Kit Review – Podsac Fork-mounted drybags

Good reputation

Podsac has built a well-deserved reputation for great kit. Indeed, while cycling the Grand Union Canal, my mate Dom found that Podsacks are so waterproof that they made his bicycle float! As a result, I didn’t have any reservations when I ordered these from Planet-X. For clarity, I bought these at full price, and received nothing from Planet-X to do this review, other than the products I bought from them.

Back when I first started experimenting with mid-winter camping, I very quickly found that my two panniers didn’t have sufficient capacity to allow me to carry everything I needed to stay warm overnight. The plan was all along to be able to go cycle camping on Dartmoor, when the moor is covered in snow. In conditions like that, keeping warm becomes critically important, and so I simply had to expand the luggage-carrying capability of my bike. Do note that the photos used in this post are from the Planet-X site. Later, I’ll post some pics of the Podsacs on my bike.

Carbon forks

The trouble is that my bike, a Genesis CdA, has carbon forks, so a conventional front rack, with front panniers isn’t an option. The Podsac Fork Dry Bags that I bought come with fibreglass-reinforced cages (shown in the photo), which are meant to be fitted to the forks. The bags come with various fixing options: jubilee clips, as well as zip ties. Initially, I fitted them using just the zip-ties, but the mudguard stays interfered, and cause the cages to sit too high. That, in turn, caused my knees to just catch the Podsacs, something which would rapidly become annoying. I’ve since replaces the bolts used to secure the mudguard stays with longer ones, which also secure the bottom of each cage. This means the Podsacs, even when full, don’t touch my knees at all, despite having opted for the larger, 5.5 litre bags.

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Podsac frameWeight

The Podsacs are rated to carry a maximum of 3 kg each, and they have a total capacity of 5.5 litres each. There is a smaller size available, but I opted for the larger size, as I was planning on fitting my Vango self-inflating sleeping mat inside one, and it fits the larger size perfectly. The other one is stuffed full with a fleece blanket, which acts as sleeping bag inner, to help me stay warm on freezing cold nights. Given what I carry in the Podsacs, I’m nowhere near their rated weight limit. The frames weigh around 180g each, and each Podsac weighs 200g, so combined, that’s the best part of an extra kilogram on the bike, even when empty.

Waterproof

You would expect drybags to be waterproof, and these certainly are. In fact, I tested it by filling them with water and effectively using them as buckets. Doing that places far more strain on the Podsacs that falling rain ever would, and they didn’t leak at all. Remember, my plan is to carry things I need for sleeping in these, so keeping the contents dry is extremely important. The Podsacs close simply by rolling the top, and click the study plastic closure clips together.

Verdict

I’m really pleased with these Podsacs, and the cages are now a permanent addition to my bike, even when I’m not using the Podsacs. They give me exactly what I needed: additional luggage capacity on my bike. If you are after more capacity, and like me, can’t fit a normal front pannier rack, then these are exactly what you’re looking for! I will do another review of these, after having used them for around a year.
If you end up buying a pair, based on this review, if you don’t mind, please tell Planet-X that it’s because I recommended these?

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