A waterproof bag for my phone, multitool, cigars, and Tamagotchi.
Seagull Bags has grown considerably over the past few years. They’ve stuck true to their roots as a messenger bagmaker, most famous for making incredible one-off bags for couriers around the world. Their mural-like designs, stitched by hand into each project, were some of the most eye-popping to ever hit the scene.
Today, they may actually be more known for this little hip pack, the Trail Buddy. It’s growing a quick following, especially among mountain bikers seeking refuge from the tyranny of the 5lb hydration pack.
A bit of a shame that the messenger legacy is getting drowned out, but at least it’s a really nice hip pack. And, it’s still made right here in the USA. Here’s my 4,000 mile review!
The Trail Buddy is a pretty simple hip pack, and that’s a plus. Here’s the breakdown:
- Large “3D” main pocket, small “2D” front pocket
- Water-resistant zippers
- Daisy chain on front
- Tension straps on each hip
- Two handlebar straps that tuck away when not in use.
I used this hip pack daily as a man-purse, and on every big trip I’ve done for the past year as my handlebar console. It protects my phone from the elements, keeps my wallet and passport dry, and maybe most significantly, keeps me from losing stuff! I estimate I have about 4,000 miles with it.
The handlebar straps are the best feature on the Trail Buddy. Barrel-style handlebar bags are the best for long rides where you don’t want to keep your CLIF bars, phone, wallet, and keys in your jersey pockets. Those two little velcro straps are barely noticeable when you’re wearing it, but they attach the bag to your handlebars so you can use it as a barrel bag. I just clip the waist strap around my stem or steerer. I use the Trail Buddy a lot with a framebag in my bike’s center triangle; this two-bag combo works way better for me than a hydration pack, both for balance on the bike and for comfort, too.
There’s not a lot that can go wrong with a bag like this, but none of the zippers broke and none of the straps came loose at any point. The zippers are still water-resistant after a full year; I had the bag mounted up in Iceland for 30 days of near-constant precipitation, and my stuff stayed dry, and the bag was already “old” by then.
If I had to critique the bag, I’d say that an internal organizer like a small hanging zip would be perfect for replacing my wallet completely. Man-purse fanny-pack master race! The giant plastic buckle in the front seems a little overkill; a 1-inch strap would still be pretty comfortable, and would dig a little less when wearing the pack around my waist while riding. But, there are probably some people who prefer a wider strap.
At any rate, this is a great pack and a great company to do business with. Buy in the USA, and buy from people who have had a passion for cyclists from the start.
Disclaimer: Seagull provided this hip pack for me to test out without any prior agreement about the content of my review. I’ll be buying another one on my own dime, so don’t buy all of the Fuscia ones before I get to it.