There's been a bit of a revival in interest in the good old musette of late. They've become a bit of a fashionable option for toting your bits and pieces about on the bike and off- a badge that says 'I'm a cyclist' in a moderately low-key way, even in your everyday life.
Il Soigneur are a small Bristol-based company who are clearly a part of this revival. Their musette bags are produced in limited runs of designs, meaning only a couple of other people at most will have the same bag, and they aim to be simple, inexpensive (between £25-£35) and just a little bit cool. Fabrics are design led and high quality.
The classic musette I tested came in a kitsch retro print aimed at the female cyclist, but designs are available to please anyone and one of the most interesting ranges is that made from banners taken from British Cycling events such as the World Track Championships- unique and a little piece of history. It's a simple bag, made from heavy duty cotton fabric, with press stuff fastenings and a tough webbing strap. There's also a reflective tag.
When wearing the bag, it's comfortable and sits in a good cross body position, with the strap nicely shaped to facilitate this. It'll take a decent amount of weight, but given the size and dimensions, and its design, you'll not be wanting to use it for heavyweight commuting purposes anyway. This is more a casual lifestyle bag.
Provided what you're wearing isn't slippery or especially smooth, the bag does stay put quite well when riding, but not as well when wearing low friction technical fabrics such as waterproof or windproof shells. It's better suited to use with merino tops or some of the more cotton like fabrics that are available in riding kit. It folds up and fits neatly into a jersey pocket as well, so makes a good option for about town visits where shopping might happen.
A fashionable and functional casual bag that lets the world know you're a cyclist but doesn't shout about it.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Il Soigneur Musette
Size tested: Any
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
For those looking for a traditional musette styled bag with a modern twist.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from hardwearing fabrics
3 press stud fastening
Tough webbing across body strap
Limited run prints
Really beautifully made with great attention to detail and high quality materials
Very good as long as you're not wearing slippery technical fabrics.
Pretty much bomb-proof materials and build.
A simple, lightweight bag.
Very comfortable indeed as long as bag stays in position. See note about slippery fabrics.
Great value for an unusual and quirky nod to cycling tradition with genuine functionality.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed really well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Designs, strap, simplicity
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Occasional tendency to slide around if wearing slippery technical fabrics underneath.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? I already have.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes. Or buy as a gift.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Quirky, cool and really rather useful.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.