Andrew the Maker Many Things Sack Review
Andrew the Maker’s simple and elegant Many Things Sack tailor-fits around one of our favourite cargo cages on the market – King Cage’s titanium Many Thing Cage. We head off to Peru and see if we can shake the pair loose down its rambunctious Andean backroads…
These days, almost all bikes aimed at bikepacking are specced with forks riddled with triple mount eyelets. In turn, more cargo-carrying cages are appearing on the market, with the domino effect that there’s now a range of bags sewn to nest within them. Andrew the Maker’s Manything Sac is once such example, tailor-fitting itself around one of our favorite minimal cargo cages – King Cage’s ultralight, titanium Many Thing Cage.
We’ve always been impressed with the attention to detail that Andrew Wiloid – aka Andrew the Maker – imbues into his bags. The Many Things Sacks are certainly no exception. Although relatively simple, these bags are both beautifully made and unabashedly elegant, very much like the titanium cages they wrap themselves to. Lining the Cordura outer, there’s a bright yellow Xpac lining, some light padding and plastic backing to provide shape. Being a custom manufacturer, there’s a whole gamut of color and combinations to choose from too.
But in the world of bikepacking, we all know that looks mean little if they aren’t matched by stout, long lasting practicality. Which is just as well, as these Many Things Sacks are unexpectedly tough. Mine have clung tenaciously to the fork legs my Tumbleweed test bike, with no inkling of tearing off and jettisoning down the mountainside.
Although I tend to leave them fixed to the fork all the time, the bags themselves can be quickly and easily installed and removed, thanks to two velcro straps. The top of the Many Thing cage also slots neatly into a sleeve, while the bag’s broad straps run around the bottom end to provide further stability. Once set in place, there’s a little forward and aft movement, but not enough to worry about. Access is easy, via a simple roll top, with a broad strap and plastic buckle to keep everything under compression. This is one of the major plus points: there’s nothing to adjust or position, as there would be with standard roll top bags, which makes them far easier to access during the day.
So what do I carry in mine? One side packs a two person tarp and an assortment of stakes. The other totes my Sea to Summit pad, a groundsheet, a set of fleece gloves, a neck gator, and a wooly hat. I can also see these bags as great conveyors of snacks; they’re ideal for providing squish-free packing for a small loaf of bread. Just be aware that unlike a roll top alternative – like the Seal Line Baja 5L – the bags are water resistant rather than fully waterproof, so they’ll wet out in heavy rain.
Another limitation to consider is that the shape of the Many Things Sack isn’t compatible with all fork and tire combinations. For instance, if you want to run these bags with mid fat tires, you may well need to use a fork with centrally positioned eyelets; the exact placement can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I wasn’t able to get these bags to work on the forward or rearward mounts of a 2017 Surly Ogre shod with 3in tires. And ultimately, I had to have extra eyelets added to my Tumbleweed Prospector, running 29+ rubber, to fit them too. Another such issue was had with a non plus bike, the Salsa Cutthroat. The carbon Firestarter fork has its triple-pack bosses skewed very far forward which turn the Many Things Sack into the wheel.
This said, if you’re running more conventional tire widths – between 2-2.5inches – you’re unlikely to run into these issues. Best bet? Drop Andrew the Maker a line to check compatibility before ordering; we’re told that various Surly fat bikes will fit them without issue. Note too that another version of the Many Things Sack is in the works that will be both shallower and deeper in shape, offering the same capacity for those running angled fork mounts with plus-sized tires. For forks that don’t have any eyelets at all – or anyone running suspension – King Cage’s nifty, hoseclamp-like Universal Support Bolts are also an option.
Of course, handmade, quality bags don’t come cheap. Each Many Things Sack costs $90, or $135 if you want the ti cage bundled in too. But if my initial findings are anything to go by, it’s certainly worth the investment if you want an elegant, light, and easy-to-access way of carrying cargo on your forks, from a maker who takes real pride in his work.
- A glove-like fit for King Cage’s excellent Many Thing Cage
- Simple and quick to fit
- Simple and quick to access
- A light and practical ‘nano pannier’
- Although lined with X-pac, these bags are not waterproof
- There can be clearance issues depending on eyelet positioning and tire size (though this is being addressed with a different model)
- PRICE: $90 per bag ($135 with Many Thing Cage)
- WEIGHT: 7.8oz, bag only (220g)
- DIMENSIONS: 9″x5.5-5″x 3.5″ (23×12.7-14×8.9cm)
- CAPACITY: 3.5-4L
- CONTACT: Andrew the Maker
In the past, I’ve always been perfectly happy to attach a simple, budget-friendly rollbag to the various fork-mounted cages I’ve run, cinching them in place with the likes of a rubbery, secure Voile strap. But I have to admit that since trying Andrew the Maker’s Many Things Sacks, I’m sold on this elegant and relatively lightweight twosome. As ‘nano panniers’, they don’t suffer from any adverse effect on steering that’s typical with traditional, larger bags. Their profile is far slimmer too, making them better suited to threading through singletrack.
Above all, I like how easy the Many Things Sacks are to access during the day, making them an excellent option for those embarking on longer bike tours, where practicality is often more important than skimming every last gram. The only caveat is making sure the current version of Anything Sacks is compatible with your setup. Check with Andew the Maker, or wait a little longer for the planned alternate model, which promises to be more plus-tire friendly.
New in gear
- Aug 15, 2018Quad Lock Bike Mount Review: Simplicity & Versatility
- Aug 10, 2018Map of Bikepacking Gear Makers: Buy Local!
- Aug 9, 2018Tribulus Endover Review: Ultralight Rolltop
- Aug 8, 2018Blackburn Big Switch and Switch Wrap: First Look
- Jul 26, 2018Kitsbow Icon V2 review: a shirt to live in