What do you consider a security blanket while you are in the backcountry on a bikepacking trip? Extra food or layers, a shelter, your repair kit, or maybe your phone? I consider all of of those a security blanket, but maybe the most important one, yet one I hardly ever touch is my SPOT Gen 3. Whether I’m racing or just on an overnighter. I like to have my Gen 3 by my side for those moments you just don’t plan on having.
Ever since I have had my hands on the SPOT Gen 3, I have continued to connect it to my saddle bag with a piece of one wrap velcro. I had good luck with it there, and because of the two loops on each end of the device, I was pretty comfortable keeping it exposed on the outside of the bag. Better yet, the location proved to be great for satellite signal.
Long story short, I stopped using a saddle bag that worked perfectly with my SPOT one wrap system. One afternoon on the Arizona Trail last month, I lost my SPOT outside of Mormon Lake. I was tinkering with it as it felt loose just north of the Allen Lake Landing. Soon after, I must have knocked it and it fell to the ground. After backtracking for 20 minutes, I had no idea where to look. I even looked on my phone to see if I could located it on Trackleaders.com, but to no avail. Scott Morris, co-owner of Tracklears.com was in the right place at the right time and was kind enough to loan me “West,” a replacement Gen 3.
After Andrew Wratcher, owner of Bedrock Bags and Packs, heard about my dilemma, and I’m sure a handful of others, he got working on a pretty cool project. It’s simply called the ‘SPOT Harness,’ and it ensures that you don’t lose your device. Maybe more importantly, it will allow you to forget about it, which for me will ensure that I don’t reach back to my saddle bag and feel for my spot every 10 minutes or so. Great!
Here’s how it works…
For starters, the system is not intuitive at first, but after you install it once you will know what to do. You will need to start off by installing the one wrap strap loops with the extra webbing exposed, not actually in the loop. Do so on both sides, and get the main body of the harness ready.
Ensuring that the harness is centered and the overlap strap will cover the one wrap straps fully, snuggly tighten down the one wrap straps to the harness, and place the overlap strap over the one wrap straps. Now the SPOT and the harness are one. You really never need to remove it from this position unless you need to replace the batteries, which tends to be a long time with the Spot Gen 3 (see our review).
From here you can decided where to put it on your bike or pack. If you use your bike, find a spot not occupied by a bikepacking bag. To install, start by wrapping the side without “Bedrock Bags” to the frame. That side comes with a sticky membrane material to prevent any movement of the harness when installation is complete. Then wrap the other strap around connecting it
After the main part of the harness is connected, a short piece of thin velcro will then wrap to lock down to the main part of the harness, followed by the longer velcro strap on the opposite side to complete the snug installation.
As far as placement is concerned, I was surprised at how well the device worked in a somewhat obstructed area under my saddle. As you can see in the screenshot below, the spot never veered off my track even when traveling through thick tree canopies and next to steep rock outcroppings. This surprised me a bit, yet has proved that SPOT also has come a long way with upgrading their satellite services. The Bedrock SPOT harness gives you a number of different mounting points as well as the ability to think outside of the box by mounting it on your backpack or other unique areas.
The Bedrock SPOT Harness comes in at a lightweight 17 grams, not including the SPOT device itself. It also fits a number of different shapes and sizes. It worked great on a circular titanium tube on the Chumba Stella, as well as on a flat top tube like the Salsa Spearfish. Do note, once the tubing gets a bit large, the lock down cinch strap may not work, but we can’t see that being a problem as the harness is already secured in two spots.
A lot of times DIY systems will work for years like my one wrap strap did, but just like that, it will fail you. We know there are plenty of ways to carry a SPOT device, but I’m happy to have found this creative way so soon after I lost my $170 device. The Bedrock SPOT Harness will run you $25. If you purchase today it will be at your door in 2-4 business days, just in time for your flight up to Calgary, or any adventure you have in store for this summer.