An Ode to the Mosh Pit and the Front Roll

I'm about 18 days into the trip at this point, and I've found two pieces of Blackburn gear in particular to be super rugged and helpful. 

Blackburn OUTPOST Top Tube Bag

Ranger edition Blackburn top tube bag

Ranger edition Blackburn top tube bag

The Blackburn top tube bag, which I have fondly nick-named "the mosh pit".  It got its name from its ability to hold many different things in a tight space all in a "front and center" location, which was born from a word-smithing session on a particularly long mountain pass in Montana.

Top mesh fits an iPhone5 perfectly 

Top mesh fits an iPhone5 perfectly 

It stays put on the top tube, conveniently holds my iPhone5 in the mesh netting on top (although it might not fit a Samsung Galaxy or iPhone6), holds various snacks, sunglasses, cords, and other miscellaneous items inside.  It is fairly water resistant, which means that it's dry inside during a rain shower, and damp after a night of being left out in a deluge.  It also has two tiny side pockets, which are convenient for similar tiny things.

Inside: sunglasses, pen, cycling gloves, snacks (not pictured) 

Inside: sunglasses, pen, cycling gloves, snacks (not pictured) 

Right now, it holds my Phone in the mesh netting when it's not raining, the Sinewave Cycles Revolution (rectifier for my generator hub) in the tiny zipped pocket, my lip balm and spare change in the other non-zipped tiny pocket, my glasses or sunglasses, a pen, the charger cord for my iPhone and bluetooth Omaker Speaker, and a revolving assortment of other things such as Giro cycling gloves, snacks, and compass.

Blackburn OUTPOST Front Roll

The other piece of bikepacking gear that has been really awesome is the Blackburn Outpost Front Roll.  The front roll dry bag holds my 20 degree sleeping bag (not a small item), my Klymit X-frame sleeping pad (packs a little bigger than a soda can), inflatable pillow, Platypus filter, bike repair kit, and packable day-bag.  It's stuffed to the gills for sure, but it holds firm on the wild, rocky descents omnipresent here on the Divide route.

Front roll CHILLIN near the first water feature in Wyoming.  

Front roll CHILLIN near the first water feature in Wyoming.  

The front roll itself also is a good place to store my rain jacket, the bear spray, LUNA sandals and the ACA map.  With the compression strap that hooks around your stem, the roll holds firmly in place while also allowing you to strap on other gear.

Both of these items I am using are the next generation prototypes of the OUTPOST bags.  You can't buy them just yet, but check back here on Blackburn's website for when they are available.