Bedrock Bags Vishnu Review: Two in One
The Bedrock Bags Vishnu received a complete redesign this year, maintaining the original concept of a small handlebar bag but adding the option to be used as a cargo cage bag as well. Over the last few months, Miles has been experimenting with this multi-use bag to see what works best and where it fits in for bikepacking. Find the full review, photos, and specs here…
There aren’t that many multi-use bikepacking bags out there—at least not yet. For the most part, the bags we use only work on one specific part of the bike, and most people aren’t trying to strap their handlebar bags under their downtube to make room for extra peanut butter. The redesigned Bedrock Bags Vishnu is one of the few bags that’s specifically designed to work in more than one place on your bike—perfectly sized for cargo cages and ready to be mounted as a minimal handlebar bag.
During my visit to Bedrock Bags HQ last fall, Joey gave me a quick peek at the Vishnu, and at the time I didn’t realize it was going to be a multi-tasker. As a handlebar bag, it’s small and stable. As a cargo bag, it’s versatile and provides substantial packing space. I think the beauty of the design is that small handlebar bags and cargo cage bags aren’t typically found on the same setup, and don’t really go hand in hand.
At its core, the Vishnu is a roll-top stuff sack constructed from X-Pac, cordura, and a grippy material where the bag comes in contact with the bike. The spine of the bag is padded, and a series of daisy chains allow it to be set up as a handlebar bag or a cargo cage bag. The Vishnu has a capacity of 1.5 to 2.5 litres and measures around 14” long when packed full, with a 5” diameter. You have your choice of 10 different colours, including coyote brown, as pictured.
Vishnu as a Handlebar Bag
I used the Vishnu as a handlebar bag for the majority of my rides. As I wasn’t travelling too far from home, most of my time was spent packing up for long day rides and overnighters, so cargo cages weren’t really a priority. Paired with a framebag, I could easily fit everything I needed for a long day on the bike, often packing items like a rain jacket, vest, and my hammock for a lunchtime hang. On a couple of overnighters, I was able to fit the body and fly of the Marmot Superalloy Two-Person Tent I recently reviewed in the Vishnu, leaving my saddlebag for a summer weight quilt, sleeping pad, and down jacket.
Setup is straightforward. The bag itself is completely independent from the straps, which loop through a section of daisy chain webbing. Two loops of one-wrap velcro, affixed to the underside of the straps, attach to the bars on either side of the stem. The main straps thread through the alloy buckles, and are cinched tight before attaching back on to themselves near the front of the bag. There’s an additional length of daisy chain along the back of the bag to attach the included headtube strap, but for my setup I found it wasn’t necessary most of the time as the brake and shifter housing helped keep the bag from bouncing, since the Vishnu is so slender.
When packed tightly, the Vishnu is incredibly stable. Since it’s generally tasked with lighter loads than the majority of handlebar bag setups, it stays put and refuses to loosen up, even on even the rowdiest of terrain. As a handlebar bag, I think it’s best suited for items you won’t need access to during the day. However, because there are no internal panels for extra rigidity, it can simply be rolled down smaller to compensate and keep things tight in those instances when you need to remove something. With a capacity of 1.5 – 2.5L, the Vishnu is quite small, but for lightly loaded overnighters, endurance events, or multi-day trips with lots of resupply points, it’s a nicely executed little bag.
Vishnu as a Cargo Cage Bag
Mounting the Vishnu as a cargo cage bag follows a very similar process. The small velcro loops that were on the handlebar attach to the sides of the cage instead, the loaded bag is placed in the cage, and the main straps thread through the daisy chain and alloy buckles to cinch tight. The smaller velcro loops working alongside the main straps create a solid setup, and the top-access roll-top closure means it’s easy to pull something out without dismantling the entire setup. The design allows the straps to stay on the cage with the bag removed, which I prefer over loose straps.
Compatibility may be an issue with some of the smaller cargo cages out there, including the Widefoot CargoMount and smaller Drj0n StrapDecks, and the design is best suited for larger cages like the Blackburn Outpost Cargo Cage or Salsa Anything Cage. I was able to get a pretty secure fit with a King Cage Many Things Cage, but I had to move the top strap further down on the daisy chain—it would be more stable with the straps spaced out as far as possible.
Although I only have a few rides under my belt using the Vishnu as a cargo cage bag, I can see how it could come in handy on longer, more remote bikepacking trips when some extra packing space is needed. Its attachment system is just as sturdy in a cargo cage as it is strapped to a handlebar, and it looks good in both orientations.
- Multi-use design is thoughtful and well executed.
- Durable, high-quality construction is holding up well.
- Virtually no movement when packed tightly and installed correctly.
- Velcro cinch system works great.
- Easier to pack off the bike, but not as quick to remove or install as a harness system.
- Not waterproof.
- Capacity: 1.5 – 2.5L
- Material (as tested): Coyote Brown X-Pac / Cordura
- Weight: 203 grams
- Place of Manufacture: Colorado, USA
- Price: $70 USD
- Manufacturer’s Details: BedrockBags.com
The most foolproof way to pack less stuff is to use smaller bags. As a handlebar bag, the Vishnu might be the most minimalist option out there, forcing me to really pare down my summer bikepacking kit to make it work. I could see the Vishnu being a great option with the addition of a small backpack for lightweight trips on rough terrain, and will continue to use mine for the remainder of the summer. For those less interested in foolishly lightweight setups, the Vishnu works exceptionally well in a cargo cage, adding some substantial packing space for those who need it.
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