We were lucky enough to take a two-week cycling journey around southwestern Japan. Our travels were largely based on the island of Shikoku.
Our plan included bringing out bikes and gear with us. I left the question of what bags to bring until somewhat late in the game. Initially thinking I'd bring a pair of smallish blue bags I'd made a while back I started to reconsider as the trip got closer; my stuff just barely fit with the existing bags, but it seemed like it could work....
As our departure drew near I decided it was going to problematic using these bags so I decided to make a somewhat larger set. With a tight deadline I pulled together a pair of waxed bags with leather straps and buckles and a small exterior pocket. The bags came out nicely (and match my DRB handlebar bag) and I was so glad I made the effort once we were en route in Japan. I had the space I needed and the bags worked really well. They are a perfect size for touring without having to leave too much behind, or for camping if you can be judicious in your packing.
I learned a little too--the bags slid horizontally on the top bar of my low-rider racks and one end would occasionally slip off the forward end. Not a good thing! Although it didn't cause any mishaps. Gladly, I devised a solution: the brass D-ring (for a shoulder strap) had enough movement that I could slide it over the trailing top end of the rack top-bar and it created a firm hook. This will be an important detail to cover going forward.
The bags acquired a nice pattina --beausage--and did their work admirably. I'm glad to have 'em.
Cyclist and craftsman.