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Home > Magazine > Gear > The OYB 7-Way Bag!

The OYB 7-Way Bag!
January 16, 2012

$60 (inc. S/H)

[$60, postpaid in US. They are used and usually have a hole somewhere -- about 50% grade.]

The OYB 7-Way Bag is ready for action!

This unique bag has 7 ways it can be used or carried.

The bags are rare but they are used -- about 50% grade. About half used-up. They usually have a hole somewhere that you might want to patch, and all have marks, scuffs, wrinkles, a bit of corrosion, maybe a few vintage repairs, maybe a previous soldier's name in pen. They have a "burnished" look. ...But with a few good years of use left in them still, for sure!

I only a dozen of these left, some have brown leather, some grayish/greenish leather. The grayish ones tend to be nicer condition. (Sample pic below shows a less typical solid gray/green item with less brown showing thru. The ones I have have more brown in the faded mix. In use, the gray/greens become browner.)

Click on the PayPal button to the left under the picture and order away! Available with extra options like the top-straps. Read on, there's so much more! (Hmm, this is such a long product description, but what can I leave out?)

The OYB Bag is about 4" x 7" x 9" in size (4 liters, 250 cu in) and is the only bag that converts in a jiffy into a Shoulderbag, Saddlebag, Handlebar-bag, Pannier, Backpack, Frontpack or Waistbag! No other bag does all 7 things!

It also has a small outside pocket (where I keep my whole bike tool-kit) that's 2" x 4" x 6", or .7L (50 cu in), for 5.3L total bag capacity (300 cu in). Weighs about 14 oz.

This bag is sensible, affordable, epitomizes the OYB approach. OYB says that cycling (and luggage) aren't segregated from the rest of life. OYB stands for versatility, integration and culture. In a world of segregating specialization, OYB sticks to the big picture. Yeah!

Now, I make these bags out of rare surplus military shoulder bags---by modifying the d-rings, adding the straps, attaching the OYB patch and adding any of the many Options---and by rescuing and re-purposing this already very rare bag away from oblivion in the first place.

Waterproofing for $10 Each bag with this option gets fully treated with Nikwax Waterproofing. I'd say they're still only water-resistant because there are no seals involved. To treat them I fully immerse each bag in Nikwax "Cotton Proof" for canvas, then also treat the leather base with another Nikwax product for leather.

Two Logo Patch Options! OYB panniers and bags now come by default with a leather logo patch riveted on. Note: the patch in most pics is light-tan, but after a week of sun your patch (and your straps) will deepen to a rich and lovely tone. Also, the patch can function as a blinky-light strap -- just clip your light onto it. Or, if you prefer, I can glue on an embroidered patch instead, if you add a note telling me to do so. So, you can either go classy or colorful!

As Seen on TV! (9/09) Ed Wardle in his National Geographic TV series "Alone in the Wild" uses one of these bags! Check it out in the pic below!

"Tight to the Saddle" Stick Mount! Your bag works great both as a shoulderbag AND as a bike bag. As a stock option we sew button-holes at the back of the bag and include a whittled/sawn hardwood dowel (6.5" x 5/8") with end-notches so you can do a Carradice-style installation on a saddle with bag-loops. Your 3 straps also get extra holes punched in them. (See pics below.) Without the stick, it uses what I call a "jiffy mount" for a bike -- it's easy/on off but it droops and sways some, and can rattle (without tape padding). The stick mount holds a bag high, tight, and trim. It lets a bag open easy and wide. The default is for a Brooks-type saddle with loops. If you just want to mount it to rails then let me know! So, to install the stick, you thread each strap thru a button-hole, thru a saddle loop/rail and back inside the bag where you buckle it around an end of the stick.

Stick-Mount For Small Bikes or Canti/Centerpulls: If you have a FRAME UNDER 54cm IN SIZE, let me know in a special side note! Also, if you have centerpull or cantilever brakes and you think the bag will rub the cable, let me know, too. It's often not an issue, depending on your particular set-up or if you have a large frame. Just look at the pics.

Stick-Mount for Rail Saddles: If you want a stick-mount and your saddle only has rails -- doesn't have loops -- isn't a Brooks-type -- LET ME KNOW! ...Rails are closer-set than bag-loops.

Top Straps Option! For an extra $15 I'll rivet straps to the top of the flap to boost the stash capacity of your bag. (See pics below.) Just click this button:

Monogramming For $5 I can stamp up to 11 "western style" capital initials for you: one each on the two leather main flaps and up to 3 initials in each of the 3 small straps (I put them near the buckle, reading toward it, so you can see the initials when the straps are installed).

Money Back Guarantee & Warranty If you don't like your Bag, return it for a refund (less shipping) in a week. If something breaks untowardly, I can send you a part if it's easy to replace, or you send it back and I'll do the repair and, again, if it failed too soon I'll pay for Parcel Post shipping back to you. Otherwise, if it's normal wear'n'tear you can pay the postage back, if you would, please. These items are tough. I've only heard of a couple breaks out of hundreds sent out. They've all been readily fixed by the customer so far, so I haven't had any repair returns yet.

Even More About this Amazing Bag! I've been told it should be called the "OYB Normal Bag." Get it? (Say it out loud.)

It's great for carrying all manner of day-use goodies, including a wine bottle (or two?). I keep my complete bike tool/spares kit with minipump in the smaller outside pocket (tube, tools, wallet, keys, the works). Sure, it's a bit narrow in the mouth, but that adds to its compactness and makes it less purse-like, if that matters.

A great thing about these bags is their slot'n'stud fasteners. Faster than buckles yet secure. Better-looking than zips. Elegant solutions are so pleasing!

They come with an instruction sheet and removable waist-strap. Plus 3 additional small 10" leather straps. The 48" shoulder strap has two super-duper, smooth, quality steel sliders, making it easy to adjust from either side---very handy! For some reason, because the sliders are so easy and smooth to use I find that I'm adjusting the strap on the fly and on the go most times I'm carrying the bag. The shoulder strap is also removable.

How to Use It the 7 Ways... Each bag comes with an info sheet detailing the 7 modes. It also comes with 3 small leather buckle-straps. To use as a bar-bag, tuck shoulder-strap into main-pouch and thread 2 leather straps thru the big D-rings to the bars and 1 strap around the head-tube thru the waist-strap D-rings. To use as a jiffy saddle-bag, here's where it gets neat: Each main-strap D-ring has a 1/4" section removed beneath its attachment loop---shove the canvas aside and clip each D-ring thru your saddle rail or bag-loop, then use a leather-strap to afix to the seatpost. Presto! (If you think it doesn't open wide enough, just unclip one side, then the bag will open fully. Depending on load, bag can sway when riding out of saddle unless you use snuggest seatpost lashing, where you use the strap to bring the 2 rings closest together around the post---follow? Also depending on load and road a bag might rattle on rails--duct tape padding cures that.) To use as a pannier, just clip the two upper rings over rack top rail and strap to lower rack leg. To use as a backpack, loosen the shoulder-strap all the way and loop it over your head, then pull it down in front, then take the waist-strap, which is attached as normal at one end, and thread it through the bight of the shoulder-strap, then snap it into its other d-ring, and, presto, a backpack! The pack mode is GREAT for XC skiing. Do the reverse of this for the 6th mode as a frontbag---great for a camera! (Note: Strap is not long enough to work as backpack for an XL person.) To use as a waistbag, just step through the shoulderstrap and snug it up around your waist: presto!

What Some Customers Had to Say...

(I note that about a dozen of these have gone to the L'Eroica ride in Italy!)

"I got the purse yesterday---very nice! I used it this afternoon when taking my 3 1/2 yr old daughter and two dogs to the park. Having a small bag to stow keys, phone, binoculars, dog leashes, etc etc, and one that doesn't swing around and hit whatever is in front of you when you bend over to tie shoes or adjust leashes is a great benefit. -- P. Moore, bicycle enthusiast

"Your packs have caught many eyes in this bike mecca and I have given many Oregon folk your website. I commute every day and do not have a car. The bags are great at all times. They keep their shape and looks. I have ridden them thru 2 snowstorms here so far, full of groceries, without busting an egg!" -- H. Roberts, Eugene, OR

"I had my new 7-way bag on the taco ride last night ( Your bag got a lot of attention. I've sent your website to a couple people this morning so you might get some interest from a few IA or NE cyclists." -- D. Olson

It has other fans, too... The Bike Commuters blog also raved about it: As did The Satchel Pages:

Non-USA Postage Buttons You should see an option upon check-out for postage to your country (or near enough). Please select the *2-3 pound* postage rate (although it will charge you less than this weight-range usually's just how I set up my grid). If this doesn't work right for you, manual PayPal buttons follow...

Canada: First click the above main ordering button then click this next button which adds $3 to your Cart:

UK/Euro/Oz: Please click the main button above then click the button below to add an extra $10 to your Cart, to cover excess postage costs:

Why OYB Luggage? I offer luggage items as a way to support my promotion of indie outdoor culture and heritage via the 1500+ free articles on this website. OYB gives a view into independent outdoor culture like no other media source.

Now, For Some Pics!

A close-up:

Here it is being used as a Shoulderbag. (Rodger has the strap twisted here, but he's a man of action so what do we expect. Note also the unused waiststrap dangling from the lower part of the bag. For more action, like while riding a bike or XC skiing, you can use the waiststrap to prevent bag-swing. Both straps are easily removed.) ...

Here are a couple views showing how they work on a bike. (I used some zipties in one pic---but you can also see the leather straps. Each bag comes with 3 straps.)

Here's a close-in view showing how a bag attaches "casually" by its shoulder-strap "ring-clip-loops" without a stick:

Here's the stick-mount option which allows a closer fit to a saddle with bag-loops.

Here's how nice and wide the bag opens with the stick option:

Two big points in this next pic... *1: Let me know if you'll mount via Rails (standard saddle) rather than Loops (Brooks). *2: Let me know framesize if it's smaller than 54cm (here's a 50cm) so I can sew buttonholes lower so bag mounts higher (get it?):

Here's the $15 top-straps option:

Here's a Blinky on its strap (a $5 extra option) with an embroidered patch:

Here's the Backpack mode!

Customer pics of their bags...

Here's "Shek," a bike commuter, showing his flare via an OYB Bag in pannier mode:

A happy OYB family! Coloradan Joe Ramey bought a bag last fall. One of his kids poached it. Then he got another. And another. And another! ...He finally has his own. One of his daughters is using hers as a shoulderbag on campus.

(I think I see a trace of a creature in the image above. A skunk? Family pet?)

Henry Roberts, organizer of Cino Heroica, a gran fondo in Montana, en route at L'Eroica:

On tour in Italy the week before, with 3 bags:

As a handlebar bag on JD Kimple's CX bike:

Dave Olson's Salsa Fargo:

Houston Roberts "car":

They work for motorcycles, too! (I need to let them know -- they must get tired of all that black leather) This one is on Spencer Gibb's bike, of the band "54 Seconds"...

Reader Comments - Add Your Own Comment
kayakclc - , posted on Feb 14, 2007
Some of you who have one already or something similar probably already know this but it came to me the other day, how to carry this as a backpack. (somtime I get annoyed with it at my side or around my waist but to the back) It's soooo simple, "why didn't I think of it before".

Swing the "man-purse" around to your back and take the shoulder loop over your head. Place the bite near the bottom of your sternum. Then take the waist strap and thread it though the loop and clip it to the other D ring on the other side.

This should be perfect to carry xc skiing now as I only need room for water, gloves, hats (as the kids overheat) and oh yay, the tow rope.

Speakin' of the tow rope, it is the perfect devise to take on xc outings now that the kids are out of backpacks and sleds. I also like having it along when skiing with others who have kids...but heck, that'd probably be a nice OYB article all to itself.
JeffOYB - Williamston, MI, posted on Feb 14, 2007
HEY! WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I was wondering about the "not a backpack" limitation of the man-purse the other day. Great solution! THANKS! Heck, I'm even going to add it to the official description. OK, but first I have to test this new configuration myself. --JP
JeffOYB - Williamston, MI, posted on Feb 14, 2007
OK, I tried it out. Perfect! It's possibly a little snug for a large person wearing a coat, but for any other situation, we got ourselves a backpack! Thanks, John!
JeffOYB - Williamston, MI, posted on Feb 14, 2007
PS: In case anyone was wondering, "KayakCLC" is a boating person and he used the nautical term "bight" in his description but he spelled it bite---it means the bend in a rope, I mean a *line*, right?
kayakclc - , posted on Feb 16, 2007
Glad to hear you like the idea. I'll give a good trial this weekend myself. Heck, I s'pose it could even be a front pack. Maybe I'll try that too.
antgreen - , posted on Jun 25, 2009
This is a fine bag - I ordered mine with the top straps option.

I use it in conjunction with a Carradice SQR bracket, so it sits high, secure, and I can easily switch between my two bikes without brushing my leg against it during pedal strokes.

I pack it as follows:
Front pocket - waist strap (in case I ever use the backpack option) Cell phone, Penknife, cycle multi-tool, puncture repair kit, CO2 tool and 2 spare gas cratridges, wallet, keys, smokes, lighter, gum.

Main pocket - Nuun tabs, granola bars, gloves, mini D-lock, 90cm Abus cable with looped ends, Front light, cycle computer (for the bike I'm not riding), mini frame pump, inner tubes, windproof, sunglasses - with a little room to spare.

Using the top straps, I can take a waterproof or fleece if required, and I have a blinky permenantly attached to the strap on the rear pocket cover.
matrod - , posted on Jul 16, 2009
I love this bag! It's exactly large enough for me to carry a set of clothes and tools to work without having to wear a backpack or install a rack, and it's also been great for foodstuff storage for daytrips. Not to mention its being a fantastic manpurse.

I ordered mine to use as a seatbag without the osage stick/carradice mounting option since I don't have a saddle with bag loops, but it would swing too much unless completely stuffed. I made my own Carradice mod by putting in hand sewed buttonholes and I'm using a 15mm open/box wrench instead of a stick, so I have an extra tool with me without a space penalty! The bag now sits rock steady even without bag loops.
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