As a general rule, I tend to avoid products and/or companies that spell things phonetically. I just assume that if you’re too stupid to know how to spell something correctly (or grasp the concept of spell check), you’re too stupid to make a decent product. I’m bending my rule with the Fenderpak for the simple sake of being prepared and because I know MSR makes decent products.
Long ago I used to be a boy scout. Before it was suggested that I leave because my troop didn’t need another pyromaniac, I actually had their motto of ‘be prepared’ ingrained in my subconscious. It’s because of this I tend to pack way too much crap when I go riding for the afternoon. Gatorade, Cliff Bars, camera, base layers, tools, first aid kit, safety wire, zip ties, spark plugs, tow strap, and two part epoxy are just the short list of junk I haul around in my backpack. As embarrassing as it is to admit, one contingency I’ve never planned for is a flat tire. Using heavy duty inner tubes have only decreased my chances for a flat, not eliminated it. To avoid a long walk of shame I knew a tire repair kit was necessary. With more stuff in my pack than a Looney Tunes parachute, I decided it was time to let my bike pull some of the load. Enter the Fenderpak by MSR.
If panniers are luggage for your dual sport, then the Fenderpak is like a clutch purse. It’s large enough to hold tire repair essentials: tube, patches, glue, tire irons, 24mm wrench, a small collapsible bicycle pump and even have enough left over room for a few more small items – possibly lip gloss and a compact. While I could have chosen something larger by MSR or the pinnacle of soft bag manufacturers, Giant Loop, I selected a small pack for one reason – I tend to move all over the bike while riding. I’m up on the tank in turns and hanging off the back fender in soft sand. By placing it on the rear fender, it feels more like an extension of my seat than carry on luggage. Plus the price was nice – only twenty dollars!
My first impressions of the pack were split right down the middle. I was impressed by its construction: waterproof zipper and rust proof hooks, heavy-duty korda and nylon material. I was also impressed with how durable it was. I was not impressed by how I came to that conclusion; it jettisoned itself off my bike at mach speed. When I finally noticed it was gone and doubled back to search for the pak, I ran over it – twice. I was able to remedy the problem by adding some industrial velcro between it and my fender, and also pinching the hooks closed. I would highly recommend doing this, or at least mounting it on the front fender so if it does come flying off you have a chance to catch it.Overall I’d say the Fenderpak is a simple product that’s well crafted for a decent price. Although some modification was required to keep it secured to my fender, I have been satisfied. Just not enough to entirely lift the ban on phonetically spelled produkz.