Despite the plain and unassuming name, Restrap’s Frame Bag is up there with the best bikepacking bags (opens in new tab).
Of the three sizes Restrap offers, I tried the biggest – the Restrap Frame Bag Large, which has a capacity of 4.5L and weighs in at 255g. On my 56cm Factor O2 frame, this was a near perfect fit, but for smaller than a 54cm frame it’s definitely worth checking Restrap’s medium and small options as this isn’t a short bag at 50cm.
Attachment and setup
Restrap has opted for three wide, rubberized Velcro straps on the top of the bag, along with two narrower clamp straps on the down tube, and a matching one for the seat tube. The result is brilliant – put plainly the bag does not move. Even when fully laden climbing out of the saddle I didn’t notice any instances of the bag moving or swaying underneath me.
This confidence allowed me to pack heavier items central to the bike which helps with overall handling. Regardless of the soft materials in contact with the bike, I was extra careful using heli tape on my frame where the bag mounts. I would always recommend this to ensure your pride and joy doesn’t end up with scuffed paint.
The way the storage is set out is very astute. The bag has full length zips on both sides with a central divider – a narrow pocket on the left, and a wider pocket on the right featuring mesh pockets on the divider. This really pays dividends when you’re trying to keep gear organized on a longer bikepacking trip (opens in new tab)trip. I found having something like a rain cape easily accessible in the left hand pocket great for keeping bulky items to hand but out of pocket.
Perhaps the main selling point of Restrap as a brand is its commitment to a lifetime warranty on its bags. It’s easy to see this is a quality handmade item and at no point did I feel I was about to rip any stitching, even when getting greedy with storage space.
Restrap has developed its own formula of tech materials such as VX21 and 1000D textured nylon to come up with a combination it claims to be waterproof. Amazingly, in an 800km tour, we did not experience a single drop of rain. So to put these claims to the test I opted for the shower test instead.
With a prolonged spraying and paper towel inside the bag as an indicator, I can confirm the materials are waterproof, but the cable/hydration port on the top of the bag will inevitably let some moisture in. However a large material overlap combats this and I feel that in the real world, as this port is tucked away under the top tube, there shouldn’t be any issues. But if it’s all-out waterproofing you’re looking for it may be worth a look at Ortlieb’s competitor frame bag, which boasts a full IPX67 waterproof rating.
Another common problem Restrap has managed very well is frame bag bulge. The materials and stitching are flexible but firm, meaning when filling the bag, it holds its shape well eliminating the dreaded feeling of your knees scraping the bag.
And a note on the zips – they’re waterproof too, and even when squeezing every last milliliter out of the bag, I didn’t feel as if I was going to break them, so top marks there.
Value and conclusion
The Restrap Frame Bag is certainly at the higher end of frame bags on the market with a retail price of £82.99/$123.99. But even at this price I would say it is good value for money. For reference, Ortlieb’s equivalent offering will set you back £115 – but does come with an IPX rating.
I really got on well with the Restrap Frame Bag. Solid frame attachment, and build quality backed up by lifetime warranty make it a great option for those riding a frame size 54cm and up if you can work around the lack of true waterproofing.
Restrap Frame Bag Large – specs
- Weight 255g
- Length 50cm
- Capacity 4.5L
- RRP at time of review £82.99/$123.99
- www.restrap.com (opens in new tab)