It’s not every day you end up on the doorstep of one of the earliest established bikepacking bag manufacturers. With so many bag makers in the industry, it would be a feat to visit them all personally. This past Sunday we were able to check out Bolder Bikepacking Gear in Boulder, Colorado. A small but powerful operation called Bolder Bikepacking Gear, run by Greg Wheelwrright, has been around since it’s inception in the fall of 2010. His personal projects became public when Greg posted a photo of his saddle bag on Bikepacking.net. His creation sparked a lot of interest, with individuals curious about fabrics and design, and the next thing he knew inquiries began coming in. Steve said when he established back in 2010, “companies such as Porcelain Rocket and Cleavland Mountaineering were also making their start.” Greg’s interest in crafting and sewing began like most bag makers, in a DIY fashion. He modified his own camping gear by hand for years. In the 90’s he was involved in Polaris bike orienteering events. These events involved following a route and hitting certain checkpoints by cut off times, and extended time the backcountry. These compass and paper races began intriguing his interest, and he started to make his own bivvys and sleeping quilts from scratch. When he put his mind toward creating a bike cargo solution, he bought an old sewing machine and taught himself how to stitch. Greg has resided in Boulder for a couple of decades after moving out west from upstate New Hampshire. He had traveled for business in Colorado and quickly became hooked on the lifestyle. He lives in the perfect place for being able to test his products in the Rocky Mountains – and often times spends his weekends out in the foothills and off the grid. Greg predominately uses xpac for his bags, but he will customize his orders with whatever fabrics that the client wants. He uses quality #10 YKK zippers for his products, and offers free zipper replacement for 2 years. All of the products we have seen from Bolder Bikepacking Gear have been widely proven in endurance racing and recreational bikepacking by riders such as Tanner Morgan and Justin Simoni.   Greg takes pride in his attention to detail, and you can see that by looking at his products. Things such as a wire port to accommodate a dynamo system or batteries in his top tube bag, or reflective patches on the back of his saddle bags are a couple of examples that show Greg’s attention to detail. He also implements daisy chains into most bag designs to use when connecting accessory bags, safety lights, or anything else you may think of. He has the user experience in mind with each design he creates. Bolder Bikepacking Gear provides extra thick HDPE within the nose of the saddle bags for added stiffness and strength. He also designed his harness bag with three straps that wrap around the dry bag with the intention of leaving you with options if one strap or buckle happens to break in the backcountry. These are just a few features that he offers in his bikepacking bags. While he loves making stock items, his passion is in the crafting and creativity behind custom frame bags. He loves the challenge with creating frame bags for full suspension bikes, optimizing space and improving connection points. It is important to note that bike bags aren’t all that Greg does. He has created various sleeping and clothing solutions for himself over the years – including a 3.5 lbs sleep system which includes a bivvy, tarp, sleeping bag and pad. His handiwork from 5 years ago has lived on today, and the quality of his stitching has only improved. He still uses a down quilt that he hand made five years ago on the regular, with only a few cosmetic marks. Our favorite was his hand crafted bivvy, which is designed with an integrated mosquito netting that has two options. It can either be a regular bivvy with fabric that comes up to your chin while the mosquito netting is rolled down – or if the netting is extended, it is cleverly designed with a string so that it can tie up to your bike to provide loft, so the netting doesn’t lay directly on your face. boulder bikepacking gearWhile Greg doesn’t typically produce these items for outside clients, he is toying with the idea of creating an inventory of his hand made tarp tents to sell along with his bike bags. These lightweight tarps are designed to create a lean-to shelter in the backcountry with the use of your bike upside down as a shelter wall. boulder bikepacking gearIt was an overall pleasure to meet with Greg of Bolder Bikepacking Gear, check out his operation, and meet his adorable and friendly jack russel terrior, Mugsy. Check out the Bolder Bikepacking Gear site to see more of his creations.

2 Comments

  1. How does Mugsy mange to keep up? My Jack (Beanie Bobs) loves rooting in the hedges to be bothered in keeping up with me. I had to wait or go back for her all of time. She no longer enjoys the thrills of being a trail dog.

  2. Greg made a custom frame bag for my Specialized Epic. Design, construction, durability and utility are excellent! I would highly recommend Greg.

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