I have slowly been working towards getting the weight off of my back and onto my bike but it has taken some trial and error over the past few years. I have to thank the creative bikepacking bag manufactures for this. Never have I thought that a small bag would be so important, that is until I started bikepacking. Over the course of the last 8 months I have been using the SpoK Werks Cookie Jar, a bag that attaches in the stem handlebar junction on either side. I have put almost everything from snacks, including cheese burgers and subway sandwiches, water bottles, drinks, a camera and even trash in the Cookie Jar.
The Cookie Jar comes with a larger Velcro strap that is sewn in to the back of the bag and a smaller one that can be installed in the provided loops on each side, making for the best fit for your specific bike. While it seems the larger strap was meant to wrap around your bars I found myself wrapping the large strap around the stem and the smaller strap around the bars to make room for other straps or bags. A third attachment point is sewn into the bottom front portion of the bag and clips under your fork crown for maximum stability. The strap ends have side release buckle clips that allow you to lengthen or tighten your strap depending on the length you need.
The circular Cookie Jar Stem Bag is made up of a bright pink nylon interior to provide ease in finding belongings inside the bag and a multi-cam Cordura exterior with a form padding sewn in between. This padding prevents dinging up your bars and stem, it adds protection for interior contents and keeps contents warm especially if you add a hand warmer for the winter months. Attached to the top of the bag is a nylon gator. A bungee drawstring is installed along the top of the gator and when the bungee is pulled the gator acts as a cover to the Cookie Jar. The bungee drawstring locks and loosens with a bungee clamp.
I used to stay away from stem bags because I had no problem carrying my extras in my back jersey pockets. With the combination of wearing more relaxed tops and having larger items such as cameras it made sense to move that storage to a more stable position on my bike.
That’s where the SpoK Werks Cookie Jar comes into play, and it has had a number of different uses over the past 8 months. It started this winter when I would use it for my water bottle. The bag is insulated which helps when the mercury drops below freezing and plenty stable for even a 24 oz water bottle. If I was on a short day ride or on something longer like the Fat Pursuit, the stem bag would prove to be easy access to grab my water bottle when I needed a drink. It was much easier than reaching down to my frame and a great alternative if you have a frame bag.
In the spring the bag started to endure a bit more technical terrain, and started to be used for more than a water bottle holster. Between day rides on some Colorado singletrack, the White Rim the Stagecoach 400, the bag held the contents extremely well – even without cinching down the drawstring. When I was more concerned about losing items the drawstring worked perfectly with an easy one handed pull to make sure the gator tightened down.
The Cookie Jar was one of my most used bags on the Tour Divide ride this summer. It started by holding my extra snacks and bear spray, after the bear spray was the one item too awkward for the bag I had to rethink what to carry in the Cookie Jar. I decided the bag would hold my water bottle but I soon realized that I would need to carry my water bottle on my downtube in favor of extra food. The extra food included a foot long sub and snacks packed around the sandwhich at one time, two quarter pounder cheese burgers and a red bull at one time, and plenty of gas station sandwiches. The Cookie Jar fit all my large meals, whether I needed to smash them or not. After I had eaten the food in the Cookie Jar, it then would double as a trash can. After tightening down the drawstring a bit, I would stuff my wrappers and crushed soda/red bull cans until my next resupply town.
- After testing this product in a number of rain storms it is not 100% waterproof, but I do trust carrying my camera in the bag and have in a complete downpour. Rain will enter from the top of the bag, but other than that the bags is waterproof.
- After the Tour Divide the bag desperately needed a cleaning. After pulling it inside out, scrubbing it down with some soap and a sponge, the faded pink interior quickly came to life. The bag washed well and dried extremely fast.
- The mesh pockets on the sides of the bag hold my chapstick, lighter and other small items I need to access frequently. I love this feature.
- The bag has seen around 4000 miles. That being said I have noticed very little wear an tear. Below are a few pictures where you can see some wear.
I find myself using the Cookie Jar on all of my day rides, mostly to hold my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera, but from time to time it holds some food for a S24O or a weekend bikepack. It is an extremely well thought out bag that has all the features you would want without over doing it. Yes we know there are plenty of stem bags out there, and they are all relatively similar, but after using the SpoK Werks Cookie Jar, it has proven to be one of the more versatile and trustworthy bags we have tested.