We took an early look at the lightweight, rack-free bikepacking bags of the collaboration between Rapha & Apidura back in April at the Berlin Bike Show. The co-developed bags hadn’t been official announced then, but we got most of the details, and having tested the original version of the Apidura packs we offered our insight and a bit of speculation. Rapha has now released the packs, so we can now confirm our suspicions and get the last bits of information on the packs, including pricing and availability…
Rapha calls the decision to work with the British bikepacking pioneers of Apidura a “natural progression for their Brevet range”. The Rapha Brevet line has been geared to long, self-supported rides from its start, and continues to expand in its breadth to handle any road riding adventure with the tag line #packlighttravelfar. Rapha’s Brevet interpretation of the light, water-resistant Apidura bags adds two large reflective strips, reflective logos and reflective bungee cords and webbing to boost visibility. Anti-slip synthetic rubber was also added to all of the bike contact point straps to make them more secure. The same anti-slip Hypalon gripper was added to the roll-top closures of both bar and saddle packs to allow you to stuff them more fully, so they don’t need to be folded over as far in order to stay closed. The Rapha incarnation of the packs also adds a bright hi-vis pink lining to make it easier to find small items inside in low light conditions. Rapha also includes an extra polyester bag with each pack that you can use to separate wet clothes inside.
The packs use Apidura’s easy-to-attach and secure ladder lock-like buckles and 3-point lash-down to both bar/stem and saddle/post. They also use the same highly water-resistant laminated nylon fabric as the original packs, just this time in more stealthy black.
As we inferred, the handlebar pack looks is based on the same 9l compact size that we had tested, which provides just a moderate of storage, but is not as easy to access while on the bike like the saddle bag is. An optional 3rd strap for the handlebar bag appears to be able to strap loosely to either the stem, around the headtube, or to the fork crown to limit swaying, although sue to the small size meant we never packed ours heavy enough to have any real swaying problems.
The saddle pack is based on the 11l compact Apidura pack, smaller than the mid-sized one that we tested, but still room enough for most weekend trips without needing a set of panniers.
The two new Rapha + Apidura packs on offer then are the £85/110€/$130 Handlebar Pack and £105/130€/$160 Saddle Pack, with both available now in Rapha’s webshop. We’ve used the first generation Apidura bags on several adventures, and continue to pull one or both out for every multi-day trip we take whether on the road, cross, or mountain bike. With the added reflectivity and bright liner, I’d feel pretty comfortable saying that these Rapha versions make some welcome improvements over the high-performing originals.