Review: Altura Heritage Rack Pack
Shaped and styled along the lines of a traditional canvas handlebar bag or small saddlebag, Altura’s Heritage Rack Pack is decidedly asymmetric. It fits on a rear pannier rack with its long axis aligned with the cycle’s centre line, so what would be the back of a bar bag or front of a saddlebag is, therefore, positioned to one side of the machine with the top flap opening on the other.
It’s an unconventional arrangement, but get past it and the Heritage has a lot to offer. Good looks, for starters. The old-school 12oz waxed canvas outer fabric may not suit every bike but its appearance of durability stands close inspection. The slightly pre-aged finish lends an air of gravitas, lessened only by the pale grey of the plastic buckles.
The sides – sorry, front and back – feature reflective bands, complete with attachment loops for clip-on lighting, and they’re integrated nicely into the overall aesthetic. Darts in the top flap help it cover the otherwise exposed tops of the front and side edges.
Poke around and you’ll find pockets: two on the outside, one with a keyring clip, accessed via sturdy zips, and a pair of document sleeves on the inside, up against the stiffener under the flap. The front and base are also stiffened, with the sides left flexible. The inside of the 7L capacity pack is lined with a pleasingly coordinated polyester fabric.
Besides the buckles, external fittings include a carry-handle and attachment loops for the included shoulder strap and a Velcro strip at each corner for attachment to the rack. This works best if the rack top is close in size to the rack’s base, but there’s enough spare in the system to accommodate a slightly wider or narrower rack top.
Strapped in place, the pack is secure but laterally flexible as the internal stiffeners are in separate panels with little mutual support. Matters improve if the pack is well stuffed, and in any case there’s no problem carrying, say, a couple of bottles of wine or a few tins of baked beans. Weight is a reasonable 740g, including shoulder strap.
An attractive bag with useful detailing, the Heritage is made to last, with looks and durability that will be appreciated both on and off the bike.
Topeak MTX Trunkbag £57.99
Generous 11L capacity, sturdy build and Velcro flap closure. Innovative clip-on attachment for front or rear racks.
First published in Cycle magazine, October/November 2021 issue. All information correct at time of publishing.
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