KM bike bag tester

Jerid Gooding takes our Brooks bike bag for a spin.

Our products get taken out into the real world, where they’re tested and reviewed by experts and enthusiasts. What makes an item a keeper, and what could be improved?

Jerid Gooding

Product Tested
Brooks Canvas & Leather Backpack

Why this product, and why you?
Cycling has always played an important part in my life. I race, commute and find a great deal of joy from a simple bike ride. I’m also a loyal Brooks customer and already own the saddle, basket and leather straps. (Also, I secretly wish I was British. The Brits have a class and heritage that’s hard to surpass.)

Brooks bag detail

A detail of the bag strap that tightens.

Beyond the rugged but beautiful oiled canvas shell is a bag as functional as it is simple. No buckles; only hooks. This eliminated any jingle when I was riding or walking down the street. The snaps are secure and strong, the zippers slide and never jam or hesitate. The roll-top made for easy access and protected everything, like my Canon SLR, in bad weather. The two internal pockets were great for general organization, while the smaller pockets that are accessible from the outside saved me from having to unpack my entire load or removing the bag from my back. 

Jerid Gooding

Loading up the bag before heading out.

When did the product come most in handy?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve carried paint brushes, 10 liters of water, SLR camera and lenses, a Neolithic artifact, shoes, clothes and muffins – and the bag welcomed them all.

What’s your favorite feature?
It’s a subtle one: The metal feet anchored to leather straps along the bottom of the bag. The straps support heavier items that would naturally be placed lower in the bag, while the metal feet add an expensive “clink” when setting it down on most tables and floors. It’s a delicate way to say, I’ve arrived. During a spontaneous meeting at an artist studio, we needed a whole lot of water. I was shuttling 10 liters at a time while on my bike. The bag did an incredible job of accommodating all that bulk, while still being remarkably comfortable given there’s no padding. It made what could have been a nightmare a rather pleasant experience.

Brooks bag

The Brooks bike bag in action.

What needs improvement?
The straps aren’t the easiest to adjust, especially while I was rolling through Red Hook. They seemed to say “Are you sure, Sir?” when you go to move them. It’s probably Brooks’ way of ensuring safety – I shouldn’t be adjusting my straps while riding a bike anyway! Overall, the bag is simple, refined, incredibly detailed, strong, safe and – unlike British cars – reliable. This bag was built for life.

Jerid Brooks bag

All the elements to cart around in a day…

and tagged , , ,


    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    I have purchase and "tested" a few of your products! My only regret is that you don't have a shop within cycling distance of my place in California! I love everything I have purchased so far and always look forward to Lauren's advise and comments when I have a question. Keep up the great work and get that jadeite into full place setting production!

  2. alexredgrave
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    Thanks David! We’re still working on a Cali-based bricks-and-mortar… Stay tuned…

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

Click here to subscribe (via RSS) to the comments of this post.