I’ve been an enthusiastic cyclist all my life, and also an avid tinkerer. I was never one to be satisfied with commercially available solutions if I thought I could think of a way to make it myself and make it better. So after trying various off-the-shelf ways of strapping my stuff to my bike for a brevet, I decided what I’d want in a saddlebag and made one for myself and one for my better half, Jake. After numerous questions and requests about the saddlebags we were using, I eventually started making them for sale, and thus Dill Pickle Gear (named after my favorite source of sodium on long rides) was born.
In essence, my goal is to design the gear that I want to use; that I know will stand up to the punishment I’ll dish out; that looks great and puts my stuff where I can get at it easily; that I won’t have to think about. I want to be able to ride in the rain for four days and nights and still have a dry pair of socks in my saddlebag. I want to be able to stash additional water bottles in pockets where I can reach them, or stuff my rain jacket somewhere I can get it easily when the rain starts again. I want easy access to my wallet and brevet card.
I keep the lining separate from the outer material for most seams, which means that although it’s a little more time-consuming, it’s also more waterproof because any water has to seep through two separate seams instead of just one. I put a zipper in the lining too, so that you can get in between the layers to repair holes or leaks. These features do substantially increase the number of steps in constructing the bag, but I feel that they’re worth the extra expense because they substantially increase the practicality and the longevity of the finished product. And I use materials that I know from experience to be practical and long-lasting. Dill Pickle products are handmade from start to finish in Medford, Massachusetts, USA.
I’m confident in the products I make because I use them too. So happy riding, from one cyclist to another!