Wayward Riders Louise Dropper Post Harness V2 Review
The Wayward Riders Louise Dropper Post Harness was recently updated with more tire clearance, added stability, and compatibility with dry bags ranging from 3 to 13L in size. We’ve been testing the Louise V2 this spring to discover how much it’s improved over the original. Find the full review here…
During my time at BIKEPACKING.com global headquarters last year, I remember catching a glimpse of the original Wayward Riders Louise Dropper Post Harness on TJ’s Salsa Fargo and being very intrigued. Minimalist, utilitarian product design is a beautiful thing, and although I only got a quick look at Louise, I was a little jealous. Wayward Riders is a small two-person operation based out of Wellington, New Zealand, operated by Bikepacking Journal contributor Andy Hovey and Vic Garlick. The Louise Dropper Post Harness is their flagship product: a simple, dropper-post-compatible harness system that works with a wide range of dry bags and weighs just 170g.
Even along the rough and rooty trails in Pisgah, TJ found the Louise to be one of the most stable seat bags he’s used, in addition to being lightweight, easy to install, and affordable. The Louise Dropper Post Harness was recently updated, and Wayward Riders sent over the latest iteration so we could get a closer look.
The Louise is made up of a thin, flexible plastic harness and webbing straps. The entire design is minimal, functional, and modest. The upper webbing straps weave through the saddle rails and the harness before looping through the ladder lock buckles on either side of the harness. A rubber bumper and Nano Voile strap attach to your dropper post’s stanchion, and a final webbing strap loops around the removable drybag to keep it secure. The harness can be set up and ready to ride in less than a minute and results in a versatile, sway-free saddlebag.
So, what’s new? The biggest update is the new webbing routing from the lower ladder lock buckle, which now pulls from two spots along the bottom of the harness, rather than just one. This means added stability and a more secure dry bag. They’ve also added a little O-ring under the buckle to neatly tuck away any excess strap, which is a nice touch. The lower section of the plastic harness is a tad longer, the new shape requires less clearance (from 8″ down to 7″) between your saddle and top of the rear tire, and it has been tested to work with dry bags as small as 3L all the way up to 13L in size. Even with these meaningful changes, the Louise Dropper Post Harness is still priced competitively at $95 NZD ($68 USD).
Like TJ, my experience using the Louise Dropper Post Harness was overwhelmingly positive. It’s an incredibly stable setup, which is impressive considering its weight and lack of stabilizing wings or proprietary brackets. All of the straps remained taught and never required adjustment mid-ride, and the recommended 7L Ortlieb drybag felt like the perfect size, whether it was packed full or not. Emily wasn’t able to drop the post all the way on her small Kona Hei Hei, but considering the size of the drybag, I think having the ability to lower the seat even a few inches is better than nothing. On the size large Hei Hei I’m currently testing out, with my rear suspension open and seat dropped, the harness would sometimes buzz the tire. But unlike a soft fabric saddle bag, I wasn’t worried about it getting destroyed and it’s not showing any signs of wear.
Compared to other dropper post seat bags out there, the Louise requires more clearance above the rear tire. For example, the Bedrock Black Dragon, Revelate Vole, Rockgeist Gondola, Rogue Panda Ripsey, and Outer Shell Dropper Seatpack all require between 5″ and 6″ of clearance above the rear tire. On the other hand, none of these bags can carry 13L of gear, and most of them are maxed out closer to 7L and are nearly double the price. For those with limited tire-to-saddle clearance, like Emily, replacing the rubber bumper with the Wolftooth Valais will reduce dropper travel and keep the harness away from your rear tire. Another option would be by simply pairing the harness with a smaller dry bag, and cinching the side straps up tighter to provide more clearance under the bag.
I noticed that the rail shape and height of certain saddles work better than others. The WTB SL8 Pro saddle on the Kona Hei Hei I’m testing has a low stack height and less rail towards the back of the saddle, which actually pushed the harness lower towards my rear tire, resulting in some rubbing on a few bigger hits. On the other hand, I tried the harness on the new Ergon SMC Core Saddle and felt the longer rails helped the harness cinch up further back, up and away from the rear tire.
There’s a lot to like about the Louise Dropper Post Harness, and besides the somewhat limiting tire clearance, it’s probably one of the most versatile dropper post seat bags I’ve used. I’m a huge fan of harness-type seat bags with removable dry bags, as they make loading and unloading that much easier. And in the case of the Louise, they can work with a wide range of dry bag sizes and shapes with little to no fuss. The simplicity of the design is also a selling point for anyone who likes the option to repair gear on the go. Any of the straps could be fixed on the side of the trail or replaced with a Voile strap quite easily. The Louise is unique and well-executed.
I also appreciate that the majority of the harness is field-repairable since it relies mostly on simple webbing straps and standard buckles, which are often available in outdoor gear or fabric stores. The use of a Voile Nano Strap around the rubber ring, which attaches to your seatpost or dropper post stanchion, is simple, reliable, and most importantly, holds tight and doesn’t require adjustment after a day of bumpy riding. I only wish there was an elastic or loop to hold the rear strap’s excess webbing, for aesthetics more than anything else.
- Simple, functional design
- Nearly completely sway-free
- Fits multiple drybag sizes
- Limits dropper post travel on some bikes
- Non-tapered drybag rubs legs
- Material: Polypropylene
- Weight: 170 grams
- Place of Manufacture: New Zealand
- Price: $95 NZD (~$68 USD)
- Manufacturer’s Details: WaywardRiders.com
I just got back from a three-day trip on the Lower Sunshine Coast Bikepacking Route, heading southbound along a slightly modified version of the track to take in the best singletrack. I had the Wayward Riders Louise dropper post harness loaded up with my down puffy, sleeping pad, extra layers, some food, and my tent fly. Although my dropper post struggled to function at times with the extra weight, the Louise harness performed great. Not once did I need to readjust or tighten the harness, and considering the amount of singletrack along the route, I’m impressed. Andy set out to design and produce a foolproof dropper post bag that’s durable and light, and the Wayward Riders Louise Dropper Post Harness is exactly that.
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