Top Tube Bag and Tool BagIn an attempt to think outside of the box, switchback bike bags came up with a unique idea that prevents Velcro to Velcro interference. Something that many of you have run into if you have tried to use a frame bag and a top tube bag from two different companies. The idea was to simply remove Velcro from the design and use an alternative connection method. He went with a shock cord system, where the cord weaves around your top tube and steer tube spacers. He designed this on both his Top Tube Bag, as well as his rear specific and smaller Tool Bag. After messing with the system, it seems like there is no true correct way to install the Top Tube or Tool Bags as many bikes are shaped differently. As long as you use the provided loops on each side and weave the cord back and forth, it should secure the bags with a tight fit. The cord loops follow along the bottom and up to the stem of the bag. When using the bag your goal is to allow the zipper to glide freely with one hand. If it does not do that, then I found that you need to either tighten down the shock cord system or weave it using a different pattern. I used an x-weave most of the time, it is strong and makes for less wiggle. As far as the other features go, the bags are made out of a Multicam X-Pac, padded ballistic nylon spine, and a bright orange interior to help you find loose. Built into the sides are HDPE stiffeners that help give the bag it’s shape, especially when it is empty. The bags are rounded out with water resistant zippers, beefy zipper pulls, and a zipper hood.
Handlebar Accessory PocketWhen I was searching for an ultra light minimalist handlebar bag, I came across a number of handlebar accessory packs, but most of them could not be mounted alone. The accessory handlebar bag from Switchback however, marketed that their pocket could be mounted separate from a main body handlebar bag, exactly what I was looking for. Not only do I get annoyed of how bulky some handlebar bags are, it’s also a pain to deal with working around the brake and shifter housing. I know it’s not realistic to always use one a bag this small, but I decided to try it out for a few trips. The bag body is made out of a Multicam X-Pac with a ballistic nylon backing. The back of the bag, or side that faces the head tube, is flat – which you can see in the pictures below. The inside of the bag on the flat back is a bright orange fabric, this gives you contrast to help find items. Sewn into the middle of those layers is an HDPE stiffener and some padding to help protect the contents within, as well as contact to the bike. The bike comes with the same zipper as the Top Tube Bag, and comes with a small zipper hood.
For more bikepacking bag options, head over to our Bikepacking Bags Index page.