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Review: First Looks at Revelate Designs Pika Seat Bag

by on May 6, 2014

Having become quite dissatisfied with a “trunk bag” attached to an aluminum seat post rack on my bike, I started looking for other options as I move toward an unsupported 1,000k ride in July.  A friend recommended the Revelate Designs Pika Seat Bag, so I looked at it and decided to buy it.

Revelate Designs is a U.S. company that seems to take seriously the needs of long distance cyclists.  As I browsed their products, I was amazed at the apparent quality of their items, but more than that.  Their designs seemed to adhere to the “form follows function” standard.  These are well-designed systems!

I decided to shop at bikebagshop.com because I purchased my Ortlieb bag from them and had excellent delivery service.

I ordered the red Pika Seat Bag.

When it arrived, I was in awe of this bag.  It was light!  Specs say 12.6 oz.  The specs also say 6-12 liters of volume.  I opened the bag, inserted my arm, and my arm completely disappeared into the bag.  I knew I was in trouble.  This bag might encourage me to take more than I really should on these randonneuring trips!  Leading edge to open end of this bag is about 26 inches.  The opening is about 8 inches in diameter.  The “default” length is about 14 inches.  (That’s inside measurement to the internal straps.)  I can imagine playing a game called, “Will it fit?” with this bag.  The brilliance of this bag is that you put what you need in the bag and then, roll up the excess bag and use the straps to keep everything tight.  You only use as much bag as you need.  Not a bit more.

I loaded the bag a little more than half full and attached it to my bike.  There was the slightest amount of sway when I pushed the bike side to side, but it behaved almost as well as the rigid seatpost frame I had been using, and weighted pounds less.  Within a few miles I no longer noticed the bag.

Accessing items in the bag isn’t quite as easy as the top loading trunk bag, but I pack all my items in labeled zip-lock bags and there wasn’t much trouble at all finding what I needed.  As I shed clothing as the day warmed up, the bag got just a little longer, but again, compared to the top loading trunk bag a friend was using on the same ride, I liked the bag extending a bit back rather than up.

I’ll do a more complete review after I’ve ridden with this bag a while longer.  I fully expect it to get rave reviews.

Note: There has been no promotional consideration for this First Look Review from any company mentioned here.  Opinions are solely my own and are based on actual use/experience.

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