Made in Wisconsin: SCOUT Bags

As someone becomes a seasoned cyclist, they start to learn what gear is great and what gear is lackluster. There’s a lot of hype in the bike world about the latest and greatest technology, fabrics, etc.

It can be difficult to know who to trust when it comes to the gear you tote hundreds, if not thousands of miles. Luckily we found SCOUT Bags based in Wausau, Wisconsin. SCOUT’s story is not unlike many small businesses. The owner, Seth, was looking for a well made, utilitarian bag he could use for cycling. After taking a look at an old messenger bag he had lying around, he figured “I can sew that”, but decided to put his own spin on it.

What started out as an experiment on an industrial sewing machine, ended up spawning a full line of bag offerings. SCOUT now offers two kinds of messenger bags, a roll top backpack, a backpack dubbed at the “Tomb”, tool pouches, laptop cases, tote bags, a bar wallet, and even a nice clutch for the ladies!

SCOUT also offers heavy duty pedal straps, a saddle bag, and if you ask nicely…a sweet beverage holster 🙂

Seth insists on on using heavy duty canvas, vinyl lining, nylon webbing, buckles, straps, and thread on all of his products. We’ve seen a good amount of his work in person and both of us own bags of our own. The custom Tomb bag that I (Cassandra) have has held up wonderfully over the past seven months. Every piece of the bag was thought out and serves a functional purpose. You can’t always say that about a commercially made bag. I’ve had my fair share of bags from Timbuk2, Dakine, Dickies, and a plethora of other companies who make “commuter” bags.

I can say with complete honesty that my current SCOUT bag has been my favorite. Maybe it’s because I got my choice of color scheme or because it was made in my home state. I’m not sure…it could be that it just works. It’s not too big, not too small. The only thing I changed about the bag was I added a reflective strip of iron on material across the back as I didn’t think to ask to have a loop attached for placing a light on my bag for night riding.

Keri has one of the awesome waxed canvas clutches and it works perfectly for fitting a phone, wallet, and other small items for going out on the town or keeping in her messenger bag.

You can find SCOUT Bags locally at Madison’s Revolution Cycles or hit them (Seth will sometimes call in reinforcements when the orders start getting crazy) up directly via Facebook. There was an online store set up for ordering bags as well, but I believe it is under construction at the moment. We’ll put out an update with info once we get that information. Often times Seth will set up shop at various bike swaps around the state and he says that as long as he gets requests from cyclists for gear, he’ll keep expanding his product line and churning things out.

UPDATE: order bags via scoutbags.bigcartel.com

We have a feeling he likes a challenge, so if you dream it, SCOUT can build it err sew it!

When Seth’s not  sewing in his basement studio, you’ll catch him riding BMX or road riding. He claims to dig climbing hills, so if you run into him…challenge him to some king of the mountain 😉

Full disclosure: I paid full price for my bag as well as Keri’s bag. We are, however, most likely going to be working with SCOUT on some items for our upcoming online store. Stay tuned for the details.