I’ve been lucky enough to test some of the best bike bags made, over the last few years, but this is the first time that I’ve laid my grubby paws onto a bag made by Wanderlust. About six weeks ago, Paul fom Wanderlust sent us one of their Monida Insulated Bags, for testing, just in time for the temperatures to drop below freezing. I’ve used a similar insulated bottle koosie made by Outdoor Research to keep water bottles from freezing, but last year, I switched to a stainless insulated bottle to carry agua and as the cold weather season came knocking, this year, I couldn’t find that thing anywhere. So the timing was perfect for me to give the Monida a try. The Monida is a far superior water bottle coozie than the Outdoor Research model that I mentioned, because of all of the well designed mounting options.
The Monida comes with a few extra velcro straps to attach the bag on the bar and stem and that’s where I started out using it on rides. The outer is made with 400 denier coated nylon packcloth and there’s bar-tacked nylon webbing around the top of the bag and along the sides that make it really easy and versatile to attach to anything. The Monida is a well thought out quality piece of bikepacking gear. I paired it with a Bike Bag Dude Chaff Bag to carry snacks and an Oveja Negra Snack Pack for my Camera. All of those elements played nice together till, I started to test out a variety of pogies. The weather has been in and out of the freeze zone for the entire test period, so pogies have come on and off the bike a lot. I decided to make things a little less crowded on the bars and carry the Monida down on my fork leg with a Salsa Anything Cage.
The molida has 2″ wide webbing and velcro straps with reflective trim that are specifically designed for securing it to an (Old Style) Anything Cage. This is a really nice feature that makes this bag come on and off of the bike very easily. Our test Molina had no issues mounting to the new Anything cage, but Rich from Wanderlust told us that he’s going to adapt his design to work with the new Anything Cage seamlessly. The bag is fleece lined and insulated with thick closed cell foam. The bag is sized to fit a 32oz Nalgene and similar sized water bottle for extended rides in temperatures below freezing. In extremely cold conditions you could add a chemical hand warmer to the bottom of the bag to keep your water from freezing. I was out for as long as 3 hours on rides in the single digits and my water stayed liquid without the use of hand warmers. I did slip a set of chemical toe warmers in between the outer cordura shell and the fleece and foam lining, of the Monida to use in case of emergency.
The one little gripe that I have is that the top of the bag opening is a zippered closure that I think would allow easier access if it were some sort of velcro strap. But maybe that wouldn’t be a s secure or as cold resistant as the current closure. Most of the time I rode with the lid only partially zippered for quicker access, which also might lead to losing a water bottle or heat loss, but it never came back to bite me during testing. This is an item that I will use for seasons to come and I bet that its a lot lighter than the stainless insulated bottle that I had used last winter.
For more information about Wanderlust visit – wanderlust-gear.com