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Review By Jerry Hill
Many times I have a need to pile several kites and other gear on a buggy to make my way to a flying site on foot from wherever I’m parked. Loading up the seat and using the backrest strap of my Flexis means quite a bit can be carried. That’s fine, until I need to set off on a run with kite in flight, now I have problem. What do I do with the stuff not being used for now? Up till the arrival of this bag I’ve been concocting all manner of lash ups to keep stuff on the back of the buggy whilst I head off down the beach. In an ideal world I’d like to leave it in a pile and come back to it, these times we live in suggest it is not a good idea if there is nobody else around to keep an eye on it. I noted Libre make a bag to fit some of their buggies, a good idea I thought until I saw the price, and found out that fitting it to a Flexi was not going to be straightforward. It also was not going to be big enough to meet my purposes.
Enter buggybags.co.uk. Having spied this emergent business I contacted them to see what their thoughts were on my requirements. I soon found out that they have a bag ready to go straight on to the standard or WA flexi and so I had a good look at these to come to the conclusion that, good as they are, two things were still not falling in to place for me. First, the available colours. Bright blue was one option, which if you have the blue Libres would go together really well, a sort of burgundy/magenta colour was the other. This came close, but, my WA was all black and I wanted it to stay that way. The second problem was the size, still not really big enough for my unusual requirement. At this point the emails were really flying, and it was at this time I came to realise that this company will do anything they can to help you out. My needs were compounded by my previous fitting of a backrest, so it was not just a matter of a bigger version of the existing Flexi fit bag, something very bespoke was needed. I was getting a little anxious now because my requirement was getting obtuse and I would not have blamed buggybags for just saying sorry, no can do. But they didn’t, in fact they seemed to embrace the challenge. Which was to make a bag bigger than they had made, in a non standard colour, and to fit a non standard buggy just to complicate matters further. ‘No problem’ they replied ‘we’ll get back to you with a price’. Figuring I was asking for the moon on the end of a stick how pleased was I when they declared it will be done!!
Some time after the first contact a bag duly arrived when they said it would, even the packaging was stitched together! On opening the contents fluffed out into something the size of a cricket bag which made me grin. Time to try it on the bug. The bags are fastened to the frame of the buggy by flaps generously covered in Velcro, only about a minute later it was on. The accuracy of the alignment of the fixing flaps to the frame was spot-on, this gives what is a loose bag some shape straight away. Access to the inside is via a full length zip which is covered by some more judicious use of Velcro on a flap which covers the zip thoroughly to provide protection from water splashes and flying sand or mud. Inside I discovered even more Velcro used as closures for pockets intended for stashing keys, watches, cameras and other dinky items which would get lost in the vast interior of the main compartment. I promptly stuffed in four largish foils without too much care to see how it would be in use, it swallowed them whole. With more careful kite folding and packing I could get five kites into this bag which achieves the original requirement. With the seams being so well stitched and the protection the zip flap provides I would have no worries of the contents being effected by buggying activities. Short of spraying a hose pipe on it I’m confident that the protection is a good as a bag can be at this. On the inside the material is coated providing the water resistance, double seams look after the jointed areas.
Being so big I figure some kind of stiffener would be a good little modification to make to this one, especially in the bottom, as it needs to be fairly packed to keep its shape. This is easily done with some form of stiff sheet plastic. Apart from that it’s difficult to think of how it could be improved. Perhaps some piping on the seams would be good, but the expense would rocket so that’s a borderline ‘improvement’. A couple of bits of leader line on the zips will make them easier to grab with cold hands, easily done. The bag is a little anonymous looking bearing no makers names, though I understand this is being considered now.
So, I wanted a big bag that looked like it should be there, and I’ve got one. Brilliant!! But most important of all it’s the communication with the company that made this bag dedicated to my buggy possible at all. Top marks to the buggybags team, from what I understand from other happy customers this business should go from strength to strength.