Bikepacking. It’s so hot right now.
Seriously though, bikepacking seems to be one of the few bright spots in an otherwise down industry. Bikepacking is nothing new, but until recently the gear was made mostly by small, custom manufacturers. That is changing, though, as companies like Blackburn and the behemoth Specialized are getting into the category.
Blackburn’s Outpost line now includes a frame bag, top tube bag, handlebar roll, and seat pack. Their frame bag comes in medium or large sizes and has a zippered expansion on the bottom to fit a variety of frames. For this year, Blackburn is adding a camo color option in addition to the standard black. Prices for the Outpost bags range from $45 for the top tube bag to $130 for the seat pack with dry bag.
Blackburn was also showing their new Switch multitool. It’s a compact tool that can be used in a T or L arrangement, depending on bolt placement and leverage needed. The included bits (T25, T30, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm allen, and flathead screwdriver) should cover the majority of bolts on your bike. The Switch multitool comes with a canvas carrying pouch for $20.
The Chamber HV (high-volume) floor pump is intended to fill up large mountain bike tires. It features an oversized barrel, an air bleed valve on the head for fine pressure adjustments, along with a huge, 4-inch gauge. The gauge is easy to read and only goes to a max of 50 PSI, which allows you to really dial in your preferred pressure. We have one of them in the office now, so watch for a full review in the coming months. Retail for the Chamber HV is $80.