The other day I stumbled over some ‘Do It Yourself equipment’ pages on the ‘net. The idea was intriguing: Create your own gear, add the features you want, leave out what you don’t need.
Specifically, I liked the idea of a bag that is attached inside a bike’s frame triangle. For the upcoming Balkan trip I decided to make one. The result wasn’t entirely satisfying, so I made a much improved version 2.
Then, using some Cordura left-overs, I sewed compression bags to store my Hilleberg Soulo inside the frame bag conveniently.
The improved frame bag (incl. the tent compression bags) went with me on the Balkans trip and to Bangladesh/India/Nepal and performed very well. A couple of minor things were not perfect, like the sewn-in velcro straps which need to be ‘shaved’ around the seam to fill up less and be more water-tight. Also the pocket openings, especially the one of the map pocket, were a bit tight when the bag was fully loaded and one wanted to take out/put in a map. So there is room for improvements for version 3, if I ever make one.
Side winds were not a problem and the width of the bag between my knees was just right (i.e. I didn’t touch it under normal cycling conditions).
Inspired by the DIY idea I decided to build my own kayak. I attended a course in Norway where I built a traditional iqyax (also known as baidarka).