Gear Review: Ogio 9.0 Athletic Bag

I know my backpacks. If you actually counted out the amount of time I spend every night packing various bags for my next morning (gym, swim, work, hike, etc.), I estimate a good chunk of my life is spent organizing things into various zippered pockets.

Ogio athletic bags are the perfect balance of design and function. They're sleek to look at, and designed with the athlete in mind. Their 2013 Ogio 8.0 Endurance bag is such a coveted item in my household, that despite its bright pink color scheme, my husband will pack it up and take it out for the day before I even know it's gone.

The 2014 Ogio Endurance collection offers 13 different bags from the serious athletic multi-day traveler to the lunchtime runner looking for a place to stash an extra pair of clothes and shoes. The bags come in a variety of bright colors as well as tamer basic black versions, so you can make a statement with your luggage or just slip out the back door of your office unnoticed.

More: Complete Checklist for Traveling Triathletes

I got a good look at the 9.0 pack, which is their transition bag model. Many of the features in the 9.0 model are similar to the 8.0 version, however they've made some interesting additions. There is now an external strap to fit your bike helmet, so you don't have to place it inside the bag, which took up a lot of the internal storage in the 8.0 version. The flexible mesh strap securely holds an aero helmet as well as standard helmet models.

They've also added some room inside their popular EVA lockable armored pocket, giving you added room to store sunglasses or other electronics without worrying about them being stolen or crushed. This is especially great if you travel with the bag on a plane since those overhead bins can signal the end for sunglasses or other delicate items you might want to keep with you.

Their wet/dry storage pocket is large enough for a wetsuit, swimsuit or sweaty clothes to be stored without interfering with your other items in the bag, and it's highly water resistant with a 360-degree airflow ventilation built in—so if you happen to leave the clothes in there, they won't mildew or get uncomfortably gross. The same ventilated system is in the dedicated shoe compartment, which is big enough to hold two pairs of shoes.

More: 8 Items for Your Triathlon Gear Bag

The side nutrition pocket is one of my favorite items in this bag, mostly because I am incredibly OCD, and I love to know that my pre- and post-recovery powders and drinks are in the same place every time. There's ample room for your changing mat or small towel as well.

This is not a small transition bag (the dimensions are 12 inches by 12.5 inches by 27 inches), but the straps on the Ogio are incredibly adjustable and comfortable. You can rest assured that if you decide to hop on your bike and ride to the transition area like I often do, you won't be toppling over halfway there because of an ill-fitting, oversized bag. I've seen this end a triathlon before it even began on more than one occasion.

This is also not a cheap transition bag. At $160, it's definitely an investment. But this is also an incredibly high-quality product, meaning you'll be using it (every day if you're anything like me) for years to come.

More: 3 Options to Consider When Traveling With Your Bike

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