We have noticed a lot of change in the bikepacking bag business in the past few months. From complicated saddle and handlebar systems to simple yet thoughtful top tube bags. It’s fantastic to see the innovation and creativity behind some of these bags, and it’s great to see some small manufactures get the recognition they deserve after putting in their time. In the past few months we have received 4 new top tube bags that certainly catch the eye. A top tube bag for many is an important part of the bikepacking rig. It is a handy spot to carry your snacks for the long haul, or a simple solution for all your essentials on a day ride. I like a top tube bag where the zipper glides open and closes with one hand and without much effort. The other thing I look for in a top tube bag is stability, a bag I can count on for when the terrain is rough. Becker Design, Bike Bag Dude, Rogue Panda Design, and Switchbag bags are either new to the game of bikepacking or have yet to produce a bikepacking bag, until now. Take a peek at these new top tube bags.

Rogue Panda Design – Alamo – $40

The Rogue Panda Alamo is a smaller bag with a tapered shape. This particular bag is apart of the Arizona Flag series. The bag comes with a water-resistant zipper and pull cord that makes for a simple one handed open and closure. The bag is built with HDPE (High-density polyethylene) stiffeners in the side and is made with foam padding on the contact points of the bike for protection. Two of the 3 attachment points are sewn into the bag, one on the front to attach to the stem spacers and one on the rear. The third attachment point has an option of 4 different loops on the bottom of the bag to work around any frame bag straps. The frame attachment points come with a non-slip membrane to ensure a stable and snug fit.
8 (1.9oz) Tailwind packs
This is easily one of the most stable bags we have ever tested, and that may be because it is on the smaller side. One thing to make sure of is the Velcro interference, because of its affixed rear frame attachment point. For day rides, smaller bikes or people who run into knee clearance issues, the colorful options of the Alamo from Rogue Panda design makes a great top tube bag, one that can easily handle the likes of the Arizona or Colorado Trails. Note: Since we received this bag an update has been made: The Alamo no longer has a fixed strap on the bottom that would interfere with framebag velcro

Switchback Bike Bags – Top Tube Bag – $40

The Switchback Bike Bag is the most unique of the group, and for good reason. This bag replaces the use of Velcro with Shock Cord, a bungee like cord that weaves in loop holes that are sewn into the bag. This feature give you the compatibility of any frame bag, or frame obstacle in front of you. The switchback bag also comes with a water-resistant zipper, zipper cover and pull cord that allows a smooth tug, but you must have the proper tension on the Shock Cord for this to hold true. The bag sides are stabilized with HDPE stiffeners and a padding where there are contact points with the bike. It also comes with a bright interior to easily access smaller items.
10 (1.9oz) Tailwind packs
The bag shape and size would be considered average, not too small and not too big. The Shock Cord and loop holes have held up great so far, but you need to make sure they have the proper tension for the bag to remain stable, and the zipper to function one handed. You may need to mess around with weaving patterns, but it seems like there is no right or wrong way to weave the bag. If you keep running into Velcro interference and looking for a bag to remedy that, The Top Tube Bag from Switchback Bags is for you.

Bike Bag Dude – Garage – $85

The Bike Bag Dude Garage is a larger top tube bag, but not supersized. Bike Bag Dude has reputation of producing water-resistant bags, and the top tube is no different as it is fully seam-taped. The bag is slightly longer than most top tube bags. It comes with a water-resistant zipper and a classic bungie pull cord for a smooth zip. Bike Bag Dude provides 3 feet of 25mm one wrap Velcro and two more feet of 20mm and 15mm, this allows you to cut your Velcro to fit your specific bike. The bag comes with two loops on the steer tube/stack to accommodate different stack heights. The bag is meant to connect twice on the top tube for stability, and with 6 loop options, that should not be a problem to accommodate with your frame bag. One neat feature is that the bag comes with two Velcro straps at the end that you can cinch down to prevent knee rub.
13 (1.9oz) Tailwind packs
The Garage is a very well thought out bag, and has the features everyone should be looking for in a top tube bag. Multiple mounting positions, relatively stable when packed to the gills, and a plush zipper. It is however the longest top tube bag, so there could be a bit of interference, even with the Velcro pinch straps. If you are looking for a large,water-resistant bag the Garage is a great consideration.

Becker Design – Dio – $25

The Dio is a massive bag, so massive that you can likely fit all three of these other bags (empty) and some more into this bag. While some may want all that space, some may think it is ridiculously large. The Dio comes with a Becker Design original #10 beefy zipper, a tall and wide front end, and a slimmer but still beefy rear. The bag is insulated on the body and bottom panels to keep the beer cold in the summer and the batteries warm in the winter. The bag comes with a hook and loop strap to accommodate your frame bag straps as well as 1 inch and 2 inch Velcro straps to attach to the top tube. It also has three looped straps to accommodate different stem and stack height.
16 (1.09oz) Tailwind packs, but could fit more if we had them.
The Dio has so many mounting positions to keep you covered in any situation, and the bag can easy fit, and keep your beer cold, carry snacks and a doughnut without getting smashed, it’s that large. Because of this, it has a tough time being stable when fully packed, especially on circular top tubes. The bag can also be used as a saddle bag if desired. If you need to to supersized it, the Dio is the bag for you.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the reviews. The videos are a nice touch. Would be great to see those for more products. Keep up the great work!

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