Waterproof Revelate Pockets: Egress + Yakataga
Revelate Designs recently released the all new 100% waterproof Egress Pocket. We tested it in the damp forests and root-strewn trails of western North Carolina for this review. Plus, a first look at the airtight T-Zip Yakataga Pocket, purpose built for packrafting and swamp-packing…
To many bikepackers, myself included, the advent of waterproof handlebar accessory pockets is a godsend. The area just in front of the bars is the ideal position for quick access items such as a small camera, spare lenses, a phone, maps, and other prized possessions… many of which aren’t water-resistant. With a bag that’s truly waterproof there’s no need to cram gadgets into sandwich baggies or dry bags to keep them safe when the weather turns foul. Revelate took this concept a step further with the new Egress Pocket and soon to be released Yakataga Pocket. As with other Revelate products, each is built to withstand some serious beatings, and with the addition of a padded, removable inserts, they’re even better suited to protect electronic gizmos on long trips and multi-sport outings as well. We put the Egress through its paces in western North Carolina to see how it would handle our daily spring thunderstorms and rugged trails. Further down get a first look a the new Yakataga Pocket as well.
Revelate Egress Pocket Review
Revelate was at the forefront of making waterproof bikepacking bags. The Terrapin Seat Pack was one of the first. And the Egress Pocket makes a great companion piece for the already popular, waterproof, seam-sealed Sweetroll handlebar roll. At Interbike Revelate teased the seam-welded roll-top Egress Pocket but it’s just now available for purchase. As with other Revelate Pockets, the Egress integrates with the Sweetroll handlebar roll or the Handlebar Harness. It can also stand alone, secured to the bars with included straps.
Similar to the Periphery Pocket we tested in Kyrgyzstan, the Egress uses a roll-top, zipper-free design. The hybrid metal and plastic hook on the closure system catches one of two loops formed by a plasticized webbing strap, which allows the bag to be filled to the brim or strapped down into a tighter package. Also, like the Periphery Pocket, I found the Egress easily accessible. While zippered pockets can sometimes be finicky due to folding fabric or a dust-impregnated sticky zipper, the roll-top is easy to open and close with one-hand. Adding to this, there is a plastic strip sewn into one side of the top which provides leverage and helps keep the roll-top neat and manageable.
The body of the Egress Pocket is made up of 210 Denier Ripstop Nylon with TPU Hypalon reinforcements. The high tech materials are elegantly welded and accentuated with smart details, including glossy plasticized webbing, solid red bar stitches, and embossed contoured lines on the front face of the bag. The Egress seems generally bombproof, and after using it during a couple of heavy downpours, I can vouch for the fact that it is indeed 100% waterproof. Boasting almost three liters of volume, it seems larger than past iterations of the accessory pocket. Even so, when paired with the Harness or Sweetroll, the whole set-up remains fairly svelte… as long as it’s not overpacked. The side profile of the Egress is slightly contoured, so it nests around the dry bag when the straps are tightened. I’m also happy to report that, even when packed with heavier items, the bag can be strapped high enough to easily clear the front tire. Packed with a camera lens and a few other items, the Egress even stayed out of the way of a 27.5 x 3” tire with the Fox Float 34 suspension fork adjusted to the 130mm setting.
Attaching the Egress to the Harness is a straightforward procedure. As is the case with Revelate’s other accessory pockets, there are two optional straps included that attach to the back of the Harness on either side via a Triglide ring. This provides the Harness with pairs of buckle ends at its top and bottom. The pocket clips to said buckles and is adjusted via the webbing straps. The Egress’ strap system is stitched to a large hypalon panel welded to the back of the bag. Extra material at the bottom provides a nice cradle and helps secure extra items, such as tent poles. There is also some additional material at the top which overlaps the bag’s roll-top.
While testing it, I had one issue with the buckles. In order to keep the Egress elevated and away from the tire, the top clips were cinched tight at the top to where they were in the position against the stabilizer rail on the harness (photo above left). With the these buckles sitting against the bar, the strap channel was at a slight angle causing them loosen over bumps. I spoke with Eric Parsons at Revelate about the issue and he said they are now shipping the harness with cam locking buckles to ensure this isn’t a problem — an easy fix and a good example of how Revelate listens to feedback from bikepackers out in the field.
According to Revelate, the Egress “was built with the distance traveler in mind.” In addition to its heavy duty waterproof exterior and removable padded insert, the Egress comes with a strap kit including a shoulder strap that easily transforms it into a purse, camera bag, or man-satchel, depending on your needs. And, if you thread a belt through the integrated webbing, it can also morph into a hipster worthy fanny pack.
Being a camera junky, I was particularly interested in seeing how the Egress would manage as a lightweight camera case. I typically carry a sizeable DSLR on longer trips, but a small mirrorless Fuji X100 is my go-to for shorter outings. The X100 fits with room to spare in the padded insert. It would also work well with slightly larger mirrorless cameras, such as an interchangeable lens micro 4/3 or something like the Sony A6000 or Fuji X-T2. The insert hosts a zippered pocket that is an excellent spot for SD cards and small items that might otherwise fall out or get lost in the shuffle. In a future version of the bag, I would like to see a removable interior divider (similar to a Crumpler insert) that would create two smaller compartments, so a camera could be kept isolated from other items.
- It’s 100% waterproof; not many accessory pockets can make that claim.
- The Revelate Egress is a nicely proportioned and sizable bag perfect for longer trips.
- The padded insert makes it a great bag for photographers and offers protection for electronics; it also does a good job helping the bag keep its shape.
- The interior zippered pocket provides a nice storage space for small items that might otherwise get lost.
- It would be nice to have a divider; not really a con, just a wish.
- I kind of miss the two side mesh pockets on the old X-pac accessory pocket; but adding these to the Egress would likely compromise its ability to be completely waterproof.
- Unlike Revelate’s other offerings, both the Egress and Yakataga pockets are made in China. According to a statement from Revelate, the technology, processes and capacity are not readily available in the USA, so it really isn’t possible for Revelate to make them in house (Eric gives a very good explanation here). But for those who are committed to MUSA gear, you might check out the classic Periphery Pocket which is made in Oregon.
- Volume 2.9 liters (175 cu in)
- Weight 283 grams (10 oz) / 212 grams (7.5 oz) without straps and liner
- Place of Manufacture China
- Price $69.00
- Contact RevelateDesigns.com
Buy online at REI
The Revelate Egress pocket is a very practical and well executed piece of luggage. It’s evident that it was painstakingly created with years of past prototypes serving as references. If you are looking for a larger accessory pocket for longer trips, or a handlebar accessory bag to tackle the duties of carrying a micro 4/3 or other small mirrorless camera, the Egress is the best option out there.
It is unfortunate that the Egress can’t claim the same “made in the USA” epithet as other Revelate Bags. Regardless, it has quickly become my favorite handlebar accessory. I do foresee one major problem with the Egress… winning the argument of who gets to use it on an upcoming trip Gin and I have planned.
Revelate Yakataga Pocket First Look
During the two legendary Lost Coast fat bike expeditions, and bike-packraft trips since, Eric Parsons found himself in need of a totally waterproof — as in submersible — handlebar bag to store smaller items such as a camera and navigational equipment with easy access. Revelate’s original pocket system was designed using a ‘backpack’ style bag directly in front of the handlebars. Eric wanted a bag with a similar interface, yet totally sealed from the elements. Thus, the Yakataga was created as something of a deck bag that would keep things protected but accessible, and not tucked deep into a roll down dry bag. The Yakataga is a bag for far flung trips combining packrafting with bikes… the ones where you might just find yourself bush or reedwacking in waist deep water with your bike floating on it’s side. For as hardcore as it is, Eric has found that the Yakataga is at home in much more controlled environs as well. Whether packrafting (sans bike!), fishing, or kayaking, the 4D rings on the back make it riggable to just about anything.
The name Yakataga comes from Cape Yakataga, an airstrip and abandoned cold war communications site that is one of the the only possible resupply points along the notoriously stormy Gulf Coast of Alaska where Eric and Dylan Kentch first fat-biked in 2008.
The Yakataga Pocket is constructed from 420d Nylon with dual sided TPU lamination and a #8 Ti-Zip Masterseal closure. We haven’t used the Yakataga yet, but as you can see in these photos, it looks like a slick and polished bag. Here are the specs; we’ll report back once we give it a go.
- Volume 2.6 liters (160 cu in)
- Weight 283 grams (9 oz) / 255 grams (7.5 oz) without liner
- Place of Manufacture China
- Price $145
Buy at Revelate Designs