I’ve tried and tested this piece of bikepacking luggage on a 5 week trip in Morocco. My Wildcat Cheetah review is based on rides across the toughest terrain I’ve ever ridden.
It has been battered in sandstorm, carried across a raging river and bounced down the side of a mountain. It has been used and now it looks like it belongs with the rest of my kit. Dusty.
While most top tube bags, or ‘fuel tanks’ sit behind the head tube, Wildcat’s offering is designed to fit on top of the top tube, against the seat tube/seat post.
Genius! Why isn’t everyone making them this way?
I’ve never managed to securely fasten a traditional style top tube bag to my bike because of the steep angle, and the thickness of the frame. But Dan used to have a well known model, which flopped to one side and irritated the hell out of him. So what I’m saying is I was aware of the possible pitfalls before I agreed to test and review the product.
The bag is small enough to stay put with only two hook and loop tabs, yet big enough to hold items that you like to keep handy. If you already own an Ocelot (one of Wildcat’s partial frame bags), then this piece of gear is designed to fit with that perfectly.
The Cheetah comes in two styles standard and cutaway. I’ve got the standard. The cutaway works best for frames with an angled seat mast bridge as found on many Surly bikes.
When the bag arrived, I took it on a day ride and carried a couple of slices of fruit cake, phone, buff, and lip balm and still had room for more.
There is enough padding to safely carry a small camera and feel secure enough for your precious iPhone. I carried a couple of eggs inside the little nest. (In the interest of full disclosure, they were hard-boiled).
The inside is bright yellow, which helps when you’re looking for fiddly bits in low light.
Guaranteed to help you get your leg over. Yip, I’m an expert at swinging my leg over the back of the bike now. I look like a pro, whereas before I got this bag, I looked like a wuss, lifting my leg over the bar.
It’s sleek, stylish and always looks sober. This pack stays upright, even if you fill it with a hip flask full of cognac, which I did.
And if you’re game enough to ride with one hand, you can use the other to access your little pack while on the move. I tried it once, and it worked. Remember to keep your eyes fixed on where you’re going, let your fingers to the searching.
What could be better?
If you’re using this with a frame bag, you’ll need to ensure that you have space to attach the strap to the top tube, otherwise it may not look as sleek as you might like, or at worst, not fit at all.
A piece of bikepacking kit that’s handmade in Britain and finished with care. Ideal for those extra snacks you might want on an overnight trip, a long day ride or a multi-day tour.
Dimensions L: 150mm. H: 120mm, W: 45mm wide
At £45.00, this bag is good value for money.
This bag is named after a cheetah and a cheetah is a cat, but I think it’s the dog’s bollocks.
Get one at Wildcat’s online shop.
This piece of equipment was supplied to me by Wildcat Gear for independent test and review.