UK gear maker Restrap has been toiling away in their bikepacking bag workshop over the winter, with 6 new products to debut this week. Fresh out of the sewing machines, their popular Top Tube Bag gets a bolt-on update, new Fast Straps grab your tubes, the Hip Pouch returns, Wash Kit Bags keep & Travel Packs keep gear organized on tour, and the City Carry Handle just makes Brompton commuter life easier…

Restrap Bolt-On Top Tube Bag, UK-made bikepacking gear

Restrap Bolt-On Top Tube Bag, UK-made bikepacking gear

c. Restrap

As more gravel, adventure & bikepacking specific bikes have  bikes have adopted the more-or-less standardized placement of a pair of bottle cage spaced bosses on the toptube, there’s more reason to offer direct bolt-on mounted bags. Eliminating straps around the frame means less scratching of your fancy toptube, plus not scraping a strap with your leg as you pedal, and even more secure fit for bikes with either very small or weirdly shaped tubing.

Restrap Bolt-On Top Tube Bag, UK-made bikepacking gear

Restrap adapted their standard, waterproof bag with a plastic base & reinforced holes to mount up to your bike, keeping their unique headtube strap that can be adjusted to fit whatever headset/spacer/stem stack your ride has. The bolt-on bag costs £35 / 42€ has 0.8L of space inside and weighs 100g.

Restrap Fast Straps are a simple, secure way to strap everything on

Restrap Fast Straps are a simple, secure way to strap everything on

Since they pulled those straps off, they had some extra lying around, right? Restrap actually did repurpose these, more from their saddle bags, though. The simple but tough Hypalon fabric has a nice bit of grippy-ness and they don’t stretch. So paired with a locking buckle, they’re a good way to lash all manner of gear to your bike.

Restrap Fast Straps are a simple, secure way to strap everything on

The Fast Straps come in three sizes 25cm, 45cm & 65cm long. Buy them in pairs for £8 / 9.50€, £10 / 12€ or £12 / 14.50€, respectively, or in a mixed set with one of each size for £16 / 19€.

Restrap Hip Pouch, simple belt-mounted bag remastered

Restrap Hip Pouch, simple belt-mounted bag remastered 

The Hip Pouch was one of Restrap’s original bags, back before bikepacking was a glint in our eye. Now the little £23 / 27.50€ pouch is back with a single main pocket, a waterproof zipped inner pocket, and velcro to close it tight. It’s like a mini messenger bag that hangs on your belt to carry your wallet & keys, and now comes in five different color options.

Restrap Wash Kit Bag & Travel Packs

Restrap Wash Kit Bag & Travel Packs

The expandable £25 / 30€ Wash Kit Bag is just a simple, single-pocket waterproof bag to keep your toiletries in one place and nicely separated when you travel. The ends snap down to make it pack down a bit smaller, but also adds an easy way to hang it up on the go. Pick one of five colors for the coated cordura, then stuff it in your carry-on or big saddle pack.

Restrap Wash Kit Bag & Travel Packs

Along the same lines, the £40 / 48€ Travel Packs kit is a way to further organize your gear on the go. Made from the same waterproof nylon with waterproof zips, the small one is gonna get stuffed with little items (probably like the wash kit), the medium bag will contain your smell shoes, and the large bag has room for your clothes.

Restrap Wash Kit Bag & Travel Packs

Restrap should really tell us how big they actually are, but I guess since you get all three in the kit, you can just stuff whatever packs into each. Again available in three colors… or a  mix and match set!

Pretty much all of this new gear is made to order in batches for the time being, meaning a roughly two week lead time once you place your order, the fast straps a 7-day lead time.

Restrap City Carry Handle for hauling your Brompton

Restrap City Carry Handle for hauling your Brompton

Besides making bikepacking & travel bags, Restrap also makes some pretty nice camera straps, and more recently a line of packs just for folding bikes. That comes full circle, as the City Carry Handle is a strap for your folder. Using the same Hypalon of the Fast Strap, the £25 / 30€ City Carry Handle secures around the toptube of your Brompton to just make it easier to carry when folded, plus an included shoulder strap can free up your hands.

Restrap.com

10 comments

  1. Dylan on

    I’ve tried, but simply don’t understand why anyone would want to strap six bags (first picture) to their bike instead of just using a pair of rear panniers. OK, so a small top tube bag or handlebar bag is convenient to keep small items like phone or snacks easily accessible, but all the others just look like a nuisance. If you’re using frame bags to adapt a bike that can’t take racks then obviously they’re better than nothing, but on a purpose built touring (sorry, ‘bikepacking’) bike complete with rack mounts it’s just silly – fiddly and time consuming to pack and unpack, higher centre of gravity, much harder to take your gear with you if you need to park your bike outside a supermarket to restock etc etc. Sure, it’s more aero…at a 0 degree yaw angle.

    Reply
    • Dinger on

      Carrying load low and forward is generally a better riding experience. Bike’s handling remains more neutral for off road stuff. Steering stability is especially nice with some weight on the fork. Most would recommend carrying light/bulky stuff in the seat bag (ie. sleeping bag + tent or bivy) to have as little disruption to CoG as possible.

      There is also a belief that this bag type is more durable/reliable for off-road but I don’t have much experience with pannier/racks off road to say myself. Rack & pannier is certainly easy for road touring for all the reasons you state.

      Reply
      • Dylan on

        I’ve ridden plenty of gravel with front panniers, with and without a handlebar bag. Yes, the front panniers can add some stability and extra cornering grip, but unless your setup is spot on (not achievable with all frames/forks) it can exacerbate flop – no sitting up riding no hands. TBH if I’m off-road enough for fore-aft weight distribution to make much of a difference, I prefer not to carry load on the front so it’s easier to lift the front wheel over rocks ruts etc. I can always put more weight on the front by leaning forwards or standing. If the grade is that steep and the load that big that I’m looping out I’m probably walking unless it’s a short pinch anyway.
        As for durability/reliability, I’m sure some are better than others. For real off-road, panniers do tend to bounce and rattle so that’s one advantage I do give the frame bag. But if it’s serious enough that riding a loaded bike becomes impossible (or you have to carry the bike, which does happen sometimes) it’s much quicker to just unhook a couple of panniers than unstrap 6 frame bags.

        Reply
  2. Christian Bisnaire on

    To Dylan and AX: You’re forgetting the fact that you don’t need a front or a rear rack with the bikepacking bags. When you remove these two items from your list of equipment, it can amount to more than 6 lbs of weight. That is not insignificant by any stretch of the imagination. So no, the bikepacking thing is not ”just a fashion trend.” There are a ton of other benefits as well. Instead of trying to undertand how it could be benefical, why not just try it out? Chances are, you’ll be impressed in many ways. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Cheers!

    Reply
    • Dylan on

      6lbs for racks? What are yours made of, lead? I’ve had an original Blackburn MTN rear rack on my tourer/commuter since 1991, it has done a few thousands of kilometres of heavily loaded touring and several tens of thousands commuting with a lighter single pannier. It weighs about 650g including bolts, less than 1.5lb, and just the rear rack will carry far more than all those strap on bags combined. All the extra fabric and straps involved will add up to a fair amount as well, I would be highly surprised if your weight advantage were much above 1lb compared to a rear rack and the lighter style Ortlieb panniers.

      Reply
      • Josh on

        Stop crapping on them until you’ve actually tried them.

        I’ve ridden similar amounts of gear with both traditional front and/or rear panniers and a bikepacking setup and the bikepacking setup definitely feels less “clunky” on the bike. I don’t really care about the couple of lbs of potential weight savings people talk about, but the load is better distributed (particularly compared to rear panniers), the bike feels more balanced, and I‘m able to organize my gear better so I don’t have to unpack nearly as much stuff to get to something on the bottom of a bag.

        (deleted)

        Reply
  3. mudd on

    So those who don’t understand the need for bike packing bags obviously haven’t toured off-road on bumpy single track or gravel and fire roads. On bumpy terrain, spring-loaded panniers fall off, racks break, braze-ons that hold the racks break.

    This is the documented experience of those who have ridden the GDMBR and other off-road routes with panniers. These bike packing bags have come about because of a real need, not “fashion.”

    Reply
  4. Fred Gravelly on

    Dylan
    These things are fashion trends. If you hadn’t noticed ‘hip packs’ somehow came back in style recently.
    Like anyone would think they were ‘cool’ or ‘hella useful’ again if they hadnt popped up in some radavist type pictures a few years ago…
    Just do what you like and dont buy into the hype that is the cycling industry!

    Reply
    • Charlie on

      Have to agree. The industry needs trends to stimulate demand. The whole “gravel” hype ignores the fact that many of us have been using racing geometries for touring for decades. As for hip packs, my Topeak handlebar bag comes with a strap that turns it into a hip pack, when you can’t use the handle. Looks silly but useful when your hands are full carrying paniers, water bottles, etc.

      Looking for something as useful for SWMBO’s new bike but we want to avoid the handlebar mount on this one.

      Reply

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