Apidra is a new bikepacking company based out of the UK, but you likely have seen their packs around. Nearly half the riders on the Trans Am Bike Race were sporting their unique gray bags, or so it seemed. More and more road cyclists have found that bikepacks are a simpler solution to your standard rack and pannier system. It seems like Apidura filled the void, giving cycling tourists and off road riders a way to go light while keeping it simple.
The majority of the Apidura Saddle Pack is made of Dimension-polyant Vx21, better knowns as X-Pac. Most bikepack manufactures use this material because of a number of characteristics. It is relatively lightweight, very durable, waterproof, and tear resistant. The remaining part of the bag is made up of hypalon, a strong rubberlike material that is used to make river rafts and the like.
After having the bag for a few weeks, we have noticed a few key features that make this bag work. First off, the bag is large – larger than the Revelate Vicacha. Apidura claims they have a max volume of 17.5 liters while the Vicacha fits 14 liters. Like many saddle bags of this size, reinforcement is required to keep its shape. That is what Apidura did with their plastic sheets near the base of the bag.
The bag also comes with two burly seatpost straps, combined with the hypalon, the saddlebag purpose of holding its ground can come to fruition. Both the underneath saddle straps and the end closure straps are integrated into the body of the bag, making sure it is reinforced and strong. The stitch work looks very clean and professional, and each strap is reinforced x3.
While the bag can fit a whole lot, the more full you pack it, the more sway you will get – this is the same with any pack. The bag does pretty well when it is packed about half way, any less and the cinch down straps will not cinch down enough. An easy fix for this is purchasing the smaller “compact” version of their saddle pack.
Apidura also thought about clearance issues, because of the bags shape and reinforcements, it stands up nicely when installed to the saddle. It is more upright rather than elongated from the saddle. This helps with clearance issues. Two things to keep in mind, you must have 8 cm (3.15”) of seat post clearance from the top tube to the saddle. and a minimum of 22 cm 8.66”) of clearance from the seat post to the saddle rails.
Curious to know how the pack holds up? Stay tuned for our long term review this fall.