability – it is a sturdy, robust bag

Bad for:

  • Carrying around off the bike – it is not too comfy on your back due to the non-removable mount
  • Carrying lots of clothes – it is a pretty rigid bag so you cant fit too many clothes in there
  • Wheeling the bike around – the handle is soft and so it is a bit harder to use it to wheel the bike while folded

Available from £195 from Evans Cycles

Brompton Game Bag – £245

Brompton game bag, pink

Capacity: 18 liters

Handlebar compatibility: All

Good for:

  • Looks – this is a beautiful, handmade bag and will be great in an office or the pub, easily the classiest option from Brompton
  • Use off the bike – this is probably the most usable bag if you carry it around during the day

Bad for:

  • Wheeling the bike around – the handle is soft and so it is a bit harder to use it to wheel the bike while folded
  • Carrying lots of clothes
  • Your bank balance!

Available for £245 at Evans Cycles

Brompton Mini-O Bag – £90

Brompton Mini-O Bag

Capacity: 7 liters

Handlebar compatibility: All

Good for:

  • Days out – it fits a little food, a camera, phone etc.
  • Those traveling light – you can just fit an iPad (or similar) in it so it can be used for work if you don’t carry much
  • Weatherproofing – it is made by Ortlieb so it is completely waterproof
  • Making your bike a little more snazzy – it comes in lots of colours

Bad for:

  • Wheeling the bike around – the handle is soft and so it is a bit harder to use it to wheel the bike while folded
  • Carrying much- it is small so don’t expect to fit too much in there

Available from Evans Cycles for £90

Brompton Racksack – £70

Brompton Rack Sack

Capacity: 16 liters

Compatibility: It only fits on bikes with a rear rack

Good for:

  • Carrying extra things on your Brompton by utilizing your rear rack – this is the only bag specifically made to fit on the back of the bike

Bad for:

  • Folding your bike – it is fiddly to get on and off, which you need to do to fold your bike – therefore best for long journeys

Available for £70 from Evans Cycles

Final review & thoughts

Bags, like saddles are quite personal. I have spent a long time using a C-Bag and some time using a O-Bag. I think that for most general day to day uses the C-Bag is a good all rounder. When I am not carrying much I can cinch it down, but if I pick things up during the day, I can shove it all in and still get home. Aesthetically its not amazing, but its not really offensive either, just a bit ‘function over form’.

The O-Bag is a little more restrictive but much smarter and briefcase like, and of course totally waterproof and well made. I can still fit a fair amount in it, but don’t have as much leeway to shop during the day – often not a bad thing! Plus, the O-Bag comes in awesome colours – mine is yellow- and they are a nice touch to increase visibility. If I was using my bike to do any food shopping on a regular basis I would absolutely get a basket as well.

Let us know which bag your Brompton is rocking and if you have any thoughts on the different types!

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23 Responses to Brompton Bags Full Range Review

  1. Andrea 26/08/2015 at 2:29 pm #

    I researched the bags and then decided on the Carradice City Folder bag. It looks similar to the Game bag, but is only £95 (plus £15 for the frame). It is NOT as the pictures on the Carradice site show or as in one review which criticised that the rivets on the handle and the shoulder strap tore out over time. The design was adapted and these are now reinforced on both sides. The back reinforcement had also been cut out to allow the frame handle to be used.

    It has 2 back pockets, one of which is ideal for a Dimpa bag (IKEA) and one for a drink etc. Otherwise it is the same layout as the Carradice Bike Bureau: a small zip pocket at the front, a small open pocket behind and inside suspended a cushioned laptop compartment.

    http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=type&product_id=17

    Good for:
    – Carrying lots of stuff, gym kit etc.
    – Classic look
    – use off the bike

    Bad for:
    – large if you just want a handbag

    There is also a version for the S bar for £130 (http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=range&url=stockport-city-folder)
    and a Harris Tweed version for £150 (on these photos you can see that the handle fixings are riveted on either side of the metal ring: http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=range&product_id=178)

    • Cueball 28/08/2015 at 10:35 am #

      Thanks for your post. The product looks good. Will the brompton fold down with the frame fitted ?
      Many thanks.

      • Rebecca Olds 28/08/2015 at 10:50 am #

        Yes. But with the Stockport, it’s so easy and convenient as a messenger/shoulder bag, why would you?

    • Rebecca Olds 28/08/2015 at 10:49 am #

      I agree: the two bags Carradice make specifically for the Brompton are more practical than anything Brompton have licensed to be made. I have owned all the Brompton ones, sold them all on.

      The Carradice Stockport is a gem. My review of it seems to be the only one (by a user/customer) anywhere on the Internet:
      http://velovoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/review-carradice-stockport-bag-for.html

      I have not tried any of the Ortlieb bags. Friends who have them do like them. I have tried other messenger bags from Ortlieb and simply don’t like the feel against my hands, when you’re getting stuff out and putting stuff into them all the time. I do use Ortlieb panniers when touring though and can vouche for their waterproofness and durability. But they don’t get the literal handling that daily bags such as what you’d use with a Brompton get and I don’t think they’d be at all ‘comfortable’ in a tactile sense.

  2. Nick Donnelly 28/08/2015 at 1:06 pm #

    Just like the bikes – these are as fugly as it gets.

    Any links to alternative bags with style (e.g. Mission Workshop) – and alternatives to the bikes which look like they were designed in the 20’s (in a bad way).

  3. Dave 28/08/2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Hi Emily

    Thank you for your really good reviews, I have had a C bag for 9 years so far and it seems totally indestructible. It has carried large lever arch files top and tailed, a weeks groceries (for me). with its mouth open you can really load it full and still be able to button it down.

    The poxy waterproof cover was a nuisance, so I bought a stick of Otto Wax (£18) and waterproofed it that way. It has a distinct aged leather look now which is awesome!

    My recumbent has a full set of 4 Ortlieb bags, Bike packer on the back carrier and Front Rollers on the Lowrider carriers under the seat. On the frame in between them I carried a 15 – 40 litre Dry Bag

    I use it for touring mostly, but have had some exciting commutes on it. With the full set I carried everything for camping out on a Lands End to John O’Groats tour

  4. Fern 29/08/2015 at 11:06 am #

    I have been using the Cbag for a few years and it really useful. I regularly have 10kg in it (really heavy) with two laptops. The carring strap works well.
    When it isn’t full of laptops it is great for shopping and I have pulled the bike around a lot of supermarkets. It will easily hold a loaf of bread, two bottles of wine and the rest of dinner.
    Very useful big bag.

  5. Vincent 31/08/2015 at 9:53 am #

    There’s an even bigger alternative to the T-Bag, also made by Radical Design from the Netherlands, but is only available in Belgium/Netherlands as it’s made for Vouwfiets:

    http://www.vouwfiets.nl/brompton-rol-top-bag-p-252.html?language=en

    270€ ain’t cheap, though.

  6. Dave 22/09/2015 at 8:33 pm #

    Well I have given in to the temptation of my B+1and bought the Ortlieb mini bag for my Brommie

  7. Andy Stokes 21/11/2015 at 12:28 pm #

    I have had the C-bag for 4 years or so, and the zip on one of rear pockets has now broken, anyone else had this? Makes it unusable, and its a nightmare to get mended, so far all the specialist cobblers etc have been unable to help, leaving me with a big bill for a new bag just because of a zip. Any solutions welcome

    Andy, North Yorkshire

    • Dr C. 05/05/2016 at 11:10 am #

      This happened to both pockets on my C bag (now 6 years old). I have no sewing ability, but managed to cut off the old zips with my Leatherman blade and stitch on some replacements I got from eBay fro a few pounds each. The repair does not look pretty, but it works.

      I also had issues with the strap attachment on both sides, and have added rivets and eyelets+shoelaces to reinforce them, which is also ugly, but works.

      • Gareth Murphy 16/09/2016 at 3:06 pm #

        Just what I’m looking for. My C-bag is also 6 years old. Back zips went years ago, not a problem. Broke the side zip this morning, which is a massive pain, as I usually keep the phone in there.
        It looks like zip replacement is the way to go. Cheers

  8. Dave 22/11/2015 at 9:52 pm #

    My C bag is 9 years old and still good. I bought the Ortlieb Brompton bag for when I need extra space

  9. Helen 11/12/2015 at 5:32 pm #

    I’ve got the folding basket for my Brompton with M handlebars. It’s great because I can carry a lot of stuff in there (handbag, food shopping, parcels), and I can also chuck things in there as I cycle, without stopping to open a bag (for example, a scarf as I get too hot cycling).
    I’ve modified it though to make it a bit more ergonomic; while it comes with 2 small carry handles, I’ve extended these to be adjustable shoulder straps. The adjustability is important, as the shape of the basket changes based on how open it is (as it folds flat), so to get the two handles at an even level needs adjustment depending on this.
    I’ve also added a small strap with a clip to the top of the basket (it goes from the front of the basket, loops round the rigid handle at the back, then round again to the front to clip it together) to allow me to ‘lock’ it shut if there isn’t much in there (basically to attach one side to the other). This makes it thinner, so a bit easier to carry off the bike and also feels less bulky on the bike while riding.
    If it’s raining, I just use the standard Brompton reflective yellow bag cover that I got separately, and that’s ample to cover the entire basket, no matter how much stuff there is in there.

    • Dave 14/12/2015 at 2:22 pm #

      Well done for that Helen, it’s your bike and bag.I became irritated with my C bag as if I carried it there’d be no rain and if I didn’t it would rain. I bought a stick of Otto wax and waxed my bag thoroughly and now It’s completely waterproof

  10. Sacha 22/02/2016 at 6:34 am #

    I have these bags :

    1) C bag
    Good bag, zippers are known to be fragile to zip slowly

    2) T bag
    Great bag, pocket zipper is known to be fragile to zip slowly

    3) Mini o bag
    Not bad but fragile : the snaps fall out and the bottom is damaged by the plastic that kids 2 holes in the fabric (check yours for a surprise !)

    4) Game bag
    Poor quality : after 6 months the green fabric get frayed at the corner where the zippers are stitched, shocking for this price, looks ratty because of that.
    The blue one will easily have white marks where the frame touches the fabric hence I took the green one.

    5) Rack bag
    Good bag but there is a design defect : the strap is stitched on the lid hence you can not carry it open

    I love them all, each has his use.

    May be C Bag (the first one I bough) and Game bag are too close to buy both but Game looks more classy hence could be more versatile as easily usable by its own.

    I never tried the basket but it looks silly to use an open basket on a bike when you can have a bag instead.

    • Dave 22/02/2016 at 9:59 am #

      My C bag has had 12 years of heavy use, loaded with textbooks, files, groceries and camping gear. apart from a slightly distressed look, its still in perfect working order. All zips are good, clips and straps still origional.

    • Marion 06/08/2016 at 9:36 pm #

      I have owned a basket almost as long as I have owned a brompton. I use it all the time, trips to the local shops where I pile huge amounts of shopping into it and also to the park where I go with my dog – she loves riding in it. I do have a brompton c bag which is good but the basket is so much easier. Naturally I not take my dog if it is going to rain, but do take plastic bags to keep things dry.

  11. MarkM 27/04/2016 at 12:05 am #

    Out of interest, how much difference does a C bag make in a reasonable head wind? Does a tail wind make up for it?

  12. Sacha 27/04/2016 at 1:15 am #

    With front wind you must fart often to compensate !

  13. Dave 27/04/2016 at 12:36 pm #

    So with a tail wind do you belch often to compensate?

  14. nikedis 28/07/2016 at 7:05 am #

    good

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