What is it?
The BikeStow is an easy way of transporting bikes in the back of a van, without the faff of drilling holes or fitting more permanent solutions.
It's essentially a wooden A-frame that folds out and can be secured to tie-down points using two straps provided (we also added a few of our own for extra peace of mind).
Available in a range of colours and sizes (capable of carrying two, three or four bikes), the BikeStow is priced from £219.99 which - on the face of it - seems expensive for something you could probably make yourself. The more you use it, though, the more you'll realise that it actually represents pretty reasonable value for money...
What's it like?
We've tested the three-bike BikeStow Original in the back of our Volkswagen Transporter Sportline. Setting it up took a matter of minutes, including securing it with the aforementioned straps, and we were soon using it to transport a range of bikes - from narrow-wheeled city bikes to gnarlier mountain bikes.
It's surprisingly effective. Sure, there was a bit of trepidation during our first test drive with the fully loaded BikeStow, but the adjustable 'V' sliders do a superb job of holding the wheels in place. Even with some enthusiastic driving, the bikes remained securely in position in the back of the Transporter.
Loading bikes is even easier than securing the BikeStow itself. It really takes the pain out of cold, muddy mountain bike rides - as soon as you get back to the van, you can chuck the bikes in the back easily and securing them takes no time at all (even with cold fingers and dirty bikes).
Criticisms? We're struggling to find any. We've mainly been using the three-bike BikeStow to carry two bikes - three is a bit more of a squeeze, but it is doable. Using it to carry just two bikes leaves a little room for carrying a box containing the usual mountain bike paraphernalia - stopping it from sliding around the van.
The BikeStow isn't just useful in the back of a van. We've also used it to store bikes in our garage - and moving it between van and garage is a piece of cake.
Should I buy one?
If you're looking for an easy, non-permanent solution to transporting bikes in the back of a van, you should end your search with the BikeStow. It's a superb piece of design that'll make your life much easier than trying to secure your bike in any other way.
We particularly like that the BikeStow is easily removable - ideal if you're planning to use your work van, for example, for transporting your bikes. Or if, like us, you regularly jump between different vans as bike transport.
We initially raised our eyebrows at the cost of the BikeStow - it's one of those items that looks really simple - but it's cheaper than other solutions we've seen. And, after a few months of use, we think it's totally worth the cost.