The design is certainly a nod to the “fashionable” philosophy of their products: it’s essentially a shoulder bag which attaches to your bike. Their Hook-On system (which includes a surprisingly strong Velcro strap) will work with most rear luggage racks and is a secure fit. This is easily hidden away when off the bike, using the small zip-pocket compartment it’s housed in.
It’s important to bear in mind the dimensions of the bag especially in regards to what you want to use it for. Measuring at 40 x 29 x 14 cm and with a 17 litre capacity, this isn’t the kind of Bag that I would take on my grocery/shopping runs, but is fantastic as an over sized handbag. Carrying around my usual daily essentials (phone, purse, moleskine, pencil case, bike locks etc) wasn’t an issue with the Basil at all.
Additional carry space comes with the two outer pockets on each side of the bag and the inner-zip pocket. If like me you have a larger sized laptop (15″) it’s not going to accommodate it (which was a bit of a shame) but it’s ideal for a Tablet device or Netbook in a protective sleeve / case.
From an aesthetic point of view, the Basil Elements bag is rather neat. The water repellent recycled sailcloth with reflective detailing looks good, and the inner lining of the bag is rather nifty too. Artificial leather is used for the handles and the zip-pulls, which is quite long wearing.
The one thing that did disappoint me was the keyring/bling attachment: sadly this broke on the 1st use of the bag, with most of the ribbon and baubles falling off…
It’s not essential to the bag at all as it just attaches to the main zipper as an additional accessory, but it was a shame when it started to come away.
Basil have put a twist on the traditional pannier with this one, with it really being a shoulder bag that fits on a bike. If you are after a bag with a high volume capacity and lots of space for shopping, you will need to go for something bigger than this…. however, if you’re in the market for a stylish everyday handbag for casual use (from going to the office, heading to college etc) this could be right up your path.
Details on stockists of the Basil Elements Shoulder Bag can be found on their website.
All photography by Ian James.
*This bag was kindly gifted to VCG by Basil for a review.