By definition a buddy can be counted on to be there for you when the going gets rough. In this case the “going” pertains to the road. Where the road ends is where the Seagull Bags Trail Buddy’s journey begins. Where the fanny pack ended its reign the hip bag introduced a more fashion forward solution for trail goers. Fast forward many years and now cyclists have found unsurpassed comfort and convenience in slimmed down waist packs that carry only the essentials. With a reputation for superb build quality and made in the USA stamp of approval we set out with the Trail Buddy to enjoy some backpack free riding time. To learn more about Seagull Bags please read our recent review on their Nightshift V2 Pack.
The entire Trail Buddy concept aims at simplifying your ride whether it’s a road commute or trail ride. When we first laid eyes on this helpful little pack we understood exactly how it worked and what its strengths were. This is an important hurtle for many pack designers to overcome. There are so many options out there and in order to get packs on backs or waists in this situation, you have to align on the lines of simplicity.
The Trail Buddy isn’t sophisticated nor is it technical and I believe that we truly enjoy it for that reason. Instead, it’s tough, user friendly and manufactured in the good ole US of A. What this piece of gear lacks in technical branding is makes up for in rugged looks and off road toughness. Made from 1000d Cordura, this pack features enhances tear and abrasion resistance which is nothing short of vital for trail use.
Benefits of Cordura
•Stylish durability and exceptional strength-to-weight ratio
•Resistant to tears, scuffs and abrasions
•Designed for living, built to last
•Brings with it the heritage of the CORDURA® brand which has proven performance in many of the world’s toughest environments
•Original classic CORDURA® fabric look
•Over forty five years of trusted rugged performance
•CORDURA® Classic fabrics made with solution dyed yarns are inherently stain resistant and easy to clean
•Air jet textured for high abrasion resistance
The durability of this waist pack allows you to store items such as a phone, wallet or really anything that will fit into it without much concern. It proved to be abrasion resistant enough to project our phones from tree branches and flying debris as well as secure enough to not unzip at all after what seems like 30 straight minutes of a bone shattering rock garden. The water resistant zippers pair very well with the tough fabric and large waist band as it provides confidence in your gear. Unpredictable events happen on the trail whether you are on the bike or not and we felt prepared for what could be thrown our way.
Aside from construction the Trail Buddy also fits incredibly well for its simplicity. It doesn’t have any space foam or gel injections and yet it still gets the job done. The team at Seagull Bags has their cut and sew process dialed as the pack contoured to our riders waist with only adjusting the strap size.
Pack Size: 5.5 h x 11.75 w x 2.75d
With plenty of strap available to adjust we don’t see body size as being much of a deterrent either. Since the pack sits just above the hips and secures itself on the sides of the waist through tension we were amazed with how comfortable it was during the rides. I even used it on multiple gravel rides which require a more aggressive riding position and still felt unrestricted. If you enjoy leaving the saddle for uphill battles then you will find relief in ditching your traditional pack. We never liked climbing with a monkey on our back anyways.
With our approval on the durability and fit we were left to dissect the user friendliness of the packs design. Both the main top and front zipper are slightly oversized for easy accessibility. While finishing a climb we were still able to open them with one hand and reach for our camera for it was prime Instagram posting time. Similar to their travel bags, this unit has plenty of webbing loops to strap on other accessories that you may need as well as velcro straps which serve as handlebar mounts (very useful feature). Lastly, the cinch straps functioned flawlessly when we loaded all of our accessories into the pack and tensioned the unit closer to the waist to prevent bobbing during each pedal stroke.
With Seagull Bags, we have found that you honestly do get what you pay for. From versatile designs that break through the confinement of specific activities to user friendly features that make for easy operation. With all of this trail loving talk maybe hikers and bikers can finally find some happy ground to stand on…..together.