Do they pass the cup of tea test? It's a question we've asked ourselves more than once when deciding on brands for the store. In many ways, taking those first few steps with a new partner isn't so much about the product, but the person or persons behind it. So if we feel that the kettle could go on, and we can really get into a bike chat (all the while quietly sounding them out on quality, integrity and all-important biscuit choice), then we know that we've found a great supplier, partner and maybe even a friend.
With Restrap Bags, our relationship began in 2015 at the Bespoke Bicycle show in Bristol, when a cheery lady (Helen) took my expression of magnetic-amazement as a chance to introduce their fine, Yorkshire made bikepacking and backpack collection. Magnetic of course, because these top tea-dunkers make great use of magnets as ingenious trim & finishing kit. A few post-show emails and several phone chats later and we were an official Restrap stockist, and a proud one at that.
Yet, what Restrap didn't know is that for some time we'd been hearing the quiet word from bag aficionados, members of the public and industry insiders about a mystical 'Nathan' character; the powerhouse behind Restrap. Now this was a man we could do business with, and despite the impossibility of a tea-drinking session (Hampton and Yorkshire are sadly too far apart for quick kettle-action) we knew that between Helen and Nathan and the good word on the trails Restrap were a partner we'd be honoured to have onboard.
With the range now live on Always Riding, one thing we had been missing were in-action shots, but this week Nathan popped over some ride-inspiring images from their recent Restrap shoot. To be honest, it looks pretty miserable on set (epic) and it's clearly no Malibu on those moors, but really, you can't ride properly there can you? No, course you can't. Bet you can't even get a decent mud-spray up the leg, hah! We'll take Yorkshire anytime. Yep, almost certainly...