Arkel is known for making things really well and really tough. They have been making expedition class equipment for years, and these Arkel bags certainly follow that tradition. Both sizes are completely waterproof. They feature one big internal pocket, one small waterproof outside pocket, and a pair of external mesh pockets. These bags now include as standard a set of our super short, close-in mounts that bring the bags closer by 2.25in (57mm).The close in mounts have proven to be so popular we made arrangements with Arkel to get the bags without the standard long clamps, so we could make a bag+clamp SeatSide combo for a better price. Click here to see the new clamps debuted. Both bags come with shoulder straps and clear waterproof map covers. The cover on the small bag is only suitable for paper maps, but the cover on the large bag has a ZipLoc seal and you can use it with electronics. Both clear covers are removable, so you can use them or not, your choice. Besides the obvious difference in size, the larger bag is padded on the inside and has a nicer cushion on the shoulder strap. It's easy to add padding to the smaller bag if you have any kind of sheet foam.
Made in Canada
Approximate Outer Dimensions (not counting protruding pocket):
- Small Bag: 6" x 8.5" x 9.5; 15.25cm x 21.5cm x 24cm
- Large Bag: 7" x 9" x 10"; 17.75cm x 23cm x 25.4cm
1. Why this bag?
We like these bags because they are very well made, they are a nice size (the large can carry a LOT), they are waterproof, and they have nice shoulder straps. Top of the line stuff.
2. Should I get the large or the small size?
For most people, we would say the small size. The large can carry much more than most people will ever need. The dimensions are listed in the Tech Info tab. The large does come with a nicer map cover and a nicer shoulder strap, though the small shoulder strap is nicer than most other brands.
3. What about the close in clamps? Do I need those?
They are now included! We found that basically everyone wanted the closer in clamps, so we made a deal with Arkel to get the bags without the stock clamps, and we provide our closer in clamps instead for a small increase in price over the small bag.
- Loosen the clamping bolts and slide the clamps onto the SeatSide mount tube using the smallest shims.
- Clip the bag on to set the distance between the clamps.
- Adjust the bag to the right angle and tighten the clamps.
- If needed, you can loosen the bolts that attach the clips to the bag and slide the clips sideways to adjust their position on the bag.
The liner unzips, so you can add things like inside padding very easily. They're lined with ensolite foam and with polyethylene packing foam sheets. Both add a nice feel and some insulation. You won't worry tossing in your camera or pastries that they will get bumped or cooked. A nice addition to a nice bag.
Only real complaint is that the bag mounted hardware could use deburring and the flap over the slides could use a retainer to keep it from flapping around when I'm riding.
Another top quality purchase
Excellent quality. On time arrival. It's a daily must-have accessory for convenient storage and access mid-ride.
Nice bags, overpriced though.
These are nice little bags but I feel like they are way overpriced. They are also a little hard to access on my Catrike Expedition. it would be nice of they were a little higher which would not only make them more accessible, but would also keep them from snagging on things like rocks and curbs.
I "needed" extra storage for my Catrike 559. This fits the bill. I'm able to load it up with ride necessities and have room left over.
The hardware? Excellent as usual. The wait time? Not so much.