Stealth Bike Bags

Who’s the person behind Stealth Bike Bags?

My name is Michael Trudgen. I am the designer, manufacturer, business owner, and adventurer (i.e., product tester). I am a born and bred Wellingtonian who has always endeavoured to make the most out of the outdoors right on our doorstep. Prior to diving into the world of everything biking, my time was spent sailing, windsurfing, skiing, and tramping. Stealth Bike Bags is now based in the centre of Wellington CBD, not far from the hills where the adventures begin. 

How did it all start?

As well as adventuring, I have always loved making things. Back in 2014, I wanted to give bikepacking a go but local options for high quality bags were limited. I decided to try my hand at bag-making, just for my partner and I, and it all snowballed from there!

Which product are you most proud of?

The Hightop Bumbag. The rigid back panel provides superior comfort and you can pack it full without impacting on its fit. It is arguably the most versatile bag on the Stealth shelves.

What excites you about the NZ bikepacking scene and how would you like to see the scene grow/change?

The New Zealand bikepacking scene is exponentially growing. High quality tracks are being added throughout NZ and the options for overnight rides are growing all of the time. There is always a new adventure to be had. It is great to see the NZ government and local councils getting behind cycling and making it possible for riders of all abilities.

There are also now multiple local bike bag makers. I would love to see more people buying local and choosing high quality, sustainable gear.

Where’s your favourite place your gear has taken you?

Without a doubt Haurangi Hut in the Remutaka Ranges. You couldn’t ask for better mountain biking to and from the hut which itself is situated in a stunning river valley surrounded by native bush. I am also a massive fan of riding the Queen Charlotte drive on a touring bike, taking in the beauty of the top of the South, stopping for swims, and appreciating such a special part of Aotearoa.

What’s next for Stealth Bike Bags?

I have recently released the Rata 20, a multi-use 20 litre backpack. I wanted to make backpacks for a long time (originally inspired by BOgear) and with the addition of a laser cutter to the workshop enabling complex shapes to be cut quickly and accurately, I decided to give it a crack. The question still lingers whether it will work financially but I think it’s a pretty cool pack that will last a lifetime and quickly prove its worth. 

Any other Aussie/NZ makers, creators and scene builders you want to shout out:

BOgear from Australia was a real inspiration for me, especially in Stealth’s early days. Dave’s enthusiasm was contagious and his generosity with regard to sharing his processes and systems in manufacturing his outdoor gear was invaluable. Earth Sea Sky and Twin Needle have also been super helpful, sharing their knowledge about suppliers, and making key recommendations about machinery.


Stealth Bike Bags Instagram

Stealth Bike Bags Facebook


If you’d like to be part of the makers, creators and scene builders series, or if you’d like to recommend someone, contact us on our instagram or send us an email.


Subscribe to stay in the loop with the latest from Desire Lines CC