Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Henty Wingman – a multi-purpose, all-weather bag cyclists have been waiting for

The Henty Wingman
Have you ever thought it was about time you did something healthy such as cycling to work instead of taking the bus or the train? Me too, but you know what? It's never that easy – nothing is. Cycling to work is a terrible hassle, mainly because it involves an element of planning. It's not just a case of strolling into the garage, jumping on the bike and riding away. No, there's plenty of 'stuff' that needs attending to first, like where are you going to take a shower when you reach the office? If there's no shower then you need to locate the local leisure centre and if it's up the road from the office, ride there first and freshen up.

All well and good, but there's more. After a shower you don't want to be putting on your sweaty cycling gear again as that would defeat the object of visiting the leisure centre. It's all very well saying that if you were organised you might have taken some work clothes to the office along with a shirt, a pair of socks and a pair of shoes – but for me that's one of the reasons why I don't cycle to work. It's just too much grief – until now!

The Henty Wingman – ready to ride!
There's a new piece of kit on the market that takes the hassle factor out of cycling to work. It can't fix punctures or bad weather, but it makes life easier for people like me who feel that urge to ride to work but often think twice when the reality of carting a shed load of clothes to the office kicks in. And who wants to arrive at the office in their cycling clobber for all and sundry to gawp at prior to changing into that suit? There's nothing worst than skulking off to the bathroom, suit on a clothes hanger and saying, "I'll be back in a minute, just going to change out of this cycling gear...".

Cue the Henty Wingman. It might sound like the nickname of a Second World War fighter pilot, but it offers a solution for all those people who, like me, want to get on their bike but simply can't face the palaver involved in a ride to the office.

The Wingman is a combined suit carrier and backpack that conveniently rolls up once loaded and can be slung over your shoulder in preparation for a ride. There are two elements to it; first, the suit carrier, which is self-explanatory; and second a small, zipper bag that extends the width of the suit carrier and is big enough to carry a towel, shoes, your sandwiches and any washing gear you might require (shower gel, soap, a razor and so on).

The zipper bag connects to the suit carrier by means of sturdy plastic clips and then the suit carrier is simply rolled up and joined together by a couple of larger and equally sturdy clips forming a cylindrically-shaped backpack. Sling the whole lot over your shoulder and off you go to work carrying everything you're going to need when you get there.

Once on the bike the Wingman feels perfectly fine, it's exactly the same as a conventional cycling backpack except that it can carry your clothes, your washing gear, a shirt, a pair of shoes... it's brilliant!

The Wingman, says Henty, the Australian company behind the product, was designed by a couple of guys who cycle to work regularly but were frustrated by the lack of products available for transporting business wear. They put their thinking caps on and came up with the Wingman.

Henty describes the Wingman as 'a multi-purpose bag that enables easy and versatile all weather commuting and travel for active business men and women'. According to the company, "If you walk, cycle or fly to work or exercise before, during or after work, the Wingman is your new best friend."

If you would like to know more about the Wingman, log on to

• The people behind the Henty Wingman have kindly sent NoVisibleLycra a Wingman multi-purpose bag to test and it's packed and ready to use. I'm planning to ride to work and have a two-piece suit plus a shirt in addition to a towel, shower gel and a pair of shoes already packed. A report on my ride will follow shortly.

1. My Wingman with suit and shirt packed and the inner bag containing
shoes, a towel and some shower gel.
2. Packed and ready to roll into backpack mode...
3. Rolled up and ready to ride
• A word on putting the bag together, it's all very straightforward. In essence, as outlined above, the inner bag simply clips to the suit carrier and is then rolled up and clipped together. There's nothing complicated about this product at all.

Henty Wingman – if you're riding to work, this is the product to have

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