Revelate Designs Polecat Cargo Cage Bag First Look
Just announced, the Revelate Designs Polecat is an ultralight, waterproof bag designed for fork-mounted Anything-style cargo cages. We tested the Polecat on a week-long trip in Ethiopia for this first look review…
Clever name aside, the all-new Revelate Designs Polecat is a well-thought-out bag. As you may have assumed, the Polecat is designed specifically to store extra gear in fork-mounted cargo cages, such as the King Cage Many Things Cage, the Salsa Anything Cage, or the Blackburn Outpost. It’s one of the lightest Anything-style bags available at the moment, and it’s clear that Revelate paid close attention to perfecting its size and shape. We’ve only tested the Polecat on one week-long trip in Ethiopia, but so far so good. Here are all the details…
The Polecat is constructed out of radio-frequency welded 210 Denier ripstop nylon. To make it completely waterproof, the ripstop is double side laminated with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The base of the Polecat has a contoured, low profile, which Revelate claims eliminates a high wear spot at the outer/bottom edge, and its back is reinforced with urethane Hypalon to protect it from bolt heads and abrasion from the cage. It also has a Hypalon reinforced base to help protect it from abrasion during long-distance touring and bikepacking trips. The most prevalent feature on the Polecat is its urethane-coated daisy chain with giant loops. These are placed and spaced to work with pretty much any cargo cage and provide a guide to secure the bag with webbing straps, Voile straps, or as shown, Revelate’s own Washboard straps. In addition, Revelate also used an easy-to-use new clip that eliminates the inevitable finger pinch that occurs with many plastic clips.
While it may seem fairly basic compared to other more feature-laden bikepacking bags, Revalate clearly did their homework to get the Polecat’s size perfectly dialed in for fork cage storage. It’s not too small, and not too big; not too tall, or too short. Back in the olden days (circa 2012), prior to cargo cage bags—and when some of us were still risking it with the original failure-prone Anything Cage—the 5L Sea To Summit Big River dry bag reigned supreme for such a task. It was sturdily built, still fairly lightweight, and waterproof. However, it was a little too big. When not packed to capacity, it became floppy and unwieldy. This is common with manny other bags, especially if you’re using them for food storage—as we often do—which waxes and wanes daily. This was even more of an issue once smaller cargo cages arrived, such as the King Cage Many Things cage, which has less area to cradle the bag. The Revelate Designs Polecat addresses this head on, and is just about right in the size department; it maxes out at 3.5 liters. Compared to other bags that range from 4.5-6L, the Polecat’s 3.5L capacity is a nice volume that seems to have solved the floppy bag problem.
The Polecat’s profile also does a good job of remedying the “wide-load” feel that’s common among some other fork cage bags. It has a three-quarter cylinder, D-shaped profile—slightly beefier than a half-moon—that measures 5.25″ wide and 4.5″ deep (with a 16.5″ / 42cm circumference). For comparison, Salsa’s Anything Bag has a 5″ circular diameter.
The result of its size, shape, and construction is a bag that’s significantly lighter than other options on the market. Again, comparing it to the Salsa Anything bag at 151g (5.3 oz), the Polecat weighs 109g (3.8 oz), or 42 grams less; so you’d save about three ounces per pair over the former. “Cargo cages have been around for a while now and I didn’t want to build just any old cylinder shaped bag for them. The Polecat is built to be lighter than any other bag out there while eliminating wear points and adding reinforcements where needed,” said lead designer Eric Parsons.
- Waterproof and has the Goldilocks size… not too big, not too small
- Lightweight and relatively minimal design allows for easy stowage when not in use
- Hypalon reinforcements give it a burly feel, and so far, our test bag shows no signs of wear
- Urethane coated webbing on the roll-top is a nice touch
- New plastic clip on the roll-top is a nice touch
- Urethane coated daisy-chain is nice and burly, but the slightly overbuilt loops add weight/volume when rolling/stowing the bag. But, the upside is that they allow any strap with larger buckles to pass through.
- Contoured bottom, while nice for a sleek/singletrack-friendly profile, makes it so the bag can’t stand up on it’s own
- Volume 3.5 liters (215 cu in)
- Packed Diameter 5.25″ wide x 4.5″ deep
- Min/Max Internal Packed Height ~8.5″/12.5″ (~21.6/31.75cm)
- Weight 109 grams (3.8 oz)
- Place of Manufacture China
- Price $42
- Manufacturer’s Detail RevelateDesigns.com
So far, we’ve been impressed with the Revelate Designs Polecat fork cage bag. It’s fairly lightweight, waterproof, and seems well made. The 3/4 cylinder, D-shaped profile keeps it from being too wide. It’s just the right size and shape, too—not too tall, not too wide. While the giant webbing loops seem a bit overkill, they make it easy to attach and detach. And with the added Hypalon reinforcements where it counts, the Polecat feels very durable. Only time will tell, though. We’ll make sure to update this post down the road once it sees a fair amount of abuse!