Bikepacking bag maker Restrap debuts a new versatile Travel pack range with two size adjustable Rolltop Backpacks and a great little Utility Hip Pack that transitions nearly seamlessly from your waist to your handlebar. I’ve just got the hip pack and larger 22L backpack in, and have already put them to use on & off the bike. Take a closer look…
Restrap Travel Packs, a waterproof hip bag & two backpacks
Restrap adding a new Travel Range is their way of blurring the lines between what you carry on or off the bike, adapting lessons learned making bikepacking bags for use while not necessarily cycling. Both the new hip pack and backpacks are meant to be used off-the-bike, but Restrap certainly tweaked them for use while cycling, too.
Restrap Utility Hip Pack – 6L
Let’s start with the hip bag.
Depending on when you look at it, the new 6L Utility Hip Pack could be confused for a pretty common fanny pack or a mini roll-top handlebar bag. It’s the way it transitions back and forth so smoothly that makes it unique. Sure, I’ve seen ‘hacks’ of people strapping their hip bag to the bar. And I’ve seen bar bags attached to a regular belt to carry them off-the-bike. But this solution is so much cleaner and more satisfying.
The secret is that the rear mesh back pad that sits against your waist is actually hinged from the top and secured in place with a big velcro patch.
In bar bag mode, the proper padded waist belt gets folded securely out of the way. Then, you just tighten the two Restrap Fast Straps around your bar, and loop the bungee cord around your stem to keep it from bouncing.
In hip pack mode, the waist belt comes out, the little bungee gets tucked under the velcro, and away you go.
Tech details, Pricing
Material-wise, Restrap makes the hip pack from a heavy-duty durable TPU fabric, with taped seams for a fully waterproof construction, and bright orange lining. It gets a full-width top opening roll-top, with a plastic structure around the opening to help close it, and a magnetic Fidlock buckle closure. And reflective stitching in the straps boosts low-light visibility.
The boxy bag is 24x18x12cm overall for 6L of storage including the two outer mesh side pockets. Restrap claims a weight of just 361g, but my sample bag weighed a bit more at 403g including the two 17cm orange Fast Straps to secure it around the handlebar.
The new Restrap Utility Hip Pack is available today direct from Restrap for $143 / £95 / 114€ in either this white or an all-black version.
Restrap Rolltop Backpacks – 22L & 40L
Restrap calls these the “ultimate backpack for use both on and off the bike”, designed for bike commuter use or just any time you want to carry goodies on your back.
Available in two sizes, the Rolltop Backpacks are built to be waterproof, comfortable cycling or walking, and tough enough to stand up to everyday use & abuse. Then, external compression straps on each side let you cinch the backpacks down so they don’t flop around even when they aren’t stuffed full of gear.
The two sizes each include an internal padded 15″ laptop sleeve and an internal mesh side organizer pocket with a key lanyard, both with external zip access and Restrap’s small “safety retention loop to protect against theft”. The larger 40L pack also adds an extra internal side pocket and another outer side pocket for further organization.
Tech details, Pricing
Materials are essentially the same as the hip pack. Restrap makes the backpacks from the same heavy-duty TPU fabric, and tapes the seams for fully waterproof construction. Everything inside is lined with slippery orange nylon that makes it easy to find items inside and slip things in & out. The backpacks get full-width roll-top openings, closer with an adjustable strap & magnetic Fidlock buckle.
They also feature a fully padded flat airmesh back panel and shoulder straps, plus a removable waist belt, and 3-position adjustable sternum straps to provide stability. Then, there are also various extra D-rings and Molle system daisy chain attachments to mount other accessories, too. Again, some limited reflective stitching in some of the straps and the small paracord zipper plus improve night visibility.
The smaller max 22L bag is 45cm tall when closed, 26cm wide & 15cm deep, with a claimed weight of 770g. The larger max 40L bag is 50cm tall when closed, 30cm wide & 22cm deep, with a claimed weight of 980g. But, our sample 40L bag was again quite a bit heavier than anticipated at 1130g.
The new Restrap Travel range Rolltop Backpacks are available today from direct for $278 / £185 / 222€ for the smaller 22L or for $315 / £210 / 250€ for the larger 40L variant. Both come in either this white or an all-black version.
Thinking about it I have to say, I’m a bit surprised that Restrap hadn’t really gotten into ‘on-body’ bags yet, after testing out a number of their ‘on-bike’ backpacking bags. I’ve been impressed with almost every Restrap bag I’ve tried. Generally, a bit on the heavier side – prioritizing craftsmanship & durability over ultra-lightweight or flimsy fasteners – they’ve all held up well to my sometimes rough abuse. And while they aren’t cheap, Restrap’s prices are competitive, and the bags are actually all handmade in the UK at a time when most gear is still made anonymously somewhere on the other side of the planet.
These bags seem to hit on all of that, in all the best ways. Sure, they aren’t cheap, but they feel really well-made and durable.
I get the sense that this backpack is going to become my new favorite for my regular travels. It has plenty of good pockets to keep me a bit organized, without going overkill. And the external access for both the laptop sleeve and the mesh internal side pocket feels great. Plus, it compresses down so neatly that I feel like it can go from carrying just 10 or 20L on a regular basis, then balloon up to the full 40L when needed. And it looks good both compressed and fully maxed out.
It even stays put and feels good on the bike.
As for the Utility Hip Pack, well that’s a more complicated story. But still a very good one.
I had lower expectations of this bag and a bit of skepticism to be honest. You know – a jack of all trades, master of none – kinda thing. But it has proven me wrong, ending up as versatile and functional in both on-bike and on-body modes. Anyone remember the expanded ‘original‘ version of that figure of speech? I’ve only really started to use the Utility Hip Pack and to test what I can carry comfortably and securely.
But already it warrants a more detailed review. I think I like it a lot, and will certainly keep playing with it.
Restrap Travel – Availability & a bonus
In the meantime, all three new Restrap Travel packs are available now directly from Restrap and their partner retailers.
Restrap also has one extra bonus gadget hidden in with this release – a new $11/ £6 / 9€ Light Mount. It’s really just a small plastic cylinder that can bolt onto any unused frame or fork rack, fender, or cage braze-on to give you somewhere else to attach any accessory meant to strap around a handlebar of seatpost.
Since Restrap specializes in making bikepacking bags, they know that when you strap bags on your bike oftentimes you lose good spots to mount forward- or rear-facing lights. So this little 15g plastic doodad creates a mounting spot you can add away from any bags in the way. It also includes teeth that will fit the plastic Shimano crank axle/BB pre-loader in case you ever need to tighten or remove a crankset on the go.