Apidura’s new Backcountry bikepacking bags go back to the companies roots in adventure, loading up the lightweight essentials to venture into the unknowns of exploring technical mountain trails in any weather. Working around new seam-welding of their signature light X-Pac fabric for absolute waterproofing, the new Backcountry update Apidura’s longest-running packs for more technical mountain bike adventure riding, and adds several all-new packs for added bikepacking & everyday versatility.
New Apidura Backcountry bags, technical MTB bikepacking refresh
Apidura’s Backcountry family of light, rackless off-road touring packs has been around for a decade. When we reviewed a set six years ago, bikepacking was still a new word to a lot of cyclists, and we were riding gravel on cyclocross bikes and 33mm tires. While much has changed in off-road bikepacking, adventure & gravel in those years, Apidura has remained a leader in lightweight bags built for anything you can throw at them.
And now that original Apidura Backcountry gets a major overhaul – refreshing the original core Saddle, Frame & Handlebar Packs with new waterproof construction & details, while expanding out to now include nine different packs… thirteen when you factor in different sizes available for different bike setups or adventures. And with other lines like the Apidura Racing Series taking care of fast, ultra-endurance racing, Backcountry shifts further off-road with reshaped bags optimized for modern sloping mountain bike geometries & more technical trail riding.
What’s new in next gen off-road bikepacking bags?
Already known for being durable & reliable, Backcountry was developed around a lightweight, light gray VX21 X-Pac fabric that while waterproof, had never had sealed seams. The bags we tested managed to keep our packed gear dry in most conditions, but steady driving rain would eventually get in at the seams. Now Apidura has figured out a way to seam weld the 4-layer VX21 laminate to their own wear-resistant TPU-coated 420D nylon for industry-first weatherproofing.
That means the new bags keep the look of the originals (and will pair well with existing Backcountry bags), while adding full waterproof protection to your gear inside, and even better abrasion-resistance.
The reshaping of bags themselves mean that the new frame packs especially are designed to fit into the tighter spaces of sloping toptube hardtail and even full-suspension mountain bikes, with even the smaller frame pack designed to be flipped around to best fit into your frame.
The Backcountry family adds new waterproof zippers to extend their versatility, new dropper post compatibility, and also gets refreshed inside. New internal straps and adjustable dividers are designed to keep your gear protected and rattle free over the harshest of terrain.
The new pack family is also meant to be modular, so you can pick and choose what kind of carrying capacity makes sense for your style of riding. That’s why there are now so many bags in the family. You might pick one or two smaller packs to strap onto an enduro bike just to carry extra layers & food for an all-day backcountry trail ride.
Or fully load up your hardtail with enough camping gear to go off-the-grid, much deeper into the backcountry.
Apidura Backcountry 2.0 – Packs, Pricing & First Availability
Apidura’s legacy Backcountry series update includes five packs that are available today for technical singletrack and mountain bike trail riding adventure – these being the bags designed to fit almost any adventure-ready bike. The classic Backcountry Handlebar Pack gets the waterproof refresh, with a £96 / $123 / 108€ smaller 7L version, and the £106 / $136 / 119€ bigger 11L bar bag.
The Backcountry Saddle Pack also comes in two sizes – £118 / $151 / 133€ for the smaller 4L bag, and £122 / $156 / 137€ for the larger 6.5L version.
The first of the new frame bags is the small 2L Backcountry Frame Pack for £79 / $101 / 89€.
The first refreshed accessory bag will the 1.8L Backcountry Downtube Pack for £55 / $71 / 62€, a slightly larger 9cm diameter version of the Expedition Downtube Pack which debuted earlier this year. This new one is a bit bigger than a bottle bag, designed to fit 1L bottles or a compressible jacket.
The Backcountry Food Pouch bottle bags that hand on your handle bar do not get an update, carrying on as-is.
The newest and most innovative of the new Apidura Backcountry family will actually make you wait a few weeks – with the final round of the new packs expected to be available from November 30. Details remain a bit thinner on these bags but we can hit at many of the key points.
The Backcountry Full Frame Packs are designed to boost storage a beyond one or two bottle cages that usually fit in a mountain bike frame, filling out the open space in your main triangle. Three sizes will be available 2.5L (£138/$176/155€), 4L (£140/$179/157€) & 6L (£144/$184/161€) to fit hardtail or full-suspension frames.
Apidura has a detailed list of compatible frames & frame sizes for each, plus will have downloadable templates to help make sure you pick the one that fits. All sizes feature a unique waterproof zip layout with a 2-way horizontal & 1-way vertical zip that offers two ways into the bag for ease of use.
There’s also a new 4L Backcountry Accessory Pocket for £58/$74/€65 to strap more gear onto your new (or old) handlebar pack.
Either 1L front Backcountry Top Tube Pack (£50/$64/56€) or 1L Backcountry Rear Top Tube Pack (£54/$69/€61) to carry more easily accessible goodies.
Or the larger 1.8L Backcountry Long Top Tube Pack (£70/$89/79€) that share pretty much all of the exact same features of the new Racing version launched just last week.
As Apidura’s head of marketing George Huxford puts it, “The Backcountry Series has always been about freedom and empowering riders to think beyond the tarmac, get back to nature and embrace exploration and adventure. With this refresh, we’re aiming to bring that spirit to an even wider audience of riders, helping them keeping shredding longer; Turn one lap into two by throwing some supplies in a frame pack or make a weekend of it with a full setup. Backcountry packs have minimal impact on balance, function or performance, so riders can focus on the ride while carrying what they need to make the fun last longer. We’ve designed it for the type of riding we enjoy doing and are excited to see where people take it.“