It's easy to forget that Bontrager is part of the Trek family. The brand, for years, has churned out high-quality, but potentially overlooked, bike gear and accessories. Not only does it make great parts, it also produces some remarkable kit and other essentials. Here are some items we recently got to put through the ringer.
Bontrager Elite Seat Pack and Multi-Tool
Saddlebags are a useful way to keep tools and spares off your back, guaranteeing you have them on hand for every ride. Bontrager’s latest offering combines middle-of-the-road storage capacity with an included multi-tool to get you going again when the inevitable occurs.
The bag itself uses a diagonal strapping system that does a good job of keeping the straps from sticking out to brush my legs while pedalling; the nylon construction is rather stiff, which reduces swinging and should ensure the bag won’t wear out over time. I’m a bit sceptical, though, of the silicon strap used to attach the base of the bag to the seat post. It takes a bit of stretching to lock into place, and in my experience such designs have a habit of failing if damaged in the slightest. Time will tell if this is the case, but I would prefer a third Velcro-style strap instead as they are a bit sturdier. Size-wise you’re good for the included multi-tool, an inner tube, a few gels and some tyre levers.
The Bontrager multi-tool is a well-thought-out option that reflects the tool needs of modern bicycles rather well. Having both a T10 and T25 tool is a highlight for me, as is the all-important bottle opener. The chain tool has a locking handle for increased leverage as well, which comes in handy for stubborn chains. A full spread of Allen keys from 2mm to 8mm is appreciated, although the large handle of the tool means these won’t be a workshop replacement when it comes to dealing with bottle cages and awkward seat clamp designs.
This saddle bag and tool duo is well designed, providing a set-and-forget combo for your bike. There are some minor details where I have my own personal preferences, but overall it’s solid kit that should serve you well.
Bontrager Phone Case
Smartphones are useful. They can call for help in an emergency, allow for mid ride photos and of course provide the ever necessary link up to Strava. However, with a few notable exceptions they’re not all that waterproof. That’s where the Bontrager drybag comes in.
Designed to allow you to use a phones touchscreen and camera while upping the waterproof rating, it’s a cheap but effective investment towards the life and utility of your electronics. My 5.5inch screened phone fits comfortably with room to spare, so even a phablet could in theory be squeezed into this bag on the off chance you wanted to take it riding. Inside the case is also a small slot for an eftpos or credit card for any post ride purchases which is a nice touch.
The case has held up to some horrendous weather so far. I don’t think I would take it diving owing to only having a single waterproof seal rather than the double seals used on diving electronics cases, but that’s not what it’s built for. As an accessory for cycling, it passes with flying colours.
Images: Cameron Mackenzie
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