Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag Review
The Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag comes in two sizes, designed to fit Wald 137 and 139 baskets, and uses an expandable roll-top closure for an easily adjustable and versatile fit. It’s well suited for everything from running errands to dirt road touring, and is handmade in London, UK. Here’s our full review after a few months of daily use…
There’s something about Wizard Works and its owner Harry that I jive with. Perhaps it’s the amusing branding or the fact that his bag-making endeavors first debuted in Vancouver, British Columbia. In any case, most of Wizard Works’ products are named after some aspect of wizardry, and I like that. The Alakazam Basket bag is one of the latest, debuting in late 2019, and features a quick-access roll-top closure, Wald basket compatibility, and the option for custom colours. Not too long after its release, I received a custom rust cordura and olive X-10 X-Pac Alakazam, perfectly timed to assist my long commute to work.
The smaller Alakazam that I tested is designed to fit in a Wald 137 basket and has a minimum capacity of 9L, which expands all the way up to a massive 38L thanks to its roll-top closure. There’s a single zippered pocket on the top flap for quick access items, as well as two sleeves on the back, facing the rider. The floating interior liner is brightly coloured, to avoid losing small items, and assists with the overall weatherproofness of the bag. The sides and bottom are padded with high density foam and aluminum G-buckle straps provide a secure, adjustable fit in the basket.
Truthfully, Harry encouraged me to take the smaller version for testing, explaining the Alakazam was originally designed for the 137 basket and offers what the majority of people need, while the Wald 139 model “is just a really big bag.” I feel comfortable sharing this conversation because after using the bag for several months now, I completely agree. In its most compact form, the Alakazam can be packed tight and has minimal effect on handling and steering. But when some extra carrying capacity is required, the bag unfolds to showcase nearly unlimited potential, and some clever little expansion straps are included to secure extra-tall loads by clipping into the hidden buckles under the top flap and hooking onto the rack itself.
Although the exterior isn’t fully waterproof, it did a great job at keeping my cargo completely dry through some serious rain and snow. When packed just a bit above the sides of the basket, the top still rolls down considerably, with plenty of velcro to grab onto. There are also snap buttons at the top of the main closure, which, when snapped together, assist at keeping extra fabric tucked away neatly and creates more a weatherproof barrier for what’s inside. That’s one reason why I went with the heavier X-10 X-Pac fabric for the top section, as it uses a durable cotton duck fabric on the exterior and an X-Ply layer laminated between an interior polyester film—making it 100% waterproof. It adds some weight to the bag, and isn’t as pliable as cordura, but it has a timeless look that bodes well for the modern, distinguished basketpacker.
The size of the bag is spot on. It tapers slightly to match the shape of the Wald basket perfectly, and is heavy enough to slip back into place quickly when taking it on and off, a plus for those who like to bring their bag with them when they leave their bike. The only real issue I had was with the rider-facing pockets, which end up being concealed by the sides of the basket and a little difficult to use. On a few wet rides, I noticed they also have a tendency to fill up with water, due to a lack of drainage holes. Otherwise, I think it’s a well executed bag that is equally suited for rides to the grocery store as it is for longer bikepacking trips on gravel roads and doubletrack. And although I rely on a hip pack for the majority of my camera-toting duties, the Alakazam could also make a great addition to anyone’s photography setup—perhaps with some additional padding to keep things safe.
- Handmade in London, UK.
- Custom colours and fabrics to make it your own.
- Great design for everyday use.
- Solid hardware that should hold up well to everyday use.
- Not waterproof, but quite weather resistant.
- Rear sleeve pockets aren’t especially useful and don’t drain.
- Capacity: 9-38L
- Material (as tested): Olive X-10 X-Pac, Rust 1000d Cordura, Nylon Liner
- Weight: 750 grams
- Place of Manufacture: London, UK
- Price: £170 (~$210 USD)
- Manufacturer’s Details: Wizard.Works.com
I’ve enjoyed using the Wizard Works Alakazam over the last few months. Picking colours and fabrics was a fun process, and it’s clear Harry is passionate about his work. Although I went for a more classic look, Harry is also known for using some pretty wild colours if that’s more your style. The roll-top / flap closure is easy to use and clean, and the overall quality of the bag is excellent. I’ve done countless trips to the post office, grocery store, and a few bakery runs, and have relied on the Alakazam for gravel adventures on my Trek 520 to carry snacks and extra layers. Just think of how much toilet paper you could fit in this puppy!
Stay tuned for part two of my Wizard Works coverage—the Shazam! Saddle Bag. As well as our huge Basket Bag Gear Index…coming soon!