Testing the cycling specific gear bag from Black Line Sprinting
Words and photos: Ben Morrison
Black Line Sprinting (BLS) are a premium cycling bag manufacture out of South Africa making some very cool cycling specific bags just for people like us. These bags are hand made in Cape Town, South Africa using rip-stop water resistant material, high quality fittings, and YKK zips. The quality is something you notice right away, this is the type of bag that is going to be around for a very long time and will see some great adventures along the way.
The BLS Full Face bag is perfect for a weekend away or race, the sections in the bag almost act as a check list as you fill each section. The only issue with the BLS Full Face bag is it’s easy to overload it and make it really heavy as you keep adding items just because they fit.
On average I would use it to carry a Troy Lee Stage full face, shoes, 2-3 bottles, 2 pairs of goggles with other lenses and tear off’s, 2-3 kits (made of bibs, shorts, socks and jersey) along with some knee pads a few snacks and a mix of tools. As long as the bottles are not full the bag would not get crazy heavy and people are a bit surprised when you turn up for a trip with just a back pack and the BLS bag. You also get 2 little red water resistant shoulder bags (kind of like shoe bags you get with fancy XC or road shoes) that are great for putting dirty gear in or muddy shoes.
For me, the real benefits with this bag is being able to organise your kit with individual compartments for your full face helmet, shoes, kit, bottles and other protective gear. The bag has a unique dome shape so you can cram it in and around bike bags, and there is an additional side zip for race number, licence, snacks etc.
The construction also includes layers of foam in all the panels to stop items rubbing on each other, but it can also fold flat for easy storage. You can also fit it in the overhead compartment of most planes – which is a huge bonus for travel. It is very easy to open when going though security to show people your full face helmet.
For eMTB users out there you can also fit the battery from a Specialized Levo in it easily (you might need to get creative with clothing) due to the ability to adjust the position of the separating wall in the bag. That can't go on a plane, obviously.
When you purchase the BLS Full Face bag you are buying a very premium handmade product that likely will never need replacing and I am confidant if there are ever any issues the passionate BLS team will look after you. Yes at $322 it’s not cheap but this is a purpose-built bag that actually lives up to the designers' desired use. Since using this bag (I have a road version already which is great... yes I ride road) I have found that process of reversing out of the drive and heading off on a trip or race to be less stressful knowing that I had all my gear as I filled all the pockets.
- Safe gear storage and sorting for travelling
- Fits everything you need
- Made to last a long time