Small but perfectly formed, the SKS Race Bag XS is an ideal way of stowing the absolute essentials for a ride on your bike. It's simple to fit and remove, sturdy, keeps out the weather and doesn't rattle. Only the size might be an issue for you, but if it is larger versions are available.
The Exspider mobile phone pocket is a small black and red fabric bag with Velcro closure and stretch panels on the sides, designed to carry a range of mobile phones.
This 6x4.5 inch seatpack is new from the peculiarly named manufacturer ExSpider, which is better known for car accessories. It looks like a useful pack for essentials, with enough room to carry tools, a spare tube and a couple of energy bars, plus the additional feature of a built-in LED rear light. Problems began to appear when I fitted it to my bike...
The Ogio Road Trip is designed to be a women's cycling specific shoulder bag with a dash of messenger cool. It's a nice concept: a messenger bag with lots of pockets and a style that's a bit less 'rugged and urban' and a little more feminine instead. But does it work?
Despite silly moniker and surrealist marketing blurb, Knog's Pig Dog 15.5 is one of the finest town satchels I've come across in a very long time. It's not a messenger sack but a sophisticated, urbane bag made from pillow-soft 1200 denier cotton duck complete with taped seams and extended flaps to keep the elements out and your precious cargo bone dry. Well organised without feeling overly regimented, its 24-litre capacity borders on kitchen sink territory but is tempered by tactile webbed shoulder and 3d sternum straps.
Do you like to carry your life on your back? If so, the Chrome Metropolis might be for you. But small people beware...
I like Deuter bags. Their dedicated cycling bags - especially the small ones - do everything I want of them, and are reasonably good-looking too. So I was expecting good things when this parcel arrived. I pulled the pack out and, well, was a bit disappointed. It's understated and unassuming, sure, but looks are not the Deuter Giga's strong point. It looks, to be frank, like the sort of backpack my dad would wear.
Still. Backpacks go on the back, they're not to be looked at. And for everything else, the Deuter is a very useful and accomplished pack.
Chrome have a reputation for making good-quality, spartan messenger-style bags, so I was looking forward to trying their Yalta rucksack. There's a lot to like about the Yalta but sadly it didn't suit me at all.
A good set of panniers can be an investment that sets you up for many years of happy load hauling. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll see plenty of Ortlieb's Back Rollers on both commuters and grizzled tourists. There's a reason for their ubiquity - they're bloody good.
On first impression the Blackburn EX-Trunk bag is a smart looking rack bag that at 8.8 litres ought to have the capacity to be a useful load carrier for commuters, cycle tourists or just cyclists out for a long day in need of a modest amount of luggage space - it's not without its drawbacks though.