It’s not unusual for me to find myself riding through some of Devon’s most remote lanes. With mud flirting with completely caking my hubs and corners as brutal and unexpected as the results of wiping out on one, there is little margin for your camera gear to be unbalancing you.
When going on photo adventures in the often-flooded and muddy lanes, I used to find myself stuffing my DSLR into a Camelback whilst keeping my fingers crossed that nothing would go wrong. Of course, this meant going through the streams slowly and around corners carefully. It wasn’t particularly fun, and not what anything with ‘adventure’ in the name should be.
Since getting the BX2 Convertible Shoulder Bag, these mornings have been improved immeasurably. Finally I can focus on riding the beautiful countryside, technical descents and generally having a smashing time without any of the worry of before.
The ReviewRight up from the materials used, it would seem that the BX2 range is perhaps the perfect solution for transporting expensive and often fragile items on your bike – especially when you factor in vibrations from the road, lane or single track. So what’s so cool about this special material they use? Well, it is called BX2 Xtreme Foam. Translated from marketing speak, it is shock absorbing, energy dissipating super foam.
I wasn’t so sure about these claims – so to test I put some eggs into sandwich bags, tied them off and secured them inside, expecting to be able to sieve the contents of the bags and make an omelette afterwords. From here, I abused it. Jumping up and down, bumping against walls, I even dropped it from a second storey window. After all of this abuse, there wasn’t a crack on the eggs to be seen. I ended up having to crack them myself to make lunch.
Even when the rain starts pouring (Britain, aye?), the BX2 has your gear covered. Even without the included waterproof cover, the bag is quite water resistant with sealed zips and a repellant finish on the fabric. The anti-abrasion waterproof bottom also gives peace of mind when putting it down on a muddy or wet surface. Likewise, it is also nice to be able to get the bottom of it a bit wet from wheel spray without worry.
So why does it have the word ‘convertible’ in the name? Because it converts! It goes from being a casual shoulder bag into the ultimate bum bag in 10 seconds flat – combine both modes for a secure connection between the bag and you that you feel like you can rely on. It works by having two zips on both corners of its back, in and out of which tuck a couple of flaps. Flaps with straps and buckles. They are surprisingly comfortable, and adjust from ‘endurance rider’ to ‘never ridden a bike’ sizes with little hassle.
The storage that BX2 Convertible Shoulder Bag offers is fantastically varied and feels secure. The foam inserts on the inside are shipped in an arrangement that I have kept, although they are completely user-configurable because of their velcro securing system. Four lenses, a 60D or 550D and on-camera flash all fit comfortably – and that is just on the inside. One internal pocket built into the lid and 3 external pockets provide many possibilities for storage, from extra SD cards to a CO2 pump and beyond.
For the often dark, dirty and windy situations you will get into if you are using this in the wild, the built in LED light and easy-access waterproof zipper across the top are great. The top zipper does only provide a limited range of movement inside the bag, so is only really useful for removing or replacing a lens or flash – however it is still a welcome feature that I have come to use enough to justify it being there. The LED is as handy as it is bright – very.
All of these features are packed into quite a dapper bag, that only slightly resembles a rhino. But the problem I have with it is that is looks like a camera bag. I know, I know, but hear me out. If someone sees you walking about with a handbag or messenger bag, you probably just have a few cards and a bit of cash with you. A camera bag on the other hand probably contains some pretty pricey kit inside, making it is more likely to be targeted by thieving criminals. The risks are negligible, especially when riding a bike – but still worth noting.
Measuring in at 12.5″W x 10″H x 7″D, it isn’t something that I have ever taken with me ‘just because’, nor is it something that I would like to take with me everywhere. However, I do use it more than once a week and a lot of the upcoming articles have been made easier to photograph because of it – so I owe it a lot.
The Bottom LineFor £85 you can have a useful, feature-rich bag complete with a 100% lifetime guarantee, all without having to sell your bike to afford it. Additionally, Brenthaven are committed to achieving zero impact on the equipment. Have a gander at their Zero Impact scheme here.
I’ve had many happy hours riding on and off-road whilst sporting the BX2 Convertible Shoulder bag, and look forward to many more. The BX2 Convertible Shoulder Bag can be purchased on their website over here.