Review: Apidura Backcountry Top Tube Pack 1L
Top tube bags aren’t only for bikepacking. A small bag up front is a good alternative – or addition – to a seatpack for tools, snacks and so on. Most that I’ve tried before have been too wide, compromising their own stability and hitting my knees during out-of-the-saddle pedalling.
At only 4cm across the base, and plumping out to 5-5.5cm when packed, Apidura’s Top Tube Pack is scarcely wider than those little ‘fuel tanks’ that triathletes use for stashing gels.
At 21cm long and 10cm at its highest, the volume is bigger – perhaps not quite a litre as it’s not rectangular, yet big enough to swallow a 29er innertube, a tubeless repair kit, a CO2 inflator, a multitool, a chain tool, tyre levers and a few other small items.
I’ve mostly used it off road, where it’s been stable and secure despite attaching with just two wide Velcro straps. Seatpacks I’ve taken off road have wobbled around, broken at their bracket, eventually spewed their contents over the trail behind me, or all three.
Apidura’s Top Tube Pack has done none of these, and it’s kept its contents dry thanks to (stitched) waterproof fabric and a location that’s not in the line of fire from the wheels. It weighs 74g.
It’s not the cheapest top tube bag, but it works well, carries plenty, and you can pretty much forget it’s there. There’s a shorter but otherwise similar 0.5L version for £30.
Orlieb Cockpit-Pack £49.99
A shallower, wider bag (8cm) that’s waterproof and tough but has slightly less volume at 0.8L.
First published in Cycle magazine, April/May 2018 issue. All information correct at time of publishing.
Every two months Cycling UK members receive Cycle magazine, filled with interesting and informative articles, news and reviews for all cyclists.
Members can read the magazine in full online; non-members can read selected highlights.