Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX With Rigid Molded Panels

23 Apr

When I started cycling about twelve years ago, like many newbies, I carried a lot of gear with me that I didn’t really need. I am now a minimalist, i.e., I only carry gear that I absolutely need (a patch kit, spare tube and a compact set of tools). However, there are times when I really do need to carry more gear than will fit in my jersey pockets or seat bag—and that’s when I break out the Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX.

Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX

Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX (note the 3M reflective stripe)

The Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX is a lightweight and spacious bag designed for mountain bikes. This bag is made with flexible 600 denier fabric and has rigid molded panels so it will keep its shape. The main interior compartment has an adjustable divider (you can remove the divider entirely if needed). There are also two mesh side compartments that close with zippers. While this bag has a Dupont Teflon coating for water resistance, you can also buy an optional rain cover. The rain cover comes in either white or yellow—I bought the yellow one because it makes it a lot easier for motorists to see you in the rain.

Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX

Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX with Bungee Cords

The Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX weighs a bit over 1.5 pounds and measures 13.8″ long x 8.3″ wide x 7.5″ tall. This bag has a storage capacity of 480 cubic inches (8 L). There are adjustable bungee cords on the top of the bag so you can carry over-sized items, but I usually use it to carry a light rain jacket. This bag also has 3M reflective strips on the left and right sides—when car headlights shine on these strips it reflects the light back and makes you nearly impossible to miss. The back of the bag has a clip so yo can attach a taillight, like the Topeak RedLite II.

Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX

Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX on the QuickTrack Rail

This bag slips on your bike with the Topeak QuickTrack system, a lightweight rail that attaches to your seat post. The QuickTrack rail accepts several different sizes of Topeak bags and baskets. The TrunkBag comes with a built-in carrying handle and a detachable shoulder strap (in case you need to do some shopping along the way).

I own five different Topeak bags (two for road bikes and three for mountain bikes). A couple of my Topeak bags are over ten years old and they still look like new. I bought the Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX about 18 months ago and one of the things I’ve noticed is how the Topeak bags have evolved during the past decade. The newer bags are more streamlined (aerodynamic) and lightweight than the older bags.

As with any bag or pannier you put on your bike, you need to try to spread the weight out, i.e., don’t put everything in the TrunkBag. Last year I put the TrunkBag on a mountain bike and went out into the woods to collect acorns (I enjoy feeding the squirrels in my backyard). Acorns weigh more than you might think and when the TrunkBag was full I could really feel it as I was going uphill.

The Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX retails for $70 and should be available from just about any bike shop. I always encourage people to buy from the local bike shop whenever possible, but if you are a bargain hunter you can buy this bag from for only $42.


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20 responses to “Topeak MTX TrunkBag EX With Rigid Molded Panels

  1. kruzmeister

    April 23, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    I love the Topeak range, I have several of their items, this bag looks like a great way to carry my camera! Thanks for the review – Simone 🙂

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Topeak makes a lot of great products — and this bag will hold your camera, flash unit, small tripod and lunch for two!

  2. MikeW

    April 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Thanks for including this item even though you minimize as the norm. When I talk to people about making their training life more adaptive, not less, having options to double-up on training and other priorities helps a lot. Here, a bag like this might make a very busy person actually use their bicycle to pick something up or deliver something. Here, I see a bag as a pathway to an experience, and the experience as a pathway to lifestyle change — to a cycling fit lifestyle.

    Solid work!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Thank you so much! Some days I take my carbon fiber road bike out for a century ride and try to make record time. Other days I like to load up a heavy mountain bike and play in the woods — speed is not an issue — just being in touch with nature. When cycling ceases to be fun I will cease to be a cyclist.

      • MikeW

        April 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Well said!

  3. Irish Katie

    April 23, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    ohh…ok ok ok. So you know I have a new bike right? It’s a road bike…and I am trying to keep it light and am learning to go minimalist too. However… if I want to ride to dinner with my daughter (or myself…blech)…then I need to lock my bike. I don’t really like wearing anything on my back…so was wondering about a ‘quick-release’ type rack. And I see one on your bike that ataches to the seatpost. Do they release easily enough so that when I do a ride that I know I won’t need stuff I can just take the rack/bag off and leave it at home? (I am not sure if you have done a review of such rear racks.)

    I know this is off topic a little…as it’s about the trunk bag….but I need one of those too if I am to get a seatpost rack.

    This is soooooooo timely.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 23, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Katie, thank you very much for your question — I meant to talk about the QuickTrack rail in the review. The good news is that this post snaps on in about five seconds — no tools required. This particular bag is meant for mountain bikes, but Topeak has similar models available for road bikes. Here are two links to the road bags…

      • Irish Katie

        April 23, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Thank you! …. I will take a look NOW. But I don’t want to wait…I am soooo impatient to have it NOW lol. Seriously though…thanks for the information. 🙂

  4. the drunken cyclist

    April 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Can you use a pannier that hooks onto the rack in conjunction with this pack?

  5. manandhisbike

    May 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I have this bag on a topeak super tourist rack and love it. I use it commuting and touring it’s a great bag. I also have one of their handlebar bags which is also quite nice. I’ve never tried to carry acorns in either bag though.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      May 12, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      You ought to try gathering acorns this fall — I feed a dozen or so squirrels every morning and their smiles makes my efforts worth while!

  6. Lester Walters

    June 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    I use the MTX TrunkBag DXP with the Super Tourist DX Tubular Rack (w/o Spring) on my Trek 7.5. I usually carry just my tube/tool kit and gloves, but it is nice to have the panniers when I stop by the grocery store on the way home. The quick release and the handy shoulder strap allows me to pop it off and take it with me when I have to lock my bike while at the store.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      The Quick-Release is one of my favorite features on this bag! And the shoulder strap is an added bonus.

  7. krfarmer

    October 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    I use this MTX bag with a rack that fixes to frame. I have done a trip through Zimbabwe and Mozambique in December 2012. I took many back roads that were rural and rough. Some of the seams took a little knock. Needless to say it does not look new or clean any more. I have also used it to do fishing trips and long weekends away. I hope it will survive my next long trip in January 2014.If it can survive Africa and the rough dirt roads then it may be ok for some first world countries.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 22, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Wow! It sounds like you got your money’s worth (and more) out of the MTX bag! The main thing I use mine for is when I gather acorns in the fall (to feed to the squirels in my back yard).

  8. krfarmer

    October 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    That sounds like a little bit of a waste. I have lived out of it for a 21 days. It traveled under a bus, on a 5 ton truck and with a plane back to South Africa.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 25, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      I would love to long on a long bike trip, but unfortunately I still need an income! Glad you found a way to do it!

      • krfarmer

        October 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        Yes, I also have to work. I have decided to use my annual leave to do a trip. Unfortunately i will only be able to take two weeks this year. Have set out a plan on my blog for this. Just means i have to rush the trip a little.

      • krfarmer

        February 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        Just returned back from Malawi to South Africa. After crossing 10 border posts,using 4 buses one train and a mini bus taxi and 1200 km cycling on this trip then the one side of the Topeak MTX stiching came undone and it fell off. lucky for some velcro strapping to finish trip. Keeping in mind it had done a rough tour of Zimbabwe and Mozambique the year before and some small trips. Sat yesterday and stiched it back with a nylon thread and put some reinforcing in. Lets see how far this can go.


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