I've been riding with this bag since last summer. There's a lot to like and really only one drawback of any significance.
The stuff to like:
- It fastens with four Velcro straps in an idiot-proof manner.
- It has three outside pockets, putting your phone, repair tools, keys, etc. within easy reach and eliminating the need to root through the main cargo compartment.
- There's even a cool pair of straps for holding a pump.
- The main compartment is insulated and very roomy. It's more than enough for lunch, work papers or a change of clothes.
- And, the compartment expands via a simple zipper. Once expanded, the thing could probably hold a mid-sized pumpkin -- should you need to transport a pumpkin for some reason.
- Finally, and maybe best of all, it retails for around $35.
It's a bit floppy when it's not full. This bugged me at first, and I went so far as to use foamboard strips to give it a more rigid structure. This definitely made it look better on the back of the bike, but the trade off was (slightly) diminished capacity.
After I read a couple of reviews of $150 bags that included this same complaint, I eased up on the Garneau bag significantly. Capacity requires flexibility, and flexibility is going to translate to a certain amount of sagging on the rack, apparently.
I'm still coveting a Sackville or Carrdice bag, but until I spring for one of those, I'm going to use the Louis Garneau pretty contentedly.
Now, about that capacity... I took it to the grocery store and decided to see what it could do.
Here's a look at the groceries in the cart... will they fit?
They did, including eggs, a pound (!) of deli ham, a huge tube of polenta, a loaf of bread and a huge bottle of cooking oil. I considered buying brie and fancy olives purely to impress you dear readers, but in the end bought the real stuff.
Here's a couple of shots of the loading in progress.
The bread and bananas had to ride outside, under the handy mesh thingy that snaps at the four corners.
I won't say it was the most stable load in the history of bicycle-grocery relations, but it did get home, safe and sound.