Luxury, at times, is difficult to quantify. If you go just by numbers you’ll miss the superior product, because details don’t always stack up that way. Quality is just as important, perhaps more so, than the raw data. Rudy Project seems to have gotten the message with their latest bag, the Transition 46. With this bag, Rudy Project strives to tick all the boxes for the data-driven among us, while still providing all of the subtle indications that they didn’t forget the quality, either.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Transition 46 is that it is significantly smaller than its competition; that’s what the “46” in the name stands for—46 liters of capacity. Don’t let that fool you, though. The bag stores an incredible amount of gear. Two pairs of shoes, two wetsuits, individual bags for your swim, bike, run, and post-race gear stowed in the main compartment, with side pockets that can store all the nutrition and assorted bits. Your sunglasses have their own padded pocket, right above your standard-sized helmet pocket, also plushly padded. Your helmet will be snuggly protected in a handy pullout retention pad that attaches to braided loops on the topside of the bag and adjusts as necessary.
As if that wasn’t enough storage, each compartment is positively covered in sub-pockets for any conceivable thing you might want to bring with you, as well. The bottom compartment, normally consigned solely for wetsuit and towel duty, gets four additional mesh pockets for all your water-and-or-sweat soaked gear. Rudy says the bottom will hold two wetsuits, but we suspect they may be underselling it a bit. There’s room in there for two wetsuits, plus a couple towels.
The left side of the bag has dedicated pockets for everyday things, like your USAT card, and a long pocket for spare tubes and such, with a stretch webbing to hold CO2 cartridges. It even has a pre-race checklist on the inner liner of the bag, so you can make sure you packed everything when you’re doing your double-checks at 3 in the morning before heading out to transition. The right side of the bag contains a series of short and long mesh pockets, perfect for sunscreen and BodyGlide, gels, and salt tablets. The center compartment’s zipper runs almost the entire width of the bag. When fully-opened, the flap lays flat on the ground, allowing easy access to the contents, as well as the two mesh storage pockets, and the Velcroed supplemental pocket. The Velcroed pocket holds four further bags. If you like to give every piece of gear it’s own “home” in your transition bag, this is most definitely the bag for you.
What we have found most impressive, however, is the level of detail paid to the small, “insignificant” things in the construction of the Transition 46. All of the zippers are stamped with YKK, something you don’t often see on other bags. Compartments with fragile or crucial pieces of gear are thickly padded, such as a helmet or sunglasses. Even the aero helmet’s fastener is densely padded on the top, and has a carrying handle on top of it to replace the one the helmet now covers.
Currently, the Transition 46 holds one wetsuit (3mm thickness), one full-size towel, two pairs of shoes, a road helmet, a pair of sunglasses, a visor, running socks, trisuit, sunscreen, BodyGlide, goggles, swim cap, race belt, USAT card, CO2 cartridge and inflator, spare tube, tire levers, a handful of gels, heart rate monitor, portable charger for the Garmin, after-race bags, insulated bottle (empty), and likely some things that we’re forgetting. Even with all of this, it still manages to be smaller than our OGIO bag. Perhaps Rudy Project has simply figured out how to optimize space in a transition bag? Then again, maybe we forgot some gear and will realize it tomorrow morning. For right now, the Rudy Project Transition 46 is an impressive entry into the market that is showing us what a luxury transition bag should be like. If you’re looking to check out the Transition 46 for yourself, head on over to e-rudy.com.