Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Brompton Accessories #14 - Mini O Bag Packing Light & Tight

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Brompton Accessories #14 - Mini-O Bag Packing Light & Tight
                                                   AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                                  
(This blog is not a review, it's more on my foray in purchasing accessories for my 3rd Foldie - a Raw Lacquer Brompton P6R. Pricing are indicative and is at time of this blog post; for accurate pricing please refer to the relevant dealers or distributors.)
Do not under-estimate the Brompton Mini O Ortlieb Bag, although small (of 7 litres capacity) and sleek, it can pack a lot. Many use this little bag for a day trip putting some luggage for the day's cycling use. But this little one can be more than that, I have used it for over-night trips - packing it for travelling light and tight! Why be encumbered by the bigger bags when this little dynamo will do.

Okay, let's see how much can go into the bag.
From top, left to right:
1. Toiletry bag with totoothbrush, comb, soap, small tube of toothpaste, shaver, sewing kit, aloe vera gel.
2. Spare shorts, 3. Spare undies, 4. Spare socks, 5. Yellow Raincoat, 6. Pajamas Boxer shorts,
7. Pajamas T-shirt (thin Pagoda AhPek type), 8. Spare Jersey, 9. Red MP3 player/torch,
10. Phone Charger, 11. Camera Charger, 12. Brompton Cover (for bagging bike during train travel),
13. Cashmere Shawl for cold train trip), 14. Uniglo Thermal Pants (for train trip, not shown as added later),
15. Phone power bank with black mini pouch which contains cable and earphones,
16. Memory Card reader, 17. Mini-first Aid kit, & 18. Mini-O bag strap.

These looks like a lot when laid out and compared to the small size of the Mini O. So can all of these fit in? They can! Firstly roll up the soft items (i.e. the clothings and the Brompton Cover) as tightly as possible. Use rubber bands to strap them tight.
The phone and camera chargers goes into the toiletry bag; and the power bank goes into the mini-pouch together with the cable and headphones. The strap and card reader goes into the zip pocket of the Mini O.

See, it all fits into the little bag. Some of the stuff seems to be sticking up; but remember the Mini O's cover sticks up and takes up about a quarter of it's seven litres capacity. When it closes the cover slips over these protruding items. When packing, follow the sequence of last in is first out. So urgent items like the Cover, raincoat, Cashmere Shawl, etc. are on top.
Oh... ya... you must be wondering where my camera is? It's normally on a long strap and hung round my neck, ever-ready for taking photos.

Another good feature is that the Mini O's cover swings almost 180 degrees when opened and acts like a tray to put stuff in the event that one has to rummage for items further down.

The bag comes with a large bracket with recessed grooves that slots it onto the front luggage block of the Brompton very tightly and securely, yet can be released with a push of the block's lever.

The bag has a slightly curved profile and it's semi-hard case maintains this profile.
It's small size together with this curvature reduces it's wind resistance when compared to the bigger front luggage like the C-Bag or T-Bag.
It closes at the back with two snap buttons, this allows for the rider to get stuff without having to totally dismount.

One don't have to carry the Mini O around as it can still be slotted onto the block when the Brompton is folded; just push it along with the bike. However, the bag has to be unhooked when unfolding the bike as it interferes with the unfolding process. If only it does not have to be unhooked for unfolding - back to you all Brompton designers?

In this position and when opened, the contents does not spill out as the bag is almost vertically mounted.

The best thing about the Mini O is that it IS waterproofed. The hinging at the front and snap closing a the back with the cover overlapping onto the bottom ensures it's water-tightness.
Here's a photo of a wet looking Mini O which I took while riding in the rain during our Perak Silverado Ride.

And here's us riding in the tropical rain during our Parit Buntar Fishing Villages cyclo-adventure. See the difference between the Mini O and the larger C-Bag, it's size and compactness looks so streamlined here.

You may think that overnighting with the Mini O is okay in tropical Malaysia where only thin and light clothing will do. But I did this too while on our bike-packing trip to Japan. We travelled from Tokyo to Hakone for a night (... see blog). It was freezing cold and I wore two layers of Uniglo thermal shirt and pants with a thick sweater. In fact, I had even less in the bag then. The following day, I just reversed my clothing - the inner layer thermal becoming the outer layer and vice versa. Hah!

The Saddle Pouch (the one that comes with purchase of the Brompton Cover) can be used to complement storage for an overnight trip. Above are items I put into the bag during my overnight travel- seen from top row, left to right are:
1. Water bottle, 2. Mini bottle of sunblock lotion, 3. Combination cable strap lock, 4. Quick dry cap,
5. Balaclava mask, 6. Gloves, 7. Set of longer blue tire levers, 8. Daiso multi spanner tool, 9. Sunglasses,
9. Multi Hex-key/screwdriver tool,
10. Brooks #13 spanner (to open the Titanium clamp to get to the spare tube stored in the bike's main horizontal post),
11. #14/#15 spanner, & 12. Zip-lock plastic back to keep phone when it rains.

Above photo shows the contents fitted into the Saddle Pouch. It's a tight fit, but a few items like the shades, gloves, cap, Balaclava, will be taken out when cycling.
Notice that the water bottle slots into a UPVC pipe so that it can slide in and out easily even when the pouch is full (... see blog on Modifying The Saddle Pouch).

The Balaclava mask can be used to wrap round the stored items to act as a temporary cover so that things won't spill out while transporting the Brompton, like in a train or bus. Remember to push the mask sides as far in as possible so that it act as a tight cover.

Above photo shows my Brompton at Fujimein, Hakone after a 3 hours journey by train and bus from Tokyo; all ready to check in and then,

You may also like :

Day 6 - From Tokyo To Hakone
Bike-packing again, this time by train, bus & a bit of cycling up to Hakone to stay for a night.

Brompton Accessories #13 : Replacing The Nylon Hook
Some pointers and tips on replacing the Brompton's Nylon Hook with step-by-step intstructions.

Brompton Accessories #12 :
Titanium Hinge Clamps
An efficient and beautiful looking clamp.

Brompton Accessories #11 :
Sausage Wrapping The Brompton
Leather straps on main posts to make the Brompton look more cool, more rugged.

Brompton Accessories #9 : Bagging The Brompton For Air Travel
Bagging the Brompton for air travel is distinctly different from putting it into buses or trains. It will be out of our hands for a while and will be in the hands of strangers - airport luggage handlers. So it's best to take additional precaution for any rough handling.

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Brompton Accessories #14 - Mini-O Bag Packing Light & Tight
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