Want to carry extra gear without giving up room for water bottles? In that case, mini frame bags are a good way to go. Depending on your frame size, you may still have to do some creative positioning to get everything to fit, but the results are usually worth it – especially for longer rides.
Now, Orucase is putting their magnetic spin on the mini frame pack concept with a new model from their experimental Design Labs lineup…
Essentially an experimental small-batch production, Design Labs is how Orucase tests out new products, materials, and hardware. These products may find a permanent home in the Orucase lineup, or you might just end up with a limited edition bag.
This time, that bag is a Mini Frame Pack made from Black Dyneema Composite fabric. This flexible, non-woven composite laminate is reinforced with Dyneema fibers making it super light, and “15x stronger than steel.” Starting with a lightweight material means that Orucase can add a lot of features to the pack while still keeping the weight down.
While the right side of the pack has a standard zipper closure for the main pocket, the left side incorporates Orucase’s magnetic closure. This is sort of like a magnetic zipper that can easily be opened with one hand while you’re riding, and it self-closes as well.
The magnetic pocket is well suited to flat objects like nutrition products, maps, or your phone. The only catch is that if you over-fill the pack, the magnetic closure will struggle to stay closed.
There aren’t any sort of dividers in the main pocket, which allows the contents to shift about. But with strategic packing, it’s not a big issue. A few straps to secure pumps or bulky items would be welcomed though.
On the last ride with the bag, I ended up carrying the spread above. Nutrition was in the magnetic pocket, everything else in the main pocket, and there was still some room left. Officially, the bag offers 2.4L of storage.
Thanks to the wedge shape, the Mini Frame Pack tucks in nicely to the front triangle – though the Restrap bag better fits the Otso Warakin Ti frame above without a gap at the front of the bag. However, if you want to make use of the wiring port at the front of the bag, the gap may be beneficial. You could use the port to charge your GPS with an external battery pack while riding, route headphones to your phone in the bag, etc.
With a WTC Morse Cage Ti mounted in the lowest position, I can just fit a 21oz Camelbak Podium bottle up front. With a B-RAD adapter plate to shift the cage down farther, you could fit a taller bottle in there too.
The Mini Frame pack mounts with three hook and loop straps on the top tube, and two cam-lock straps on the downtube. It should be noted that it’s best to run the upper straps so that the hook-side of the strap faces inwards. Otherwise, they can catch on your shorts. My sample was sent with the straps reversed, so I pulled them out, flipped them over, and reinstalled.
The camlock buckles are a little bulky, but you can position them where they work best on the frame. There are also strap keepers for the excess strap, though depending on your frame size, you may need to double up the strap or trim them to length.
For odd frame shapes, you can actually run the bag reversed as well, utilizing three additional mounting locations for the camlock straps along the bottom of the bag. As an added bonus, when these holes aren’t used for a strap, the fabric underneath is reflective for added visibility.
Overall, the Orucase Mini Frame Pack is impeccably constructed and an interesting addition to the world of small frame bags. Is it worth the $140 price tag? To me, that will depend on your use of the magnetic side of the bag. If you’re looking for a US-made bag that allows easy access to items like your phone while riding without having to fumble with a zipper, then yes, it probably is. Though additional internal organization and lower-profile camlock buckles would certainly be welcomed improvements.
Offered only in black for $140.00, the bag includes a Lifetime Guarantee and like other Orucase products, is “100% carbon-neutralized by Cooler.”
- 2.4 Liters
- 3x Velcro straps
- 2x Camlock straps
- Ultra lightweight Dyneema composite material
- Burly #8 YKK Aquaguard Zipper
- Magnetic closure
- Foam structural liner
- Thin non-driveside pocket for phone and wallet
- 2″ deep driveside pocket for snacks, cameras, clothing