Gear Watch: Messenger Bags Made From Recycled Bike Tubes

Alchemy Goods of Seattle takes used bike tubes and turns them into shoulder bags, backpacks, tablet covers, and other products. They then accessorize their unique gear with recycled—or "upcycled" as the company like to call it—seatbelts (for shoulder straps) and bike valves (zipper pulls).

For cyclists who like to wear their passion on their sleeve (or shoulder in this case), Alchemy Goods offers an array of shoulder bags. These include the capacious—and imaginatively named—Messenger Bag ($168, pictured right), which is large enough to handle a 17-inch laptop; as well as smaller versions like the 10-inch-wide Pine ($108).

Other Alchemy Goods bike tube products include handbags, tablet covers for the iPad or Kindle Fire, wallets, belts, and the Elliott Dopp Kit Toiletry Bag (made from upcycled truck inner tubes, pictured below). You can check out the entire product line here.

All Alchemy Goods products are made by splitting open the bike tubes lengthwise and then stitching them together. They are also all made in the USA at a local Seattle facility. Bike tubes are waterproof and extremely stain resistant to boot.

And, as a bonus, Alchemy Goods products "develop a finish over time that gives them the soft feeling of a fine Italian leather" (though I would be surprised to see them on the streets of Milan any time soon). Having handled some of their products, however, I can attest that they do have a distinctive supple feel that drapes nicely and across the body—a plus for wearing while riding.

To date, Alchemy Goods has reclaimed 300,000 bike tubes (!) and continues to actively solicit more used bike tubes from consumers and bike shops. REI has a tube recycling program in place with Alchemy Goods and will accept used bike tubes at any of their locations.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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