High Desert Drop Bags

We have need of a drop bag so I did some looking.  Our initial needs, a 50K out and back in Moab, the Dead Horse, dictate something simpler.  We just need bags to hold our basic preferred fuels, spare things just in case an internet meme threatens, and the like.  Yes it’s early to worry about it, yes that’s how I roll.

I found High Desert Drop Bags mentioned somewhere and went to take a look and liked what I saw.  They’re simple and functional, always a win in my book.  I ordered some of the Dirt Bags as those seemed to be about the right size for us.  And I like that they’re a small company in the U.S. which I try to support whenever I can.

TL;DR – Good bag, good value, recommended.

The order was shipped very quickly in spite of a screw up on my part although U.S.P.S sent me the shipping email 2 days after the bags showed up.  *eye roll*

With anticipation I opened the box and got pretty much what was described and expected.  This is a good thing.

It’s a simple pattern, a basic overlapped U bag.  The zipper is set an inch or so down from the top and has a nice contrasting black flap to protect it and it’ll help it shed splashed liquids which might soak through the zipper quickly.

The bags are comprised of what feels and looks like about a 400D pack cloth. That means it should be pretty dang durable and get years of use.

Being pack cloth (my assumption) they’ll be water resistant to some degree but not water proof.  Even cloth with a DWR coating can only do so much to shed water and these don’t feel like they have that. Bottom line sub pack in ziptops or tupperware in the drop bag.

Of special note is the use of Dunlap zippers which is one of the last if not the last American company to manufacture zippers.  I admire that.

The stitching and binding is very well done, better than I can do on my old go to 1942 Singer, I tend to wander a bit in my lines.  Most seams appear to be single stitched unless there’s another stitch line under the binding.   For something that will get as infrequent use as these (unless you’re running an ultra every weekend)  it should be more than sufficient. And the stitching is protected inside the bag due to the design and also protected from inner wear through the use of binding.

There is a grey rubberized fabric ‘tag’ that runs along most of one side.  This is, per the company, to attach a strip of duct tape with your name and bib number on it for the race your own.  Then you can either clean the tape off with a solvent or just peel it off and use a new piece for the next race.   An interesting design for sure.

There’s a single grab handle on the right side made of half inch nylon strapping.

All in all I believe for what they’re designed for they’re a good value if you need the basics, shoes, change of clothing, fuels, blister kit, spare bottle, headlamp, batteries etc at a drop point.

There are a few things to for me to call out which does NOT take away from the value of the bags –

As mentioned there is no organization in the bag, it’s not that type of bag.  You’ll have to jumble things in or sub pack in other containers.

The grab strap could be slightly longer in my opinion but I have big hands so that’s a common complaint for me and I’d like to see a second one on the opposite side to make it easier to hang the bag up so it hangs horizontally.  Running and ultrarunning gear in particular isn’t made for my size. (6-4, 240#)  It’s a fact of life I have to deal with.

Although it would increase the build time and the cost I wouldn’t mind seeing a clear window on one side or the other for the purpose of ID or vanity/inspiration type things.  Like a 5×8 photo of a T-Rex… Rawr!!!

And that’s it, that’s the only nits I can pick with the bags and I would and will most certainly order more as I need them for myself or to gift to other folks.