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Arkel is the next out with bikepacking stuff

Old 08-20-16, 12:27 PM
  #1  
Lt Stonez
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Arkel is the next out with bikepacking stuff

Arkel is out with a new system for saddlebags, Looking good or not?

Seatpacker 15 Bikepacking Seat Bag

Made for ultralight bikepacking

Cheers
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Old 08-20-16, 12:50 PM
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We use their drilite panniers and like them well, they are light, under a pound.
Not sure they are heavy duty enough for extended tours, one can't be rough on any of this new ultralight equipment but for our use they work
R&J
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Old 08-20-16, 01:43 PM
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looks to be very well made .
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Old 08-20-16, 02:07 PM
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Looks interesting to me, especially the rack system. BUT I think I'd still go with the Ortlieb for $160 (USD). Personally I'd pass on the Revelate because it's not waterproof (AFAIK).
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Old 08-20-16, 03:21 PM
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Arkel Seatpacker 15 Review by PathLess Pedaled

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Old 08-20-16, 03:29 PM
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Lightweight can be a good thing, but how lightweight is this new Bag and mount when loaded. as compared to about any other similar Seat Bag? I'm guessing not by much if any. Also, as for Seat Bags of this capacity, and when loaded, they put the weight in about the worst place it could be on a bike, but if that works for some people good for them. I really do see a positive trade-off going from panniers to a Seat Bag at all.
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Old 08-20-16, 04:38 PM
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New Product category to have a share of that Market.

Whole plan was Bushwhacking when Panniers would be in the way Riding single track.
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Old 08-20-16, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Arkel Seatpacker 15 Review by PathLess Pedaled
Interesting to see how the rack holds the pack up higher for more tire clearance. I'd consider that a big plus. Very well done review.
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Old 08-20-16, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AdvXtrm View Post
I really do not see a positive trade-off going from panniers to a Seat Bag at all.
A lot of people think similar things when they haven't actually tried something. Riding a mountain bike with 15 pounds of gear strapped tight to the frame is exhilarating, freeing, FUN!

A seat bag like this is ideal for holding a down sleeping bag and jacket. ~5 pounds of stuff maximum. That isn't unstable at all- put the heavy stuff in your framebag, at the bike's center of gravity.

Weight distribution 101. You do it with panniers, why not bikepacking bags?
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Old 08-20-16, 05:55 PM
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It looks like you can put more stuff and weight in the botton on the arkel. The revelate and Apidura looks thinner in the bottom. Correct or am i wrong?
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Old 08-20-16, 06:23 PM
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It makes sense for the more limited and narrow focus of usage explained here. So if that's your bag (bad pun intended), then this may be a good one.

Last edited by AdvXtrm; 08-20-16 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 08-20-16, 06:31 PM
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My first thought when I saw it was it is an "upside down" Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion v2, the seat bag often considered the benchmark bag (okay maybe I am biased as I have one on my Salsa Mukluk ).



After a quick watch of the video my initial thoughts are:

(1) Not as convenient as my Mr Fusion v2. Removal of the bag for off bike packing is a very simple process with the Mr Fusion v2;
(2) Expensive. Mr Fusion V2 is CAD$185 versus CAD$239.95;
(3) Heavier ... My Mr Fusion v2 comes in at 495 grams complete on my scales;
(4) I am not convinced of the need to bolt the frame to the saddle and if this will turn out to be a pain with some saddles (looking at you Brooks B17). I am not aware of any other saddle bag manufacturer going down this path. More weight for little gain?

On the positive side I am assuming that using a frame aka Mr Fusion v2 will address of the often expressed concern of bags swaying. Revelate Designs bags for example often cop this criticism. It also has a little more capacity at 15 litres. I have mixed views on this but if one kept the weight down it might be okay I guess. Bikepacking is often considered to be about less not more.

To be honest I would if I was in the market be considering a Mr Fusion v2 or a Bedrock Coconino over the Arkel. I would also like to see some feedback from the users with experience bikepacking, e.g., Bikepacking.com
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Old 08-20-16, 07:49 PM
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Oh my GOD! I just saw the price! That's highway robbery!

The "rack" has a PLASTIC seatpost mount, it looks cheap as hell! I'd be surprised if this thing cost $5 more to manufacture than a rackless, cottage, Made In USA seat bag, which is half the price.

Really, really ridiculous.
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Old 08-20-16, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
Oh my GOD! I just saw the price! That's highway robbery!

The "rack" has a PLASTIC seatpost mount, it looks cheap as hell! I'd be surprised if this thing cost $5 more to manufacture than a rackless, cottage, Made In USA seat bag, which is half the price.
The seat post collar isn't load bearing. Most Arkel products are made in Canada with a transferable lifetime warranty. It costs the same as the smaller Swift saddle bag you just bought, less if you count the Bagman rack.
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Old 08-20-16, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
The seat post collar isn't load bearing. Most Arkel products are made in Canada with a transferable lifetime warranty. It costs the same as the smaller Swift saddle bag you just bought, less if you count the Bagman rack.
This Arkel thing is mass-produced from the exact same materials $79 bags from Alpkit, or $120 bags from Revelate Designs are made from. Why is this one $220? What am I getting for spending almost twice as much? I really like Arkel. I don't even see anything inherently wrong with the bag. The only problem I REALLY have with this bag is that exorbitant cost. It's more expensive than almost every single other product on the market, including directly comparable ones like the Porcelain Rocket model, for the same exact thing.

The "Lifetime Warranty" you're talking about covers aluminum, stitching, and stiffeners, but makes no mention of plastic hardware. Maybe it's covered. Additionally, Arkel says "We do not guarantee the normal wear and tear or the abuse of the fabric and zippers." So, they're really not any better than anyone else's warranty. I would rather buy from Eric in Alaska at Revelate. He'll charge me half, and he's delighted to repair whatever he makes, too. No need to burn money on the Arkel pack.

Last edited by mdilthey; 08-20-16 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 08-20-16, 11:07 PM
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I still don't get the seat bag thing as shown on a rigid frame. I do get it on a rear suspension frame. 200+ for a very limited use product. You could simply bungee a dry bag to a rear rack like a trunk bag for bike packing, and use the same rack for conventional touring. One system multiple applications for far less.

I do like some bike packing ideas though. I just bought a Blackburn expanding frame bag (med) which I really like and am considering a handlebar bag as well. But both of those can be added to my conventional set up or not as i wish

I honestly just don't know what a seat bag does better than a trunk bag for the price. Narrow profile for single track, more stable and weight transmitted down into the frame.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 08-20-16 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 08-20-16, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I still don't get the seat bag thing as shown on a rigid frame. I do get it on a rear suspension frame. 200+ for A very limited use product. You could simply use a dry bag bungeed to a rear rack like a trunk bag for bike packing, and use the same rack for conventional touring.

I do like some bike packing ideas though. I just bought a Blackburn expanding frame bag (med) which I really like and am considering a handlebar bag as well. I honestly just don't know what a seat bag does better than a trunk bag for the price.
Can't speak to this seat bag's price, but one of the big draws to the Revelate/Porcelain Rocket/Etc. seat bags is the low weight.

It takes a lot of decisions for the weight difference between a rack/drybag and a seat bag to matter, but eventually, it might matter. A lot of people who use these race with them. If you trim your bike down to 22lbs, and you trim your camping gear down to 10lbs, it makes sense to ditch your rear rack for the cost of a seatbag.

Here's Mike Hall. He just won the Tour Divide and set a new record. Note how little he carries- every ounce is curated. Takes a lot of discipline to go 3,000 miles along the Rockies with this little stuff!



I don't race (yet) but I do enjoy pushing myself physically. Through carefully selected gear, I carry only about 15lbs with me when I go on a bikepacking weekend trip. The weight of a 3lb rack is not necessary for me. With the lightweight gear, my bike feels faster and more balanced, and I have more fun riding it.

Also, important to many: these look cool on mountain bikes.
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Old 08-20-16, 11:25 PM
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I'll buy the race thing.

But for most, if one is really pairing down the weight in the bag then a light weight rack will also do. I think my Blackburn aluminum rack and a UL dry bag weighs equal or less than the seat bag, frame and attachment gear shown.

Of course, if one just likes it that is also completely valid, I just don't see the practical value for the price.
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Old 08-21-16, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
This Arkel thing is mass-produced from the exact same materials $79 bags from Alpkit, or $120 bags from Revelate Designs are made from. Why is this one $220? What am I getting for spending almost twice as much? I really like Arkel. I don't even see anything inherently wrong with the bag. The only problem I REALLY have with this bag is that exorbitant cost. It's more expensive than almost every single other product on the market, including directly comparable ones like the Porcelain Rocket model, for the same exact thing.
It sells for 240$ CAD on the Canadian website, which is the same as the V2's 185$ USD. A Revelate bag would cost me 171$ with shipping. You get a waterproof bag that doesn't sway and a waterproof pocket (20$ for non-WP pocket on Revelate) and a rack that will take the future 25L bag. As for mass produced, you don't know that. I know Arkel makes some waterproof bags in Canada from start to finish. I don't where this particular one is made. Arkel is usually more expensive but not as bad as you make it out. The comment on your Swift bag just shows your hypocrisy.

The "Lifetime Warranty" you're talking about covers aluminum, stitching, and stiffeners, but makes no mention of plastic hardware. Maybe it's covered. Additionally, Arkel says "We do not guarantee the normal wear and tear or the abuse of the fabric and zippers." So, they're really not any better than anyone else's warranty. I would rather buy from Eric in Alaska at Revelate. He'll charge me half, and he's delighted to repair whatever he makes, too. No need to burn money on the Arkel pack.
That part is probably nylon and I bet it's covered. Getting a RD bag repaired would cost me 80$ USD in shipping only. I'd rather walk in Paul's shop.
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Old 08-21-16, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
It sells for 240$ CAD on the Canadian website, which is the same as the V2's 185$ USD. A Revelate bag would cost me 171$ with shipping. You get a waterproof bag that doesn't sway and a waterproof pocket (20$ for non-WP pocket on Revelate) and a rack that will take the future 25L bag. As for mass produced, you don't know that. I know Arkel makes some waterproof bags in Canada from start to finish. I don't where this particular one is made. Arkel is usually more expensive but not as bad as you make it out. The comment on your Swift bag just shows your hypocrisy.



That part is probably nylon and I bet it's covered. Getting a RD bag repaired would cost me 80$ USD in shipping only. I'd rather walk in Paul's shop.
What you're actually saying is "shipping to canada is expensive." It has nothing to do with the revelate bag.

So, i'll correct myself. For U.S. Citizens, the Arkel bag is ludicrous.
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Old 08-21-16, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
It sells for 240$ CAD on the Canadian website, which is the same as the V2's 185$ USD.
The prices on the Porcelain Rocket website are in Canadian dollars. I just checked my purchase invoice from June 22, 2016 and I was charged CA$185 plus postage of CA$45 for a total of CA$230 which equates to AU$230 at the time.

Given Porcelain Rocket is in Canada it is sort of logical they would price in CAD.

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Old 08-21-16, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Looks interesting to me, especially the rack system. BUT I think I'd still go with the Ortlieb for $160 (USD). Personally I'd pass on the Revelate because it's not waterproof (AFAIK).
Revelate has a waterproof option in the form of a harness combined with a dry bag. I can't comment on its usefulness, because I'm still using a rack and panniers. I have used the Revelate harness and dry bag on the handlebars though, and it seemed pretty useful.
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Old 08-21-16, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Revelate has a waterproof option in the form of a harness combined with a dry bag.
That seems like a different beast.

Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
I have used the Revelate harness and dry bag on the handlebars though, and it seemed pretty useful.
I find handlebar attachment awkward & kludgey. For me that would be a last resort.
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Old 08-21-16, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
That seems like a different beast.
Seems like a different beast, how? It sounds like you're totally unfamiliar with it? Lots of other companies have the waterproof bag harness system too, like Portland Design Works and Porcelain Rocket.

The drybag is already shaped like a seat pack. You just slide it in and buckle it, and it works exactly the same way and it's waterproof.

Eric probably could have charged more, but it costs about the same as his other seat bags. Because it's not any more or less materials and labor.


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Old 08-21-16, 02:26 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
Seems like a different beast, how?
The attachment seems less rigid, but maybe that's just my take. I don't have experience with it so I can't say for sure. If it's as solid as the others then I stand corrected and would consider it.

For me I consider the stability of a load to be important. You can pretty much attach things anywhere on a bike a quickly adjust to the load, but an unstable load can be annoying. So for me I put stability at the top of my checklist.
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