We take a look at a range of new bike packing gear from Cambridge company, Passport Cycle Accessories. What does £145 provide when it comes to all the gear needed for a few days in the wilderness?
Kitting yourself and your bike out for a big adventure can be quite a costly process so when we heard about a new range of bags from Passport that would come in at pennies under £145, we were eager to take a look. Ison Distribution sent us over a full complement of bags: frame, saddle and handle bar packs and a top tube bag so we can see just what sort of bang we'd get for our buck.
Starting off at the back, this is a medium sized seat pack which measures 45 x 11.5 x 13.5cm, will hold up to seven litres and cost £55. The bag also comes in a large which will hold 9.8L of your clean clothes. This pack is made from a water resistant 210D nylon body and has a hi-vis 210D nylon TPU waterproof liner which should keep things a) dry and b) nice and bright inside, helping to locate items.
There is a roll top closure compressing kit and keeping things secure, the uppermost end also features mounting points for a light which is a nice touch. The bag is attached via two wide velcro straps to the seat post and two further straps hooking around the rear of the saddle rails which can be winched in nice and tightly. The base of the bag is protected from mud and spray by a 500D wipe-clean tarpaulin base. You can check out the gallery at the top of the page for more detailed photos.
For modelling purposes, we used Rachael's All City Cycles Space Horse (the First Ride is here), it's a 49cm frame with a 530mm top tube and whilst we used mostly medium sized bags the frame bag that fitted best was this small version, seen above. A small pack measures up at 38 x 4.5 x 12.5cm and will hold 2.1L of kit, the medium has a length of 45cm (3.3L) and the large 51cm (4.8L).
The frame bag costs just £35 and for that you get one entry point via a water resistant zip along the right-hand side, a small inner pocket and the same fluro inner lining as the seat pack. The bag uses water resistant 210D nylon material, doing its best to fend off the water but not totally waterproof. There are seven straps to attach the bag to the frame which appear to be wide enough for most tube diameters if a little excessive on this steel bike.
The top tube bag (£20) is a roomy affair, more than big enough for an ageing iPhone 5 and plenty of snacks. The bottom is reinforced keeping the bag rigid atop the bike. There's no water resistant zip here but the zip can be fully covered.
Lastly, out front is the handlebar bag, a one size fits all affair which will cost you £35. The pack is waterproof with 210D nylon TPU lamination and a 500D wipe-clean tarpaulin base and bar/stem pad. It fixes to the bars with a couple of well spaced bar mounts and includes light mounts on the front surface. The bag will hold 11L of your possessions and measures 38 x 17 x 17 cm.
As the bags are designed as a set, all the straps integrate nicely and we like the hardy and simple look of the kit. We'll be setting a set of both medium and large bags out to work carrying our gear on an overnighter soon!
For more got to www.ison-distribution.com