No matter what bikepacking means to you, I’m fairly sure that if someone asked you to explain it to them, you’d be likely to include the word ‘luggage’ within the first few sentences. Even if you didn’t use the word directly, you probably would explain quite graphically and no doubt with the use of waving arms, how you attach things to your bike in order to carry your worldly possessions. While not entirely impossible, it is difficult to bikepack without luggage of some sort … and Free Parable have been making luggage of some sort for quite a while.
|Gorilla cage V2 – less straps and more support.|
Recently, some of those products have undergone a few changes, all of which are designed to make it easier to fasten stuff to your bike. The first and perhaps most noticeable is the Gorilla cage. The new version (we’ll imaginatively call it V2) replaces the original version and is considerably different to its predecessor. Gone is the potential web of straps which are replaced by a simpler pair. The sides have been extended and shaped to provide extra support and the foot on which the bag sits is now much bigger. Overall, the new version is easier to use and holds its cargo more securely. The re-design has added a little weight with V2 weighing 115g as opposed to the svelte 66g of V1. That sounds like a big increase but in real terms, the Gorilla is still one of the lightest three bolt cages available.
|New Monkii clip – put it wherever you like.|
Next up, is the Monkii clip and just like the Gorilla cage, it’s undergone a complete transformation. The new version shares most of its DNA with the Gorilla clip and attaches by way of rubber strips and cable ties. I know that sounds somewhat Heath Robinson but it produces a very effective and secure attachment that can be easily removed should you decide to move it. The rear of the clip is concave so it sits nicely against something round like a frame tube or fork. However, it has another trick up its sleeve in the shape of an additional bracket that allows it to be fastened to something on a horizontal plane, like handlebars. It is worth mentioning that, although designed to be used with Monkii cages and their quick release fittings, those can be removed and a standard cage bolted on. The one puzzling thing about these new clips is why they chose to call them ‘Monkii Corsets’ – I can only assume it loses something in translation.
|Padded, thermal liner is bonded to the inside to keep hot warm and cold cool.|
The final product isn’t a re-design at all but something entirely new and it’s an insulated dry bag. You may be wondering why you would need such a thing and of course the obvious answer is – to help keep something hot or keep it cold. Whilst maintaining the warmth of your newly purchased sausage rolls or helping your IPA keep its cool would perhaps spring to many minds, I’m thinking they’d be very good at protecting your batteries, electrical equipment or water filter from damage caused by freezing?
|Daisy-chain webbing on either side and yes, they’re very white.|
They’re made from a tough PVC material with fully welded seams and daisy-chain webbing on the sides and the inside is fully lined with an insulated and reflective material that’s bonded to the outer shell. Some of you will perhaps be a little disappointed to hear that they only come in white but white helps to reflect heat and keeps the contents cool in hot weather. Personally, I think it also adds a little ‘be seen, be safe’ to the bags which is never a bad thing and is also enhanced by some subtle reflective detail. Stated capacity is 5.5l and the weight is a reassuringly hefty 230g … you’ll know whether or not you need one.
Gorilla cages £29.95, Monkii (corset) clips £19.95 and Insulated dry bags £29.95 available on Amazon, ebay and shortly via the Bear Bones shop.