Earlier this summer, Italian bag maker Miss Grape has added several all-new smaller, lighter Road collection packs to their bikepacking bag lineup. Built for “Far AND Fast” rides both on and off-road, we’ve been riding the new Cluster 7, Internode 2 & Node Road on weekend adventures and sub 24hour overnighters where we could pare back to the essentials.
Miss Grape Road: light Italian bikepacking bags for fast adventures
The new Road designation doesn’t mean these are good only for smooth tarmac, but allows Miss Grape to divide their offerings into three clear categories: Adventure for multi-day trips, Road for “same-day adventures”, and Commuter for everyday essentials. The idea is to make it easier for cyclists to find what they are looking for, but everything is still interchangeable as you pack for your own personalized bikepacking adventures.
Miss Grape Road packs Review: lightweight Italian bikepacking bags for faster adventure rides
The mostly smaller volume new Road collection is mostly made up of a saddle pack, a couple of partial frame bags, and a couple of small toptube bags, plus a smaller bar bag that carries over, more or less from their Adventure series.
The only saddle pack is the 145€ waterproof Cluster 7 with 7L of storage. The waterproof frame bag is available in two sizes – the 2L 99€ Internode 2 & and a 3L 105€ Internode 3, with us trying out the smaller one. The water-resistant top tube bag is available in two options, both for 65€ with 0.7L of space – the Node Road that straps to your toptube and steerer, and the Node 2H Road with two-hole direct mounting.
We did not test out the 115€ double-ended waterproof drybag Tendril 4.10 handlebar pack (adjustable from 4-10L), but Miss Grape says it’s also a good option for flat bar or drop bar riders looking to extend their carrying capacity a bit more. I’d probably think it falls more into the Adventure series, though.
All of the Miss Grape bags are handmade in Italy in relatively limited numbers, and all come with a lifetime guarantee. That also means that you might sometimes have to wait a bit until the exact bag you are looking for comes back in stock.
Read on to see what we think of the simple & light Italian bags.
Miss Grape Road Review: lightweight Cluster, Internode & Node Road
Miss Grape first told us about their lighter, more compact Road collection when ultra-distance adventure racer Sofiane Sehili came on board as both a brand ambassador and to help with R&D on the lightweight lineup. In fact, we got a sneak peek at this Road setup we are testing back in May on Sofiane’s bike, and have been teased that more light packs are in the development pipeline still.
This Road series are the first bags we’ve actually used from Miss Grape, but we’ve been spotting them on bikes more or less since the brand was created back in 2014. While a number of bikepacking bag makers seem to focus on tons of technical details, the Miss Grape bags seem simple and straightforward, while still promising to be “indestructible”. And that also means they are relatively lightweight, although never really prioritizing being the lightest.
The bags we settled on upfront were the Node Road & Internode 2.
The Node Road is narrower than most toptube bags at just 4.8cm so that it doesn’t bother cyclists when climbing out of the saddle. But at a max 20cm long and 8cm tall it might be a tight fit for riders looking to stick their larger phablet-sized phones inside. Still plenty of room for all-day ride snacks, a power bank, reasonably-sized mobile phones, and your wallet. It isn’t technically waterproof, but has kept our gear dry in light to medium rain.
Below it, the Internode 2 is a bit wider at 5cm, and grows out to a max 7cm width. We’ve still not had any real issue with hitting it when pedaling. But at just 2L, you do have to be conscious not to overstuff it. We like the smaller size though, as it doesn’t really interfere with bottles much at all. On a few medium & large gravel bikes with slightly sloping geometry, we still had plenty of room for two full-size water bottles.
The Cluster 7 saddle bag also seems to be a good small size for shorter adventures. It compresses down quite well to around a minimum 2L of storage while still feeling secure (Miss Grape quotes that down to 1L which is probably a stretch). Or you can overfill it up to the max 7L while still being fully waterproof, plus a bit more in a pinch.
The quick-release buckles on the side green straps make it easy to install & remove the bag, with locking cams so you can get it tight to not sway. And the rear green strap helps to really compress, cinch down, and secure whatever you have packed inside – much more securely and easier than typical drybag style roll-down closures alone.
Tech details, waterproof vs. water-resistant & actual weights
All of the bags share the same tough materials and reinforced construction. The core fabric is a mix of coarser black 300D polyester with dots and finer 420D nylon. All get polyurethane resin coating, reinforced front panels, and waterproof zippers to keep water out.
Instead of taping seams, the fully waterproof Internode & Cluster bags get a complete flexible waterproof liner heat-bonded inside. We initially had reservations that this liner could be damaged with use over time, but since the bags are all already effectively waterproof except for their seams, this is likely a non-issue.
The more bulky waterproof zippers are a bit stiffer to pull, but the straps of bags are well-placed where they attach to the bike, so we’ve had no real trouble operating the zips one-handed while riding.
At a real 256g on our scale, our waterproof Cluster 7 saddle bag is lighter than advertised, with plenty of reinforcement. Heavy-duty rubberized coating under the saddle rails should prevent any long-term wear as it rubs against your seat and seatpost clamp. Plus more rubberized dots on the body of the pack and on the seatpost strap do a good job of keeping the Cluster secure while riding.
Our 98g Node Road was spot-on for its weight claim, again with the same grippy rubberized dots to keep it in place on the toptube. The Node Road also has generously long straps to secure it in place. We kept them full-length to swap from bike-to-bike, but suggest cutting them to length (just melt/fuse the ends to prevent fraying) for the perfect fit on your bike.
Our actual 133g waterproof Internode 2 frame bags was a tad lighter than claimed, and has Miss Grape’s signature one green strap & one black strap around the downtube. Nothing fancy here, just one simple pocket and full protection from the weather.
Miss Grape Road on gravel…
If you feel like you may have seen these bags before, maybe you get Campagnolo’s email newsletter. Alongside the release of their latest Ekar 13-speed gravel groupset came a gravel softgoods line-up including a bunch of riding kit and these three new 100% made-in-Italy bags rebranded with Ekar logos (and slightly higher price tags).
In fact, even though Campy didn’t push the Miss Grape connection, they even feature the standard Cluster/Internode/Node names and include tiny Miss Grape logo tags throughout. Everything made-in-Italy to match your Campagnolo Ekar gravel bike, and still backed by Miss Grape’s lifetime warranty.