Basil, a 40-year-old Netherlandic company, is currently making the Basil Pasja Pet Basket, one of the best on the market. The Pasja is a rear-mounting, wicker basket that comes in three sizes (16×12.5, 18×14.5 and 20×16.5 inches) and can accommodate up to a 30 pound dog. The basket has a great appearance, strong mounting options and options to keep pets safer. If a rear mounted dog basket for a bike is what you are after, the Basil Pasja is a solid choice for many reason.
What I noticed first about the basket is that there is nothing visually that makes the basket look pet specific, which I appreciated. The basket is not covered in fleece, or looks like an undersized suitcase I’m cramming my pet into. It is big, open and because of its simple wicker look, I can also use the basket for groceries or other errands too.
The best features of the Pasja are Basil’s creative mounting systems. The baskets can be mounted to either a rack or can be mounted only to the bike’s seat post, allowing the basket to “float” above the rear tire. When mounting the basket to a rear rack, there are two options, either a quick release system, like nothing else on the market, and a clamp with a hand crank. Both systems fit nearly every rack ever made and mount very securely but they have some minor differences. The quick release system allows you to put on and remove the basket much easier but the quick release lever locks against the legs of the rear rack and could get in the way of panniers. The hand crank keeps out of the way a little bit more, but is not as fast or easy as the quick release.
If you don’t currently have a rear rack, Basil has an optional mounting system called Elba which mounts the basket to the seat post. This saves you the cost of buying a rear rack and floating the basket acts like a suspension system for your pet. So, if you accidentally roll over a pot hole, the basket is allowed to bounce and absorb some of the shock. Please do not think this means you can take Toto down some steep single track; the floating basket helps to absorb minor shocks only. There are some minor limitations to the Elba; it only fits seat tubes that are 24.5 millimeters in diameter and some bikes might not have enough saddle clearance to mount the basket. Also, the Elba mounts put the basket higher and farther back, affecting the balance of your bike, which might be difficult to get used to.
Basil also makes an optional steel Space Frame for people who want more security while riding around with their pet. The frame ($37.38 for a small, $38.33 for a medium and $43. 59 for a large) mounts to the basket with three leather straps; two ties on one side act as hinges and the third tie opposite acts as a lock. The frame is a roomy addition to the basket, allowing the dog to sit and move around safely. I would, however, like the Space Frame to feel more like a lid and not just some wire we tied to the basket. Real hinges and latch would also make it easier to remove.
When making the Pasja, Basil knew what pets and pet owners want out of a basket. Excellent mounting features, like a “floating” seat post mount, included pet cushions and the appearance of an every-day basket; I see little room for improvement and can easily recommend it.
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