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The Navigator Wheel Pack Buddy Spare Wheel Bag Review (Tested & Evaluated 2024)

Everything you need to know about Navigator’s wheel pack buddy. Is it the right Spare Wheel Bag option for you?

Everything you need to know about Navigator’s wheel pack buddy. Is it the right option for you?

  • The Navigator Wheel Pack Buddy is a smaller spare tyre bag that fits wheels up to 35”
  • It features a main compartment with drawstring closure, secured with a buckled top lid
  • Great for smaller trips and if you want to keep rubbish and gear separate

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Quick Pick – Our Best Rated Spare Wheel Bag

Echidna Offroad The Outback Spare Wheel Bag

  • Rugged 60L bag for diverse outdoor needs
  • Ballistic nylon for ultimate durability
  • PVC lining for waterproof protection
  • Integrated drainage hole for convenience
  • Bonus removable mesh bag for organised storage
echidna offroad spare wheel bag

Table of Contents

At a glance

Navigator Wheel Pack Buddy Spare Wheel Bag – 2.9 Star Rating
  • Material: Canvas (outside) and PVC
  • Capacity: 37L
  • Attachment: Buckles
  • Closure type: Plastic buckles and internal drawstring
  • Extras: 4 extra pockets (top lid, front, and two side-pockets); mesh bottom
  • Australian-made?: No

Materials 2.5/5

Although the manufacturer doesn’t clearly specify the outside material, at the touch this bag seems to have an outside thick canvas. The inside of the bag is fully lined in PVC, which is sturdy and easy to clean. It would have been nicer to know the exact type of PVC, as other brands usually share the specific gsm to show durability.

The entire underside is made of mesh, which feels sturdy enough to handle rubbish and wet gear.

The buckles and zippers are all plastic, and feel slightly thinner compared to the plastic attachments on than other bags I’ve tested. While the materials are OK, it would have been nice to have a fully waterproof outside and sturdier main buckles, so I’m giving the Navigator 2.5 out of 5 in this category.

Design 3/5

This bag is all about staying efficient yet compact. As one of the smallest spare wheel bags I’ve reviewed, I think design plays an even bigger role in making it useful.

This bag has one main compartment that opens from above with a drawcord, and the entire base is made in mesh for unparalleled ventilation. I liked the extra security of the drawcord, and knowing neither my gear nor any rubbish I store will get out.

On top of the main compartment, there’s also a roomy front pocket with a zipper closure and a smaller zippered pocket on the top lid. Adding to the extra storage space, the Navigator also features two small elasticised side pockets and a small D-ring to hang odd items. The entire bag closes with two sturdy plastic buckles.

Although a small sized bag, I found the space provided adequate. Of course, I only used this one during short day trips, but the different pockets made it easy to keep gear and rubbish separated.

Overall, I liked this bag’s design, so it gets 3 out of 5 in this category.

Durability 3/5

For its price, this bag didn’t feel as rugged as other models I’ve tested. The canvas exterior doesn’t seem to be waterproof, only water-resistant. I would have liked to see a sturdier material chosen, that could at least keep gear dry if need be.

The PVC interior held up great, but I had some issues with the zippers and drawstring. The cord seemed to stretch out a bit too much, so I’d guess after constant use this might not provide a neat closure. The zippers worked OK, but they didn’t glide as easily or felt as sturdy as some of the others I’ve tried.

The weakest part for me was the mesh underside. Although Navigator claims the mesh is very durable, it didn’t feel particularly thick. Keep this in mind if you want to store wet and/or heavy gear inside this bag.

Overall, this bag does OK in the durability category, but I’m not sure this is a lifetime investment.

Versatility 3.5/5

I really liked the pocket disposition of this bag. Although the smaller capacity does make taking this one on longer trips more difficult, the extra pockets offered plenty of nooks to store odds and ends.

Personally, I used the main compartment for litter and the smaller pockets to store part of my gear. Because the different spaces are well separated, there was no fear of my stuff getting mixed with rubbish.

I’ll give this bag 3.5 out of 5, mainly because the small capacity limits its use on longer trips.

Price 2.5/5

In spite of its smaller size and materials chosen, the price of this bag is on-par with larger competitors. At this price-tag, I’d expect more clarity on the materials used, full waterproof ability and a larger size overall.

I would consider this brag slightly overpriced, particularly if the mesh underside gives out. Because of these issues, I’m giving this brand 2.5 out of 5 in this category.

Do not buy if…

While this can be a good choice for many, look elsewhere if you:

  • Want to take your bag on longer trips: The smaller 37 L size is only useful for shorter day trips or if you’re really waste-conscious. This will get full in no time.
  • Have a larger wheel size: This bag only fits wheels up to 35”, and even then it’s a tight fit. For larger (or thicker) wheels, give other models a try.

Final verdict

If you’re looking for a smaller spare wheel bag, this is a good option. But for those that plan on going on longer trips, store extra gear or travel with several people, the Navigator is simply too small.

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Related: Blacksmith Camping Supplies 4WD Spare Wheel Bag Review.
Related: Tuff Terrain Rear Wheel Bag V2 Review.

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