This is the final Episode in our Alaska Series (till we return)…In this segment we share a visit that I had with Eric Parsons at Revelate Designs. We’ll also show you Revelate’s new Williwaw Pogies along with a matching frame bag.
Revelate Designs is probably the most recognized brand of frame bag in both Alaska and ‘the lower 48’. Revelate makes stock frame bags for both QBP brands, Surly & Salsa and that has landed their bags on bikes all over the globe. I met with Eric at Revelate World Headquarters in the Airport Heights neighborhood of Anchorage. Revelate is hidden away in a converted two car garage, behind Eric’s crib. The workspace is full of sewing equipment and line up tables, where Eric designs and perfects the bags that allow all kinds of cyclists to haul their gear into the backcountry.
I’m going to go on record, and say that I think the Revelate Viscacha, seat bag, is one of the best designed and most functional cycling products that I’ve ever used. The thing is just bomber! The Viscacha is reinforced on all of the stress-points and can just stand up to all sorts of abuse. I’ve been using a Visacha for a couple of years now and if someone asked me what kind of seat bag to buy, I would recommend one, without hesitation. Revelate makes a well designed and ultra-sturdy bag!
Revelate is different from many of the other bag makers that we’ve featured on Fat dash Bike. Most of the bag makers that we have written about are one or two person, operations, with the owner doing most of the cutting and sewing. Revelate utilizes a contract manufacturer in Oregon to sew the majority of the items that they sell. The added production capacity of a stable contract supplier, allows them to fill larger orders. Eric works very closely with his production partner and said that he’s on a first name basis with most of the sewers there. This frees Eric up to work on new projects and develop new products like Revelate’s new Pogies.
I talked Eric into letting us test a set of his new pogies and I brought Otis home a new Revelate frame bag from Alaska as well. The new Williwaw Pogies took the place of the 45NRTH Cobrafist Pogies that I had been testing on the bars of my fat-bike and I really like the way that Eric designed his pogies to attach to the bars. The WW’s use a bar-end plug that connects to a shock-cord on the inside of the pogie. This simple and unique end plug allows the pogie to be removed fast and easy (no tools required).
A note about the supplied bar end plugs : Depending on which handlebar that you are running, you may have to trim down the blue elastomer part of the plug to get them to fit inside of the bar. I’m running a Raceface Next carbon handlebar and my plugs required a little whittling to get them to fit. I like this version of bar-end attachment more than what comes with Cobrafists, because it requires no tools to remove the pogie from the bike.
The WW’s rigidity is quite functional and they are sized/scaled just right. The only feature that I would like to see added is some sort of vent. Over the past few years, I’ve tested a few kinds of pogies, and so far…these are my favorite. This winter has been the coldest winter, in the last 25 years, so I’ve been running pogies more than usual. We’ve been trading off testing, different brands, of pogies between Angry Andy, Julio and I and I don’t think these Williwaws will be going anywhere but onto Otis’ handlebars.
Otis’ Revelate frame bag is a side load, single compartment bag that’s built to last, in the Revelate tradition of bomber durability. It has a small interior mesh pouch to hold small items (like car keys) and a mid compartment stabilizer that connects with the strongest Velcro that exists in the entire known universe. Rest assured that you can buy Revelate products, confident that you will get years of wear featuring, real world, Alaskan design from a real cool cat named Eric. I give both the frame bag and pogies – 4 1/2 Gnomes out of 5. I give the Revelate Visacha seat bag – 5 freak’n gnomes!
For more information about Revelate Designs visit – http://www.revelatedesigns.com