Original Free Range didn't start out as a company. It started out as a simple solution to a very specific, but serious problem: How to carry a beer on a bike for an short ride to the top of a mountain and drink it "cold" while watching the sunset?
The "cold" part was the problem, especially here, in the Arizona desert. The easy answer was just wrapping the beer in a small towel and shoving it in a pack, which for a hot ride, isn't optimal. So we went to work on how to move it to the bike. A cheap neoprene koozi is too thick to go into a bicycle bottle cage and without a top, your beverage quickly loses it cool. So with some wetsuit neoprene (premium CR Grade), we went to work sewing our own beverage koozi to fit in a bottle cage and still keep that beer cold for an hour or more of riding.
As expected, we found what worked best was a watertight bottom with a similar shape of a koozi with a totally removable top that was easy to put on and take off. But, what we didn't expect was that the fully enclosed "koozi" we created was a really great alternative to a traditional saddlebag.
And so the Original Tube Beanie was born. The neoprene we were using worked perfectly to protect the essentials (spare tube, tools, CO2, etc.) we normally carried on a ride and it kept everything dry and rattle-free. It was a dream material for carrying gear on the bike and our simple design meant we had quick access to our stuff, a form fit and no chance of busting a zipper.
Neoprene has some drawbacks. It is notoriously hard to sew and our premium grade neoprene costs about 3x more per yard than other high-end fabrics like X-Pac, but we felt those negatives are vastly outweighed by the stretch and protection it provides.
Since creating the Original Tube Beanie in 2018, we launched our website with a lineup of ride related products that can take advantage of the unique properties of neoprene, like our latest introduction, the QuickStrap. And more designs are on the way, so we hope you can join our family as we grow and help us spread the word that not all bags are created equal. Some are very different...and in a very good way.