October 6, 2020

stem back black

Traditional bikepacking bags have huge load capacity, but their dependency on excessive mounting fixtures and weight affects performance.

Travel faster, lighter, and deeper into the unknown.

Unlike the big touring bike bikepack bags, the new breed of bikepacking bags is cut out to fit the bike’s frame, taking advantage of unused spaces. The creative distribution of the load increases usability and stabilizes the bike.

If you seek adventure by bike, a dependable, comfortable, and spacious bikepacking bag setup is vital to have a great trip – whether it’s across continents or just an easy midweek bivvy on a warm summer evening.

Please keep reading to check out our round-up of some of the best bikepacking bags available, or skip to the bottom for our guide on the different types of bikepacking bags.

Top 10 Best Bikepacking Bags Of 2020

From bitumen to rail riding, bikepacking bags have come in handy in more ways than many traditional backpacks. They are lighter, ergonomic, watertight, and made to fit in with your bike. They open a whole new world of adventure and fun for anyone who has a bike.

Topeak Handlebar FrontLoader (8L).

Best Gravel Bag.

The Topeak Frontloader harness is made with adjustable rubber spacers that help in adjusting the hand clearance on the handlebars and also absorb shock. The inside of the harness is also coated with a rubberized surface for more grip to help stop the drybag from wiggling out on bumpy surfaces.

 

8 litre topeak bag

 

Features:

  • Lightweight & highly water-resistant and durable materials.
  • Ideal for bulky and light items like sleeping bags, puffy coat, camping gear, and spare clothing.
  • Fitted with quick release buckles making it easy to install and remove.
  • Waterproofed to keep your it’s content completely dry.
  • The built-in air release button draws air out from the bag to keep it compact.

RockBros Triangle Frame 5-8L Pack.

Best for Heavy Loads.

While a heavy handlebar pack tends to throw you off balance, a fully loaded frame bag lowers the bike’s center of gravity and has almost zero effect on its stability. This innovative 5L bag is ideal for stuffing heavy items like liquids, tools, and power packs. It doesn’t interfere with the bike’s center of gravity.

Features:

  • It is made of 600D Nylon + TPU waterproof coating to keep your items dry.
  • It is fitted with adjustable straps for a tighter grip.
  • Seamless design that doesn’t bother you when riding.
  • Entirely welded seams for durability.
  • Convenient mounting for easy access to frequently used items.

Topeak Bikepacking Saddle Bag- BackLoader (10L)

Best for Mountain Bike Camping.

This streamlined & large capacity seat bag from Topeak is designed to carry gear without the need for a rear rack. The back loader has compression straps that condense its waistline and edges it a little further from getting bruised by the wheels.

The velcro mounting system and the straps reduce the pendulum effect making sure you experience a smooth ride.

Features:

  • They are designed for both standard and dropper posts.
  • A sturdy and robust frame that doesn’t swing on even the roughest trails.
  • Made of extremely durable, waterproof, and water-resistant materials.
  • Built-in air release button to further compress the bag.
  • An easy-access waterproof inner bag
  • Also available in 6, or 15 liter options.

WOTOW Frame Waterproof Bike Pack.

Best Singletrack Bags.

This sleek saddle bag is designed to minimize wind resistance and to keep clear off your knees, feet, or gears when you are riding. It’s ideal for storing bike accessories mini bike pumps, cellphones, wallets, keys, etc

Features

  • High-quality stitching for durability.
  • Water and mud resistant material makes it easy to clean.
  • Wax coated to prevent water from soaking items in the bag.
  • Adjustable hook and loop fastener strap for simple unloading and installation

B-Soul Triangle Saddle Bag.

Best For Day Rides.

As anyone who’s ever ridden in summer will no doubt agree, always having adequate water is a must. Unlike full-frame saddle bags that force you to reposition your water bottle, the B-soul Triangle Frame Bag offers you the best of both worlds: a substantial easy to reach storage space at the top and a water bottle pouch at the bottom.

Ride further with this triangle saddle pack.

Features:

  • It comes with three adjustable loop and hulk fastener straps that keep it secured in place even if you are riding on rough roads.
  • It is made of durable and robust polyester material.
  • Water and weather-resistant.
  • Tough, durable, and high capacity bicycle frame bag.
  • The slim body minimizes wind-resistance and will not get in the way of knees, feet, or gears while biking.

RockBros 3D Shell Saddle Pack.

Best Offroad Bike Packing Bag.

If you are an action-packed and minimalist roadie, this seat bag will help you keep and protect all your essentials from water, dirt, and dust. If it rains, or your adventure takes you through rugged roads, the unique rainproof and shockproof design provides additional protection.

NOTE: do not soak or wade through water for a long time. The stitching is not quite well waterproofed, and water might leak in.

Features:

  • Velcro straps and a heavy-duty buckle to secure the bag firmly without any wobbling.
  • Aerodynamic design to ensure minimal air resistance for a smooth ride.
  • Reflective strips that help increase nighttime visibility.
  • A ready-built spot to mount a tail light for increased safety.

Restrap Feed and Stem Bag Black.

Our Favorite Pick.

I know you think it’s too small to fit anything substantial, but having a cold drink within reach can be super satisfying!

This Restrap feed bag gives you additional storage for mostly food or a water bottle for riders who don’t want to stop. It’s designed to keep your supplies safe and dry. The easy ‘draw string’ closure means you can access its contents on the go, while the adjustable velcro and fork support keep it firmly secured on any bike.

 

stem back black

 

Features:

  • Easy one-handed access – eat or drink on the go.
  • Convenient storage solution for all your necessities.
  • Secure 3-point attachment.
  • It’s insulated to keep your food or drinks cool.
  • Built to last.
  • Versatile – can be used for many different functions or activities.

 

TriSeven Aero.

Best for Going Fast on the Road.

This frame pack is designed to make the best use of space on the front triangle without compromising water bottle access (or a full triangle frame bag if you already have one). It’s the ideal pack for keeping items that you need to access quickly, including toiletries, snacks, a small repair kit, an extra tube, phone & other accessories.

Features:

  • Zippered dual slider.
  • Best mounting 4x strips or 2x screws setting.
  • Smooth strip that does not scratch the frame.
  • Adjustable and sturdy strips that can be shortened to fit any frame.
  • Anti-slip bottom of the bag.
  • A hole for earphones, headphones, or power bank.

WOTOW Bike Handlebar Bag.

Perfectly Built.

Light and well made, the WOTOW handlebar bag is a great companion for carrying the essential items you might frequently need. It’s an exceptionally durable and well-made bikepacking bag that you can rely on despite the weather, terrain, or type of bike you have.

WOTOW Bike Handlebar Bag does stand up well against showers but isn’t fully waterproof to withstand persistent rain. If you have items that you don’t want to get wet, it’s best to combine with a dry bag.

Note: do not overload the bag with heavy items as it will make it hard to handle your bicycle, especially over rough roads.

  • Touch-screen smartphone waterproof pocket that’s compatible with most phones.
  • Lightweight, reliable, and durable material.
  • Dirt-proof and easy to clean.
  • Reflective stripes for safe riding at night.
  • Hook and loop attachment for easy mounting on the handlebar.
  • Removable and adjustable strap.
  • Simple yet adequate 3L storage space.
  • Build quality.

Topeak Midloader Bikepacking Frame Bag.

Best All-Terrain Frame Bag.

The Topeak Midloader pack is an innovative solution to add extra storage capacity and flexibility without affecting the center of gravity on your bike. It’s compact is suitable for most kinds of mountain bikes and road bikes. The slim shape won’t hinder you when you are riding.

bikepacking bag by topeak

Features:

  • It comes in three different sizes, 3L, 4.5L, and 6L.
  • A handy air release valve for compact packing.
  • Loops for easy mounting of other accessories.
  • Velcro mounting straps.

Types of Bikepacking Bags

The bags you choose for your bike mainly depends on the length of the trip, terrain/where you’re riding, and, of course, your preferred taste.

Most bikepacking bags will take a beating when taken through any conditions. However, if you will be riding more on wet trails, you should go for something that is well waterproofed for a more enjoyable experience and protect your equipment.

Are you looking for a new ride? Our round-up of the best e-bike guide and mountain bikes reviews will help with that. You might also want to check out our round-up of the best fox mountain bike helmets.

Here are the four types of bikepacking bags and what you can expect from each of them:

Seat Bags

When riding a bikepacking bike with bulky items like sleeping bags or puffy coats, you want to have a seat bag as it is more convenient. They are more streamlined and won’t catch on your legs as panniers do.

Seat bags are mounted under the saddle and strapped to the seat post and saddle rail. They extend back behind the saddle and curve slightly upward away from the tire. For them to hold considerably heavyweight, they are built with internal frames that prevent them from collapsing.

Pro’s

  • Smaller bags are perfect for short sporty rides.
  • Water-resistant, and some are waterproof.
  • Most have a removable roll-tight system for easy packing, unpacking, and repacking easy. That is, you don’t have to undo all straps, harness, and hardware to get to your stuff.
  • Bigger bags will help you pack for long-haul adventures that take you deep into the wild.
  • Most newer versions have an air-release valve that allows air to escape as you cinch your load.

Cons

  • The larger the bag, the stronger/bigger the tail wobble you might feel when riding. To resolve this issue, some companies offer dropper posts or rigid clamps, or both to hold the load in place.

Pro tip: Pack heavy items near the end that will go under the seat in the bottom of the bag and lighter items to the floating back.

Frame Packs.

Frame bags are the most preferred bikepacking bags for most trail riders as they are well-positioned to carry heavier (but not bulky) items than seat or handlebar bags. They fit in between the top, seat tube, and down tubes of almost any bike meaning, you have to mount your water bottles elsewhere.

Half-frame bags are designed to fit right mostly on the top tube. They leave adequate space for mounting a bottle or two at the bottom.

Both subcategories, full-frame or half-frame, often have a divider, splitting the space into two different spaces to allow for easy organization. You can store the least used items to the bottom and the most used on the top for easy access.

Handlebar Bags.

As the name suggests, these bags are strapped under the handlebars and behind the head tube. They come in the form of either a generous-sized angle bag with the hardware built-in or a two-piece harness system that you can attach a pack or load to.

Tip. To always have maximum control of your bicycle when riding, consider packing light pieces of equipment like sleeping bags, pads, and camp clothes on the handlebar bags.

Peripherals And Accessory Bags

Popularly known as feed or stem bags, they are designed to fit on either the end of the handlebar.

They mainly come in handy for snacks and drinks. You can also store other items you’d wish to quickly have access to like phones, small repair tools, or anything else that fits!

Top Tube Bags.

These small bags sit on top of the center tube just behind the stem. They’re a handy way to carry quick reach items such as snacks, gels, and the like so you can fuel without stopping.

The limited space on these bags means they can’t be large; they are typically made to be seamless and only have a capacity of about a liter or two max.

Hybrid Arrangements.

If you frequently ride, especially over long distances, you can have a combination of bags that best works for you. Each pack will always come in handy when you need it most.

Before choosing, consider the terrain, distance, and gear that you’ll be carrying.

Alternative Location Bags.

If you find that you don’t have enough space to fit any of the other types of bags, or just want something different, you can find a bit of unoccupied volume anywhere and get the respective bikepack.

The most common location is the fork legs, and if you already have that filed up (you’ve got to be one hella tourer), there are after-market options that allow you to clamp additional space to your ride, either for water or an extra bag.

While these additional alternatives will significantly increase your carrying capacity, they will slow your progress.

About the author 

Beastie Bikes Pete

Hi I'm Pete. I'm a passionate mountain biker in Australia. I enjoy writing about biking as much as doing it......almost!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}