San Francisco bag maker Freight Baggage is now producing a cargo bag specifically designed to fit the excellent Pass & Stow cargo rack. Matt over at Pass & Stow recently sent me a copy to try out and I’ve been putting it through its paces the past couple of weeks.
I’m a big fan of “porteur” style front cargo racks. On bikes with the appropriate geometry they’re a great way to carry bulky items. Their large platforms make it possible to strap on all sorts of items that won’t fit on a rear rack or in panniers or a messenger bag.
I also really like baskets; they’re super-convenient for tossing in loose and odd-shaped items. I’m starting to see more baskets attached to cargo racks, which is a fine set-up for light loads, but if you have a need to carry heavy, over-sized items one day, then smaller, loose items the next, the constant installation and removal of a basket is likely to end up being a nuisance. The Freight Baggage Rack Bag solves this problem by essentially functioning as a basket, while being easier to take on-and-off the bike.
The Rack Bag is constructed of heavy duty Cordura nylon and industrial velcro throughout. Double stitching is used at all stress points.
The mounting system is simple but effective with a pair of quick-release straps that run beneath the rack base to hold the bag securely while enabling easy attachment and removal. The spacing on the straps matches up with the width of the struts on the P&S rack to prevent side-to-side movement.
The main compartment is accessed through a roll-top that can be adjusted up or down to accommodate varying quantities of cargo. The compartment is huge — with the lid fully extended, the bag can hold more than a full bag of groceries or a dozen books. It’s lined with vinyl to repel water and facilitate easy cleaning of internal spills. The velcro strap for securing the roll top is cleverly designed to fold back on itself when the bag is only partially full (or empty).
The 3-D pocket on the front is large enough to carry a wallet, keys, bus pass, or even a small book and a granola bar. The slip pocket on the back is designed for carrying a u-lock, but could also be used for carrying papers. The compression straps on the sides help stabilize bulky loads and take up slack when carrying smaller items. A removable shoulder strap is included for carrying the bag off of the bike.
The Freight Baggage Rack Bag is intelligently designed and well-made. It’s a versatile bag that functions like a basket or rack trunk while on the bike, and a tote or messenger bag when slung over the shoulder. It’s a must-have for anyone who has a Pass & Stow rack, but it will certainly work on other porteur racks as well. I like the fact that it’s hand-made in San Francisco, and at $150 it’s a great deal for such a well-designed, domestically-made product.