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We met with so many different companies at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show in Salt Lake City last week, I wasn’t even sure where to start. As I weighed my options, I realized it wouldn’t be fair for me to play favorites, so I dumped all the business cards and media kits we collected into a box, shook it up, then reached in and picked one at random. BAM! The Henty Wingman goes first.
As a cyclist that used to make the commute by bike from Lambton to Sandgate in Newcastle, Australia, I can truly appreciate what led a couple of Aussies to come up with the Henty Wingman. They ride to work, and wanted something that would allow them to take a nice change of clothes that didn’t arrive wrinkled. Of course, there was no single product that could do it all with much success – panniers are great for your lunch and casual work clothes, but not ideal for suits, and garment bags don’t work so well on a bicycle. So they developed the Wingman.
Combining the best features from a garment bag and a messenger bag, the Wingman opens flat, and allows you to hang your clothes on the included hanger. Simple enough. But there are a couple of strips of plastic sewn into the Wingman that allow it to be rolled, rather than folded, which is what prevents your clothes from getting unsightly creases. And once it’s rolled up, you can wear it across your back like a messenger bag. That neatly solves the clothing issue, but what about the rest of your gear? No worries, mate. Henty includes a slightly downsized duffel bag that will hold shoes, socks, underwear, toiletries, or whatever else you might need to take with you. Stuff it in the bag, clip it to the Wingman, roll it up, and you’re ready to go. (watch the video demo at the end of the article) There’s a nice sized pocket for keys and such, plus one for your iPad or other tablet/reader.
The Wingman includes an adjustable padded shoulder strap with quick release buckle, as well as a secondary strap to keep it in place while riding or walking. Being cyclists, the guys at Henty remembered to include a loop on the back for your blinkie, along with reflective piping. If you’re inclined to travel in bad weather, order the optional belt to go with the fully taped waterproof rain jacket. The whole setup weighs in at 3.9lbs (1.8kgs), with dimensions as follows: the garment bag is 22 x 39.8 inches (56 x 101cm) when flat, and 22 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches (56 x 22 x 25cm) when rolled. The duffel (or gym/utility bag as they call it) is 19.7 x 7.5 inches (50 x 19cm), which works out to a capacity of 12 liters. Between the two, you should be able to pack a suit and shirt, or three shirts. Ladies can expect to fit a dress or skirt and blouse just as easily. Up close, the stitching and construction of the Wingman looks to be of good quality, and the whole thing really does display plenty of attention to design details. This explains their selection as a finalist in the prestigious ISPO competition in Munich, Germany, which recognizes not just innovation and design, but product features and market potential.
Here’s a video demonstrating how to pack your Wingman: