BikeRadar have recently been testing the Wingman from Australian startup Henty. Designed as a suit carrier for cyclists, the bag makes commuting with business attire possible, and is a well thought-out concept that could change the way many people commute.
The Wingman is a two-piece affair. While each part can be used separately, they create a unique commuter pack when used together. The cylindrical gear bag is designed to carry bulky items – shoes, toiletries, underwear, and so on. The zippered suit bag can be rolled around the gear bag, and is well built, spacious and reinforced with internal plastic ribs to prevent unwanted creases before that important meeting.
Once you arrive at your destination, just unclip, roll out and hang the suit bag via its foldable hanger. We experienced no bunching or creasing, even after leaving our clothes in the rolled up Wingman for a day, although results might vary depending on the fabric in question.
On the outside of the suit bag is another compartment, including a padded sleeve for a 13in laptop or tablet computer. In case of a downpour, a zip-out rain cover is included to keep your gear as dry as you originally packed it. Further features include reflective piping and a light loop to keep the night terrors away.
The single padded shoulder strap sits over the left or right shoulder, and the bag is secured with an additional under-arm chest strap. We loaded our Wingman with a suit, shoes, ultra-book laptop and other little bits, creating a 6.5kg (14.3lb) stress test.
The suit bag rolls up around the internal utility pack
On our bony shoulders the load was a bit much for a one-hour journey to and from work. But for shorter trips around town we had no problems with the pack and found it easy to maneuver with. With a lighter selection of clothing and gear on board, longer rides were far more pleasant, and we were able to do our regular commute without issue.
To use the bag you need a stable upper body, and pedalling out of the saddle caused some problems, with the pack shifting position occasionally. The padded back protector helps reduce movement, though, and aids overall comfort. The bag is made with long-term service in mind – the materials, stitching and overall build are well thought-out and reinforced where it matters.
As the guys at Henty were quick to point out, the Wingman is not just for on-the-bike use – the suit bag is a completely functional standalone item.