Depending on the venue for fat bike races, you might be stuck dropping your gear off against a fence post as you head out to hammer in the powder. Imagine returning shivering and shot to find the mid-day sun has heated up the snow enough to leave your bag sitting in a dirty puddle. That post-race chill is not going away if you don’t have any dry socks to pull on.
It’s not that improbable–I’ve had it happen.
The first thing I thought when I received my Showers Pass Refuge Duffel Bag was, “Ok, let’s see how waterproof this thing really is!” The bag is impressive, and it sure passes the eyeball test. It’s made out of ballistic strength Nylon, which is a particularly inventive marketing name for a fabric. The bag has kind of a slippery feel and is very attractive. I am also a fan of the anodized aluminum strap clips that come in gold, white, or lime.
This isn’t a dry bag, but man, it’s pretty close. I rode out to the river near my house and dunked the thing into the water, which is way beyond the claims of what this bag can take. It held up very well: the inside was mostly dry with a few damp spots that as likely as not came from my hand when I opened the bag.
At 51.3 liters, this bag is a bit on the smaller side, which makes it ideal for short trips. I’ve taken to clipping my helmet and shoes to the shoulder straps to save space. The measurements are: Length 23″, Width 10.5″, Height 11.5″.
There are three separate compartments, each with a smaller pouch for separating keys, phones, and snacks. The central space has a movable divider. I would have liked for there to be a wet bag inside to separate sweaty workout clothing, but I can see how that didn’t fit well with this particular compact and efficient design.
One really nice feature is the 36″ x 24″ changing mat that folds out from a small pocket. This is a really nice option for increasing comfort while changing quickly at the finish area of a race, or in the parking lot after a ride.
This is a very effective bag for any sporting activity, and is certainly not limited to cycling. It’s a good carry-on size and is rugged enough to endure a substantial amount of mistreatment. If you’re looking to upgrade your gear bag, this is a good choice.
The Showers Pass Refuge Duffel is a sleek, attractive bag that is rugged and functional. A good gear bag for camping, fat biking, or any activity where there is a good chance your equipment could get wet. My only complaint is that it lacks a wet bag for separating sweaty or dirty clothing, but that’s very minor. The bottom line is that this is an elite piece of equipment. Get one here.
Thanks to Showers Pass for providing the Refuge Duffel for review.