If you have a bag problem (in which the problem is you can never have too many), then OR will either be heaven or hell for you, because there are a ton of bags. And most are pretty killer. We rounded up the best of the bunch for cyclists, with options for mountain bikers, commuters, travelers, campers and kids.
Starting with Platypus, their hydration packs and hip packs carry over with just new colors, but the reservoirs have a few new options for bags outside of their own collection.
For car campers and bikepacking, they have a new, larger 6L (200oz) gravity-fed filtration system. Simply fill the top bag, plug in the hose with inline filter from sister company MSR, and let gravity pull dirty water through and fill the lower bladder with clean, potable water.
They make a wide range of reservoir sizes for their and any other brand bags, too. They use a zip top, and even that massive 3L lumbar pouch will fit inside their hip packs shown in the top photo…assuming you don’t want anything else in there. The packs come with a smaller size reservoir.
Sierra Designs dips on the hips
The new Sierra Designs Flex Lumbar hip packs use the same adjustable volume system as their Flex backpacks to create 3-7L and 7-10L designs. Simply loosen or tighten the straps to create space or cinch it down and keep everything from bouncing around. They’re made with an ultralight fabric, are well padded on the back, and have lots of storage that’s expandable. Retail will be a very affordable $50-74, available Spring 2020
Jack Wolfskin spots your mistakes
Big in Europe but making progress Stateside, Jack Wolfskin’s new pack line includes one that’s just barely down to mountain bike size, making it great for expedition-style days or hut-to-hut multi-day bikepacking. The trick up its sleeve is the inclusion of a Recco location beacon.
The Recco uses a passive beacon system that allows rescuers to blast out a signal and listen for the ping coming back from your pack. Or helmet or other gear, it’s a widely used system in backcountry and snow sports, but a few bike brands are starting to incorporate it. Pricing and details on the pack TBD.
Osprey adds bigger kids packs, sleeker urban options
With kids’ bikes getting better all the time, they’re more able to join mom and dad on big days out. So they need to bring enough water, snacks, maybe a light jacket, and more snacks. Plus snacks. So the new Osprey Daylight (foreground) gives them room for all that, with a sleeve for a hydration reservoir (not included, but the pack is just $37.50).
Behind it is the new Moki 1.5L that does get a bladder and is modeled after the adult cycling packs. Further down are new day-hiking packs called the Jet and HydraJet, which get more hiking-appropriate storage layouts and options to carry more gear, but still fit smaller humans aged 8-14 depending on pack.
The new Arcane line is made for the urban athlete that might use their bag to ride to and from work, hit the gym, yoga, or just for travel. Everything from slings to packs to duffels are offered in a new durable but sustainable fabric that’s less outdoorsy looking and more at home in the city.
Topo Designs rolls out a few firsts (for them)
The Topo Designs Rover Mini scales down their classic backpack for anyone wanting something a bit smaller. Or for kids. Same color block aesthetic as the rest of their bags and clothes, just downsized.
This suitcase is their first roller option, taking their travel duffel design and adding a hard backside, handle and wheels for easier transport through the world.
Matador roams large with perfectly packable pack
One of my personal backpack holy grails is the ultralight, ultra-packable yet fully featured pack that could stuff down into a jersey pocket. Why? Because sometimes I know I’m going to stop at the store on the way home from a ride. Or I need to pack very light for a trip so I don’t have to check luggage, but I want a day pack for walking or riding around a distant town. I’ve found a couple that I like and reviewed one here, but the new FreeReign 32 from Matador just made my wishlist.
Not only is it big, but it includes a hip belt with zipper pockets, tons of storage space, and an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir. Price will be about $89 when it goes on sale later this year, and total weight should be around 8oz. For now, they offer smaller versions, topping out at the FreeReighn 24 shown in the background on the first photo. Be sure to hit their website for more lightweight, packable options, because their FlatPak toiletry bags are simply brilliant.
They also had this rad overlander, which helped lure me into the booth.
It’s built by Earth Cruiser out of a Mitsubishi Vosu 4×4, and it’s bad ass. The top section pops up to increase head room and add window, and the options Matador chose to strengthen the offload prowess also add a lot of street cred. Or, rather, trail cred…not that you’d need an actual trail.