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Handmade Basket Bags for Bikepacking

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There’s been a resurgence of interest in the humble wire basket as a practical way of hauling gear in recent years, and lots of cottage industry makers have released their unique take on the basket bag. Our latest Gear Index features more than 20 handmade basket bags, along with tips, tricks, and everything you need to know about #basketpacking...

Attaching a basket to a bike as a means of hauling stuff is anything but a new idea, but basketpacking is a style of bike touring that’s become increasingly popular (again) in recent years. That said, given a basket’s position and the added weight of the rack required to support it, it’s not a setup we’d recommend for riders choosing twisting, technical singletrack as the mainstay of their bikepacking explorations. Rather, it’s a practical option for those who consider dirt road touring to be more their style, especially when combined with a lightweight framebag and seatpack.

One of the great things about bikepacking with a basket is that it’s an exceptionally cost-effective way of hauling gear. Though we’re focusing on handmade bags in this Gear Index, it’s worth stating up front that any bag can be a basket bag if you have some bungee cords or a cut up inner tube, whether that’s an old gym bag you have lying around, a recent thrift store find, or even just a canvas grocery store tote with a cargo net over the top. Plus, another side perk of basketpacking is that it plays nicely with brake and cable housing, which isn’t always the case when running a handlebar roll. And you can lash all kinds of things to a basket–both on top or underneath–should the need arise.

Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Wald 137, Wald 139
  • Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag Review
  • Tumbleweed Prospector
  • Framework Designs Sight Seeker Bag, Wald 137, Basketpacking

Why Basketpacking?

Here are three reasons we occasionally enjoy using basket bags for bikepacking:

Ease of Packing

Unlike needing to strategically pack handlebar rolls and other bikepacking bags, using a basket bag means you can simply toss items in, cinch the bag down, and ride off. The ease of packing and unpacking with a basket bag is almost revelatory for anyone who has spent time carefully devising a system for accessing items that are carefully tucked away into a handlebar roll.

Adds Some Fun

Nothing says, “I’m not out here to set any records” quite like a basket bag. Riding with one can be a good reminder not to take yourself of your ride too seriously, and it’s just quirky enough to be a good conversation starter when you roll into a town. Plus, the extra capacity helps justify splurging on extravagant food and drink to haul back camp.

Off-Bike Utility

Most basket bags can easily double as practical bags for everyday use. When you’re not bikepacking, a basket bag comes in handy as a duffel bag, carry-on bag, etc., especially those bags that have an optional shoulder strap or built-in handles. They’re a useful accessory for day-to-day life, and most blend in well enough for use around the office or coffee shop.

  • Wald 137, Wald 139
  • Wald 137, Wald 139

Some Notes on Wald Baskets

There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about Wald’s baskets, other than the fact that they’re ubiquitous and inexpensive. For around $25, they’re hard to beat. The Wald name is undoubtedly synonymous with baskets, which comes as no surprise, given that they’ve been producing baskets in their Maysville, Kentucky, facility since 1924. As the de facto standard for modern bicycle baskets, their 137 and 139 models are the baskets into which all of the following bags are designed to fit.

The Wald 137 is the smaller of the two, weighing about 550 grams and measuring 15” side to side, 10” front to back, and 4.75” deep. It tapers slightly to 13” x 8” at the bottom. The larger Wald 139 measures 18” side to side, 13” front to back, and 6” deep. It tapers down to 15.7” x 10.5” at the bottom. Both baskets are available in a zinc plated or gloss black finish. Note that the technical names for these baskets are 1372 and 1392, respectively, and there are versions with or without mounting hardware. There’s also a “half” version out there that’s cut down to be only half as tall, as well as a few fresh colors, though these don’t seem to be widely available yet.

We’ve heard it said a number of times that the 137 is a tad too small and the 139 is a little too big, and we tend to agree. The difference in size between the two is indeed quite substantial, and it’s worth taking some time to figure out which of the two sizes is right for your basketpacking needs before investing in a bag. And we can only hope that someday Wald will split the difference and introduce the 138—the perfect basket!

List of Basket Bags for Bikepacking

Without further ado, here’s our full list of basket bags designed to fit the Wald 137 and 139. Of the 20+ we found in our initial research, we were able to get more than half in to test on bikepacking trips and commutes in a wide range of environments throughout the spring and summer. As with all of our Gear Indexes, the bags we tested are denoted by a “T” icon in the right-hand corner.

  • $168CAD
    Atwater Atelier Rambler

    Atwater Atelier Rambler

    • Size(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 168-178 CAD
    • Made in: Montreal, Canada
    • Model Tested: Wald 137

    Tested by Lucas Winzenburg (@bunyanvelo)

    Made in Montreal by Narek Papian, the Atwater Atelier Rambler tote bag comes in sizes that fit the Wald 137 or Wald 139 baskets. I tested the smaller Wald 137 size in a custom green/tan colorway. The Rambler is one of the more interesting options on the market at present, as it attaches to a basket using quick release buckles on either side, like a conventional basket bag, but with just two clicks it transforms into an everyday tote with comfortable handles for carrying off the bike.

    • Atwater Atelier Rambler, Wald 137
    • Atwater Atelier Rambler, Wald 137
    • Atwater Atelier Rambler, Wald 137

    It’s a single-compartment design with a bright orange interior lining for added visibility inside the bag. Outside, the smaller exterior pocket has a cleverly designed upper hood that keeps items from bouncing out. There’s a loop inside the outer pocket for securing keys, though I’d love to have the option for a zippered closure for added peace of mind. A zippered pocket on the inside of the bag would be even better. On the subject of zippers, the Rambler has a super chunky main zipper and oversized pulls that’ll surely run smoothly for years to come.

    After using the Atwater Rambler for a month of running errands around the city, I’m sold on the tote-style basket bag for its versatility and practicality. While some of the other bags on this list have more attachment points, the two-point attachment system on the Rambler seemed more than enough to keep the bag in place when bouncing along bumpy dirt roads and alleyways. That said, this likely isn’t the bag I’d take on a full-on basketpacking expedition.

    • Atwater Atelier Rambler, Wald 137
    • Atwater Atelier Rambler, Wald 137

    As with everything I’ve seen from Narek’s small studio, the Rambler is exceptionally well made and it has several unique touches that set it apart from similar bags. My only regret with this bag is not getting the larger Wald 139 size, as I’ve gravitated toward a larger bag for daily use as the smallish Wald 137 basket and bags can be somewhat limiting.

    • Price: $168CAD
    • Place of Manufacture: Montreal, Canada
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $110
    Carsick Designs 1 Three 7

    Carsick Designs 1 Three 7

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 110-125 USD
    • Made in: Durham, California
    • Model Tested: Wald 137 - Cordura

    Tested by Jenny Barr and Patrick Murphy

    The Carsick Designs 1 Three 7 bag seamlessly integrates with the Wald 137 basket to boost carrying capacity and protect cargo. The 1 Three 7 is handmade in Durham, California, and available in a trio of rugged fabrics: 1000 Denier Cordura, Waxed Canvas, or Terrain X-Pac. Throughout the spring and summer, the basket bag has proven to be a solid hauling option around town or getting away from it.

    • Carsick Designs 1 Three 7, Basket Bag
    • Carsick Designs 1 Three 7, Basket Bag

    The bag is well built with thoughtful design elements for streamlined functionality. External front and rear pockets are ideal for quick grab and go, and closed cell foam provides internal structure that protects cargo and cuts down on rattling. An included shoulder strap adds off-the-bike versatility for commuting, or more likely in times of pandemic, grabbing groceries or takeout. Unrolled, the bag expands to 14 x 8 x 18″ for stack-it and strap-it large load hauling. Four internal pockets are stitched into the 400 Denier Pack Cloth liner, which helps to cut down on chaos and avoid the abyss effect.

    • Carsick Designs 1 Three 7, Basket Bag
    • Carsick Designs 1 Three 7, Basket Bag
    • Carsick Designs 1 Three 7, Basket Bag
    • Price: $110
    • Place of Manufacture: Durham, California
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $130
    Ellum Bag Works Trinity Rambler

    Ellum Bag Works Trinity Rambler

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 110 USD
    • Made in: Dallas, Texas
    • Model Tested: Wald 137

    Tested by Justin McKinley (@jjjjustin)

    The Trinity Rambler from Ellum Bag Works is a purpose built Wald 137 basket bag. It’s made to order and is constructed from 1000D and 500D Cordura fabric, which means it’s available in many of your favorite pack colors. The interior of the bag is lined with a bright orange nylon to illuminate the contents. There is an exterior pocket on the front for small items, and the pocket is trimmed with a reflective material. When fully unrolled the bag boasts a 28L capacity made secure by two adjustable nylon straps over the top.

    • Ellum Bag Works Trinity Rambler
    • Ellum Bag Works Trinity Rambler

    This is a soft-sided bag with no real structure, designed to take its shape from the basket. It does, however, contain a very thin layer of closed cell foam to protect your stuff from vibrating around. A shoulder strap is sold separately if you’re the kind of person who likes to remove the bag from the basket and carry it like a duffel. One of my favorite features of the Trinity Rambler is how secure the bag is to the basket. Accessing the bag’s contents doesn’t require loosening any of the straps that fasten your bag to the basket, which means there’s minimal fuss to getting at your precious cargo.

    • Ellum Bag Works Trinity Rambler
    • Ellum Bag Works Trinity Rambler
    • Ellum Bag Works Trinity Rambler
    • Price: $130
    • Place of Manufacture: Dallas, Texas
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $200AUD
    Hungry Tote Bag

    Hungry Tote Bag

    • Sizes(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 160-200 AUD
    • Made in: Sydney, Australia
    • Model Tested: Wald 139 - Canvas

    Tested by Lucas Winzenburg (@bunyanvelo)

    Made in Sydney, Australia, Hungry’s Tote Bag comes in sizes to fit the Wald 137 or 139. There are several materials available, but I opted for the beautiful 11oz proofed canvas in khaki, which is more of a pale green. The straightforward single-compartment design has a whopping 43L capacity, which makes it easy to overfill while on the bike, but a handy size for general use. A zippered outer pocket provides quick access to items like keys, a cell phone, and—in this day and age—a mask. Hi-viz lining throughout the interior compartment makes small items easy to find.

    After a few months of daily use, my Hungry Tote is holding up exceptionally well. The canvas is breaking in nicely and the burly zippers are running as smoothly as the day I received them. I can’t find a single stitch that’s coming loose, and the overall fit and finish is quite impressive, as I’ve come to expect from Harry at Hungry.

    • Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Wald 139
    • Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Wald 139
    • Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Wald 139
    • Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Wald 139
    • Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Wald 139

    Probably my favorite feature on the Hungry Tote Bag is its attachment system. The simple “B. Keeper” strap stays securely attached to the basket, meaning there’s just a single buckle to unclip to grab the bag out of the basket. I typically like to bring my bag inside with me when using a basket in commuter mode, and the Hungry Tote’s design makes doing so incredibly easy. Its wide, comfortable handles also make it super versatile as an everyday tote bag, whether or not you’re on the bike.

    • Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Basket Bag, Wald 139
    • Hungry 139 Tote Bag, Wald 139

    A couple of little upgrades I’d love to see in a future version of the bag are a small interior pocket with a zipper for storing valuables, along with a small loop to clip a key ring onto in the outside pocket. Beyond those, the Hungry Tote offers everything I need in a basket bag.

    • Price: $200AUD
    • Place of Manufacture: Sydney, Australia
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $170
    Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag

    Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 170-190 USD
    • Made in: San Francisco, California
    • Model Tested: Wald 137 - X-Pac

    Tested by Cass Gilbert (@whileoutriding)

    The Outer Shell Adventure 137 Basket Bag is super stable, with two easily adjusted straps that run through two lengths of daisy chains to anchor it in place. If tackling especially rambunctious, rocky terrain, I’d advise using the side straps too; although they’re designed to compress the bag to make it less boxy for carrying on your shoulder, they also serve to offer extra support when cinched down through the framework of the basket. Either way, the bag is quick to remove and with an optional shoulder strap, convert into a really nice camera or general tote bag.

    • Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag
    • Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag

    The bag isn’t just limited to baskets though. In the interests of saving some weight, I also experimented with fitting it on a Rawland Demiporteur rack – see images directly below. The size is absolutely perfect but as expected, this lighter configuration is better suited to mellow dirt roads, as it sits a little less securely than within the confines of a basket.

    As for the bag itself, it features a number of useful storage spaces, including a zippered compartment to the front and rear, side sleeves, and a clear plastic top. Accessed from the inside, the latter has proved resistant to UV degradation so far and is especially handy for a map, a notebook, a cycling cap, a pair of sunglasses etc… The front pocket works especially well if you’re running a dynamo hub and charging batteries – it teamed perfectly with my Sinewave Beacon I have mounted on the front of my rack. The bag also features a catch-all drawstring skirt, which ensures nothing can work its way out and helps protect from the elements.

    • Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag
    • Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag
    • Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag

    Build quality is particularly good and there’s a sense of human craftsmanship that’s often lost in mass-produced bags. There’s also a whole range of appealing colours to choose from for those who want to customise their ride, as well as a couple of materials – mine is the Graphite X-Pac version, which incurs a $20 upcharge, and is considered to be more waterproof than Cordura.

    • Price: $170
    • Place of Manufacture: San Francisco, California
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $90CAD
    Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile

    Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile

    • Size(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 90 CAD
    • Made In: Calgary, Canada
    • Model tested: Wald 139

    Tested by Miles Arbour (@milesarbour)

    The Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile is made in Calgary, Alberta, by Scott Felter and his small team. Like most of their bags, the Meanwhile is constructed with welded seams, offering a 100% waterproof construction that’s quite uncommon in the handmade bag world. It uses a simple roll-top closure that clips down to buckles that are looped under the basket’s rails, providing a secure connection that can be rolled as tightly or as loose as its contents require. The Meanwhile comes in two sizes, designed to fit Wald 137 and 139 baskets, and is made from a super durable double-coated 420D fabric. There are two webbing straps on the top of the bag that can be used as carry handles while in tote-made, and the buckle attachment means it can be removed quickly without fuss.

    • Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile
    • Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile
    • Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile
    • Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile
    • Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile Basket Bag

    I’ve used the larger Wald 139 Meanwhile through snow, rain, and pretty much anything else you can throw at it, and its contents were always bone dry. In fact, the Porcelain Rocket Meanwhile is the only basket bag in this list that can claim 100% waterproof status, which is going to be very important for all-weather commuters and hardcore basketpackers. I also appreciate that it weighs just 320g for 137 size or 415g for 139 size, which doesn’t add much to the weight of a front rack and basket.

    • Price: $90CAD
    • Place of Manufacture: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $85
    RAL WB Loader by Simworks

    RAL WB Loader by Simworks

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 85 USD
    • Made in: Santa Barbara, California
    • Model Tested: Wald 137

    Tested by Brenda Croell (@brenduhgayle), photos by Spencer Harding (@spencerjharding)

    My past basket routine involved laying down a thrifted throw blanket, tossing in my goods, strapping it in place with cords, and crossing my fingers that nothing would break. Spoiler alert: this system did not work. The RAL WB Loader by Simworks is probably the simplest bag solution to quell my anxiety of hitting a pothole, beer then bursting in my basket only to spill all over my Magic the Gathering cards. A true nightmare.

    • Simworks, RAL WB Loader
    • Simworks, RAL WB Loader

    The WB Loader looks like an unassuming tote bag, but it fits perfectly in a Wald 137 basket. If there’s one thing I hate about bicycle bags, it is how many straps many makers manage to throw onto them, leaving me in a tangled, confused mess of knots. The WB Loader has four straps. That’s it. That is all you need on a bike bag in my opinion. The velcro straps on the side keep it in place when you want to take the rowdy way home. I also appreciated that the bag would fold down if I had not loaded it up to its max capacity of five frozen pizzas and other assorted health foods.

    • Simworks, RAL WB Loader
    • Simworks, RAL WB Loader
    • Simworks, RAL WB Loader

    This bag’s padding can not only cradle my groceries from getting bruised beyond forgiveness, it can also safely transport my computer from my home to the coffee shop where I’ll say I’m doing work for three hours but in reality I just want an excuse to drink coffee made by someone who knows what the hell they’re doing. If you’re wanting a simple but hardy handlebar bag that can function well on and off the bike, the WB Loader is a great way to go.

    • Price: $85
    • Place of Manufacture: Santa Barbara, California
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $175
    Swift Industries Sugarloaf

    Swift Industries Sugarloaf

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 175 USD
    • Made in: Seattle, Washington
    • Model Tested: Wald 137 (2017 Version)

    Tested by Cass Gilbert (@whileoutriding)

    Designed specifically around Wald’s 137 wire basket – also available through the Swift website – the aptly named Sugarloaf resembles a plump loaf of freshly baked bread. It’s anchored in place with two elasticated straps that slip under and over the sides, making for quick and easy attachment and removal.

    A waterpoof YKK zip runs along the top of the bag to access the main, padded compartment within, along with a magnetic closure front pocket and a zippered rear one, both good spots for stashing extra snacks, cutlery and the like. Inside, there’s another zippered sleeve, a handy area for a passport, money, keys, along with a series of open sleeves for a pen, papers etc… Bearing in mind this bag is designed for commuting too, these are all useful features. As we’ve come to expect from Swift, the Sugarloaf is beautifully built with obvious labour and love.

    • Swift Sugarloaf Review
    • Swift Sugarloaf Review

    Constructed primarily from X-Pac (or Cordura, depending on the colour), I’d describe the bag as relatively water resistant rather than 100 per cent waterproof, given its exposed seams. With this in mind, I packed a lightweight waterproof rollbag at the base of the bag in case I was caught in a downpour.

    As for day to day use, the Sugarloaf is a joy to use. For the most part, it’s been my go-to method of hauling my laptop around town (an 11in Macbook Air in Sea to Summit’s Traveling Light Laptop Sleeve), along with a lock, layers and food, without the need to resort to a backpack. When pressed into service for weekend campouts, I’ve used it to carry my DLSR camera, protected on a bed of clothing. The padded structure of the bag means that it’s well suited to hauling pretty much anything you choose – food and a potset, for instance. What’s more, its ease of removal makes it especially convenient to bring into your tent at night, or even just detach and drop down whether you’re planning your al fresco dinner. Compare this to a softbag bikepacking setup, where everything tends to be strategically stashed across the bike: great for handling but often a pain to access during the day, or to remove quickly when popping into a cafe or restaurant.

    • Swift Sugarloaf Review
    • Swift Sugarloaf Review
    • Swift Sugarloaf Review

    Things I’d like to see? For the price, the inclusion of Swift’s shoulder strap would certainly be welcome, given how useful it is from a day to day perspective. To help thwart water ingress, a lightweight, elasticated waterproof cover would be a handy accessory too. Bearing in mind my personal use is more demanding than some, I’d also welcome a series of daisy chains underneath the bag to further secure it to the basket, that can be used when it doesn’t need to be regularly removed.

    • Price: $175
    • Place of Manufacture: Seattle, Washington
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $79
    Troutmoose Basket/Rack Bag

    Troutmoose Basket/Rack Bag

    • Size(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 79-89 USD
    • Made in: Madison, Wisconsin
    • Model Tested: Small (Wald 137)

    Tested by Ben Hovland (@benjovland)

    I’m picky. If I’m looking for a new piece of gear I’ll typically research it exhaustively to be 100% certain it’s the best tool for my task before purchasing. When I was asked to test and review a basket bag for this site, I was skeptical. What use would I have for an item for which I wasn’t actively searching?

    Well, here I am to tell you about Troutmoose’s small rolltop basket bag, designed and fabricated in the humble state of Wisconsin. I’m going to skip the basics, which are covered in the specs below. The sparknotes: Troutmoose’s bag is cheaper compared to other basket bags but accordingly lacking in bells and whistles. Functional design that requires a basket/rack to hold its form and not much beyond that.

    • Troutmoose Small Basket Bag, Wald 137
    • Troutmoose Small Basket Bag, Wald 137

    So, what’s left to say? The defining feature of the bag is that it’s one large container; there aren’t any velcro subdividers, laptop sleeves, or MOLLE webbing. But, if you’re like me, and already generally adhere to some kind of organizational method, this won’t be a problem. The main items I carry in the Troutmoose–camera equipment and camp food/drinks–are easily packed into modular systems. My go-to payload is my Yashica film camera, coffee setup (plus a snack or dozen), a collapsable sitting pad or hammock, and a book.

    While the design is simple, there are a couple of subtle features that increase functionality. One is the buckles, which are reversed male/female on each side. This lets you clasp the top buckles to form a carrying handle for off-bike transport. If you’re handy, you could even sew a shoulder strap with extra buckles and a strip of fabric. I tend to overpack, and on the occasions I’ve overstuffed the Troutmoose, I’ve found the thin strips of velcro along the lip of the bag extremely useful in keeping the contents from spilling out. It’s a nice touch and super handy when I decide to bring an extra layer at the last minute.

    • Troutmoose Small Basket Bag, Wald 137
    • Troutmoose Small Basket Bag, Wald 137
    • Troutmoose Small Basket Bag, Wald 137

    If you’re like me and love the simplicity of a front rack or Wald basket, it’s hard to go wrong with the Troutmoose rolltop bag. If I were to nitpick, I would have appreciated a couple bits of webbing that’d let you strap extra items on the outside. However, for $79 it’s a decently priced complement to any basket setup. Mine was designed for the smaller Wald 137 basket, but André makes a larger version for the Wald 139 as well.

    • Price: $79
    • Place of Manufacture: Madison, Wisconsin
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $150
    Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag

    Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag

    • Size(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 130-200 USD
    • Made in: San Francisco, California
    • Model Tested: Wald 137 - X10 Cotton

    Tested by Lucas Winzenburg (@bunyanvelo)

    Jessica at Tunitas Carryall makes a variety of Wald basket-specific bags from her workshop in San Francisco’s Mission District, among a range of other products. I tested the Basket Bag 137 in X10 Cotton, which I think is among the best looking basket bags on the market. The X10 fabric has a traditional cotton duck look, but with the durability and water resistance of a more modern fabric. There’s also a standard (and slightly less expensive) Cordura version available for the Wald 137, as well as Cordura and X10 options to fit the larger Wald 139.

    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Wald 137
    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Wald 137

    It’s a single-compartment bag, but it features three exterior compartments for additional organization and storage. The main interior pocket uses a dual roll-top / drawstring closure, providing nearly endless options for the size and shape of cargo you can securely carry, and also greatly expanding the overall volume when necessary. A fully padded bottom and sides give the bag structure, plus some added cushioning for delicate items like cameras and laptops. A shoulder strap is available for purchase for an extra $14, which goes a long way to expanding the bag’s practical uses.

    I’ve been really impressed by my Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag, both in terms of how it has held up to months of regular use, as well as the clever design details that make it do what it does exceptionally well. And it exudes quality in its overall craftsmanship and quality of the materials used in its construction.

    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Wald 137
    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Wald 137
    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Wald 137
    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Wald 137
    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag 137, Wald 137

    If I could make any changes to the Basket Bag, I’d love to see a zippered pocket on the outside for storing valuables, since the side and back pockets are shallow enough that I could easily see a cell phone or keys flying out when hitting a bump. I’ve mostly left them unused for that reason, beyond storing a small folding lock in the side pocket. I’d also love to see a couple of additional attachment points where the bag can be connected to the basket for a more secure fit—such as a couple of velcro loops at the front and back corners or a daisy chain on the bottom—which would make me feel a bit better about leaving it on the bike unattended.

    • Price: $150
    • Place of Manufacture: San Francisco, California
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $125
    Velo Orange Transporteur Bag

    Velo Orange Transporteur Bag

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 125 USD
    • Made in: Los Angeles, California
    • Model Tested: Wald 137

    Tested by Ben Elias (@eltucsonense)

    The Velo Orange x Road Runner Transporteur Bag is a simple roll-top bag with just enough security to pack some essentials away while wrapped up in a basket. This waterproof basket bag has a solid 29L volume and a handy front accessory pouch. I mostly stow my sunglasses, multi-tool, mini pump, and U-lock just in the front pouch, and stash my laptop sleeve in the main compartment, filling the base of the basket. I regularly use my bike to run errands and often end up with a bottle of wine and a bag of coffee beans in addition to whatever else I’m hauling, typically with plenty of capacity to spare. I tend to overfill my bags but have been breaking this habit with the Transporteur Bag.

    • Velo Orange Transporteur Bag, Road Runner Bags, Wald 137
    • Velo Orange Transporteur Bag, Road Runner Bags, Wald 137

    Maximizing the full useful space of the bag can be achieved with a standard Wald 137, but you can also overstuff or overpack it with it bumped out into the slightly larger Wald 139 basket. It also has webbing and straps to mount on a variety of setups on a standard Porteur rack, but shines in a wire basket. The bag is on the less structured scale of basket bags, but the Cordura material will hold up well over time for a decent amount of abuse, and the liner is easy to pop out and clean if needed.

    • Velo Orange Transporteur Bag, Road Runner Bags, Wald 137
    • Velo Orange Transporteur Bag, Road Runner Bags, Wald 137
    • Velo Orange Transporteur Bag, Road Runner Bags, Wald 137

    I didn’t dislike anything about the Transporteur’s design, but after considering the wide range of similar bags, I would appreciate a little more structure, support, or padding on the bottom end of the bag. This would allow for a little more security when tossing in more delicate items like a camera, without needing a separate camera bag. Given its sizable capacity, I tend to get by with it as my only bike bag, which has streamlined my commuting setup.

    • Price: $125
    • Place of Manufacture: Los Angeles, California
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • £165
    Wizard Works Alakazam

    Wizard Works Alakazam

    • Size(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 165-185 GBP
    • Made in: London, England
    • Model Tested: Wald 137

    Tested by Miles Arbour (@milesarbour)

    Loaded with witchcraft and wizardry, the Alakazam Basket Bag is handmade in London, UK by Wizard Works. The Alakazam comes in two sizes, designed to fit Wald 137 and 139 baskets, and is available in a wide assortment of made-to-order colour and fabric combinations. Although Wizard Works may have a reputation for bright colours, the Alakazam I tested was made with a much more classic pairing of rust cordura and olive X-10 X-Pac.

    • Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag Review
    • Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag Review

    The Alakazam uses a single large roll-top closure, with a massive expandable capacity from 9L to 36L for the smaller Wald 137 model. A large top flap keeps things in place via a secure velcro attachment, while two aluminum g-hook buckles attach the bag itself to the Wald basket. There’s a single zippered pocket on the top flap, as well as two sleeves on the back, facing the rider.

    • Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag Review
    • Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag Review
    • Wizard Works Alakazam Basket Bag Review

    The floating interior liner is brightly coloured, to avoid losing small items, and assists with the overall weatherproofness of the bag. High density foam on the base and sides of the bag helps protect its contents and keep its shape. Although the seams aren’t sealed in any way, the water-resistant fabrics, floating liner, and burly construction have done a great job at keeping out some pretty awful weather. Overall, I’ve been very impressed with the Alakazam and believe it provides a great look into the attention to detail and superb craftsmanship Wizard Works has to offer.

    • Price: £165
    • Place of Manufacture: London, England
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $79
    Acorn Bags Basket Bag

    Acorn Bags Basket Bag

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 79 USD
    • Made in: Gardena, California

    By far the most traditional of the basket bags listed here, Acorn Bike bags are made by a husband and wife team in Southern California. Their goal is to keep traditional bag making alive with materials like waxed canvas and leather. Their Basket Bag is designed to fit the Wald 137, and it features a roll-top + velcro closure, a small inside pocket, leather handles, and leather loops that snap onto the basket.

    • Acorn Bags Basket Bag
    • Acorn Bags Basket Bag
    • Acorn Bags Basket Bag
    • Price: $79
    • Place of Manufacture: Gardena, California
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $100
    Dark Realm Wald Basket Bag

    Dark Realm Wald Basket Bag

    • Size(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 100-170 USD
    • Made in: Austin, Texas

    Dark Realm’s Austin-made Basket Bag comes in a variety of unique colors at different price points, from classic coyote, to hand-dyed X-Pac, to drip camo. They offer both Wald 137 and 139 sizes, both of which feature high-density closed-cell foam in the areas that come into contact with the basket, adjustable buckles to secure to racks or baskets, a roll-top closure, and hidden internal handles that turn the bag into a tote when used off the bike.

    • Dark Realm Wald Basket Bag
    • Dark Realm Wald Basket Bag
    • Dark Realm Wald Basket Bag
    • Price: $100
    • Place of Manufacture: Austin, Texas
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • €180
    Dyed in the Wool Basket Bag

    Dyed in the Wool Basket Bag

    • Size(s): Wald 137 / 139
    • Price(s): 180-250 EUR
    • Made in: Munich, Germany

    Munch-based Dyed in the Wool is a relatively new addition to the handmade bag scene, and their Basket Bag looks to be quite impressive. A few unique features make it worth a second look, including the interesting zippered upper flap, mesh pockets around the lower portion, and bold colors. They make versions for the Wald 137 and Wald 139 basket and offer them in Cordura, X-Pac, and Dyneema.

    • Dyed in the Wool Basket Bag
    • Dyed in the Wool Basket Bag
    • Dyed in the Wool Basket Bag
    • Price: €180
    • Place of Manufacture: Munich, Germany
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $249AUD
    Framework Designs Haul All

    Framework Designs Haul All

    • Size(s): Wald 139
    • Price(s): 249 AUD
    • Made in: Melbourne, Australia

    Framework Designs is a one-woman company based in Melbourne, Australia, and the Haul All is her Wald 139-specific bag. It features a durable canvas exterior, a foam padded bottom, several internal and exterior pockets, an adjustable carrying strap, and unique metal hardware.

    • Framework Designs Haul All
    • Framework Designs Haul All
    • Framework Designs Haul All
    • Price: $249AUD
    • Place of Manufacture: Melbourne, Australia
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $220AUD
    Framework Designs Sight Seeker

    Framework Designs Sight Seeker

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 220 AUD
    • Made in: Melbourne, Australia

    Framework Designs is a one-woman company based in Melbourne, Australia, and the Sight Seeker is her Wald 137-specific bag. It features a durable canvas exterior, a foam padded bottom, several internal and exterior pockets, an adjustable carrying strap, and unique metal hardware.

    • Framework Designs Sight Seeker
    • Framework Designs Sight Seeker
    • Framework Designs Sight Seeker
    • Price: $220AUD
    • Place of Manufacture: Melbourne, Australia
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $175
    Makeshifter Basket Case

    Makeshifter Basket Case

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 175-190 USD
    • Made in: Portland, Oregon

    Makeshifter Canvas Works is a one-woman canvas bag company based in Portland, Oregon, known for beautiful and colorful bags built from canvas and wool. The Basket Case is designed to fit the Wald 137 basket and is available in three different color combinations. It features a double-slide zipper, two outer pockets, three inner pockets, and a bright internal liner. An optional cross-body strap connects to the bag for easy carrying when off the bike.

    • Makeshifter Basket Case, Makeshifter Canvas Works
    • Makeshifter Basket Case, Makeshifter Canvas Works
    • Makeshifter Basket Case, Makeshifter Canvas Works
    • Price: $175
    • Place of Manufacture: Portland, Oregon
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $129
    R.E.Load Deluxe Waldo

    R.E.Load Deluxe Waldo

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 129-164 USD
    • Made in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Made in Philadelphia, R.E.Load’s Deluxe Waldo is designed to fit in the Wald 137. The fabric, trim, and thread colors are all fully customizable. The Deluxe Waldo’s design features three inner pockets, a brightly colored interior lining, tote handles, a detachable shoulder strap, and a roll-top closure with a metal strap for added security.

    • R.E.LOAD Deluxe Waldo Basket Bag
    • R.E.LOAD Deluxe Waldo Basket Bag
    • R.E.LOAD Deluxe Waldo Basket Bag
    • Price: $129
    • Place of Manufacture: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $175
    Tunitas Carryall Basket Pack

    Tunitas Carryall Basket Pack

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 175 USD
    • Made in: San Francisco, California

    San Francisco-based Tunitas Carryall’s Basket Pack is the only basket bag in this list that doubles as a backpack. Made to fit the Wald 137 basket, it features a padded back and bottom, front zippered pocket, backpack straps that stow into rear pockets when not in use, a roll-top closure, and D-rings / daisy chains for attaching additional items to the outside of the pack. It’s available in four different colorways.

    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Pack
    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Pack
    • Tunitas Carryall Basket Pack
    • Price: $175
    • Place of Manufacture: San Francisco, California
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • $150
    Yellow Bird Thread Works OneThreeSeven

    Yellow Bird Thread Works OneThreeSeven

    • Size(s): Wald 137
    • Price(s): 150 USD
    • Made in: Chester, Connecticut

    The OneThreeSeven is Connecticut-based Yellow Bird Thread Works’ bag designed to fit the, you guessed it, Wald 137 basket. The lower is constructed from a combination of Cordura and X-Pac that features foam insulation between the inner and outer layers. The X-Pac upper has a roll-top closure with a daisy chain for secure closure. A bright interior lining adds visibility inside, and four points of attachment connect it firmly to the basket with durable, high-quality metal clips.

    • Yellow Bird Thread Works OneThreeSeven
    • Yellow Bird Thread Works OneThreeSeven
    • Yellow Bird Thread Works OneThreeSeven
    • Price: $150
    • Place of Manufacture: Chester, Connecticut
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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Choosing a Rack

There are a lot of excellent front racks on the market, from ultra minimal to overly burly, and the ideal rack for your basketpacking setup will depend on a number of factors, including the mounting points on your fork and how much weight you plan to haul. It doesn’t take much to support the weight of an unladen basket itself, but we recommend a rack with a generous weight limit that comfortably exceeds the combined weight of your basket, bag, and its contents. We should also point out that an overloaded basket will significantly detract from your bike’s handling. Note that carbon forks aren’t built to support the weight of a basketpacking setup, and we don’t advise using them for this purpose. 

A few particular racks we’ve had good luck with are the Surly 8-Pack Rack (30 lb capacity), Tumbleweed T Rack (20 lbs), Velo Orange Flat Pack Rack (17 lb capacity), and Velo Orange Randonneur Front Rack (12 lb capacity).

Installing Your Basket

Depending on how frequently you plan to take your basket on and off, there are several handy ways of attaching it to your rack. Most common are zip ties, Voile straps, and cam straps. Using zip ties is the cheapest option, and also the most secure. 

For a more permanent installation, we recommend using criss-crossing zip ties in the four corners of the rack, plus at least a few other spots where the rack and basket come into contact. Once installed, make sure the basket is firmly attached and there isn’t any play. Be sure to check in on your zip ties from time to time, as they’ll degrade over time in the elements and will need to be replaced. 

If you plan to remove the basket regularly or need easy access to your rack, Voile straps and nylon or leather cam straps (toe straps) can also be used to make a secure connection between the rack and basket. Make sure the straps are nice and snug before loading up your basket.

What’d we miss? If you know of a handmade basket bag that’s designed to fit the Wald 137 or 139 that should be on this list, please let us know in the comments below!