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BaileyWorks Whalemouth Duffle

For daily use or world travel a rugged bag is clutch. Long ago I eschewed traditional luggage in favor of a giant messenger bag whenever possible—all the easier to handle on trains and on foot, weatherproof, and I’m able to ride if the opportunity presents. I always thought a giant duffle would do the job better, but even military ones didn’t meet my spec and I never found one I could comfortably ride with. Enter the Whalemouth Duffle, made by BaileyWorks right in New Hampshire. Available in four sizes and 21 colors, I chose the large, 4200 cubic inch size in black, and was warned upon ordering that it is a pretty giant bag for carrying far too much stuff. Sounds good—hook it up with a light colored, waterproof liner for those times I can’t help but put my bag down in a puddle I replied. The bag is a simple, cavernous space with a small fold over pocket on each end and a zipper that opens up to one and half times the length of the bag for easy stuffing and no inaccessible corners like in standard duffles. A pair of handles allow you to carry it by your side, while a quick release shoulder strap lets you carry it messenger bag style. After spending a few weeks more or less living out of this bag you can color me impressed. You definitely don’t need anything that doesn’t fit, and even completely loaded down it was as comfortable as a 50 lb bag is going to be on the bike. When walking from place to place with it fully stuffed I did occasionally have issues of the quick adjust strap slipping and would prefer if the reflective patch was on both sides of the bag for right or left shoulder use. And while it’s easy to add a wish list of smaller zippered pockets or pen holders on the inside, the beauty of the bag is truly the no frills giant space. For daily use I’d opt for a size smaller, but for travel I’ve rarely wished for less carrying capacity. The large bag retails for $129, with the optional waterproof liner adding a couple of pounds of weight and $40. Check out