If there is no content, then we may put there all sorts of content.
…yet another setup post.
As I have already written
my Elenydd trip didn’t go without
mistakes. Apart from underestimating the difficulties of the moorland crossings and lack of warm clothing for my limbs (eg. VBL socks and long finger gloves) a huge mistake was not taking an emergency food portion.
Let’s get to the point:
Revelate Designs Harness + Pocket were hugging an Alpkit Airlok Xtra 8l drybag (superb!) and a tent (in its protective bag).
The drybag contained all my sleeping gear that is a light down sleeping bag, fresh underwear, pajamas and a insulation jacket for the evenings. The target is that these things have absolutely no right to get wet even in the worst storm – and drybags are apparently the best to do the job. Until now I have been using ultralight silnylon drybags, but came to the conclusion that for cycling the additional protection coming from a robust material is worth the weight penalty. Add to this that the Alpkit bags have clever loops plus a shoulder strap – these go great with the rest of the system – and you have got yourself a happy
cyclist, offroad tourer bikepacker.
The Revelate Pocket was empty and currently I have adapted it by means of a billingham insert and a drybag to carry (and protect!) more serious photography equipment. I will miss the additional space for small bits and peaces…
The whole of my gear weighted around 3.5 kg, photo gear would add another 1 kg to that… not exactly racing light, but who’s racing eh?
I didn’t notice any negative impact on handling but then again there weren’t any really technical trails.
Gas Tank on the top tube contained just my cell phone. Usually I carry a compact camera there as well and some snacks maybe. Having just the phone left lots of spare room.
The framebag has three pockets: two in the main compartment and
another one on the other side – this one can fit a map or other thinnish items.
Internal dividers can be opened up creating one large compartment.
(Photo Courtesy of Wildcat Gear)
Wildcat Gear Leopard Framebag contained stuff I wanted to access fast and easy. It performed excellent and – even though not seam sealed – proved practically waterproof, though I’ll still protect crucial gear with drybags. Beth from Wildcat Gear has done a great job and just because of that I shall write more about this bag in the future. I don’t know of anyone sewing such frame bags in my home country Poland. But we are furtunate enough to host a company making quality handlebar and saddle bags that already have found recognition amongst British bikepackers – Bikepack. These two companies are currently your best bet in the EU.
My frame bag held: tent poles (fitted under the top tube for protection), 1.5 l water, tools and repair kit, spare tube in a sock, lights, snacks (4 apples and beef jerky), paper map (paper is real!), bike lock, waterproof jacket and a windshirt. There was still some room to spare but not much.
In the Revelate Viscacha saddle bag I try to pack things that are high volume yet light – it’s the least stable bag (but I wouldn’t call it unstable!) and mounted quite high. For these reasons I used it mainly for spare clothing, that is: fleece, long sleeve shirt, cycling shorts and additionally sleeping mattress plus rainproof jacket and pants. The two latter ones proved to be pivotal for comfort during the trip… at the beginning of day one I had to take them out and they remained outside the bag for the rest of the outing.
There was still plenty of room to spare, but I’d rather not push it.
Despite the lack of tapped seams and two days of rain my clothes inside the bag remained dry, nonetheless I think I’ll start using drybags for the saddlebag as well.
Panta rei, some things come, others go, these are no different and subject to change.
I’m in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned and have payed for each item out of my own pocket.