We’ve been spending a lot of time this week planning for our next big adventure (location to be revealed!). As we’ll be away for a few days, I decided it was high time I got a proper touring bag. I’ve been strapping various rucksacks to my rack for quite a while now, and wanted to find a solution which is hassle and bungee cord free. It’s taken a while to research, but I finally took the plunge and purchased an SQR Trax by Carradice of Nelson. I already have the excellent Carradura Maxi Saddle Pack, so knew the quality would be good. The bag needed to be about 15 litres (big enough for the essentials but no more), easy access, easy to remove when not needed or leaving the bike outside, and preferably eradicate the need to use my oversized and rather ugly rack. The SQR Trax seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
Having purchased from Dales Cycles, I was utterly dismayed to get home and discover that the steel bands which secure the quick-release block were too small. Dahon owners beware – you have a larger than average 33.9mm seatpost! But never mind, I contacted Carradice who happily posted the larger bands for free and they arrived the very next day.
The bag itself is made from heavy-duty silicone coated polyester fabric, and has a slightly flexible but rigid construction which keeps its shape even when empty. Mesh pockets on either side provide extra space for water bottle, waterproofs, map or anything else you might need quick access too. The lid seems a little loose and flappy but gives plenty of expansion room and is handy for tucking your jacket in. Inside an internal retainer with draw cord ensures that you stuff doesn’t come flying out. Other useful features are a small internal pocket to keep valuables safe, and a wipe-clean strip on the bottom to protect against water and mud.
Once attached to the bike the bag is pretty solid, although careful positioning is needed to ensure that it doesn’t come in contact with your feet. The QR block was easy to fit, and it’s easy to get the bag on and off once you get used to the initially awkward QR system. All in all, it seems like a pretty good bag which fits so perfectly on my Dahon Vitesse it could have been made specially for it. I think it looks great!