North St. Bags is an Oregon-based company that makes duffel bags, panniers, and backpacks. They are very popular with bikers locally and globally, and rightly so. North St. Bags also have dealers in other parts of the USA and provide international shipping services.
On first look, one might mistake these panniers for a pair of messenger bags - They do resemble something you'd see young hipsters wearing to a coffee shop. But don't let the looks fool you! These panniers are far from messenger bags, and I'll tell you why...
These bags also boast excellent weatherproofing thanks to their design, tougher materials, and YKK zippers & zipper tracks. All materials used in this product are sourced from the USA and built tough here in Oregon by a small team of craftsmen with many years of experience in making gear for industries such as construction, firefighting, and law enforcement.
For example, The Roll-Top Micro Pannier has a roll-top design to keep the elements out and gear snug. The roll-top also helps compress this bag down for smaller, more manageable loads if you don't overpack it. It features sturdy YKK zippers & zipper tracks tested for harsh conditions such as dirt roads and deserts on 4x4 vehicles.
North St. Bags company has recently introduced new products and has updated existing ones as well. Let's see what their other exciting items are!
North St. Micro Pannier
An entirely new product by the company, this micro pannier is also made in Portland. The company has used as many US-sourced items to make it as possible. Perfect for backpacking, these panniers are made around a waterproof VX21 X-Pac body with a roll-top closure. These panniers also have a side pocket for extra stashing of smaller items. The best feature is perhaps the front pair of mounting straps, which keep the pannier away from your back wheel so you don't get any grease on it.
This is an existing product by North St. Bags with some improvements. They are made around waterproof VX21 X-Pac fabric and feature welded seams to make sure that they remain 100% watertight even when submerged under two inches of standing water - this claim has been tested by the company with success, although I would like to point out that this claim is for the product, not you (i.e., don't drop your bags into two inches of standing water to see if they are waterproof or not).
The roll-top closure has become more secure with the addition of a Velcro strap; plus, there are now side straps that can be used to attach a sleeping mat and/or tent to the pannier.
The shoulder straps have been redesigned with stainless steel sliders on them so they can adjust length very quickly - a welcome change over the previous smaller plastic sliders that could only slide up and down a fixed amount.
The company claims that these panniers will fit around any bike rack due to the adjustable mounting straps. While I have not seen proof of this claim, I can see how it might be true.
The company claims that the top-mounted handle makes opening and closing these panniers very easy. Indeed, I was able to open and close them without taking my hands away from the handlebars on my bike On a side note, North St. Bags has provided me with a Large Roll-top Pannier for review purposes only - the same product shown here is what you get if you make a purchase through them.
These panniers have a loading capacity of 12L, and the easy hook & elastic attachment system make them easy to carry on a bike. There is a single plastic sheet for rigidity at the back. Also, there is an exterior waterproof pocket for keeping maps, mobile phones, or snacks.
Available colors: slate, black, orange.
North St. Fuel Pouch
North St. Bags' Fuel Pouch is naught but a humble top tube bag. This tiny pint-sized bag has a 1000-denier Cordura structure which makes it different from other top tube bags. Four velcro strips come with this bag to fit various frames and other bags—having a loading capacity of 0.7L, this 2oz. The bag also comes in an X-Pac version.
Unlike most seat packs, this one is made around X-Pac VX42 fabric rather than Cordura. As the fabric has a higher tear strength and less abrasiveness to it, this bag will be more durable in the long run. Like other North St Bags products, this bag also comes with an adjustable mounting system for fitting various bikes. There are two straps on each side of the bag that can be moved up or down to make sure that they fit your bike properly
Available colors: black, orange, gray
P.S. $10 is charged extra for any other customized colors.
North St. Pioneer Hip Pack
This is not a new product by North St. Bags but rather an old product with a contemporary, modern, and upgraded outlook. The designers have changed the fabric of this hip pack to match the standards of their entire product lineup.
Buy an add-on for $12.99, and you can also use this solid and long-lasting hip pack as a handlebar bag. It has waterproof zippers, and zipper pullers are pretty big for their type. But it makes the hip pack easier and reliable to use. It isn't padded, but the upgraded version makes it safer for items like small cameras, snacks, and mobile phones while riding on a rough path.
North St. Tool Roll
Tool Roll is another item by North St. Bags that is upgraded this year. The newer version has been designed to fit in different types of saddles. The dimensions of the model made from VX-21 X-Pac are:
- 10.5″ x 11″ (open)
- 5" x 3" (close)
One can pack one's tools, repair kit, and some money change in there (for emergency purposes), and boom! You're good to go! The velcro strap can be comfortably used to keep it safe under the saddle.
Available colors: slate, black, orange.
To sum it up, it is evident that these bags and panniers are carefully designed and meticulously manufactured. Not only do they ooze style and function, they also cut a fine figure on occasions. Using these panniers can improve your backpacking experience. Plus, they look very cool, so give them a shot!