Bontrager Sampler: Getting Rolling

Bontrager Sampler: Getting Rolling – by Grannygear

Here we have, from Trek, a Sampler Platter: Bontrager Shoes, a waist pack, and a jacket for really bad weather. First up we have the Bontrager Avert Adventure Mountain Bike Shoe: @ $174.99 – Well now, these are different.

The Bontrager Avert Shoe
The Bontrager Avert Adventure Shoe

From the Trek website:

Bontrager Avert is a lace-up bike shoe that can walk into whatever #GoByBike adventure you find—even after the bikes are put away. It’s clip-in compatible and perfect for on- and off-bike escapes, from daily rides to multi-day tours and even hikes. And it’s built with durable materials for lasting wear, a cushioned EVA midsole for all day comfort, and reverse lug traction for grip when you need it most.

The sole of the Bontrager Avert Adventure shoe

Product details

  • Durable, weather resistant, and breathable CORDURA® and suede upper construction for all-day, everyday use
  • High-traction reverse lug outsole can easily traverse any terrain you come across
  • Shock-absorbing EVA midsole for all day comfort
  • Classic lace closure system with convenient elastic lace keeper
  • Compatible with 2-bolt SPD-style cleats
  • Slip-on construction makes it easy to get on and off and assures the tongue never slides to one side

Not every cycling shoe should be a multi Boa-dialed, heavily lugged, stiff as a concrete block racing model. That has it’s place, but a shoe like that is not fun walking around town in or even for wearing when on a more casual ride.  I have nearly died crossing slippery rocks in a stream using a hard soled, stiff shoe. And let’s not even talk about a tiled coffee shop floor. How about laces, not dials. Or a mild waffle style tread. Make mine SPD compatible, with a weight of 930g per pair. There you go!

The Avert is all about the other way of thinking about shoes. It looks like a light weight hiking shoe more than a bike shoe and would fit in to any casual situation. It is nice to slip into as well. But how is it to pedal in?  There is a reason for stiff soles and aggressive lugs. So we shall see how these are out in the woods and if we are giving up more than we are getting.

Grannygear models the Bontrager Avert Rain Jacket
The Bontrager Avert Rain Jacket

Next up we have the Avert Rain Jacket: @ $169.95 From the Trek website:

The Avert Stormshell Jacket elevates fun in wet weather riding by providing worry-free, head-to-torso protection and is for anyone from the daily commuter to the dedicated mountain biker hitting the trail. Thanks to the incredibly lightweight design, you can easily store into a self-packing pocket if the rain subsides.

Grannygear modeling the Bontrager Avert RainJacket

Product details

  • Stormshell waterproof fabric powered by 37.5™ active-particle technology
  • 37.5™ membrane provides next-to-skin comfort and unbelievable breathability
  • Ultralight 200g weight [size medium]
  • Two zippered side pockets
  • Self-packable into right side pocket for easy stowing if the rain stops
  • BOA®-equipped hood is compatible with helmets and easily adjusts for off-bike use
  • YKK AquaGuard zipper and taped seams stop water from penetrating
  • Semi-fitted cut follows the curves of your body with room for movement and extra layers
Detail shot of the Bontrager Avert Rain Jacket hood over a helmet

When you see a garment coming from mountain biking, it often is not the slimmer cut that is more the roadie approach. MTB riders are not battling wind and higher speeds, but they do need room to move and a garment that can allow for packs and pads and moving through the mountains in awful weather.

And that is the Avert Rain Jacket. For instance the hood is big enough to go OVER a helmet. Try that with something that says Rapha on it. The cut is loose and there is a cord draw in the hem to gather the garment tighter around you. This is something you crawl into when things go all black and grey and wet around you.

However, I live in So Cal, so this type of garment is more of a ’stuff it in the pack in case’ deal. And that is fine as it compresses really well and would live in a frame pack just fine. Backpacking? Adventure use?  Yep.
I am not sure how much use we will get this into before the rainy parts of spring, so this might be a very short review, still we will do what we can.  Rain jackets do not get much use around here.

The Bontrager Rapid Pack
The Bontrager Rapid Pack

Finally we have the Bontrager Rapid Pack: @ $59.99 It’s a really small, pretty minimal, waist pack for quick forays and mad dashes. From the Trek website:

For off-road riders who give up seat packs for dropper posts, Rapid Pack is perfect for mountain bike rides lasting two hours or less. Designed with a sleek aesthetic that makes you feel like you aren’t wearing your uncle’s fanny pack, this bag holds all your essentials when cargo pockets are being used and hydration packs are overkill.

Detail of the Rapid Pack's side pocket

Product details

  • Lightweight stretch woven material is durable and works with the body’s natural movements
  • Ridged foam back panel for breathability and comfort
  • Two zippered security pockets hold essentials
  • Left-side opening features internal mesh pockets for easy gear organization
  • Middle waterbottle pocket centralizes weight while riding
  • Right-side opening features internal mesh pockets with compression phone sleeve and key fob
  • Fits most tubes including fat bike and plus sized models

Well, this is interesting…I am a bit skeptical on this as a viable pack for much of anything off road, but I could be wrong. I will be tossing some things into it and seeing what this is good for.  It seems like it carries enough to be handy, sort of, but maybe not enough to be of real value. For instance I can put anything this will carry into my frame bag and not have anything interfering with jersey pocket storage.

The Rapid Pack with a water bottle inserted.
You can increase your water carrying capacity with the Rapid Pack

But this comes from mountain biking where many riders have no place to even put a saddle bag, frame bag ,or even have pockets on a jersey.  Not sure if that is gravel rider applicable, but we shall see.

Stay tuned for how these pieces work out in my next update.

Note: Bontrager sent over the Avert Shoes, Avert Rain Jacket, and the Rapid Pack at no charge to Riding Gravel for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


Author: Grannygear

Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for in his spare time.

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2 thoughts on “Bontrager Sampler: Getting Rolling

  1. How high up is the zipper on that jacket with it over your helmet? It’s hard to tell at the angle of that picture. I bought a rain jacket earlier this year that claimed it was cut to go over a helmet, but the top of the zipper was against my mouth with the hood over a medium helmet. Wasn’t a great fit.

    That hip pack was a surprise hit for me. I bought one from a local shop on a whim and use it constantly. MTB – check. Extra bottle location for a gravel ride – check. Something to store dog doo bags and a phone on a run or walk – check. Hold my phone while mowing the lawn – check. I bet I have worn it a few hundred times. It doesn’t bounce around on the bike and it’s really well thought out while still being minimalist.

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