Initial Review: Salsa Anything Cage HD and Anything Bag

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The new Salsa Anything Cage HD and Anything bag combo seems like a solid choice. A lightweight, rugged cage, paired with a waterproof roll-top bag. Here are some initial thoughts…

Salsa Anything Cage HD

Salsa Anything Cage HD

In 2010 Salsa Cycles first released their Anything Cage made from lightweight aluminum tubing. The idea of an oversized cage wasn’t completely new, but Salsa’s concept was pretty groundbreaking. In hopes of stowing items larger than a standard water bottle, the Anything Cage was designed to be mounted on Salsa’s Three Pack Bosses three-hole mount configuration on forks like those found on the Fargo, Mukluk, as well as several Surly bikes. This unusual accessory allowed intrepid bikepackers, and touring cyclists, another excuse to pair down and leave their heavy racks at home. The problem was that the original design was prone to breaking around the welds at the three individual mounting plates. We had two fail while in Africa, had them re-welded, and they broke again.

Salsa Anything Cage HD

In the spring of 2014 Salsa responded with a long awaited version 2 of the cage which featured a single double welded mounting plate. And behind the scenes, they were still in the lab working on yet another design for a third iteration, the Anything Cage HD (Heavy Duty). The HD is made from a hefty chunk of injection molded ‘impact resistant nylon’. We received a set of cages a couple of weeks ago and on first impression they seem rock solid, so we gave them a go.

  • Salsa Anything Cage HD
  • Salsa Anything Cage HD
  • Salsa Anything Cage HD

Mounting the Anything Cage is a no brainer if you have a Salsa or Surly fork with the Three Pack Bosses. It fixes to the fork bosses with included hex bolts, complete with washers and a dab of Loctite. It is also possible to use it with two bolts on a down tube. For testing, we installed the cage on the fork of a Pug Ops and on it’s maiden voyage, the cage held an Anything bag stuffed with a down jacket and a couple other odds and ends. We also tried it with a cook kit based around the Vargo Bot. The shallow rounded skeleton of the cage is extremely versatile and could also hold larger objects such as a small shelter, sleeping pad, an insulated water bottle, etc.

Salsa Anything Bag Bikepacking

Overall the HD seems stable, and relatively crashproof. The shallow elliptical design leaves less area to be stressed or hung on foliage or rocks. On the back of the cage, the channel that contacts the tubing has rounded edges and feels extremely solid when bolted to the fork. The cage weighs 149 grams with a 3kg/6.6 lb cargo weight limit. It also includes two of my favorite little things… Salsa straps. The strap channels are designed to route the straps through the cage and around the tubing to provide additional leverage.

Our testing is far from done, but according to Cass Gilbert, who’s ran a pair through a healthy portion of Ecuadoran mud and grit, “The new Salsa Anything Cage HD and Anything bag combo is a winner. Lightweight, super stout cages, and peace-of-mind waterproofing for the bags. So far, they’re holding up really well to general touring rigours.”

Also, for additional insight into the design process behind the HD, check out this post on the Salsa Blog.

  • Material: Impact resistant nylon
  • Cargo Weight Limit: 3kg/6.6lb
  • Includes: 2 nylon straps
  • Weight: 149g (5.26oz)
  • Price: $35
  • Contact: SalsaCycles.com

Salsa Anything Bag

Salsa Anything Bag Bikepacking

There have been bag options that work with the Anything Cage for some time, be it version 1, 2, or the HD. In the past I have used the 5L Sea-To-Summit Big River Dry Bags, which work fine, although they are missing the appropriately placed daisy chain to secure the straps. Also, Porcelain Rocket has had a version of an Anything Cage specific bag in production for a while now, available in all kinds of color combinations. Now Salsa released their own purpose built roll-top Anything Bag and unlike the Sea-To-Summit bag, it’s designed to interface perfectly with both of their cages. The bag fits snugly in the HD cage and the daisy chains are inline with the strap channels placed near the top and bottom blot mounts.

  • Salsa Anything Bag Bikepacking
  • Salsa Anything Bag Bikepacking
  • Salsa Anything Bag Bikepacking
  • Material: Radio-frequency welded 500-denier tarpaulin
  • Capacity: 4.5L
  • Features: Nylon daisychains, QR roll-top closure, Flat bottom
  • Weight: 151g (5.33oz)
  • Price: $32
  • Contact: SalsaCycles.com

Only time will tell, but on first impression, the Anything Bag stands out as being very durable. It’s constructed from a burly waterproof 500-deneir tarpaulin fabric with radio-frequency welded seams. It has 4L of internal capacity that sits on a flat bottom which allows the bag to sit upright when off the bike.

Tags

  • Joel3b

    My 2014? Mukluk 3 with the new anything cages from salsa

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Nice, thanks for sharing…

  • Whispering Wheels

    I can’t find information anywhere about the dimensions of the Anything bag. What I’d dearly like to know is: does the Vargo Bot fit in one? Hope you can help answer my burning question. :) Thanks

  • http://www.davemccann.com/ Dave the Bike Dad

    Would it mount on a zero boss Krampus Fork with zip ties and electrical tape? To hold a big Klean Kanteen though divide country?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Unfortunately, the new design would be tough to mount without bosses. I might have a solution for you coming in a review in a couple of weeks though…. a new cage mount option from King Cage. Stay tuned.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Wow, I missed this a long time ago. Sorry. Yes, a BOT fits… sorry for the delay :)

  • http://jabrwcky.tumblr.com/ Jesse Sawyer

    Hey Logan, did this review happen and I missed it? Trying to decide if it’s worth buying these to try and attach to my Long Haul Trucker’s fork, which just has the one boss. Thanks!

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Hi Jesse. Not officially, but we beat ’em up a good bit in Africa with no issues. So my review would be pretty damned good ;) That said, I wouldn’t attempt to use them with just one boss on an LHT fork.

  • http://jabrwcky.tumblr.com/ Jesse Sawyer

    Yeah, I was thinking one boss with 2 pipe clasps, but wasn’t sure if there was a good spot on the HD to wrap the claps thru.

  • Ryan

    Halfway through a tour I swapped my front rack for two of these cages on my LHT, using one bolt and a zip tie. I had a tent (~3 lbs) on one side and a sleeping bag (~1.5 lbs) on the other. Over 8,000 miles and they didnt budge at all.

  • Stickboy

    How’s the new design holding up ? Are the mounts holding and not breaking compared to the original(metal) design? Thanks and happy trails. Stick…

  • Davin Spridgen

    Hey Ryan, how did that work for you? I have a racktime front rack currently, and I was thinking of returning it and getting some of these salsa anythings. I have a Novara Mazama and was trying to cut down on the weight of the panniers. this seems like an inticing way to go about it.

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