Makeshifter Snackhole Review: Waxed Canvas Stem Bag
Made from waxed canvas and wool felt, Makeshifter’s Snackhole is guaranteed to add a little colour and flair to your rig. We take one bikepacking in Baja California and report back on how it weathered the ride and fared in the sea air…
We’ve come across more than a few feed bag-style stem bags in our time at BIKEPACKING.com. These little cubby holes are supremely useful; throw in a bottle of water, some trail mix, your beloved Opinel, a camera lens, or some beach finds.
Makeshifter’s Snackhole Stem Bag stands out from its competitors because of its gorgeous design that combines hardwearing waxed canvas with a colorful and distinctive felt finish. Befitting its sense of individuality, the Snackhole is available in a number of color combinations (both felt and canvas) with an equality evocative vibe – and names like ‘peacock and spice’ and ‘moss and moonlight’. Makeshifter’s distinctive double triangle patch, seen throughout their products, really adds character to your ride. Oh, and we’re not talking about just any wool here. This is felted merino, no less.
In terms of general design, the Makeshifter Snackhole follows the classic feedbag recipe, at least for the most part. Still, let’s run through it all, so you can see what your $70 gets you. For a start, there are three attachment points with one-wrap velcro for securing to the handlebars, stem, and headtube. The bag can be fixed on either side of the stem. And there’s a daisy chain running around the top, featuring contrast stitching, for sliding in a pair of sunglasses or clipping on a key.
The Snackhole includes a ripstop liner and drawstring closure to keep dust and grime out. I’d have noted that it’s a somewhat thin material compared to other feed bags, but as it happens, I’ve since found out that Makeshifter plans to use a slightly heavier duty material in the future. Spill your drink, perhaps while riding through a downpour? The grommet in the base of the bag will drain out liquids so they don’t slosh around.
Materials-wise, we’re talking about a combination of felt, as discussed, and 12oz waved canvas; the latter is actually treated with triple-filtered beeswax. According to Becky at Makeshifter, this not only adds water resistance but it imparts ‘a lovely floral-honey scent’. After a few weeks of use in Baja California, I can’t say it was something we noticed, but we’re all for the use of natural products to add life and character.
Unfortunately, the white felt, as lovely as it is to look at, is also prone to picking up dirt and dust. If you consider a little grime to be part and package of bikepacking, that’s fine, but just be aware that after a few weeks dirt road touring, it won’t look quite the same as when you first installed it. The waxed canvas, on the other hand, weathers in very nicely. I should also point out that the general quality of the build and stitching is excellent.
- A unique piece of kit
- Waxed canvas adds durability and good looks
- Roomy outer pockets
- Small company, feel-good vibes
- The white felt picks up dust and dirt
- Felt isn’t nearly as hardwearing as synthetic materials
- Not padded , so unsuited to carrying electronics
- Volume: 1.4L (plus side pockets)
- Size: 4” base x 7” tall, minus the drawstring area (10 x 18cm)
- Materials: Waxed canvas and felt
- Weight: 105g (3.7oz)
- Price: $70
- Contact: Makeshifter
This is a lovely stem bag that not only does its job, but adds a real sense of color and style to your rig. It’s also a bag that’s imbued with a sense of individuality that’s often lost in more commercially made equivalents.
Long term, the felt patch won’t be nearly as wear resistant as more popular fabrics like Cordura. And just be aware that dirty/muddy/dusty riding will likely stain that fine white finish. But we’re talking about a stem bag here, so as long as you treat it with care, I don’t see this being a major issue.
Besides, this isn’t the kind of bag you’ll buy if you want the cheapest or the hardest wearing option on the market. Rather, it’s the kind of bag you’ll want because it speaks out to you. It’s unlike anything else around and is sewn by a maker who clearly enjoys adding a sense of artistry to her products. As such, you’ll likely enjoy supporting her endeavours as much as you delight in both looking at, and using, the Snackhole.