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While many of you will know the name Wildcat Gear, not so many of you will be familiar with Beth, the woman who actually makes all the lovely stuff. So, to help you put a face to the name, Beth has kindly agreed to answer 10 questions – enjoy.

Your gear starts life here!

1/ Have there ever been any Wildcat products that haven’t made it past the prototype stage for one reason or another?

In some areas there are some very good products on the market currently where you might see an apparent gap in our product range. Part of our ethos has been to inject our own design ideas and innovation into our products, rather than simply replicating gear that is already out there. We haven’t yet been able to improve on enough on some designs for them to carry the Wildcat logo.
2/ Do you have any thoughts on Cuben fibre and its suitability for bikepacking luggage?

We’ve experimented with it a little. Our kit is fairly light and minimalist already, so I don’t really see a significant weight saving. Durability, fabric cost and construction methods probably prohibit its use currently. 

3/ How often do you sew through your finger / thumb?

Not once yet, and I’m hoping it stays that way. 

4/ Are you planning any family bikepacking trips when the kids are older?

Most definitely. They have frame bags on their bikes already, so they’re used to carrying their own kit already. 

5/ It’s winter, cold but dry – tent or tarp?

Tarp, especially if its I clear night and I can see the stars.  

6/ What’s the most awkward part of sewing a frame bag?

Some of the concave corners on the Clouded Leopards can be difficult to get several layers of material to sit right and look neat, plus anything else that requires three hands.  

7/ Do you take any ‘must have’ luxury items with you for a night in the hills?

Yes, my husband. 

The Beacons – home turf for Wildcat.

8/ What would your dream bike be?

Probably my current bike, a Santa Cruz Juliana hard tail. It just fits. However, I’m feeling the lure of  larger wheels at the moment. 

9/ Is there any news about forthcoming Wildcat products you’d care to share?

We’re working in a range of standard fit frame bags optimised to fit different sized frames. They’ll be a partial fit bag that will go the full length under the top tube and vary in depth depending on frame size. Map pocket and hose port as standard will ensure a wide range of use. We’re also hoping to hold these as “in stock” items as we do with our harnesses. The newbags will be called the Ocelot, a type of cat also known as the Dwarf Leopard, so a nice tie in to our existing frame bag names. 

We’re supporting Aidan Harding’s Iditabike race to Nome this winter. To meet his luggage needs, we’re working on a larger version of the Mountain Lion and Tiger harnesses. The latter is one of our more requested items for people wanting to store more than 8 litres out the back. Existing prototypes currently hold 13 litres comfortably.

Other top secret stuff will remain just that, for now.

10/ To date, which Wildcat product are you most proud of?

From a design perspective, the Mountain Lion and Tiger made significant improvements to existing concepts and have gone on to stand up to many miles of abuse by very many people to prove themselves as functional and reliable pieces of kit. I’m very proud to have achieved that. 
From a construction perspective, it’s always very satisfying to take a customers frame template and transform it into a frame bag. Each one is unique, but two stick in my mind: a Clouded Leopard for a chap in Israel and a small red Snow Leopard for a guy here in the UK. 

Visit the Wildcat Gear website.

One Comment

  1. Unknown says:

    Amazing company! Id lost the instructions for my mountain lion, emailed Wildcat at 10.30pm on a Sunday and received a reply 5 minutes later! And they have fantastic, exceptionally designed products to boot. If you read this Beth thanks for your help, especially on your weekend.

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