ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bento Boxes: Essential Gear for Cyclists and Triathletes

Updated on July 7, 2011

Cycling and the Bento Box

Need a place for your gels, cell phone, credit card, and cash for your bicycle?

Forget about the saddle bag and go for a Bento Box. A Bento Box sits on your top tube, adjacent to your handlebar stem. It has four velcro straps, two that attach to the top tube and two that attach to the stem, and four sides reinforced with thin, hard plastic inserts for rigidity.

The box itself is made of nylon and the cover is a stretchable mesh that closes with a velcro strip. The velcro is very easy to open and close with one hand while riding.

Depending on what I have in my box and what kind of a ride I am going on, I will sometimes use the box with the cover tucked underneath whatever products I am carrying. Either way, the contents are easily accesible while riding.

How Many Energy Gels Does It Take to Fill a Bento Box?

The Bento Box weighs in at about 2 ounces and comes in two sizes. Both sizes are 3 1/4" high by 1 1/4" wide. The small size is 3" long and the large size is 5" long.

According to TNi, the large size will fit 10 energy gels or 6 energy bars, while the small size will hold 6 gels or 2 energy bars. I think you'd have to break those energy bars in half for the small Bento Box, but other than that those do seem like reasonable estimates of what you can fit into the two sizes.

I have the large one and I typically bring a credit card, cash, my cell phone, a couple of energy gels and/or a pack of Gu Chomps. In the winter I also bring a bunch of tissues or napkins, and on longer rides I'll put in a couple of peanut butter and banana sandwich halves.

The box has no problem holding all of these -- but when I have everything, including 2 peanut butter and banana sandwich halves, I need to stretch the cover a bit to hold everything in.

Bento Box ST
Bento Box ST | Source

The Cyclist's Feed Bag

The Bento Box comes in four colors; black, royal blue, red and pink, all with white lettering. In addition to the two original Bento Boxes above, TNi has introduced two new models.

The first is the Bento Box ST (Stem Top), which is designed to rest on the aerobars between your aerobars and your armpads. I haven't seen this version of the box first hand, but I don't see how it can have the same stability as the original versions. I also don't see any advantage in moving the box from the top tube to the aerobars -- the contents could not be more easily accesible than they already are.

The second new model is the Bento Box TRZ. It is very similar to the original model and attaches to the top tube and stem in the same way, but is a little more flashy as it is tapered on one end. It also comes in 6 colors instead of the original four. I haven't used this version, but I see some potential problems with items falling out from the low-depth of the tapered end of the box.

The Bento Box has made my rides much smoother. I used to carry everything in a saddle bag and would have to stop every time I needed a gel or some food. Now the trough is right there in front of me, no need to stop to gain access to the feed bag.

Happy cycling, and be sure to check out my review of the Garmin Edge 705, a pretty amazing cycling computer.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      I don't like reaching around and trying to feel around in the pocket for what I need when i'm in the middle of a ride . . . With the Bento, it's all right there in front of me -- I've had no problems at all with knee contact with the box, very happy with the product -- give it a try, they're only 12 bucks!

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 

      7 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Do you not find you could keep your stuff in a jersey pocket?

      I know a triathlete who bought one of these as it was the fashion at the time and relegated the item after his first ride because it rubbed against his knees while out of the saddle

      Interesting product however visually it looks like it needs some work

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Indeed it is, Pandora, and I wonder if you have a Pandora Bento Box :)

    • Pandoras Box profile image

      Pandoras Box 

      7 years ago from A Seemingly Chaotic World

      Love the Bento Box. It's just the perfect size.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)