Hand made

19Feb10

I didn’t understand cycling caps until very recently. I thought the bills were for show and the style was for Bushwick hipsters, but it turns out they’re just as practical as a ball cap in the outfield. In the winter, about all I ever wear is a wool cap with earflaps from Walz. It keeps the sun out of my eyes and the cold off my ears. I’m a pretty warm person generally, so I only add a balaclava on the days it gets into the low teens.

They’re a tiny operation in San Diego. I swear their website used to have a picture of Mrs. Walz at a sewing machine in her living room cranking them out, but it’s not there anymore. They have probably grown since, but all their stuff is still made in the US and done by hand. I can attest to that—the bill on my cap isn’t straight. And I like it. Recommended.

Speaking of micro-scale, handmade in the States: Acorn Bags is another operation worth mentioning. I have their small rear bag on my Raleigh for my tools and tubes and assorted junk. It does just what I need it to do and not much else. I can’t speak to their larger bags because I haven’t seen them firsthand, but the craftsmanship on this tiny bag is excellent, so let’s extrapolate.

They’re a husband-and-wife team and nobody else. They used to post notices about how many weeks the wait would be to get a bag; it generally hovered around seven to eight. Now they just post all the stock they’ve made the previous month and then go into hiding to crank out another month’s worth. If you don’t want to wait for Carradice and their flaky export schedule and you believe in domestically-produced goods, Acorn Bags is it.

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