I bike commute to work every day because I like the exercise and I don’t like paying for parking downtown! My Detours Madison rack trunk has made my commute, and all-day outings, much simpler.

Made out of finer nylon than the chunkier, rougher nylon used in my average day packs, the black Madison rack trunk I tested looks a bit sophisticated, like a gentleman’s satchel. It has lightly padded nylon handles that slide into side pockets when not in use. I really like the carpetbag, clam-shell style opening; the hinge allows me to open the top of the bag as wide as I need to to pack it with a pair of shoes and a sweater. I also appreciate that the zipper is covered with a flap of fabric; it makes the bag look sleeker, and it helps keep out the elements.

Inside the Detours Madison rack trunk, there’s a zippered mesh pocket on one side that’s great for storing damp things or just the handful of stuff I might need throughout the day, such as my phone, a pen, a nutrition bar, my wallet, and a small notepad. On the other side there are two deep pockets that I use for a water bottle and a sandwich. There’s also a handy lanyard hanging  inside of the bag that I can clip my keys to for easy access later.

The entire bag is padded, which helps give it shape and me confidence when transporting items I might not normally pack into a pannier (a glass bottle of juice, my camera, or even my tablet.)

While I loved the carrying capacity and style of the Detours Madison rack trunk (it’s attractive and comfortable enough that I can use the removable shoulder strap and wear it around town like a messenger bag) it does take some time to attach it to and remove it from my bike rack. There are two straps on each side of the bag and one on each end. It was easy to snap the bag into place, and it stay put. It just takes a few minutes to remove it since there are six snaps and straps to deal with. I’m sure this design accommodates a variety of bike rack styles, though.

Since it rains often where I live, I’m also happy that the bag comes with its own rain jacket, a highly water resistant shower cap style cover that’s stored in a zippered pocket on the bottom of the bag. The cap can be fully removed from the pocket or tethered with a strap so it stays attached to the bag (in case of huge gusts of wind). Although it’s very easy to use, it still leaves the bottom of the bag uncovered. I’m not sure how else they could get a cover around the bottom of the bag because of the straps that secure it to the rack. At any rate, it hasn’t been a problem for me. The contents of my bag have remained dry so far!

The Detours Madison rack trunk is available in black, red, and grey (with blue handles).

Bottom Line: A versatile, stylish, roomy bag for short bike commutes and outings where you need to carry a few things around with you at your destination.

Manufacturer: www.detours.us (Check out more Detours bags at Amazon.)

buy-now $72, $56.71 & free shipping at Amazon.