Sometimes you have to admit you have a problem. And in our case, we can be over-packers. We show up at a race with everything we need plus enough spares for half of transition as well. Need a tube? Got you covered. Extra goggles? Yup, got that too. Sure, we may be a bit over prepared. Although you know that guy in transition who seems to have forgotten just about everything? Let’s just say we are his best friend. So it comes as no surprise that we love a good transition bag. Last July we reviewed Ogio’s Endurance 9.0 Athletic Bag and called it one of our favorite transition bags out there. Well less than a month later Ogio went and announced a new partnership with the Ironman brand and a successor to the 9.0 was born – the M9.
The Ogio Ironman M9
The M9 takes everything that we loved about the 9.0 and added some great extras. Like the 9.0, the M9 is a duffel-style bag that doubles as a full-fledged backpack with an adjustable sternum strap. Even loaded full for a 70.3, it was comfortable to carry on our backs while our hands were occupied with a pump in one and pushing our bike with the other. The M9 shares a 3,600 cubic inch capacity with the 9.0, as well as the 13″ H x 27″ W x 12.5″ D measurements.
Along the sides of the M9 are two storage compartments that run the length of the bag. For those label lovers among us, Ogio was nice enough to label one side for nutrition. But obviously you can load it up however you’d like. Personally, we prefer to use one side for spares and the other for race-critical items.
Up top is one of the M9’s upgrades. Where the 9.0 had a single tech vault (Ogio’s crush-resistant, lockable armored pocket), the M9 has two. We loved this addition as it allowed us to put our running sun glasses in one and our helmet shield in the other. Looking for a place to stash your keys and some cash while you’re out on course? During the race we typically threw our wallet and keys in one pocket and locked it with a simple combination luggage lock.
The second big upgrade is the addition of a hideaway rain cover that protects your gear if the weather turns black. While we know our transition bags are going to end up a bit on the disgusting side after a full day locked in transition, having the ability to at least keep the rain out is a nice plus. This feature was much appreciated after our last 70.3 of the 2014 season. The dry shirt stashed inside was especially nice after spending a few hours in driving rain. We also liked that cover hides what’s underneath, making it that much more of an annoyance for those who might want to rummage inside.
Underneath the bag is the wet\dry wetsuit storage area with plenty of room for a full-length wetsuit. And at the end of the bag is a large ventilated shoe storage area that easily fit a pair of size 13 shoes.
Knowing that we were big fans of the 9.0, it’s probably not shocking that we loved the M9 as well. The M9 retails for $160, which is an increase of $10 over the 9.0. And while we recognize that the 9.0 isn’t cheap, it’s in line with what other full-size transition bags will cost you. So if you are looking to start the 2015 season with a new bag featuring all the extras, the M9 may be exactly what you were looking for.