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Crankbrothers-Albek Skytrail 51 L Duffel Bag

Photos Deniz Merdano
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Sorting Life Out

When I'm packing for a ride and an apres, or quick zip over to the EU to visit family, it takes me a long time to figure out what to bring. My scatter-brain can make a list and immediately forget about it. Helmet-Shoes-Gloves has been my chant for a long time but we all know I'll need to pack quite a bit more than that. If the mountain of backpacks and duffels in the house are any indication, I have a problem and it can't be cured. The perfect pack doesn't exist but I am determined to find the closest approximation.

When the Crankbrothers-branded Albek Manufacturing Skytrail 51 L caught my eye, I needed to find out if it was the real deal.

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Crankbrothers Skytrail 51 L Duffel made by Albek Co.


  • Padded helmet compartment
  • Elastic Stash pouches - great for gloves and other smaller items
  • Hideaway back pack straps
  • Removable padded shoulder strap
  • Luggage handle pass thru
  • External quick access pockets
  • Anti bag-tang vented compartments
  • Tool & Tech Organizer


Waterproof footwear compartment
Weight: 1.55 kg / 3.41 lb
Volume: 51L / 3112 cubic inches
Dimensions: 54 × 30 × 31 cm
Dimension Inches: 21 in x 11.8 in x 12.2 in
Recommended Use: Mountain bike / Powersports / Adventure
Material: 600D Dull Oxford / 1000D Tarpaulin

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Durable yet stylish materials and finish.

The canvas-like finish on the Crankbrothers version of the Albek Duffel feels thick and durable. The external material isn't advertised as waterproof and doesn't really need to be for the use case scenario. The truck bed crowd will need to carry a garbage bag to toss this into for a rainy road trip in the open. There is no immediate danger to the contents of the bag as the material seems thick enough to fend off moisture for a while, but as I said earlier, this is no dry-bag.

There are 5 external compartments and a big main compartment with organizers that allow for great flexibility when packing this duffel. Three top compartments are ideal for smaller, quick access items like gloves, riding glasses, chargers and keys alike. The zippers are secure and do not deploy accidentally to spill your contents on the ground. Yet they are smooth enough to slide at ease when you are trying to open them one handed.

During March, I took this duffel tightly packed to Europe as a carry-on packed with everything but the riding gear and I was delighted with the functionality and looks. Everything in the bag survived the trip with 14 airport visits! (an insane carbon footprint I have to offset by biking everywhere this summer). The shoe compartment held my sandals initially then became a perfect place to isolate the dirty laundry I had piling up between washes. I can't emphasize the value of that compartment enough. With exhaust vents to the outside of the bag, it is also nice to be able to air the wet shoes or dirty cloths that it will carry.

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Is that a shock in your pocket or ...

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I don't use the tool side as much but It is well thought out and built.

The side compartment is a unique one for gear heads that wrench on the go as it is designed to be a full blown tool roll and a work bench. The full zipper enclosure opens up and the in flap itself is limited on its drop with webbing to turn it into a great little platform to put small parts while working on your bike from the back of the truck or car.

There are also 20 elastic loops that one can use to organize wrenches or other items that you may want to contain. Generous amount of zippered and slotted compartments make it a very handy tool bench.

The main compartment is spacious and accessible. With bulky shoes in the shoe hole, there is some volume lost on the inside on the bag but soft goods still fit easily for plenty of storage. The divider is hinged at the bottom if you want to free more space inside and again is laced with plenty of webbing for loose stuff you may throw in there.

The entire bag is padded with what seems like 1/8 inch of the soft stuff to protect laptops and other sensitive gear that may end up inside.

The bottom of the bag feels like it has a coating of water resistant material. This allows for the duffel to sit on wet ground without soaking up the liquid from the ground.

With the shoulder straps deployed and clipped into their loops, the duffel becomes a backpack with a chest strap. The shoulder straps are wide and well padded, they are comfortable enough to go on short hikes in or the seemingly infinite walk from airport entrances to your gates. I've carried this thing around as a backpack more than I have in my hand and absolutely love the way it travels. I have taken it on the bike into the forest for non bike related activities aswell. The functionality is top notch.

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Extremely comfortable and balanced on the back.

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Just watch when turning around as you'll be swinging this into people's faces in crowds.

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Sasha may not be impressed with the photoshoot but if she was any smaller I would have tried fitting her in the bag!

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Chest strap keeps shoulders relaxed and duffel stable.

There is some sort of pleasure with being organized and not living out of Tupperware bins, although I still keep one in the back of the car for extreme mud and filth situations. It also keeps some emergency blankets and clothes dry and clean. But riding out of this duffel has been a real treat for the past 6 months. It flies well and road-trips like nobody's business.

Along with a couple of other 40ish liter duffels I have in the house, they will serve me well into the future.

Albek offers a lifetime warranty for defects on their products. I have not seen this mentioned on the Crankbrothers website but it is practically the same bag. The Crankbrothers version also has a $20 premium for rocking their colours and looks. It is worthy of a premium if you want to fly with this bag and appreciate the styling. The plain Albek look is also quite handsome for day to day use.

What is your prefered gear tote?

$169.99 USD from Crankbrothers website

$149.95 USD from Albek directly

Deniz Merdano



Playful, lively riding style

Photographer and Story Teller

Lenticular Aesthetician


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+4 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Cam McRae Velocipedestrian

My own personal go-to bag is my now kindergarten-aged daughter's old Paw patrol backpack with velcro attachable lunch kit.

Riding kit

The side mesh pockets are ideal for a water bottle on one side and an old plastic olive container lives on the other side holding a multi-tool, lighter, bacon strips thing and patch kit, joints, and tire lever.

The main bag features zero compartments but will comfortably hold a pair of sandals and a mesh bag in which lives a chamois, riding shorts, jersey, socks, gloves, tuque, micro-towel (for sitting on in cars after the ride to avoid fouling upholstery), baby wipes, etc. 

The removable lunch kit feature conveniently stores - you guessed it! Lunch! or beers and an icepack.

The velcro attachments of course also hold a helmet in place.

Going on a short notice ride? Put on 5.10s, fill a bottle, put bike on roof and Go! All will be there on arrival

MSRP: Already paid for

Materials: Entirely diverted from landfill


+2 Chad K Jotegir

You need to make that photo attachment work,.we need to see this.

You know paw patrol is highly controversial these days. I don't think i could handle the questions!  :)



Plus one on the photo - let us know if you don't have it hosted somewhere or just upload it to your nsmb profile and use that link.

Wait, what's the controversy all about with PP?


+6 Andrew Major 4Runner1 Pete Roggeman BarryW Konrad AlanB

Just tried it again, apologies - as you can imagine, the guy who re-uses his kids' backpack isn't the most tech-savvy out there.



+1 Konrad

That's straight up baddass



From what I recall, had to do with one of the characters being a police dog and is that an appropriate roll model for kids? Luckily my kids weren’t too interested in Paw Patrol so I never had to learn too much about it. Fortnite and Pokémon on the other hand…


+5 Andrew Major Vik Banerjee Kos ClydeRide Konrad

Maybe I can help?


+2 Vik Banerjee Jotegir

Nice review of a very nice piece of luggage. Do airports just totally ignore carry-on size rules? Or is this actually smaller than it looks?


+1 Jotegir

If it looks close enough, they generally ignore it. One gate attendant asked me to shove it in the measuring receptacle and it was not going to fit. But he didn't push it either. Flying is all about luck these days


+1 Pete Roggeman

I travel with very minimal luggage on planes. I find it quite entertaining watching what huge pieces of luggage people try to push into overhead bins. At the very least I can applaud their level of optimism.

My go to bike gear transport container has been an old laundry basket for a long time, but I'm only going by car. Although I've stopped even using that regularly as I'm mostly gearing up at home and have tools/water attached to the bike. So all I really need to move around separately is a helmet and gloves.

The CB bag looks nice for a bling option. The backpack and hand carry options appeal to me.


+1 Cam McRae

The tool shed on this bag is cool. Can totally imagine propping that up on the tailgate for some proper pre-ride fiddling while Trevor figures out how he's going to ride with two left gloves and Graham bleeds his brakes.


+1 capnron

You are saying like this ever happened.


+2 BarryW capnron

None of that is fictional.


+1 capnron

You need new friends.



Would this fit a full face? I shopped for a MTB-specific travel bag for a while but it seemed like all of them are designed to fit a half shell only. I ended up buying a big rolling moto bag as it's actually designed around a full face, which is what I pack with me on trips 95% of the time.


+2 colemaneddie capnron

I just tried it and a Fullface fits fine. It works better with the visor off, but the zipper will close even with the visor on. If you stuff your helmet full of gear it won't even compromise too much room, but it's better suited to a half lid.


+2 Cam McRae colemaneddie

Thanks for chiming in Cam, 

Yes Size medium Smith Mainline fits just fine.


+2 Cam McRae capnron

Nice, thanks for the responses guys. Maybe I outta go give one a look before the Canada trip this year. I'd probably hear a lot less from the guys about how I pack if my bag was 1/2 the size...



That is a great looking bag. It may be calling to me.

Does the shoe compartment hold a pair of 48s?


+1 capnron

Its 13" deep, 15" diagonally. I doubt it would be an easy fit but i'd be curious to know


+1 Deniz Merdano

Thanks for checking. Both my race and trail shoes are about 12.5" so I may give this a go.

And double thanks for the "inches" measurements! :-)



My preferred gear tote is a reusable cotton shopping bag, but that's just to get all the bits to the car without leaving a glove on the sidewalk. 

For that size and level of detail, I was expecting a higher price. That's quite reasonable for what seems a quality piece of kit. I may need to think up a reason to get one...



Am I the only one who can't fit in 50 l bags when traveling with bike? I undersand the need of the most of the riders to fly around the globe with a carry-on to ride. However I do 99,99 % of the trips by car or train and need 90-100 l bag to fit all the stuff in, otherwise I drag around 2-3 pieces of luggage. And I also would like to have a bag which 

1) is organised (this need increases with the volume of the bag)

2) I can ride a bike with it

3) I can throw around in the dirt and mud

4) Does not cost 400 bucks.

There seems to be nothing like that on the market. Neither in the 400+ bucks range.

Does really nobody need a bigger luggage?


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