I am supposed to be on a shopping freeze until I get to Europe, unless the purchase is somehow directly related to the wedding. So the reason why I bought a new bag at the Women’s Bicycling Forum is because I will need it on the honeymoon, of course!
Natril Gear had a stand set up showcasing their brightly colored and fun print panniers, purses and wallets. The panniers come in a range of colors, from “Pink Lemonade” to “Hero” to “Summit Sky“, while the purses come in matching fabrics, as well as the prints such as “Spring Rain” and “Sunny Bamboo.” Honestly, I didn’t look at the panniers as closely because I love mine and wanted something small enough for my wallet and lip balm, that I could just throw over my shoulder after we check into our hotels during the bike tour part of our trip. I picked the “Aquarius” purse.
This small handlebar bag has sturdy Velcro straps on the back that attach to the handlebars, plus a detachable shoulder strap. I naturally love the reflective strip on both the outside flat and inside pocket, which means that no matter what, there is a reflective strip on the front of your bike! The inside has a zip pocket as well as mesh sides so nothing falls out if it’s opened all the way. The double zipper pulls are brilliant to let you zip around any item that might stick out awkwardly out the top, or you want to grab something (treats!) from time to time.
What really sold me on the bag is the way the top flap opens up and can fold over the handlebars towards you, with a clear pocket for maps, a phone, notes, or whatever. I’m not sure what sort of cue sheets or maps we’ll get from the bike company, but hopefully they can go in this pocket.
Natril Gear founders Nathan and April were inspired by their own long trip (4146 miles!) to create durable yet fun colored bags, so when I mentioned that I was thinking about taking the bag on my honeymoon bike trip, April was very enthusiastic. That helped win me over – after thinking about it, I decided that I should get the bag, and help out the small company. If all I shove in that clear pocket are Swiss chocolate wrappers, it’s worth it!
Their panniers seem well thought out, with bright color linings, key chain clips, inside zip pocket, and a plastic backing. I have no doubt that they worked out all these details on their long journey, so they know from true experience what works best. I wish them all the luck with their company! I think they are already succeeding in the “improve and enliven the world” part of their mission!