Saturday, October 21, 2017

Amphibia X2 Bag

At first sight, the Amphibia X2 Bag is a large courier-style over-the-shoulder bag. But it has some hidden talents. Amphibia markets the X2 as a ‘transition’ bag, with a detachable internal section (waterproofed) which can be used to transport soggy kit and has a fold out ‘changing mat’ for those that don’t like getting their feet dirty in transition.

The bag is made of high quality materials that have stood up well to some limited but intense use. Most of the exterior materials are wipe-clean and the stitching seems very good. I think it’s a bag that will last a good time.

“Packs all your gear”

Amphibia X2 BagAlthough the X2 Bag is large for a courier-style bag, it’s still pretty small compared to competitive triathlon bags. I’d describe it as a good size for a ‘race day’ bag, rather than something you’d to transport all your gear from home to a drive-away or fly-away race. Personally, I can’t abide it when people turn up in transition with massive bags or crates, and the X2 definitely takes up minimal space, which for me has to be a good thing. The transition mat is a nice little touch.

It’s plenty big enough to cart pairs of run and cycle shoes, a wetsuit and the necessary kit for a race. Just don’t expect to get your pointy cock-lid aero helmet and track pump in there as well!
The bag meets the common ‘cabin baggage’ dimension restrictions for airlines, which makes it a good second ‘carry everything but your race kit’ bag for fly-away races. With the water-tight wetsuit/mat section removed, the bag is plenty spacious enough for cameras, towels, iPads and the usual faff that accompanies foreign races.

The money / phone pocket on the main shoulder strap is a nice touch and the bag overall is lighter than the quality of the materials would suggest.

Unlike a lot of transition bags, the Amphibia X2 doesn’t go for lots and lots of pockets with specific purposes in mind (my Orca bag goes as far as to have a label for each and every pocket, in case I forget what to pack – including that Ironman essential, cutlery!!!). Instead, aside from the wetsuit bag and phone/money pocket, there are just three mesh pockets on the inside and one on the side of the bag. The rest is a nice bag area to cram full. And for me, that’s a good thing.

On the go

For carrying the bag, you can use the shoulder strap, or a briefcase-style handle. For carrying the bag on the bike, there’s an additional waist strap to keep the bag in place. The padding on the shoulder strap makes it very comfortable to wear.

Looks

I like the look of the Amphibia X2 Bag; nothing too flash and if anything it’s a little retro. When almost every triathlon / transition bag takes the rucksack route, if you prefer to be a little different, the Amphibia bag is a great choice.

Conclusion

Granted I’ve only had the bag less than a month and mostly it’s been used to visit the gym and the odd Cyclocross race, but I have to say I’m impressed. I already own bags from Orca, Zone3 and Huub, but the Amphibia bag is quite different. I can definitely see it being a great choice for races where you just need to carry what you actually need in transition, rather than everything else that can be left in the car or hotel.

For more information on the Amphibia X2 Bag, visit their website.