In the rando continuum I probably run to the heavy side: I ‘rock’ a large Berthoud H-bar bag and I favor a Caradice Barley in back. (Here they are compared)
My whole kit is heavy, I have a heavy frame, heavy wheels, even a heavy saddle; It’s a Brooks, they're heavier than most and mine is the commemorative Boat Anchor model. Some of us are a bit superstitious so we have totems or charms that we bring along to ward off evil spirits and mean rednecks. Some carry plush toys, complete with custom made rain gear(!) I am both blessed and cursed by my obsession for my particular icon, my lucky cinderblock.
Over the last year I have been making gear choices that favor weight reduction when there are choices to be made. I don’t think I’ll give up fenders until I move to SoCal but the last time I broke a fender, I opted of the spendier, lighter, Alu Velo Orange set over the cheaper, sturdier, more utilitarian stainless set. I just switched from the heavy Jack Brown Blues to the slightly lighter Greens (better tires for summer anyway). Here I must admit that I have looked more than a few times at that set of Gran Bois hanging up in the shop. Lighter, and a better ride too … but not quite tough enough to handle our crappy local roads.
In late winter I went through the standard inventory for the Barley. I took everything out and put back what I thought was the bare minimum. I consider ‘bare minimum’ to be the things that I would want to have on board for a ride of up to 400K. Longer, multi-day rides are a different story: How much clothing are you going to bring along? Is there support or not. What’s the weather going to be? Are there mountains involved (mountains make their own weather … and they make sweat!) I should do this periodically regardless of weight concerns, I was surprised how much trash and redundant ‘emergency rations’ I was hauling around. As a result the bare min remnants sort of rattled around in the bag.
Anyway, back to the gear review. This Acorn bag, my second offering from Acorn by the way. is definitely going to see road time. Ron has been refining his wares since I bought the medium bag a few years ago and I think this little gem is right in the sweet spot for my needs. Like those magical gizmos down at Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe, this thing seems smaller on the outside yet larger on the inside! Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin aside, I was able to fit ALL of my bare min kit inside the bag, and there was still some room. With two D rings on the closure flap I could also lash on a stuff sack with my raincoat if needed,