I have accumulated quite a few different bikepacks over the past year. As I prepare to ready myself for the upcoming season, I have decisions to make. Luckily they are not too difficult. Last April I met Dave Wilson during the Arizona Trail Race. You can’t miss ‘Big Dave’ as he is probably somewhere around 6’2”. It was the third day of the race, and suddenly I was woken by a singlespeeder zipping by. I recall him saying something like, “woah, didnt know the college frat was on trial.” I was bivvied up with two other younger looking guys. Dave has a sense of humor, and is tall. Did I mention that?

Eventually, I ran back into Dave in Oracle, AZ, and then again on the trail. We chatted a bit about bike bags, and he told me he made them. I was intrigued as I know it is not an easy trade and I had only heard of a handful of companies in the bikepack industry. To pass the time on the trail, I asked him more about his products and his business, Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks.  Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks (or “The Nuke”) specializes in custom frame bags, saddle bags, handlebar slings, and other accessories.

Later that summer I ordered a saddlebag from Dave for the Colorado Trail Race. At the time, I was using a Vichia from Revelate Design, but it was too big for my needs. Dave spends summers bouncing around the west, usually spending a lot of time in Crested Butte. We met up in early July, the bag was everything I expected.

The Look:

Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks has two different styles of seat bags, the larger, Fat Man and the smaller, Little Boy. I chose the Little Boy in a custom bright neon green body. At first look, the green and black color scheme is very slick. Looking even closer, all of the stitching looks professional and the neon green stitching on black really makes for a nice accent.

Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks

Durability and Function:

The Little Boy does not skip in areas of wear and tear. Bike bags take a lot of abuse, and I tend to over stuff them too. The bottom tip of the bag, closest to the seat post is very tough. The fabric where the bag actually sits on the seat post has a special grip material. The inside of the velcro strap has the same material, ensuring a no slide, snug fit. The strap will adapt to any size seat post.  The nose is made of ballistic nylon making it stiff and durable. This also plays a big factor in keeping the shape of the bag while packing.

Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks

The straps that connect over your saddle bars are very maneuverable making them very easy to work with. The straps are adjustable but must be adjusted when off your saddle.  The system fits the saddle very well if adjusted properly, preventing wobble and helping distribute weight. The majority of the body is made of X-pac; an ultra light laminate fabric made up of ripstop nylon, polyester, and a UV resistant adhesive. Dave works with different types of X-pac throughout the bag.


Inside the pack there is a cinch down strap to ensure that any items do not shift inside the bag. The Little Boy comes with a dry sack style closure system, with two thick straps sewn into the end of the X-pac. The final touch of this bag is the spot mesh pouch…now there is a great place to store your Spot device.

Nucular Sunrise Stitchworks Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks

Final Thoughts:

Dave has clearly been around the block. The Little Boy is durable, lightweight, and has a clean design. One thing that has changed on this bag is the seat strap. The strap is now more customizable with a three loop system, and can now be adjusted while the bag is installed. Keep in mind you need 7 inches between the seat rails and the tire. The Little Boy is a prefect bag for shorter bikepacking trips or races such as the Arizona Trail Race.


Currently the Little Boy can be assembled and shipped within a week. MSRP: $145

Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks

Newest Little Boy bag design.

Check out the Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks stockpile HERE.

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