First impressions: This thing is beautiful! The waxed canvas feels substantial and the leather is buttery. I got it for my new moss green Surly Bridge Club which complements the bike perfectly. I can't wait to take it out! I'll have to upload a picture at a later point. I also have to thank Frost River for sending it wrapped in butcher paper rather than plastic. It's a good feeling to buy an American-made product, that is great quality, and was thoughtfully delivered in an eco-friendly way. Now if only Frost River could open an outlet in the Bay Area!
It's more than I had imagined. I am convinced that many outdoor backpack makers respect Frost River.
serious?! really beautyfull craftshift BUT using it as a sattlebag - DUDES, where the hell is a belt to fix it on the seatpost ?!?! check a carradice bag from the UK and LEARN...
I've run the Caribou Trail Bag as a handlebar bag on my XL touring bike for the past few months and here are my thoughts.
- Material is durable, sheds water, and when wetted out water doesn't appear to penetrate.
- Leather and hardware are all top quality. I particularly like the large, rectangular piece that runs down the centre back and bottom of the bag to counter abrasion.
- Stitching is solid and should last for years.
- Larger than it seems, you can definitely carry all you need for a full day's ride if not longer.
Could be better:
- The top flap is the same width as the body of the bag. Depending on how the bag is closed, there may be a gap between the edge of the body and the edge of the flap, allowing rain to penetrate. A possible solution is to increase the width of the flap to allow more overlap.
- There's no attachment point to strap the bag to the head tube of a bike. This means that the bag can bounce up and down if you're going over bumpy trails and slop left/right when you make quick turns and the bag is loaded. A possible solution is to sew on a lash tab and provide a strap. I've considered sewing one of my own, but I'm not confident I won't make a mess of the leather.
- Because the bag has no internal stiffener, it's designed to hang down from the handlebar. If you want to have room for your fingers on the top of the handlebar, you can adjust the straps so they're longer. But know that doing so will make the bag hang lower and you may not have enough clearance - i.e. the bag will rub against your fender/tire if your bike frame isn't big enough or you don't have something like a porteur rack.
Overall, a great bag that should last for years!
Two of these bags are always attached to the front racks of my main bike - the best commuting panniers I've ever had. I've run this bag as a saddle bag as well, and it is great for that. There is nothing about the bag I would change.