I travel quite a bit and I was on a trip to Colorado last February, when Mountainsmith contacted us to see if we’d be interested in testing some of their new gear. I’ve been a long time customer of Mountainsmith and own a big roller duffle bag that I use for longer trips as checked baggage. Mountainsmith is a Colorado company that has stood the test of time (since 1979). I picked out the Bike Cube and the Clear Creek 18 backpack to test.
Let’s start with the Backpack. In the colder months, I like to carry a day-pack for extra hats, gloves and my puffy jacket, along with camera, lens, Iphone, keys, etc. I carry the lightest of what needs to come along on a ride in the backpack, but I need more space than I can fit in a camelbak mule. I’ve been using and abusing a lightweight Vaude Pack for the last two seasons, which is near the end of it’s service. The Clear Creek 18 stepped in and was an immediate upgrade to my old worn Vaude pack.
I have one of those giant phones now and the Clear Creek 18 has a zippered side pocket that looks like if was designed to hold my phone perfectly. The sternum strap holds an emergency whistle and has a one finger release that I had to get adjusted to, but I learned to love the functionality, of this pack. The Clear Creek 18 is set up to hold a hydration bladder, but I don’t use one in the winter. I did use the mesh, side pockets on this pack to carry beverages with great success! The pack is very well made and the materials are top notch. I would recommend this pack to friends and family.
The Mountainsmith Bike Cube is a weekender or daily gym bag specifically set up for cyclists. I took lots of weekend trips this winter and the Bike Cube became the go-to pack to carry my size 13 winter boots, all of the layers of spandex, gore tex, merino wool, along with Helmet, goggles, eyewear, heat packs, lumbago medicine, hats, gloves balaclavas, socks, scarves, not to mention snacks. Basically everything that I needed for a weekend of fat-bike funskies in three easy to access compartments that form a cube.
The Bike Cube is packed with well designed features and basically, I don’t remember how I lived before I got this thing. The bag is set up to hold my helmet along with all of the winter shells and liners for said helmet in a stretchy mesh pocket, next to another pocket for goggles or an eyewear system. The middle section is cavernous and had no problem swallowing a weekends worth of woolens. The other segment of the bag has small mesh pockets, where I stored chemical toe warmers and enough room to fit my giant winter boots. The bag can be unzipped to create a dry spot to change shoes too. If you take bike trips, you need one of these bags. When I was in Decorah a couple of weeks ago, I saw Chewy had one, so there you have it – Chewy Approved! I give this bag 5 out of 5 Gnombres Locos
For more information visit – http://mountainsmith.com/