Review: My Basil Blossom Postmenbag

Basil Blossom Postmenbag

Dottie and I have both had a lot of questions about our Basil bags. Now that I’ve had mine for 6 months, it’s time for a review. I have the Basil Blossom “Postmenbag” in white, and have been extremely pleased with it since I bought it at Copenhagen Cyclery in June. (The bag is also available on Amazon.)

Based in the Netherlands, Basil has been producing Dutch bike accessories since the 70s, and their whimsical patterns and quality construction have made them a well-known name. They make bags, panniers, seat covers, baskets and more, and their line is becoming available in more and more bike shops across the U.S.

The Postmenbag is basically a messenger bag modified to attach to a bike rack: the back is reinforced to add structure, and the design on the nylon fabric is moderately reflective (there are two reflective stripes on each side of the bag).

reflective stripes

The back of the bag also features sturdy plastic hooks that snap on and off the rack of any Dutch bike with ease.

plastic hooks snap on to rack

Between the two hooks is a piece of velcro that can be wrapped around the rack to reinforce the connection. I rarely use this. As you can see, the flap can be zipped close to hide the clasps when you’re off the bike.

The inside of the bag is pretty utilitarian, with just one zippered pocket and the main compartment.

At about 14.5 x 12 x 4, the bag is average sized. Despite that it can hold quite a bit of loot, as proven by today’s emergency grocery run.

The Bat with the loaded up Basil bag, hooked to a "Nashville bike rack."

A 2-pound bag of cat food, 2-pound box of sugar, trade paperback book, baking powder, two 8oz bags of coffee, 4 sticks of butter, curling ribbon and a wallet, plus keys and camera, all fit in the bag.

can you tell I'm doing my holiday baking/wrapping this weekend?

One caveat: the bag is water repellent but not waterproof, so mind what you put in there on a very rainy day! I have used it in light showers and the items inside stayed dry over the course of a 3-mile ride.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with my purchase — for the price (about $40), I have yet to find anything more practical and stylish.

What’s on your bike rack?

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25 thoughts on “Review: My Basil Blossom Postmenbag

  1. donna says:

    I love my Basil too! I got this one http://www.amazon.com/Basil-Sport-Single-17350-Lilac/dp/B0029LL1O2/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1260659622&sr=1-28(it looks like a knapsack and in fact comes with a thick strap so you can wear it over the shoulder or across your chest). It comes in a double version as well. I can’t believe how much stuff I’m able to cram into it. It hasn’t let me down yet.

  2. kerri says:

    That is an awfully pretty bag! I don’t think I’d have much luck keeping mine free of grime and mud.

  3. Scott says:

    I have been using the Basil Lowrider for about a year and love it. It is large, waterproof, has a shoulder strap, and clips on and off the large guage dutch bike rack easily. I carry it around my office all the time and think it looks better than other bags such as the Ortlieb Office.

  4. Anne Hawley says:

    Oooh! Someone’s doing some baking!

    I’ve been eying Basil bags for a while now. Your review is very helpful. It really is amazing how many emergency groceries can fit into a soft-sided bag that size.

    Thank you for the good word.

  5. Carolyn says:

    I’ve been using the Basil Blossom Grocery panniers http://store.curbside.on.ca/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=233_122&products_id=697

    I’ve been VERY happy with them, and even though I don’t have a Dutch bike, they suit my bike very well. I can easily hold a week’s supply of food in there for me. I’ve have had it pretty stuffed full of stuff, at times testing it’s limits, but it’s held up very good, no signs of wear yet. I was thinking of getting a trailer, but if I can hold so much in the bags at one time, why bother? Her’s a pic o fit on my bike in Spring: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7097717&l=74353d38a2&id=755700491

    They too aren’t waterproof, but if it’s pouring, I put them in plastic bags…to keep the water out (I reuse the plastic bags btw for that purpose.)

    • Trisha says:

      Glad yours are still holding up, Carolyn! They looked great on your bike. And yes, I should have mentioned that the bag also works on the Plescher rack that’s on Le Peug.

  6. red-bike says:

    your cat must be very happy when you come back with a bike load of stuff for him/her :)

  7. This is a beautiful bag, and I was very much tempted by it when I saw it recently at a local shop. What gave me pause it that it is white. I have a talent for getting white clothing and accessories absolutely filthy, and so it seemed imprudent for me to buy a cycling bag/pannier in this colour. I am impressed that you keep yours so clean! Or does it have a protective coating on it that repels dirt?

  8. adriennejohnson says:

    I have the Basil Twig panniers in red. I love them and there is nothing better on the market for the price -$60! I had them out in major rain the other day and they are not waterproof, but they were good enough to keep my stuff from getting soaked. If I take them out in that kind of rain I usually line them with a large plastic shopping bag to keep my things completely dry. They get a bit road grimy but they clean up really easily and always look fantastic!

  9. Zweiradler says:

    I’m using a black Ortlieb pannier and I am very happy with it.

    Nico

  10. Julia says:

    I have the Basil Prima Vista bag in green and love everything about it except how light the beige part is. I keep getting it dirty and having to wash it–why do all Basil’s bags seem to incorporate white or light colors? The bag is great, though, and seems like it’ll last forever.
    It looks like this one’s on sale right now through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Basil-Prima-Vista-Shoulder-17278/dp/B0029LF3M8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1260733238&sr=1-2

    • Trisha says:

      It’s cool to hear from so many other Basil owners. :)

      Since many have asked about the white — the bag itself is actually very easy to wipe clean. But the white woven handle and strap are getting a little dingy. I’ll have to figure out some way to wash them soon.

    • Trisha says:

      p.s. Julia, I almost bought that bag instead of mine! But white was a better match for my bikes.

  11. Anne says:

    Trisha,

    Any problems with the blastic hooks breaking on the Basil bags? I have one that has a broken clip – wondered if this is a fluke or if anyone else has experienced broken clips.

    I have Fastrider paniers on my Oma. I love that they are waterproof and they hold a ton of stuff. My one issue is the velcro on the flap closure doesn’t stay closed. http://www.flickr.com/photos/81325557@N00/3546715035/ If the bags are full, the flap flies in the wind while I’m riding. I think they could easily be modified to address the problem, but my seamstress (Tim) is busy with other things these days. If I get new bags, I think I’ll choose some with buckles.

  12. Kirsty says:

    I also have one of these Basil bags! It’s gorgeous, such a pretty bag to look at. And I love the way it transfers to a shoulder bag.

    Only downsides – it gets so grimy and muddy and covered in brake dust. And, it isn’t waterproof – boo!

  13. Heaven McCaulley says:

    Love your blog! I wanted to add that I have Basil Rosa Panniers, and they are working out beautifully.
    They are polyester, so they wipe clean, and they do not have the hooks, instead nylon fasteners and velcro towards the bottom.
    Did I mention they are super cute as well? :)
    here is an image:

  14. Trisha says:

    @Heaven McCaulley – Thanks Heather! Good to know the Rosa is worth going for too.

  15. My clip broke after a week too. Very disappointing.

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