It’s always good to catch up with all the new and exciting bikepacking kit at Eurobike and also to check that we’re are on the right track with the kit we use and recommend on the website and not missing anything. It’s also great to find new brands and identify kit we’d like to test long term.

There are so many brands making bikepacking kit and it’s fair to say some look good but some looked pretty bad! So here’s my run down of initial thoughts on what I saw at Eurobike.

Pro/Shimano

First up Pro the component brand from Shimano, you know bikepacking is big when the big S gets involved! These probably look good in the pictures and the overall design and structure seemed OK. However one issue was a separate internal liner layer to add waterproofing. I would have concerns over longevity and does this mean the outer absorbs or lets in water as not heat welded? I would be interested to use set in wet Scottish conditions.

The saddle packs use high density foam pads to support the contact on the seat pack similar to Ortlieb’s design. It did seem to be likely to be prone to sideways wobble rather than a rubberised fabric and more shaped design. A velcro strip on the closure is also nice idea that not many brands use. The frame pack looks to be missing a strap as can see below…

 

Vaude bikepacking bags have been around for a year at least now and I like the quality feel of construction. They use a harness system on saddle pack and bar bag, something that I would like to test out because I know certain other brand’s harness systems don’t secure a dry bag that well but these have extra support. I like the fact the frame pack does away with a full length zip which is a weak spot in terms of waterproofing and strength.

Strong rubber straps minimise slippage and maximise reliability, but how do they treat paintwork? I would be interested in field testing these as they are a different design to most.

Roswheel Bikepacking Bags

Interesting set up from the Chinese based brand. Good looking build quality. The same sized rubber straps were used all over making it look cluttered. I think the frame pack was missing a third strap on top. The saddle pack has a valve included which was pretty chunky but sign of good design. The bags come with optional metal frames to sturdy the bags from swinging and swaying, something that I think is probably likely with the saddle interface shape. These exo-frames proportionally speaking add a lot of weight even though they are aluminium. Similar in theory in approach to the new Alpkit metal frame and the Topeak one they recently released although those are based around being dropper post compatible.

Birzman bags 

These bikepacking bags may have been let down by the presentation but the design just didn’t look great. The saddle pack is a bizarre shape that would surely rub, as it hung low on many smaller frame sizes. The straps on the saddle pack and frame bag look like they’d rub paint pretty quick with no soft interfacing. The harness was just a harness with again a poorer looking build quality that those mentioned above with what looked like very little support to stop the dry bag falling out.

Topeak Bikepacking Kit

The big accessory brand Topeak were an obvious brand to get involved in bikepacking. Their dropper compatible seat pack looks clever, the shape sits a bit too high I think but hard to tell unless fully loaded. The bar bag harness seems again to require a compressible full load in the dry bag to ensure snug and secure fit. The high density foam spacer blocks are used again to push the bag out from the bars.

The frame bag straps again give no indications of being kind to frames with harsh fabric used. Build quality looked fine and matches the lower price point I would say. Again these looked  good enough that I would be interested to field test these.

 

Better shot of the dropper compatible seat bag.

Zefal

These looked awful, weird shape, not enough straps, poor interface on seat post and the choice of fabrics for the contact point. I’ll move on.

Ace Pack

The build quality looks OK with waterproofing on these Czech bags, however I just don’t like the designs. The harness seems to lack shape on the rear and the front. The wrap around frame bag seen in the back ground here avoids a zip letting in water but makes no sense over the Vaude design above for example and seems a grit and muck collector! I expected to see more evolution from this brand from last year but I may have missed something as I didn’t get to chat with them.

 

Ortlieb 

Not much to add to these packs that hasn’t been said elsewhere on the internet, for me the long wedge shape on the saddle pack is my only real concern along with a few extra grams over high end competitors but great build quality. I still prefer Apidura and Revelate designs shape but for rougher MTB tours I can see these rugged Ortlieb bags appealing.

How about this Transformer bike trailer from Sentier….

To finish with it’s something a bit different – an innovative idea of a wheel suitcase that has another larger wheel click into place and becomes a bike trailer. It weighs 8.5kg empty and you need to find a place for the big wheel in teh suit case when travelling still! Fair play though it’s a neat idea!

Any thoughts or questions?

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