Rivendell Bicycle Works is primarily known for their beautiful, intelligently designed, lugged-steel bicycles. They’re also credited for helping to revive and keep alive traditional items such as wool clothing, leather saddles, platform pedals, and canvas bags. What some people may not realize is that Rivendell is nearly as passionate about bag making as they are about bike building. As they say on their website, “We’re nuts for bike bags. They’re the best part of the bike.”
Working with various small bag makers, Rivendell has designed and delivered to market a variety of attractive, functional, and extremely high quality bike bags over the years, the most recent being their Sackville line of dry-waxed cotton duck bike bags. Here’s a description from their website:
Our new Sackville series bags are as fine as saddlebags get. The Britamerican materials (including waxed and waterproof cotton duck), the Connecticut craftsmanship, the California design, the melted thread-ends, and the total absence of any cost-cutting measures add up to bags that cost us a mint to make, are worth three mints, but cost you only a mint and a half. They’re over-the-top good and a joy to use. They load and unload easier than any saddlebags we’ve used; they’re more secure; they’re more handsome.
Sackville bags are made in America for Rivendell by a small company led by former employees of Coach and Dooney & Bourke. These are lovely bags that some may think are too fancy, but they’re highly functional and durable too. The heavy canvas duck is waterproof and as tough as an old army tent. The heavy duty brass fittings will probably outlast most bikes. The smart designs reflect Rivendell’s 15+ years of designing and using saddlebags. If you’re interested in alternatives to the ubiquitous Cordura nylon bike bag, these are just about as good as it gets.
We’re currently using the Sackville SaddleSack Medium and the Sackville TrunkSack Small. The SaddleSack M is a relatively large saddlebag with a square-ish profile and a flat bottom. It’s a clever design that accepts a small laptop and a change of clothes, or a stack of library books and lunch. The large, rear-entry flap is held closed with a pair of brass snaps which makes opening and closing the bag a cinch. The zippered pockets on each side of the bag are large enough for a few tools and a patch kit, and the external pouch on top is ideal for quick access to items such as a wallet or bus pass.
The TrunkSack S is a small rack trunk, perfect for holding a spare tube, a patch kit, a few tools, and wallet/keys/cell phone. It features the same robust construction and detailing as the larger Sackville bags. Its size and shape makes it a perfect match for a Nitto Mini or Mark’s Rack.
Disclosure: Rivendell is a sponsor of this website.