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    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2014 edited
     
    So I am not one to review products online because: (i) I am not a good judge of a products quality unless some exaggerated measure of performance is involved, and (ii) since I am only a recreational cyclist by definition, I do not feel it is my right to review products (especially expensive ones) when I am certainly not in a position to use them to their full, advertised potential. That being said, things like backpacks and saddles are a little more universal and easier to review objectively, and I feel like my review could benefit people on here who share a lot of the same characteristics (which is why I will soon be doing a review for the brooks cambium c17, but right now my replacement saddle is on the way from bikesomewhere because of a "defect"...).

    As with most people, I have never had an issue with stuffing folded dress pants and dress shirts in a backpack (protected by a shopping bag in the event of rain). Messenger bags always seemed uncomfortable and useless despite their popularity, and I never had any complaints even about bulky backpacks because my commute was fairly short. Now that I live 9 miles from work, and I work at [multilateral bla bla bla institution] I figured I needed a backpack makeover. This is when I met the henty wingman. The businessman's solution to looking like you dont give a crap how you look at work. Henty first came out with the messenger version, then recently came out with the backpack version. This is a review of the backpack version (http://henty.cc/shop/wingman-backpack/). I have been using this backpack exclusively for 3 months, so have a pretty good idea of what this is and what it is not. I will start with the good, then the bad, then the ugly.

    Pros:
    (1) Practical. The "packing" design is pretty much the same as what you would find in a "structured" traveler's suit/garment bag. The website says it will comfortably fit a suit and dress shirt or three dress shirts, though I have never put a suit in there and when I have put a rain jacket, dress pants, and dress shirt, I do not feel like I am pushing it. The clothes hang from a hanger as the video on the website demonstrates, and you put things like underwear, undershirts, shoes, food, etc in the cylindrical gym bag. To me the combination of these two things is perfect. I leave my work shoes at my desk, and typically put sandals for the locker room, undershirt, boxers, a medium tupperware of food, socks, and a few other small items in the bag and have never had a problem with everything fitting. I have actually been able to fit my mountain bike shoes, sandals, a couple of t shirts and a tupperware without problems. The front of the bag has a large long pocket where I put a small notebook, external hard drive, wallet, phone, and a few other small things. This space is not really big enough for a normal sized notebook or laptop. The back has a meshed pocket which is cushioned and meant for a laptop, though I never use this for more than folders with papers, and will explain why in the cons.

    (2) Not too expensive. I got mine for 200 on Amazon through bikesomewhere or some place like that. Compared to other "commuter cyclist bags", this is actually a pretty fair price

    (3) Durable. The material is a thicker canvas, and while I don't believe is water resistant, the bag comes with a waterproof cover which so far has worked 100%. The outer zipper is strong, though the inner zipper where the hanging clothes go seems flimsy and I imagine at some point I will break this. I have been extra careful though maybe I am just being paranoid or it is because the zipper itself is on a very thin nylon material.

    (4) Design: As a package, the bag is mostly efficient. Some (including myself) would complain about the fact that you have to unroll the bag completely (which is held together by velcro and two large straps+clips) to get to the gym bag, but this is why things you would need during your commute (wrench, small pump, lights, etc) fit in the front pocket, which is mostly easy to get to. In terms of the area where you hang the clothes, the back is supported by 3 of 4 flat plastic rods which are meant to keep clothes from wrinkling. It does a good enough job. If you are riding to work everyday you are probably not one to care about a few wrinkles. So let's just say this bag is probably the best at keeping your dress clothes in good presentable form if you ride a bike to work. The bottom of the bag also has a hidden pocket on the mesh where they store the rain cover upon shipment. Not sure what could comfortably go here, but probably a few bike tools. Or a dime bag.
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2014
     
    Cons:

    (1) Design. The bag is bulky. It is bulky and long (I am 5'11 and 165, and seeing myself in the mirror the bag doesnt actually look big, but for someone short it may be a little ridiculous). The cylindrical shape needed to secure your formal attire is both a blessing and a curse. It keeps your clothes in a relatively unharmed position but even with backpack straps, a chest strap, and a waist strap, the bag still shifts quite a bit, and if you tighten these all down too much, the top of the bag is up against the back of your helmet and you cannot ride in the drops or look over your shoulder. In terms of shape, the length of this bag couldnt be shortened anyway because then clothes wouldnt fit flat width-wise anyway. So there is really no way to complain about the length of the bag because it is needed for the bags functionality.

    (2) Comfort. The bag isnt uncomfortable, but it is not comfortable either. I am typically not complaining on my way to work in the morning (in the aggregate, it is downhill), but on the way back I get miserable after mile 7. I have developed back and neck pain because of co-sleeping with the baby (on and off, if the pediatrician asks), so I am not sure how much of my discomfort is due to the bag or exacerbated by the bag. But the point is, this bag is not meant for long distances.To be fair, if the bag is strapped down moderately it IS comfortable in the hoods or in the drops for the first 5 miles. I would not ride this on a bike with a lot of saddle to bar drop though. Just strapping my shoes throws the bag over my head uncontrollably, so heads up (pun intended). As it relates to the back mesh pocket meant for laptops and things like that, I have never put a laptop, but just putting a laptop's worth in weight and width of academic papers made the bag much less comfortable. The shape of the backrest part of the bag already feels a little less comfortable than a normal backpack because it is narrower and curved outward, so adding more bulk to that space makes things really uncomfortable. Yes it is cushioned to protect a computer and supposedly so you dont feel the plastic, but I am sure you would.

    The Ugly: So I lied, there really is nothing terrible about this bag. But I needed to complete the movie reference.

    All in all, I WOULD recommend this bag to someone who has to bring nice clothes to the office and wants to try something other than a traditional backpack or bucket style bag. The bag is extremely practical, though I am still skeptical to recommend it for rides of greater than 10 miles (each way). Any other questions, I am here for you kids. I might add something later if I remember any other aspects I left out.
  1.  
    Definitely a cool way to lug in dress clothes.
    • CommentAuthorjoaobola
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2014
     
    waiting on your cambium review! :)
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2014
     
    I knew my review was too long...
  2.  
    Haha. I use racks/bags/baskets and let the bike carry the weight so I'm out of my element.
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2014
     
    Posted By: vqstaphbeardHaha. I use racks/bags/baskets and let the bike carry the weight so I'm out of my element.


    I know that is the way to go for long distance, I just dont like the sluggish feel of the bike when there is a lot of weight attached to it, and since I commute through/with traffic, I like the feeling of a light, easily manuverable bike underneath me. Somebody get me a tourer!
  3.  
    I agree and commute with traffic also. I feel sluggish with weight on my back and don't like sweaty back either. Depending on setup, rack weight can still provide a nimble ride and your back will be happy :)
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2014
     
    I agree with what you are saying, having a heavy bag on your back takes a lot of energy away, I am sure more than the extra weight on the bike. Though I sweat regardless of whether I have a bag on or not...
  4.  
    I bought the Cambium C17 Carved through my shop, and I have to say, it may be the best out-of-the-box saddle I have tried. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Fi'zi:k Aliante fan, and I read somewhere the Cambium is very similar to the Aliante so I pulled the trigger. Out of the box, it felt great. Wider in the back than the Aliante, but a great shape for a non-race saddle. I can't get quite as low on it as I can the Fi'zi:k, but on any bike but my most aggressive saddle-to-bar drop track bike, this saddle is the bee's knees. Great fore-aft adjustability, and has enogh give to keep me comfy for those long rides with a front rack.
  5.  
    I keep hearing good things about them. I'm going to have to buy one. What color did you get?
  6.  
    The gray-ish. Slate? I can't remember what they call it. It's so comfy. SO COMFY.
  7.  
    I like both colors, I'd have a hard time deciding. You're not helping my wallet.
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2014
     
    Woa woa woa kids my review is only 3 days away!

    Fine, maybe I will just do it today. Steven stole my entire line of argument though
    • CommentAuthorjoaobola
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2014 edited
     
    yees i wanted to justify getting one cambium c17! seems like this is gonna be good!

    adding one small review about a "rain jacket" i got... on the "cheap" ,

    http://www.lyst.com/clothing/river-island-dark-grey-ri-cycle-hooded-jacket/

    waterproof alright, and zippers are protected against water, cant fit hood on top of helmet... light , and with nice rear pockets for water bottle or small stuff, reflective details also cool
    problem, and a BIG PROBLEM is the breathability... non existing :( sadly, just walking on a small inclined road you sweeeeet like hell is inside your jacket.... too bad... :( would not recomend.... no air vents at all...nothing :( you can become a walking sauna, maybe for jogging when you want to lose 5L of water ....
    review done :P
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2014
     
    So I just went ahead and changed this to the wingman+cambium review thread. Will review the saddle tonight!
  8.  
    Looking forward to it!

    joaobola, I will head your advice as I'm not looking to become a walking sauna!
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2014
     
    joaobola: I feel like this is unavoidable with waterproof jackets. I just got a marmot minimalist goretex jacket and this happens all the time, which i why i tend to wear a drifit long sleeve compression shirt underneath no matter that the temperature is like to avoid excessive sweating. I think this is the source of frustration for people who claim something is not waterproof (the moisture on the inside is sweat, not water). The marmot minimalist is amazing, by the way.
 
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