This holiday season I’ve been taking it easy, and slow biking on touring bikes, taking in the roads and trails less traveled. While I haven’t decided to give up on riding fast, it has rekindled the thought that strapping bags to a bike and going on some extended trips might be a good idea. That had me looking through my inbox and seeing things like Swift Industries’ new Hinterland Collection, which includes a randonneur bag, small panniers, a lantern, a camp cup, and a knife, and their simple Roanoke backpack conversion that makes their panniers easier for everyday use…
The Hinterland Collection has pretty straightforward intentions. Get on your bike. Ride a bit further than you had planned, but be prepared. The $230 Ozette Randonneur Bag claims to be the lightest rando bag out there, and is available in 3 sizes from 10.5-15.5l depending on your headtube length and packing needs. They feature an internal bungee system to keep your gear inplace and organized inside.
The Junior Ranger panniers are a small light option for packing with a low center of gravity at 10l a piece and sell for $260 for the pair. Both sets of bags are made-in-house from Swift’s durable X-Pac fabric and are kept light and water resistant (the seams aren’t taped, but the fabric is waterproof.) The other accessories are sourced by Swift from trusted partners to help push you a bit off the beaten path.
The matching $20 camp mug is enameled steel and made in Poland for either your #coffeeoutside or #bourbonoutside needs. A $20 candle lantern will keep the party going even after your smart phone screen dies and there is more
coffee bourbon to drink. The $250 camper knife is a bit more spendy, but if you are already spending 500 bucks on the bags, why not? It’s local forged in Seattle and should last a lifetime.
The Roanoke Backpack Pannier setup is pretty similar to the straps on the Thule Chasm duffel bag we reviewed a couple of months back. And that’s mostly a good thing. We were very happy with the flexible usability of that bag, but were just a bit concerned with the way the straps hook into small webbing loops on the bag. The Roanoke does the same thing, but looks like the small plastic hooks are maybe a bit deeper, so a little more secure? It does attach the shoulder straps at the top with secure hooks, so at least there are less points to slip.
But our concern here would be more those metal brackets that hook the bag to the rack. Swift assures us that the pannier hooks don’t actually touch your back when it is in use, so we’ll have to take their word on that. And at $180, we’ll trust that they have it sorted.
The Roanoke lets you select either their 15l or 30l pannier for the setup, with either getting a closed cell foam padded back for comfortable use. Out of a set of bags the Roanoke is a non-driveside bag, so chain grease won’t be an issue, but even with full coverage fenders this isn’t a backpack you’ll want to use with clothing that can’t handle a little dirt.