So most people who know me also know that I am to restless to just use the outdoors for hiking and bushcraft. I need to variate. I need to see and experience nature in different ways. I need to see the mountains, not just the forest. I need to see different parts of the country and different countries.
But I also need to do different acitivites. Either hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing, photography, mountainbiking or… fatbiking.
Bikes and single track biking have grown rapidly in popularity in Norway. Another concept related to mountain bikes and fatbikes is bikepacking.
So what is bikepacking? If you want a professional definition, click on this link.
My defintion is that bikepacking is having bags or carrying capacity on your bike, which enables you to bring more stuff on your ride, enabling you to spend a longer amount of time outside. Either spending a day or several days because you loaded a tent, sleeping bag or other stuff on your bike.
Check out the image below from Gearjunkie
You get further on a bike than on your feet. It gives you better mobility, and it’s a different way of being outside. Some prefer walking, some prefer bikes, and some prefer both and more 🙂
This is another photo from Gearjunkie
The bag in the middle there is called a framebag. Together with the saddle bag (behind the saddle ;)) and the handlebar bag (where the rain jacket , bed roll and more is packed in the photo above), the framebag makes up the 3 largest gear storing locations in modern bikepacking.
The width is usually smaller compared to a saddlebag or a handlebar bag, but you still have lots of room due to a often pretty large triangel – giving you ample space (somewhat depending on your bike) for storage.
So the company I’m reviewing the framebag from is called Rockgeist. Have you heard of them? If not, you should definetely check them out. Their design was what first caught my eyes. The most important aspect of gear is its qualities. But a good design doesn’t hurt.
According to their own website, Rockgeist was founded in 2014 and the company has roots in endurance racing, but is definetely in the market for everyone carrying gear on their bikes, be it a single day adventure or multiday.
Built in the USA
It’s nice to see manufacturing being done in the USA. As a Norwegian we share some of the challenges of keeping manufacturing in the country due to high wages. So it’s kind of cool to now that the gear they make, and the framebag I review here has been hand built and sewn in Ashville, North Carolina.
Customization and “photofit”
It’s pretty evident that Rockgeist places a lot of emphasis on the individual customization of gear. Bikes vary in size and shapes. Especially in the triangle where a framebag will go. The Mudlust framebag I tried was made to fit my specific bike. I told Greg, the owner of Rockgeist straight out how impressed I was. It fit like a hand in a glove. Very nicely done.
The feature “photofit” is probably the main reason why my framebag had such a good fit. The concept behind photofit is that you email Rockgeist a photo of my bike, taped with a measurement tape, showing the excact dimensions.
Oh! And of course, customization is not only about making sure the bag fits. But there are some color options, loop options, you can add a map pocket if you want, and more.
They also offer a $20 worldwide shipping, which is cheap compared to what other companies are charging these days. Read more about the Photofit function on their website.
Oh! And of course, customization is not only about making sure the bag fits. There are also some color options, loop options, you can add a map pocket if you want, and more.
The framebag: “Mudlust”.
So I’ve was lucky and got to try the framebag; “Mudlust”. As I mentioned in the previous section, it fit brilliantly.
- YKK zippers (these work extremely well)
- Velcro attachments
- Hydration hose access
- X-pac or Cordura fabric (mine is made of Cordura outer face with an Xpac inner layer) (read more on these two fabrics here)).
- A vertical divider to control the bag’s width.
My experience with the bag
This is a very cool looking bag in camo color. I do not have a full suspension bike, which gives my bike a lot of room in the triangle where the framebag goes. I love how roomy the bag is. On one minor adventure the other day, I took my fatbike and Mudlust framebag to a mountain area where there are phone reception at night. Just me, the moon and the stars. Yeah and the bike and bag… and lots of gear. I put a 1 l (32 oz) Nalgene bottle, the MSR windburner, gas canister, matches, coffee, DSLR camera, extra headlamp and some small stuff in the bag. Really convenient.
Compared to most saddlebags, it’s much easier to get gear in and out during a trip. The zippers work excellent in cold weather (it was 20 degrees f / -6,5 c that day) too.
The bag doesnt get too wide either, and thereby stays away from my legs.
Putting the bag on and off is a 1-2 minute job. I actually like that there are no buckles but instead lots of good velcro attachments. I have to take it off to transport my bike back and forth on a car though. But that’s my problem. Or a reason for me to buy a new bike rack for my car.
Durability wise this is a tough fabric. And I haven’t used it that many times yet. I don’t see how I can break this bag though unless I get a knife and really go for it. But I will update this small section of the review in 6 months to a years time when I’ve had the chance to use and abuse the bag for a longer period of time 🙂
This is a quality bag which fits my bike perfectly and has a lot of neat features. Not only that, but it’s made by skilled craftsmen who care about what they do. I see my self using this bag for a loooong time. Absolutely recommended!
- Review from Bikepacker.com of the Mudlust framebag.
I got the bag from Rockgeist for free in order to do a review. I am however not obliged to write a positive review of the bag and will answer any questions the readers might have on the product in full honesty.