While many riders prefer to build their own tool kits over the course of several years, some of us less-patient types like it all right now. Buy the fanny pack, open and unpack the tools and paraphernalia, put it on and go ride. Sounds perfect to me. Getting a fully outfitted fanny pack was exactly what I needed, as my last one got lost on its way back from Brazil, where Jason Webb borrowed it for the ISDE after losing his. Webb had handed it off to Mike Monroe, and it wound up in Gilmer, Texas, on top of the wrong rental car at the GNCC. (Thanks anyway, Mike.) So I was facing the prospect of rebuilding a fanny pack until this little beauty practically landed in my lap.Naturally, Blue Ridge Racing Products sent me the biggest option. And, of course, I ended up emptying out about half of the contents before trying it on a few short jaunts–I was close enough to the truck that a flat wasn’t too much of a concern, and wearing the lighter pack was now much easier. Fully loaded, this puppy has some heft. But why carry it? The Blue Ridge crew obviously thought this one out–the straps remove in short order thanks to a hook-and-loop closure system, and mounting hardware is included to convert it into a fender bag.The quantity of stuff is impressive in its own right, yet Blue Ridge doesn’t stock its packs with cheapo replica tools; inside are the real things, from the Motion Pro levers to the Innovation Products CO2 kit. The company starts out with a heavy-duty, ballistic-nylon fanny pack equipped with a sliding T-handle tool set with 1⁄4-inch drive sockets, an extension bar, a universal joint, Phillips/slotted screwdriver bits, Allen bits, a spark plug socket, Open-end wrenches, safety wire, cable ties, duct tape, electrical tape and Loctite. That’s the basic Enduro Kit Stage I, which runs $119.95. From there, the Blue Ridge folks just keep adding more gear. The $159.95 Stage II gets a tire pressure gauge, a tow strap, an LED flashlight, a stormproof lighter and QuickSteel. If that’s not enough, there’s the Enduro Kit Stage III. This $229.95 ultimate repair pack includes a Windzone multitool and tire tools, levers, an axle wrench and a CO2 tire repair kit.So how did it work? Much better than I expected. The weight is not as big an issue as I anticipated, even in the full Stage III form. I still prefer to ride with the bag at about the Stage I or II level since (knock on wood) I haven’t needed the extensive collection for the minor trailside wrenching I’ve done. So whatever the reason, if you are in the market for a fanny or fender pack and the tools inside, here’s the best option I’ve seen. Just price all the individual tools, and you’ll see the bargain.
–Bryan NylanderDR Tested: 9.0
Blue Ridge Racing: 877/299-7353; www.blueridgeracing.com