Revelate Designs - Gas Tank & Jerry Can
There are a few brands integral to the development of Bikepacking, one such company is Revelate Designs. Founded by Eric Parsons and based in Alaska the company is something of a fairy tale story and illustrates that with hard work dreams really can come true. Revelate Designs was born in Parson’s apartment where, using an industrial sewing machine, he created frame bags for fat-bike snow races. Demand grew rapidly and he soon left his engineering job to pursue Revelate Designs full time. I’m a huge supporter of people that realise their dreams and just go for it. It’s brave, terrifying and in my opinion hugely honourable. Revelate Designs has become one of the most distinguishable Bikepacking brands in the world and is a true tribute to the hard work and perseverance of one man chasing his dreams. Of course, now days Alan would probably struggle to meet demand alone and thus has a growing team to produce these awesome Bikepacking/cycling bags and accessories. Revelate Designs may have become an industrial powerhouse but the bespoke quality that initially saw the company rise to prominence remains the same. In this review I take a look at two of Revelate's " Cockpit " products, the Gas tank and the Jerrycan.
I had been looking for a couple of compact bags to both utilise space on the bike frame and provide handy storage for the essentials on smaller rides. Thus, when I stumbled across Revelate Design’s Gas Tank and Jerrycan I knew I’d found exactly what I’d been looking for. The brand’s ability to create innovative bags that make use of space previously overlooked is fundamental to their success. Both products did not interfere with my existing set up, provided handy additional storage for touring and were ideal for the essentials I take on every ride. I’m pretty sure the guys at Revelate will concur with me when I say that getting hold of my new bags was a nightmare. This was neither the fault of the company or myself, rather an amalgamation of courier negligence and the completely unfathomable actions taken by customs. Honestly, I may as well have tried to sneak in a body…..two months……TWO MONTHS…..TWOOOOOO MONTHS in customs. I started to wonder whether I’d overlooked the section on the Revelate Designs' website where they explained how they made all their products out of Rhino and lined each bag with Cocaine!!! Anyways, finally the bags were released and were sent to my local depot, I called them and said I’d like to pay the customs charges to which I was told I’d need to wait till tomorrow. So I did. The next day I called and was given the following reply: " Oh yeah your order sir…we’ve sent that back to America!”. Words cannot express my frustration….well they can...but I wouldn’t want to tarnish my site with such literal profanity! Some would argue that the above is irrelevant, perhaps even suggest I was bitter about the whole thing…ahum…but ah ha you’re wrong. The emotional trauma I suffered also highlights the efficiency and excellent customer service I received from Revelate Designs, who offered me a full refund or replacement. I kindly asked them not to fill the next order with drugs, small animals, precious jewels, fraudulent currency or anything else that customs may deem unacceptable….I mean come on….two months…TWO MONTHS. I’m sorry, I sometimes have outbursts…it can be embarrassing at dinner parties! Revelate swiftly sent out my replacements and after almost four months of sleepless nights my new bags had arrived and were well worth the wait!
The Gas Tank attaches to the top tube and stem using two velcro straps, there is a little wobble, but overall it’s a very snug fit. Moreover, the use of just two straps allows for hassle free attachment and removal. It’s worth mentioning that Revelate Designs are in the process of releasing a “ Large Gas Tank ”, I couldn’t see any figures with regards to capacity, but it’s noticeably bigger than the standard version and consequently offers a considerable boost in storage. The Gas Tank offers adequate weather proofing and is largely made of VX 21 fabric (also used for Jerrycan), for more details check out “ fabrics and materials ” on the Revelate Designs website ( N.B. “ Large Gas Tank ” will be made using the more durable VX 42 fabric). It comfortably consumes my multi-tool, snacks, keys, phone and spare tube and probably could carry a few more small items if required. There’s a handy divider inside which splits the Gas Tank into two separate sections of around the same size, this can be detached to create one larger compartment. All in all the Gas Tank is a great little bag and is surprisingly spacious, it seamlessly attaches to the bike and provides some very handy and accessible storage. It’s great for Bikepacking/cycle touring, but also ideal for shorter rides where you only need the essentials.
The Jerrycan, like the Gas Tank, secures to the bike using just two velcro straps, one to the top tube and one to the seat post. The Jerrycan is significantly smaller than the Gas Tank and does not offer anywhere near the same amount of additional storage. However, it remains a very useful bag and we should be quick to remember that it utilises space traditionally wasted on the frame. Moreover, even the Gas Tank can feel cumbersome and a little unnecessary when blasting around singletrack for the day. In these situations the Jerrycan is perfect. It allows the rider to carry the bare essentials in a manner that does not impede on the riding experience. Additionally, there’s a small loop integrated within the bag, perfect for attaching keys or a wallet.
My verdict. These bags are amazing. Revelate Designs may have become one of the biggest Bikepacking brands out there but their commitment to quality and constant drive to produce innovative and exciting new designs has remained the same. The Gas Tank and Jerrycan are a tribute to this ethos. Both bags are incredibly useful within their own right, whilst as a duo they’re a fantastic addition to any Bikepacking/cycle touring set up.