The New Revelate Mountain Feedbag: Ride, refine, repeat.
Redesigned and released this week, the new Mountain Feedbag sports a new closure system, more volume, and a few other nice tweaks. Our thoughts on the new model after testing it in Kyrgyzstan and beyond…
Once in a blue moon, a company makes a bellwether product that achieves the holy grail of product naming — the category brand. Like ‘Xerox’ is to the copy machine and ‘Kleenex’ is to facial tissue, so is ‘Gas Tank’ to the top-tube pack and ‘Feedbag’ to the ever-useful stem bag… on a much smaller scale, of course. It’s for good reason that stem bags are often referred to as ‘feedbags’. Back in 2006 the Mountain Feedbag became the first commercially available model and started the entire category. It was originally created by Christa Olsen in Oakridge Oregon for quick-access snacking during ultra-endurance races such as the Cascade Creampuff 100. In 2010 Revelate Designs purchased the product license and has since reinvented it several times over. And now in 2016, which oddly enough marks its 10th anniversary, the Mountain Feedbag gets another major overhaul.
After all of the redesigns — four to be exact — this iteration of Revelate’s Mountain Feedbag is far more refined than the original of the mid-2000s. And it’s no minor revision. It is in fact a different and bigger bag requiring all new patterns. But the intention is the same… an easy to reach pouch for on-the-go snacks with one handed access via a simple drawcord. That said, there are many uses for the Feedbag. A lot of folks use it to stow items such as a water bottle, a compact camera, gloves, a clothing layer, or a combination of smaller items. On our recent trip to Kyrgyzstan, I used it to carry a spare DSLR lens — a massive brick of a long lens weighing in at 1.7lb/750g.
The latest incarnation has the same styling and general shape as its predecessor — a cylindrical design with a sloped bottom. The main connection is a beefy handlebar strap stitched at the rear of the bag. A secondary Velcro OneWrap strap is removable and can be positioned on either side via six daisy chain points. This allows the Feedbag to be attached to either the right or the left side of the stem (or better yet, you can have two). The Feedbag is further stabilized by webbing strap at the bottom — which got longer in this version — with a nylon buckle to fix around the head tube, or the fork crown. The bottom stabilizer strap also got moved to the rear of the bag. This not only makes it easier to attach to the fork crown, it also makes the Feedbag play a little more nicely with a handlebar roll.
The bag itself is significantly bigger than the old model. It can now fit a 1L Nalgene water bottle, which was apparently a spec requested often… but more importantly for me, the larger diameter can now comfortably fit large lenses. To shore it up for heavier duties, the Feedbag has a three layer construction, a foam inner layer that provides insulation and padding, and a yellow high-visibility interior made from 420 denier Cordura. Like the former Feedbag, the inner liner also has a snap which allows it to be partially removed for cleaning. The outer fabric used on the new Mountain Feedbag is Revelate’s unique polyurethane coated VX 21 X-pac, which gives it a slight sheen and a higher level of water resistance. Revelate kept the two mesh side pockets relatively the same, although they are slightly bigger and now have an open angle oriented toward the rider. There is also a new pocket at the rider-facing front with an elastic top. I often use the mesh pockets for trash and wrappers, and the front pocket for stowing sunscreen other smaller odds and ends… not too small though as there are two half-inch cutouts at the bottom for drainage; I realized this when I lost my lip sunscreen.
Notwithstanding all of the other improvements, the crux of the redesign is the new — truly one-handed — closure system. As with the former model, the Feedbag uses an elastic cord that’s threaded through a nylon fabric upper to cinch the top closed. However, Revelate added a new auto release cord lock mechanism with an additional finger pull loop. This allows the top to be uncinched with one quick tug on the loop (see photos below). Note that in these photos this is as a small webbing loop on our testing prototype; the production version uses shock cord with an ergonomic plastic collar. And to close the top fabric, you simply pull the elastic cord. Why didn’t they think of this earlier, you might ask!
- Weight 107g (3.7oz)
- Price $49.00
- Contact RevelateDesigns.com
Buy at REI
Overall the Mountain Feedbag is a classic that’s never really warranted a single complaint, yet somehow it keeps getting better. The larger dueling mesh pockets are fantastic and the new front pocket adds a little more utility. Its larger size also eliminates the one quibble that I ever had with the old model — that it was tough to get my larger lenses in and out. Plus the slightly longer lower strap — moved to the rear — and the new closure system round out an excellent and well-thought redesign.
All of the photos above (save the three actually in Kyrgyzstan) were taken after 1000 miles of rough Kyrgyz terrain and weather as well as many trail rides around Pisgah, my home turf. It’s showing zero signs of wear, even after being laden with heavy lenses and the side pockets stuffed with all kinds of Central Asian trash, including empty sardine cans. Like Revelate’s other bags, with miles of historical prototyping, all the right fabrics, and attention to detail, the Mountain Feedbag is highly usable and unquestionably bombproof.