26 May 2011

Po Campo bungee handbag final review: Negative

Sadly, I must tell you that I cannot recommend this bike bag for serious, regular use. I'm not going to count on it to hold up to a daily all-weather commute (or whatever) of moderate to long length. Basically, if you ride your bike because of lousy public transit options, then you're probably going to want something more robust. (But if you're the sort of person who can and will take your bike for a bus ride when it rains, then you'll probably be just fine.)

So first, the sleek little bungee clip broke exactly when I most feared it would: on top of a pothole in a construction zone in the middle of a busy intersection during PM rushhour downtown in crummy weather. I don't know how, I don't know why, but it's broken and I can't fix it. Well, that's what knots are for. At least I was walking when it broke. Why does shit always happen to me while I'm walking?

Second, having neglected to conduct a shower test earlier, I had to find out the hard way that, despite being made of vinyl, the bag itself is not waterproof. Granted, we've been getting an unholy amount of rain all night (and all day, and all last night), and it's probably my own fault that I got stuck in it for about 8 miles. But you know, as a dedicated cyclist, sometimes you're going to get stuck in an unholy amount of rain, and you want to know you can count on your stuff staying reasonably dry when that happens. And "reasonably" should at least mean that you don't have to lay the cash in your wallet out to dry overnight.

In conclusion, it looks pretty, but it's no more durable or waterproof than any other ladies' purse. I'm going to save up for some Ortlieb panniers now.


At 26 May, 2011 14:36, Blogger David Johnsen said...

You might consider buying a "dry bag" or two instead. Those Ortleibs are only waterproof until they get scraped and develop a hole or two, which is sadly inevitable. Dry bags are cheaper and go inside whatever bag (pannier, backpack, duffel bag, etc.) you're using.

At 26 May, 2011 18:37, Blogger Barb said...

Dang, really sorry to hear that! I got the pannier and Logan tote recently; rode home with them both in a light spring rain yesterday (around 20 minutes) and everything was fine.

I love their interior organization, which is lacking in so many panniers because they don't think like purse-makers. I did an "un-review" comparing them to my old panniers just based on features: http://bikestylespokane.com/2011/05/17/the-search-for-the-perfect-purse-it-may-just-be-a-bike-bag/

I'll keep an eye on their performance when the rain gets serious. I usually carry a plastic bag to cover my seat--sounds as if I might want to throw that over the pannier with my electronics in it.


At 02 June, 2011 22:02, Blogger Marbo said...

Hi Jennifer - I'm sorry to hear that your bungee bag broke. We stand behind the quality of our bags and will gladly repair it for you. Can you send me an email at maria@pocampo.com to arrange fixing it?

The zipper is the most vulnerable area for water to seep in. Our newest bags have a covered zipper, but on the bungee bag the strap sits perfectly in the little channel on top of the zipper. You're right, it's not waterproof, but if you get stuck in the rain wedge the strap in there and it will do a lot to keep the contents dry.

Thanks for your feedback!


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