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Monday, December 5, 2011

Lezyne Trunk Caddy EX

A rear rack trunk with zip out Panniers

Lezyne, a company fast becoming known for quality products with meticulous attention to detail, has created an all in one rack trunk and pannier set.

At first glance the Trunk Caddy EX is just a regular rack trunk.  Hook & loop fastener hold removable separators internally and bungee webbing holds items externally.

Typically Panniers attach to the rack, and the trunk, if used, attaches on top of the rack.  A trunk is used more as a day bag to carry items easily, while the panniers are widely used to carry bigger loads while keeping the center of gravity lower on the bike.

Right and left panniers unfurl from their compartment when needed

The panniers are attached to the trunk so no special mounting is needed.  Just unzip, unfold and stuff it full.

At the rear of the trunk a zipper tool pocket holds everything for repairs.

Pockets are labeled with pictures to help quickly identify what is in the pocket.

This compartment is spacious enough to hold a multi-tool, CO2's, patch kits, spare tube and other items you may want to toss in.

On the front is a smaller compartment for storing a waterproof trunk cover.  Although it does not cover the panniers it is nice to know your trunk storage is dry.

The trunk with its rain cover.

Tote handles hidden in a side compartment are handy for carrying the bag along with you off the bike.

Additional zippers on the trunk lid allow it to expand about 2 inches higher when more room is needed.

A shoulder strap (not pictured) is also included.

Undercarriage:  the trunk uses straps to securely and snugly attach it to any rack.  Two straps under the rack and one at the front.

Seen here with the left pannier folded out.

The interior of the trunk hides a zipper that accesses the walls and padding of the sides.  

In the event more space is needed the padding can be removed to free up a little bit of room on the sides.

Sides consist of a rigid plastic and a padded closed cell foam insert.  

Removing the foam creates more space, and removing the plastic allows the bag to bulge out.  Typically this will not ever need to be removed as neither really cuts into the storage capacity.

Mounted and stuffed!

Packed for an overnight mountain bike 100 miler.   
The right pannier contains sleeping bag, pillow and a few small items while the left bag contains clothing and other gear.  In the trunks riding food that is very easily accessed along with camping stove and accessories.

The green and red straps (not included) held the panniers secure over the mostly single track route.

The trunk turned out to be the easiest place to access items during the ride.  Since riders were wearing a backpack the jersey pockets were not as easy to get to.  With the trunk compartment there was a big, easily accessed area to grab and store items quickly.

The side panniers measure 12 inches tall by 9 inches wide by 3 inches deep (5 liters). In reality the bag bulges out and measures more like 15x11x5 1/2, or about 10 liters of volume space for one side pannier

The interior space of the trunk (without expansion zipper) is 7x6x12, or 8.2 liters of space.

Total combined space is approx 28 liters for the three main compartments.

First Impressions:

This is a really easy bag to use.  Previously, being only a pannier guy, I found the trunk useful for storing everything I wanted to have quick access to. Everything is well constructed and rugged.  The side panniers attach securely and never were there any issues from the bag's security, even through some of the roughest trails NW Ga has to offer.

Trunk Caddy EX loaded up with camping gear on the Pinhoti

The Pinhoti has become one of the Souths most popular and renowned long distance trails.  Boasting rugged, rocky ridge trails traversing west Georgia's ridge and valley mountain range the trail offers a last frontier in a state of disappearing green space.

The 50 mile route on day 2 offered spectacular views, gnarly single track, fast jeep roads, cool stream crossings and little sight of civilization.


I like that after I mount the trunk Caddy EX with its 3 straps that everything is mounted securely.  Whether you use the side panniers or not does not require any additional mounting.

With the gear all packed snugly nothing rattles, the bag and its side panniers did not complain once during any of my excursions. 

The intended use for this product is more than likely for commuting or casual around town riding.   Having hidden panniers offers lots of additional storage should the need arise during the ride, and is probably the products' key selling feature.  When folded away behind the rigid foam covers the bag functions perfectly as a trunk caddy.

This is a well-made and versatile bag suitable for errands as well as rugged mountain bike (or road bike) packing camping trips.

This is a rack trunk caddy that can do it all; from townie rides to mountain bike epic camping trips.  For a part timer bike packer that wants versatility from their investment it's hard to find an easier solution than Lezyne's EX model.


Although the rain cover completely covers the trunk, it does nothing for the panniers, so in case of rain items in the panniers will need to be stored in dry bags.

Pannier bags in general do not seem to be looking for super light weight, but any weight savings is always worth it. 120 grams can be saved by trimming the steel from the bag.  Just two zipper pulls on the panniers are metal, unlike the string pulls on the rest of the bag, and can rattle as well as add weight.

The D-rings are a nice way to attach the shoulder strap but are not necessary, and the pannier hooks look like they could tow a vehicle.  Cutting the hooks from the nylon loop saved the most weight. Losing these means you might need a red and green strap to more securely hold the panniers to the rack, or you can make a lighter hook out of coat-hanger wire, or like I did, use electrical wire to hold it safe.

Areas for improvement:

This is a trunk caddy that has options for fold out panniers.  I would rather see a trunk/pannier combo with options for folding the panniers in.  Same effect, but different approaches.  The side panniers are zipped behind a rigid foam panel, but the panel serves no function when the panniers are deployed.  It would make more sense if the panniers were able to zip themselves into a storage position. I would be happy if the panniers stored with just a strap.

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