Bikepacking Check Out: Bags Edition

May 14, 2020 at 10:51
by Sarah Moore  



Mountain biking and camping have gone hand in hand for me as long as I can remember. First, as a child when having a bicycle meant I could roam freely around the campground while my parents made dinner. Then, growing up cross-country racing in Quebec, I spent almost every pre-race evening on an air mattress in a tent, rain or shine. Later, exploring new places in British Columbia and trying my hand at enduro, I found myself lighting up a camp stove and tearing down my tent as a pre-race routine once again. Last fall, I spent two weeks camping in Moab, Utah on a mountain bike trip. There's just something about long days and the joys of camp cooking and s'mores by a campfire that make staying in a tent an obvious choice when you're on a mountain bike trip.

That being said, all of this camping has been done next to a vehicle, "glamping" some may say, with a spacious tent, pillow, camp chairs, a large camp stove, full-sized toolbox for bike repairs, and all of the warm clothes. It's also been in close proximity to a road and other people. While I've gone on hiking trips and been able to camp out of a backpack, I've never even attempted to just take the basics on a bike trip. However, there are now more options than ever for carrying your gear intelligently on your mountain bike and a whole pile of lightweight camping options (stay tuned for my next Check Out on camping gear!), so I'm looking forward to getting off the beaten path and away from the crowds with a minimalist bikepacking set-up.






Topeak BackLoader 10L + TopLoader



Topeak BackLoader 10L Features

• Gear Capacity: 10L
• Weight: 480 g / 16.93 oz (Black)
• Dimensions: 60 x 20 x 18 cm / 23.6” x 7.9” x 7.1”
• Waterproof inner dry bag included
• Attachment: 3 hook and loop fasteners
• Safety light clip, Air release button, Rolltop closure
• 2 colours (black and green)
• $84.95 USD
topeak.com
Topeak TopLoader Features

• Gear Capacity: 0.75L
• Weight: 169 g / 5.96 oz (Black)
• Dimensions: 23.5 x 12 x 7 cm / 9.3” x 4.7” x 2.8”
• Water repellent + hidden pull-out rain cover
• Attachment: 3 adjustable nylon straps
• 2 colours (black and green)
• $36.95 USD
topeak.com

bigquotesUntil recently, the most common way for people to transport their gear on their bikes was a rear rack. Since high-end mountain bikes don't have the proper mounts for a rack, carrying gear wasn't all that feasible, or comfortable, for many core mountain bikers. The design of the Topeak BackLoader seat bag allows you to carry gear on your bike without the need for a rear rack. The bag comes in 6L, 10L, and 15L options, is made of water-resistant and durable materials, and has a waterproof inner dry bag so you don't have to worry if it starts to rain while you're out. A built-in air release button keeps the waterproof inner bag compact. The bag is secured under your saddle and on your seat post with hook and loop fasteners.

The 10L bag feels secure when installed and Topeak says that the upgraded saddle mount system combined with the compression straps reduces the pendulum effect of the bag. To mount the BackLoader on bikes with dropper posts, you should buy a DP Mount which places the seatpost attachment point away from stanchion, otherwise, as you can see from my photos, you lose functionality of the dropper. The webbing on the top is suitable for storing your jacket if you get too hot.

There are two padded pockets inside the 0.75L TopLoader and it is an easy bag to add to any frame, allowing for quick and easy access to snacks, a phone, tools or any small essential gear that you might want to have close at hand. There's a very well-hidden rain cover that velcros securely to the main straps when the weather turns.

Depending on your frame, you can either run the TopLoader at the front of the rear of your top tube. On the size medium Juliana Maverick, as pictured here, the bag can only be mounted in front of the seat tube since the straps aren't long enough to wrap over the larger part of the frame at the front of the top tube.

If you are a weight weenie, go with the green option in these Topeak bags since it's lighter.
Sarah Moore

Secure buckles and compression straps keep the 10L load in place.
If you purchase a DP Mount, you won't have to fasten the BackLoader to your dropper.

The TopLoader doesn't fit at the headtube, but it fits securely in front of the seatpost.
Two separate compartments keep things neat in the TopLoader.

The [very well] hidden rain cover velcros securely in place on top of the TopLoader.
The drybag that comes in the BackLoader with a handy air vent at the bottom.




Revelate Designs Hopper Frame Bag & Joey Downtube Bag



Revelate Designs Hopper Frame Bag Features

• Gear Capacity: 4L
• Weight: 6 ounces / 170g
• Dimensions: 11" x 7" / 28cm x 18cm
• Waterproof: No
• Attachment: 5 velcro straps
• Universal fitting
• Comes in black
• $79 USD
revelatedesigns.com
Revelate Designs Joey Downtube Bag Features

• Gear Capacity: 2L
• Weight: 4.2 oz / 119 g
• Dimensions: 10" inches long when full
• Waterproof: No
• Attachment: 2 silicon-coated velcro straps
• Comes in black
• $69 USD
revelatedesigns.com

bigquotesThe Revelate Hopper Frame Bag and Joey Downtube Bag are both made in the USA and are nifty alternatives to a rear-loading seat bag. With its five velcro straps allowing for easy adjustments, the Revelate frame bag is designed to fit most adult-sized bikes. Whether the bag is stuffed to its 4L capacity or barely full, it sits nicely in the frame and holds its shape. The magnetic closure on the right-hand side makes it easy to access items in the bag with one hand. There is an exit port in the main compartment so you can use a hydration tube, walkman wires, etc. in conjunction with the bag.

The Joey Downtube bag is designed to add carrying capacity to bikes with limited room for frame bags, or those just needing more space. Revelate says that the Joey is ideal for carrying dense or heavy items since it allows the rider to maintain a low center of gravity. A Jetboil stove and fuel canister fit perfectly. The compression-molded foam panel along the top of the bag that rests against the downtube is paired with silicone coated compression straps so that things stay in place when you're riding, although you will sacrifice bottom bracket clearance. The roll-top means you won't have to deal with dirty zippers despite its being in a high mud-hazard area.

The downsides of this set-up are that it isn't waterproof, your waterbottle cage has to be removed and you'll have reduced bottom bracket clearance, but otherwise, it seems that the set-up will interfere minimally with your ride quality since the weight is low and the bags don't move around a lot.
Sarah Moore

It was a bit tight, but I got the Hopper Frame Bag & the Joey Downtube Bag to play nicely.
Three straps hold the frame bag securely on the frame.

There's an adjustable magnetic buckle to help the bag hold its shape full or empty and allow for one-handed access.

There are five straps in total on the Hopper.
A compression-molded foam panel along the top of the bag keeps it solid and silicone grippers keep the straps in place.





Pro Discover Handlebar Bag, Seatpost Bag & Food Pouch



Pro Discover Handlebar Bag Features

• Gear Capacity: 8L
• Fully waterproof bag
• Bag opens on two sides for easy access to all items
• Bungee cord to store quick-access items
• Reflective elements for safety and visibility
• Attachment: 2 double velcro straps + single
• Comes in black
• $89.99 USD
pro-bikegear.com
Pro Discover Seatpost Bag Features

• Gear Capacity: 15L
• Full waterproof bag
• One large compartment
• Bungee cord to store quick-access items
• Reflective elements for safety and visibility
• Attachment: 2 double velcro straps + 2 buckles
• Comes in black
• $89.99 USD
pro-bikegear.com

Pro Discover Food Pouch Features

• Gear Capacity: 0.5L
• Waterproof material
• Fill with quick-access food or an extra bottle
• Quick closure operable with one hand
• Attachment: 3 velcro straps
• Comes in black
• $35 USD
pro-bikegear.com


bigquotesIt took me a minute to figure out how to use and install Shimano's Pro Discover Handlebar Bag since the bag and the roll are two separate pieces. Basically, it's a dry bag that you wrap in the outside piece of waterproof fabric and then secure to your handlebar. The way the bag mounts to the handlebar is well thought out, with two layers of velcro and padding to keep the bag tightly in place and four straps in total for two mounting spots. While I struggled to install the third strap around the steer tube on my frame since it was just a touch shorter than I would have liked it to be and the mounting point wasn't adjustable, it was secure once installed. It's also nice that you can access the contents of the bag from the left or the right side since there are roll-top style entries on both sides.

The Pro Discover Seatpost Bag was easy to install and I liked the fact that the straps all have nifty ways of being stored so they can't fall into your rear wheel. At 15L, the bag is large, and even if there was a dropper post adapter, you wouldn't be able to utilize the dropper post with it since there wouldn't be enough tire clearance. It's a great option if you're planning on carrying lots of gear since it has ample room, is fully waterproof, and the webbing on the outside provides even more storage in a pinch. All of the Discover bags come in one size, which makes sense for the other bags in the line, but I'd love to see a smaller version of the Discover Seatpost Bag.

The handlebar pouch has three velcro straps that tie it to your handlebar and head tube and it's style makes it a good addition to a bikepacking set up with a frame bag where you lose access to your water bottle mounts. It's also a great place to keep snacks so you remember to eat and don't bonk. I'm thinking peanut M&Ms.
Sarah Moore

Another bag that would benefit from the DP Mount, or can be strapped to the dropper post directly with two velcro straps.
The three straps on the Food Pouch hold snacks or a water bottle securely in place on your handlebar.

There are two velcro attachments one on top of the other to help the bag stay in place as well as a longer strap that goes around the head tube.




Watershed Dry Bags McKenzie



Watershed Dry Bags McKenzie Features

• Gear Capacity: 10.5L
• Weight: 1.5lb / 680g
• Dimensions: 9″ x 16″ x 7.25″
• Waterproof: Yes
• Attachment: Plastic mounts + strap
• Rugged carrying handles
• Comes in Coyote, Black or Sage (pictured)
• $135 USD
drybags.com


bigquotesInstalling the Watershed McKenzie is a breeze since there are two velcro straps that fasten it to the handlebar and a third strap that secures it to the headtube. A nice touch is the multiple straps and mounting points available on the bag. Depending on what your cable situation is like and the shape of your frame, you can change the point on the bag where the straps fasten so that the bag fits more snugly against your bike and is less likely to move around when you're riding.

For bikepacking adventures where you're likely to get caught in a rainstorm or two, the Watershed McKenzie bag looks to be a solid choice. Along with a roll-top, the bag features a heavy plastic 'ZipDry' closure that requires a special twist and tug technique to open. While it required some initial puzzling, I like to think that if it took me some time to figure out, the rain and mud that want to get in and soil my camping gear won't be able to breach it either. Time will tell if that is the case.
Sarah Moore

Durable waterproof fabric on this tough-looking bag.
An alternative to velcro for the mounting system on the handlebar.

A nice touch is the multiple straps and mounting points available on the McKenzie.
The ZipDry closure is made of a thick rubbery plastic that is initially difficult to open.





Geosmina Large Seat Bag, Handlebar Bag & Large Top Tube Bag



Geosmina Large Seat Bag Features

• Gear Capacity: 15L
• Weight: 520 grams / 18.34 ounces
• Dimensions: 71 × 13 × 14 cm
• Full waterproof bag
• Reinforced panels, rubberised lower panel
• Attachment: 2 Velcro straps + 2 buckles
• Comes in one colour
• 103,50€
geosminacomponents.com
Geosmina Handlebar Bag Features

• Gear Capacity: 10L
• Weight: 290 grams / 10.2 ounces
• Dimensions: 63 × 27 × 27 cm
• Full waterproof bag
• Free of PVC and 100% recyclable
• Attachment: 2 velcro straps + 1 Nylon straps with metal buckle
• Comes in one colour
• 57,00€
geosminacomponents.com

Geosmina Large Top Tube Bag Features

• Gear Capacity: 1L
• Weight: 160 grams / 5.6 ounces
• Dimensions: 26 × 5.5 × 105-5.5 cm
• Waterproof material
• PVC free and 100% recyclable
• Attachment: 3 velcro straps
• Comes in one colour
• 48,00€
geosminacomponents.com


bigquotesGeosmina is a Spanish company that specializes in bikepacking gear. The seat bag pictured here is their 15L version, but they also have a smaller 10L version available. The yellow interior is waterproof and the light colour makes it easy to find items that have fallen to the bottom. The reinforced side panels are said to help keep the load stable, while the rubberized bottom panel is resistant to mud and splashes. For extra storage, there's a bungee at the top of the bag to lash more gear on, although the brand doesn't recommend loading this bag over 5kg.

Both the Geosmina Handlebar Bag and the Large Top Tube Bag are made out of a different material to the Large Seat Bag that is PVC free and 100%. They both use a beautiful seamless construction that is fully waterproof and lightweight. Although light, the fabric seems durable and the brand says it has high resistance to abrasion and tearing. On the Geosmina Handlebar Bag, you can access your gear from both sides thanks to the roll-top style closures on both and it is easy to mount thanks to the multiple strap options that come with the bag.

On the Top Tube Bag, there is a removable divider that allows its interior to be divided into two spaces so that your snacks and spare batteries won't end up in a jumble. Another nice feature is that the brand incorporates two velcro straps sets to accommodate different sized frames.
Sarah Moore







Apidura Dropper Saddle Pack



Dropper Saddle Pack Features

• Gear Capacity: 6L
• Weight: 265g
• Dimensions: 13cm x 29cm x 14cm
• Waterproof: Yes
• Attachment: 3 velcro straps + dropper post adapter
• Maintains function of dropper posts
• Optimised for bikes with limited rear wheel clearance
• Comes in one colour
• $156 USD / £92
apidura.com


bigquotesThe Dropper Saddle Pack from British bikepacking brand Apidura is a great option for riders with dropper posts since you still retain the functionality of the dropper post thanks to the provided adapter. At 6L, the bag has ample room for a puffy coat or extra clothing but is small enough that it won't hit the rear tire when the dropper is fully compressed. If you do get a bit too sendy and bottom out the bag against your rear tire, the bag shouldn't be damaged since there's a reinforced skid plate on the bottom of the bag to protect against tire contact.

With a roll-top closure, the capacity of the bag is flexible depending on what you're carrying and with one buckle, it's quick to access the contents of the bag whether it's on or off the bike. It's on the pricier side, but a full lightweight waterproof construction and dropper post compatibility help justify that price tag.
Sarah Moore

Dropper post fully extended.
Dropper post (150mm) fully compressed.

Roll top closure with one buckle for quick access.
The dropper post adapter that allows for functionality of your dropper post.



128 Comments

  • 93 4
 Get your bikepacking bags from small bag-makers who live in your communities and are struggling during the pandemic (there are a million out there), not big companies like Topeak!
  • 16 0
 For any one in the UK Weecog do some nice custom frame bags.
  • 33 0
 Anyone in south central Colorado, check out, Oveja Negra....
  • 22 0
 anyone in arizona check out rogue panada.
  • 7 1
 Anyone from Canada should check out Axiom. They make some perty neat stuff, like fully water resistant gear, made out of recycled fishnets.
I got they're wedge 2.8 saddle bag, use on both my hardtail, and rigid touring rig. Fit's a ton of gear, very light, and built like a tank. The material is very abrasion resistant, took over 70km of rubbing the back tire, not even a scratch on her. Best part, very reasonable prices, and supporting a good cause/company.
"Note: Not affiliated with them in any way. I just like em' so much, there what i'll kit out for any tour."
www.axiomgear.com
  • 5 0
 @scottlink: I second Oveja!! super rad company
  • 5 0
 anyone in the bay area check out outershell. sicky handmade stuff and custom goodness comes in camo too
  • 2 0
 In Canada there's Onsight bags out of Squamish and Geosmina bags which are all waterproof.
  • 6 0
 Here's an interactive map pf local bag makers, all over the world: a href="https://bikepacking.com/gear/bikepacking-gear-map/">Map of Bikepacking Bag Makers/a>
  • 9 0
 For the Canadians, www.porcelainrocket.com is handmade in Calgary, Alberta.
  • 3 1
 Topeak is made in China?
  • 3 1
 @zoobab2: not really the point. The point is to find and support local bag-makers, of which there are a many across the world.
  • 4 0
 Also from Canada is Thief Bikepacking, hand made in Jasper Alberta. www.thiefbikepacking.com
  • 6 0
 Here in New Zealand, check out Stealth Bike Bags
  • 2 0
 Second that! Check out Straight Cut Design for top quality bespoke bikepacking bags made in Scotland!
  • 18 0
 Rockgeist saddle bags are amazing. I've been running their Gondola with a 150mm post for a few years without a single issue. I can slam the dropper and the bag won't buzz unless the suspension fully compresses, which is not very often while bikepacking. Topeak's bags have also served me well. Especially their Frontloader handlebar system. Love their dry bags. Appreciate the bikepacking content!
  • 2 0
 Have to get you and Andy back to Colorado!
  • 1 0
 @Jaylynx: Yessir!
  • 4 0
 Rockgeist FTW. Their barjam setup is so secure. I can bomb singletrack all day long and it doesn’t budge. Awesome custom frame bag too.
  • 11 3
 "The dropper post adapter that allows for full functionality of your dropper post." Actually even with the adapter as high up as it will go, you will not maintain full functionality of the dropper post. Keep in mind also that the bag is going to rub on the tire under shock compression part way down the seatpost's travel. IMO if you're going to try to bikepack on a full suspension maybe you should just install either a short-stroke dropper or a rigid post.
  • 5 2
 Good point, removed the word "full". And agreed that the 150mm dropper with 140mm travel is likely to be ambitious for but you can also just lower the dropper as much as the set-up allows if you're just testing that waters before committing to swapping out the post. This is a Check Out and not a full review so I can't comment on the functionality while out riding yet.
  • 3 1
 Wolftooth makes a clamp that lets you limit dropper travel: www.wolftoothcomponents.com/products/valais-25

Probably a good idea for bikepacking!
  • 1 0
 adding air to the rear shock for long road sections turns a dually into a "soft tail", and would keep the bag from rubbing the tire on bumps or g-outs in wash crossings.
  • 1 0
 Yup, even without dropping her post, my wifes small Liv Hail experienced lots of tire rub against the seatbag until we really jacked up shock pressure and also used a webbing cinch strap to really pull the bag up tight to the seat. No chance at all of lowering the seatpost.
  • 11 0
 Useful for bike packing from the shed to the bottom of the garden at the moment.
  • 7 0
 As a non-carbon rider and observation, I would be concerned about the strap sawing through my carbon frame in rainy or muddy environments.
  • 7 0
 Helicopter tape solves this
  • 2 0
 @tlilly: Wow, never heard of this stuff, thanks. Is it very difficult to remove/does it ever damage paint?
  • 4 0
 @man-wolf: I've applied and peeled off a lot of helicopter tape and it has never removed paint but depending on the brand can leave a lot of residue that is a pain to remove. Positives outweigh the negatives at least for me.
  • 1 0
 @McKai: Thanks a lot for the info. I'm just finally getting into bikepacking after dreaming of it for years and will be doing it on a carbon frame for now. This seems like a great solution to preventing rub.
  • 1 0
 As an aluminum rider, I really should've wrapped my frame before putting on a top tube bag, good-bye paint!
  • 2 0
 @tlilly: also known as 3m paint protection film
  • 6 2
 Dang, cantilevering weight like that on the back of your dropper post just doesn't seem like a very good idea...? Maybe need an old or cheap dropper just for bikepacking and then swap them? OR know that your going to have to get your post rebuilt sooner???

But I guess worth it for the bikepacking!!!
  • 8 0
 When I go back packing, I put my tiny cookset, sleeping bag, and a puffy jacket in the seat bag. Maybe, with the bag itself, we could call it an extra 10 lbs. Compared to the weight of the rider, it's nothing.
  • 3 2
 @pmhobson: the comparison to the rider's weight is basically meaningless. The cargo will swing and rattle in a relatively high frequency since it is much less inert than the rider.
  • 5 0
 @martn: Every bag I've used (Revelate and Porcelain Rocket) has been pretty stable. A sleeping bag and puffy jacket aren't what I would consider to be rattling objects. The cookset goes into the bag of the bag nearest the post, so it's all pretty stable. And it's hard to image that the small amount of swing that does exist doing anything to post at all.
  • 5 0
 Not a good idea for droppers, but not due to the weight...the stanchion of the post gets rubbed horribly, increasing friction when you want to drop it, and letting dirt and muck past the seal. I learned that lesson once, then got a $ 30 rigid post for bikepacking
  • 3 0
 @mnorris122: Wolf Tooth Valais protects your dropper stanchion and stabilizes the seat bag.
  • 3 1
 @pmhobson: I don't mean anything rattling inside the bag. Every dropper post I've seen has at least a tiny bit of play. Compared to the rider's mass the bag will be too light to stop the play. Instead it will induce it and make the dropper's mechanism rattle as soon as you're not seated.
I've done some experimenting with an Ortlieb seat bag. The largest of the none-bikepacking-specifics. They mount to the saddle rails with a bracket. That bracket soon started rattling, so I added strapping. I also added a little clamped collar to fix it to the seatpost. That was the result: flic.kr/p/Kcba62
There was basically no movement between the bag and the saddle. Then I started hearing and feeling the mechanism of my Fox Transfer. That wasn't nice.
I asked the guys from Fox at Eurobike what they think of big seat bags concerning the wear of the seatpost's internals and as I expected, they didn't approve it. It sure would be interesting if any dropper post manufacturer approves dangling a few pounds of cargo with some nice leverage to the saddle. Maybe @sarahmoore would like to check with some as a sort of a follow up.

As for me, I'm lucky that I only ride hardtails, am rather tall and know a guy who can bend and braze steel tubes. I now run a small and light (330 grams including the bolts) custom rack that only fits the Surly Karate Monkey in XL and its only purpose is to carry a drybag strapped on top. And a trowel. This puts the weight lower and there is no movement at all, even in proper technical terrain. That's what it looked like last year in Slovenia: https://www.pinkbike.com/photo/18695988/
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: You do have a good point, but I'm not sure everyone is that careful when packing! Smile It may not be a huge amount of weight, but it's acting like a lever multiplying that weight at an angle the post wasn't designed for. (some of those bags are pretty long!) Also it's "always" applying that weight on every bump VS a rider generally stands up or at least un-weights the seat to some degree naturally. So your dropper post is actually saved from the largest impacts from the rider weight.

I'm not saying NOT to do it or that your post is gonna just blow up on you or something. Just that it would probably increase the wear on your post and it would probably develop "play" quicker?

Also I'd be concerned about the wear some of those straps might cause on the sliding surfaces. When your post develops play it's usually designed to be rebuilt with ~low~ cost replacement parts to tighten things back up. But if you wear out the surface finish the replacement cost goes WAY up! (props to KS as they replaced the sliding parts on one of my posts for free once, but I think it was because they had developed something new/better??)

At any rate, I haven't bikepacked since the early 90's. I have seen a cheap post bend from one of those post mount racks. But it had a cooler with beer and firewood on top and at least it didn't break!!
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: I was imagining the same thing...
  • 4 0
 Or. You could get them from PlanetX ( poc) where you could fit your whole bike for £70.
www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/ZXPIBUN/pack-it-bundle
Lomo are not much more then Alpkit. Bike packing always comes across as being a bearded hipster snob sport and it absolutely does not have to be.
I am using some PlanetX ones on my gravel/general mouch bike and they are just fine
  • 2 0
 Beards aside, if snobbery means supporting independent local businesses that produce quality kit instead of giving money to folk like Planet X then I'd rather be a snob every day of the week!
  • 1 1
 @beardedbrambler: Case in point; that was pretty much spot on snobby behavior lauding your "clearly" superior buying decisions over somebody else's...
  • 3 0
 @stiingya: I mostly read supporting indepent local businesses.. which is cool in my eyes.
But I got a beard, so maybe I am biased.

This will only lead to a classic mass produce vs boutique discussion Smile
  • 1 1
 @likehell: I think you read the part you wanted to? Look at all the comments on this page about "why didn't you mention such and such custom bags" or how many comments about showing bags on a trail bike as if it's some faux pa to bike pack without a purpose built rig.

Nobody should have to justify throwing some cheap bags on whatever bike they happen to own and heading out...
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: Is it really such a bad thing to advocate for people to stop spending their money on shitty products that don't last?
  • 1 0
 @beardedbrambler: You didn't offer up opinion or discussion on "buy once, cry once", VS "cheap and repeat". You reveled in bearded snobbery and then it's justified as philanthropy...
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: That's simple, there's no justification for buying products that don't last, or to buy from companies that aren't seriously thinking about how they can reduce their environmental footprint. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave many options in certain areas of the industry but where bikepacking kit is concerned, there are plenty of options for indy manufacturers that are doing their bit.

Save your insults and go ride your bike.
  • 1 1
 @beardedbrambler: You didn't offer up an opinion or discussion on putting your money where it saves the planet? You reveled in bearded snobbery and are now justifying it with environmentalism instead of philanthropy?

What kind of device are you commenting on these forums with? Your computer/tablet/phone made locally from environmentally friendly resources in a responsible manner that will easily recycle...?
  • 2 0
 Toploader and water bottle means no backpack and no pockets filled up on a short ride. Do love mine. But i do have to put a zip tie through the top of the bag and around the seat post to stop it from flopping side to side to stop to much rubbing of your frame or shorts as you pedal.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Sarah! Really appreciate the bike packing stuff!

Just wanted to give some Bellingham love to Hilary at Pack NW. She does some amazing work and really likes working with people's individual needs, tastes and affinity for matchy-matchy!
I've been using her handmade backpacks, frame bags, handlebar bags and top tube bags for years and have never done anything but enjoy them.

packnw.com

@packnw

bikepacking.com/gear/bikepacking-bags/pack-nw-tour
  • 2 0
 Not bad, but they completely forgot to work around the fork, which is a key point, and you can actually make great things around a suspension fork.

I succeeded to install 2 Gorilla Cages on my bike by creating the 3 holding points with some recycled Abus locker collars, the ones that use a 4mm screw, and it works marvelously well without damaging the fork. The lowers are protected by a whole piece of inner tube, so it`s black / sober / discreet, and even when I don`t trek, I leave those cage holders on my fork so as an extra protection in case of fall. Only downside: Gorilla Cages are not solid. Soon I`ll do some by myself with steel / aluminium and recycled straps.

It`s perfect to carry a light tent, a small mattress, or extra water.
  • 4 2
 But why run a saddle bag with a dropper post on a full suspension, A hardtail you can still use the dropper, but the full suspension and saddle bag eliminates the usefulness of the dropper post.
  • 5 2
 The Apidura Dropper Saddle Pack allows you to use your dropper post. These are all pictured on the same bike for consistency, but I agree that some are better suited to it than others!
  • 3 3
 @sarahmoore: even if it works, why bikepack on an enduro bike? Much more frame space in an XC bike or trek has that 1120 which is rigid. you have a big heavy enduro bike with tons of gear on it. doesnt sound fun. should have put these on a better suited bike.
  • 2 0
 It depends...if the saddle bad isn't too big, and with a "short" FS bike, you can still perfectly use the dropper. I use a 6L saddle bag when bikepacking on my remedy (150mm of travel), and I am still able to use almost the full 150mm (about 130mm i would say) travel of my dropper without touching the tyre (can happen from time to time on bigger compressions/jumps, but rarely).
  • 3 1
 @sarahmoore: Pretty sure that bike has more travel than the 2" gap between the bag and the tire will allow for...
  • 11 1
 @ifindbikesinteresting: Many people can't have the luxury of owning more than 1 bike I guess, so the best bikebacking bike is the one you own. And well, I really wouldn't try crossing the alps on a full rigid bike, or even a hardtail.
  • 4 0
 I have done some extreme MTB unsupported long distance races and trust me, if you want to ride hard it's not good to have a large saddle pack. I personally hate large saddle packs for this purpose, not only that they can often rub your tyre on compressions but also you can't go behind the saddle (which is an pretty awful feeling) and also they tend to swivel all over the place. Basically they ruin your ride. I much prefer to have a bar pack, in frame pack a small seat bag and a backpack (it gives you back protection and removes weight from the bike which I personally like). These under large saddle paniers have use on road or verry light XC if you don't want to ride with a backack.
  • 1 0
 @jurassicrider: well that makes sense, perhaps i am an idiot. meh, probably
  • 2 1
 @ifindbikesinteresting: What if you wanted to ride long distance on terrain beyond what an xc bike can handle? Or ride somewhere with all your kit to do a bike park in another country?
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore: Your picture appears to be with the dropper compressed but not the shock. With both compressed at the same time you will only be able to use a 100mm dropper (or less) with a very small seat bag

www.pinkbike.com/photo/edit/?inList[]=18693502
  • 4 1
 @ifindbikesinteresting: You're right, the correct number of bikes is N+1! This bike is 140mm though, so is it really an Enduro bike?
  • 2 1
 @taprider: You are correct, dropper is down but shock is not compressed. And agreed that the 150mm dropper with 140mm travel is likely to be ambitious but you can also just lower the dropper as much as the set-up allows if you're just testing that waters before committing to swapping out the post. There's a reinforced skid plate on the bottom for a reason I reckon!
  • 4 0
 @sarahmoore: Did you use the only bike available for modelling these accessories and are people taking it way too seriously about dropper posts and suspension??
  • 2 0
 @fatduke: I mean I also had a road bike at home at the time too but those don't really count...
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore: I think @ifindbikesinteresting is concerned about how the tire will be rolling while being pushed into the bag as the suspension works through its travel.
I myself find that disturbing - my precious bag would have a hole and my stuff would become pollution along the trail.

Not good.
  • 1 0
 @IluvRIDING: this happens to me when I put stuff that's heavy in my seat pack, but now that I've bikepacked a few times, I've learned to put my lightest stuff in my seat pack and I don't even hardly feel it now. Definitely none of that swaying feeling.
  • 2 0
 Kinda agree with this sentiment. You're not gonna be ripping trails when you've got 5L of water, a bunch of food, tent, camping gear, etc. in your bags rattling around. You're liable to break something, or at least really wear stuff out.

I only bikepack on my hardtail pretty much for this reason. WAY more storage capacity via frame bag, less stuff to break (nice when you're many miles from humanity much less a bike shop), and though it's a little bumpier it's not like I'm gonna be ripping trails with all that stuff strapped to my bike.

I have, however, set up camp and then taken all of my bags off and THEN gone for a rip on trails. But a modern-geo hardtail with dropper does that pretty well and I don't want to give up the storage capacity of a big frame bag on a hardtail.
  • 2 0
 You don't have to bottom the dropper out EVERYTIME you use it. Just a little lower can be all the difference needed...
  • 2 0
 @ifindbikesinteresting: Counterpoint: As someone who has bike packed with a beefy trail bike (150mm up front, 130 in the rear), I found some advantages compared to previous experiences on an XC and cross bike. Going uphill on some chunky fire road or trail you are basically guaranteed to be going very slow and spinning the granny gear (unless you are very fit), and the suspension allows small undulations to be absorbed better making it a smoother ride with less body input. Although you go slower you save energy by just being able to focus on smooth pedalling rather than manuevering small rocks.

Going downhill can be scary with lots of shit strapped on. Especially if its steeper or rockys. You kinda end up just pointing and praying cause a fully loader bike really feels glued to the ground and much less manoeuvrable. Pointing and praying is a lot less scary, and more fun, on a full sus. Your stuff gets less impact too, a big hardtail hit with a 10lb saddlebag pulls on the straps and stuff seemed to get looser faster.

Just my experience, but I have no qualms about taking the full sus out again.
  • 2 0
 @ifindbikesinteresting:
When you bike from Auckland to Rotorua, you take the enduro. Trust me.
  • 1 0
 Seems like Apidura missed an opportunity to really make good use of that plastic mount on the dropper shaft. Instead of still using simple Velcro straps, why not have the external plastic ‘sheath’ (that apidura’s site shows) snap Or bolt directly on to the mount. Then the user feeds that thin long piece of plastic Sheath thru the loops on the pack body. Voila, the pack now has zero side to side movement and addresses the typical complaints of large under seat bags.
  • 3 0
 PB get outta my head! I started looking at sunglasses the day before the sunglasses review came out. Just yesterday I started looking at equipment bags and now this today!
  • 1 0
 I know dude, Deja' 'vu moment for sure! This article, from pb no less, sure hits home for us bikepackers Wink . I guess blame it on all the info there stealing from are phones!
Lol!
  • 2 0
 You missed one of the most durable pannier and bike packing manufactures there is and made in Canada is Arkel www.arkel-od.com

Their seat bag mount is patented and works with a dropper post.
  • 4 0
 If you're a kayaker you already know Watershed makes the best drybags on the planet, and it's not even close.
  • 1 0
 Ooof that bike is awfully shiny to be strapping bags to. I’ve tried many of these methods and left with plenty of lasting surficial damage to the bike. Best to protect it up the wazoo.
The seat bags don’t really work that well either - can’t use the dropper post, and even if you could put it down then the bag hits the rear tire anytime the suspension is engaged. Best to either avoid them or lock out shocks and seat posts. I ended up swapping it around and strapping it to on top of my top tube so as to use the bike better.
  • 1 0
 Nice article, disappointing that the mainstream commercial designs are all still based around cheap quick construction and not keeping the gear super secure.

If you make them yourself and mount them with lace-on shock cord and internal suspension to secure reservoirs to the downtube its possible to have them super secure and mob downhill trails with them... much better than wearing a backpack... These ones all look pretty terrible as far as stability go.

If you make your own here is what is possible with them:
youtu.be/JnRYQo2erIU
  • 1 0
 That being said, all of this camping has been done next to a vehicle, "glamping" some may say, with a spacious tent, pillow, camp chairs, a large camp stove, full-sized toolbox for bike repairs, and all of the warm clothes. It's also been in close proximity to a road and other people. While I've gone on hiking trips and been able to camp out of a backpack, I've never even attempted to just take the basics on a bike trip.
Some one with zero experience talking about bike packing. Great idea.
  • 1 1
 Downtube bag: A Jetboil stove and fuel canister fit perfectly into fireworks on trail scenario Big Grin

I imagine this bag is great for beef procesing!

And why not a seat bag? For soft materials, to put them under the ars. Allso beef procesing potential. Mongolian stye, just it's not horses sweat.
  • 13 0
 i have no idea what you just said
  • 1 0
 ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb18693625/p5pb18693625.jpg Already dressed for the fireworks. I gave up on using it for just a cook pot with food, since rocks kicked up by the front tire were denting the crap out of it
  • 2 0
 www.cedaero.com Handmade in Northern Minnesota. Waterproof, and fully customizable. Formerly the Granite Gear folks. Worth a look...
  • 3 0
 I can’t wait to get my hands on these for a weekend camping in the lounge
  • 4 1
 Serious question, is this type 2 fun only? It's always struck me as a mandatory suffer-fest, but maybe I'm a wimp
  • 1 0
 Depends on your fitness level, where/what are you planning on riding too. If you do suffer, it may seem at the time to suck, but always remember, afterwards it will be so worth it! Coming from experience Wink .
  • 2 0
 My experience was, pretty much. The Goldilocks zone for routes that are rougher than roads, but not so rough that you're faster just walking, is pretty small. I actually had a surprising amount of fun tarmac road touring on bikes, which is saying something. But the mountain bike trips had hilariously low average speeds. I joked that you might as well take a wheelbarrow. I've decided I prefer just walking for overnight trips, you can hike to more interesting and less accessible places and it's less effort.
  • 3 0
 Bike packing on a full susp? ???? ???? ???? ????
Huge saddle bag on dropper post is cherry on the cake.
  • 1 0
 My friend Scot makes some amazing bags here in Colorado, check out his fine work here:

www.1tdesigns.com

He does custom colors, patterns etc. and the craftsmanship is second to none.
  • 1 0
 My take away... walkmen wires. Makes me miss my disc man with 60 sec. anti skip, could damn near make the whole bus ride into school without a skip, playing my burned at home mix downloaded off napster.
  • 2 0
 Check out Stealth bike bags in New Zealand.

www.stealthbikebags.com

Lots of well designed and made bikepacking bags, frame bags and hip packs.
  • 1 1
 Why no Salsa cycles bags?They have the best handle bar harness setup( EXP Series Anything Cradle). Those huge seatbags are useless in my opinion.A small drybag with a voile strap is your best bet.
  • 3 0
 Rogue Panda everything. Handmade in Flagstaff AZ.
  • 1 0
 How much noise do these types of bags make if you're riding hard? I want a TopLoader but I'm afraid of hearing it rattle/slide on the frame.
  • 5 1
 This is shit.
  • 2 0
 SC fullsusp ENDURO bike, under-downtube bag, 10L bag on DROPPER post,.. seriously??!..
  • 2 3
 As a bike packer with plenty of experience I find loading up a bike with gear makes the bike handle terribly on natural trails. I use a 60 liter back pack and I often carry an inflatable boat as well as all my camera gear. There is no way I an store a tent and my SL R camera, cooking gear , clothes, sleeping pad and more on my bike. As the author stated this is gear for people who dream about bike packing but camp with a vehicle.
  • 4 2
 “On this weeks edition of... the wrong tool for the job”
  • 2 1
 Next on Pinkbike reviews:
- fair trade, small scale roast coffee
- SPD sandals
  • 1 0
 Don’t forget the barmount coffee cup holder. Its great for beers too, I have it permanently mounted now!
  • 1 0
 Oveja Negra from Salida, CO makes great bags that fit on a variety of bikes.
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore what gps mount is that? Seems to work nicely with one-up edc and not extend like a diving board off the bars!
  • 8 7
 I always cringe when I see a bag strapped to an extended dropper.
  • 3 2
 why? Does the 10ish lbs it carries torque the dropper more than the 100-200lbs of rider would? Or does it interfere with the dropping mechanism and potentially damage the stanchions? That seems to be fixed with the last option, no?
  • 10 2
 I always cringe when I watch white people dance.
  • 2 8
flag preach (May 15, 2020 at 12:27) (Below Threshold)
 I cringe when I see bags attached to a bike period .... because you know... backpacks are so... useful and non- stupid
  • 4 0
 @preach: I partly agree, but I cycled a very long distance with a a heavy backpack once, and my shoulders were so painful it took a long time to recover
  • 1 0
 @nordland071285: this is my favourite anecdote!
  • 4 0
 @preach: you do NOT want to ride long distances over multiple days with a backpack on your back.
  • 1 4
 @rickybobby18: The Marines do it all the time. With rifles.
  • 4 0
 @RayDolor: lol so? The marines aren't riding bikes and they aren't supposed to be having fun. They are often carrying 75-100 pounds of gear and many of them have chronic pain and sometimes permanent damage from it. If you look at historic photos of bicycle infantry, they were carrying most of their gear on their bikes. I'm talking frame bags, panniers, racks, bed rolls strapped to their handlebars, etc.

Backpacks are for backpacking.
  • 2 3
 @scmalex: yEAH...cause biking is so much harder...yall are on crak...enjoy the ride.
  • 1 0
 @rbarbier12: yes, because of the damage to the stanchion. Aside from the last option that you mentioned, or something like the wolf tooth Valais. The way she's got all the other bags setup will quickly ruin the coating on the stanchion from abrasion.
  • 1 0
 @nordland071285: my man, hope you're doing well
  • 1 0
 Love all my Revelate stuff.
  • 4 3
 Really, it's come to this?
  • 1 0
 The amount of content the team has been putting out is amazing! Thanks @pinkbike!
  • 1 0
 I wish santa cruz had done the hightower in that colour. So nice.
  • 1 0
 Apidura, they are the ones.
  • 1 2
 That looks like quite a load on my bike. I bet I could carry more than that on my BOB Ibex trailer and be able to ride any section of trail that my weighted down bike could.
  • 1 0
 Gotta get those Walkman cables routed just right.
  • 1 0
 What kind of water bottle is that?
  • 1 0
 So...no Jandd Mountaineering? Frown
  • 1 1
 Nice article

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