by Dave Anderson
June 18, 2013
A bike packing essential for carrying snacks?
In the world of the bike packer, Revelate Designs enjoy an enviable reputation as the original purveyor of bike packing essentials. However, until now, trying to get hold of their kit in the UK has involved the vagaries of international shipping and the gamble of getting stung for import duty and VAT. Step forward www.backcountrybiking.co.uk as the UK importer and sole supplier. Now, getting your hands on the latest in bike packing essentials has become an awful lot easier.
The Mountain Feedbag is Revelate Designs answer to the perennial challenge of how best to carry food, camera, phone and other essentials without the inevitable faff of having to delve deep into your Camelbak only to discover a half-eaten, out of date energy bar that has become more science experiment than foodstuff. Akin to what looks like a climbers chalk bag, the foam stiffened cordura bag attaches to your stem and handlebars with a lower tension strap that wraps around your fork crown. On the outside are two mesh pockets which easily accommodate energy gels or a couple of energy bars while the inner features an easy to clean pull out yellow liner. To keep things secure, there is a simple elasticated drawstring closure which can be opened and closed with one hand fairly easily even when wearing thick winter gloves.
The main compartment holds approximately one litre of pretty much anything you can think of. Given my propensity for long rides where the nearest local shop isn’t exactly what you would call local, I’ve been amazed at just how much I’ve been able to cram into it. So far, a full packet of jelly babies, dry roasted peanuts, chocolate raisins, an energy gel, several energy bars and my mobile have somehow squeezed into the bag with space to spare which is no mean feat. Aside from the threat of flirting with diabetic coma if I were to consume all that on one ride, it would have to be a pretty big ride to run out of that much food. Even when full, the bag attaches securely to the bike with very little in the way of rattle or loosening off except when the trail turns rough for an extended period. However, a quick pull of the lower strap keeps things snug. In use, I’ve yet to discern any impact on how the bike handles and suspect you would have to be pretty anal to notice any effect. Having things to hand on a ride without having to stop and faff is no bad thing in my book and this is something this little bag excels at.
The extended spell of snow and dry weather of the Scottish Spring has meant that I’ve yet to properly test the waterproof qualities of the bag. I suspect that the Feedbag will give a pretty good show of itself in light showers but for wetter days, I’ll be resorting to packing everything in one of Alpkit’s one litre dry bags first in order to keep things dry. At £43, it’s not necessarily the cheapest solution to carrying food, tools, a water bottle or anything else you might think of that fits. However, in the two months of use, I’ve grown to really appreciate this versatile piece of kit to the extent that I just bought another one for a planned Haute Route trip in the summer. The only downside is that now I’ve become a Revelate user, other bits of kit may start appearing in the post.