At this time of year, having reliable dry storage is more important than ever. What starts as a trickle quickly turns into a deluge as more water seeps in. If you carry precious cargo, like your laptop, phone or a change of dry clothes, leaking water is not acceptable.
You have options
Many bags feature a waterproof cover you can simply stretch over the bag. You can also buy these separately. We think that extra step isn’t worth the hassle if you live in a place where it rains nine months out of the year. Instead, invest in a quality bag that’s 100% water proof, and save that dapper unwaxed canvas satchel for a summery day.
Waxed canvas goes a long way toward repelling rain, especially if your commute isn’t more than five miles. Linus makes a nice line of bags that easily attach to a bike and are durably made to last.
A fully water proof bag like Ortlieb is a nice option. The bags are easy to clean (just wipe them down, inside and out) and the bag closure ensures 100% waterproofing in even the worst conditions for endless miles. Ortlieb was primarily known as a rafting gear company for a long time, so they’ve got the waterproofing thing down to a science.
At this point, it becomes a little more about aesthetics.
Portland-based bag makers North St., Black Star and Blaq (to name just a few) all produce well made bags in a variety of styles using fully waterproof material. North St.’s Woodward Convertible is a fantastic option if you want to go from pannier while you ride to back pack while you shop/hike/adventure.
Keep it Closed
An overstuffed bag is going to leak. Any channels in the fabric will pool water that eventually could seep toward the closure. Ensure your bag has a firm closure with no gaps, preferably with the fabric sloping downward toward the outside of the bag. This is your best bet in combating leakage.
Where is Your Bag Mat?
Create an area in your house where you can easily set down your wet, drippy, grime-covered bag after a long commute home on a dreary day traversing the dirty streets. Maybe that’s a small mat near your front door where you can also kick off your shoes. Keep a junk towel near by and make a habit of quickly wiping down your bag. This will prevent tracking grime through the house and brushing that grime against your clean work clothes the next morning.. Once that bag dries, road debris and fine gravel from the road easily falls off wherever your bag goes.
How do you Carry?
How do you carry your needs through the winter? Share your ideas below.