Home » Bicycle Touring » Bicycle Touring Gear » Best Bike Frame Bags

Best Bike Frame Bags

Updated:
Bike Frame Bags

Sharing is caring!

This is a gear review about the best bike frame bags for bikepacking in 2022.

If you were to invest in a frame bag for your bike, your gear will be nicely balanced and positioned along the center of your bike. And it will be accessible when needed.

Frame bags are very popular to carry lightweight bikepacking gear and many long distance cyclists are moving towards using frame bags instead of using the space inside the triangle of the frame to only carry a couple of water bottles. Many years ago I made the move away and started using bike frame bags and enjoyed the easy access to gear and ability to load it full of gear when needed.

If you’re going to invest good money into a top quality bike frame bag, you want to make the right decision. So let’s take a look.

Best Frame Bags for Bikepacking 2022

The Best Frame Bags for Bikepacking in 2022 are:


Best Bike Frame Bag for Bikepacking & Touring 2022 – Overall

Ortlieb 6L Frame Pack

Pros:
> Waterproof

> Quality zippers
> Choice of sizes to fit most frames

Cons:
> Premium product at a premium price
> Like so many products at the moment there are supply issues :(

The Ortlieb Frame Pack is a completely waterproof frame bag that is one of only a few in this review that I would trust to put anything in that could be damaged by water. If you are looking for a waterproof bikepacking frame bag then this is it.

It comes in a couple of different sizes that you can match to the size of your frame. There are 3 attachment points on the top bar of the frame and multiple adjustable options for attaching it to the vertical section of the frame triangle.

The framebag has only one pocket and one zip so there are no options to separate items within the bag. For most people this is fine. If you are wanting several pockets to separate the storage of items then you will need to look elsewhere.

Overall, this is a well made frame bag and the best waterproof frame bag for bikepacking that is on the market at the moment.

Compare Prices:


Revelate design Ripio Frame Bag

Pros:
> Makes the most of available space

> Excellent zippers that reduce stress
> Several Velcro connection points

Cons:
> Premium product at a premium price

This is a super popular bike frame bag and well loved and well used within the bikepacking community.

This bike frame bag makes great use of the triangle of space underneath the top tube.

The waterproof zips on this pack are great and do a good job dealing with all the mud and dirt that will find it’s way onto the bag. They feature stretch Cordura to reduce zipper stress when opening and closing.

You attach the bag securely to the bike frame using several movable Velcro straps. There’s a handy zippered pocket in the left-hand side which is perfect for stashing smaller items such as keys.

And there’s also an exit port in the main compartment for a hydration tube, if you wanted to stick a hydration bladder in there. I regularly store heavy water in frame bags and I’m a big fan of this feature.

The material of the bag is waterproof but the stitching isn’t seam sealed and water will get into the bag during heavy rain.

It’s available in several different sizes, specifically small, medium, large, and extra large. For a full breakdown of the dimensions of these sizes, please click on “Check price”. This will open the product page on another tab, and from there you can view the size chart.

Overall, this is one of the most popular bikepacking frame bags on the market and has stood the test of time. Very highly recommended.

Compare Prices:


Ortlieb Frame Pack Toptube Slate

Pros:
> Easily accommodates tent poles, bike pump and more
> Perfect for bikes with limited triangle space or if you are wanting to keep a water bottle and holder on your frame
> Several connection points for secure attachment

Cons:
> This is such a popular item that online retailers often run out of stock

With its 4 liter capacity, and length of 19 inches, height of 5 inches and depth of 2 inches, it can easily accommodate long items such as tent poles and a bike pump, under the top tube.

This is the perfect bike frame bag for those who have limited triangle space. And, at the same time, leaving you with room to attach water bottles to the other parts of the bike’s triangle. It has a universal fit, designed to be attached to almost any bike frame.

It will remain snug and secure on the bike frame, with three connection points to attach to the top tube via Velcro, along with Velcro straps on the two ends to secure to the other tubes.

The bag also has impressive water resistance – not only is the material itself 100% waterproof, but the zipper is also waterproof.

It’s quite a lightweight bag at just 6 ounces.

Overall, this is the best top tube frame bag on the market and best suited to bikepackers or cycle tourers with limited space on the inside triangle of the frame or someone wanting to keep one of the water bottles attached to the frame. Highly recommended.

Compare Prices:


Revelate design Hopper frame bag

Pros:
> Can be opened one-handed
> Universal size for universal fit
> High water & abrasion resistance

Cons:
> Only available in one size

What I love about this bike frame bag is how it doesn’t feature any zips. Don’t get me wrong I like zips but they are the weak point in any frame bag. They can and do break given enough time. Instead of zips it’s got a magnetic closure on the right hand side, that you can access one handed to remove or add contents from the bag.

It has a universal fit, which means that it will fit most bikes. It has the following dimensions, the top tube length is 11 inches, a down tube length of 12 inches, a head tube length of 2 inches, and a rear height of 7 inches.

It really makes the most of the available space in the bike’s frame, and has a full 4 liter capacity, so you can fit all sorts in there. I like how the closure works regardless of whether the bag is empty or full to the brim.

The material is water and abrasion resistance. In fact, it’s twice as abrasion resistant as most of its counterparts. There are 5 adjustable attachment points to fasten the bag securely to the bike frame.

It’s quite lightweight at just 6 ounces. And the other great thing about this bag is that it’s really competitively priced, despite coming from one of the more high-end brands in the business.

Overall, this is another awesome bikepacking frame bag.

Compare Prices:


Blackburn Outpost Elite Frame Bike Bag

Pros:
> Ultralight weight
> Waterproof
> Several different compartments

> Exit port for a hydration hose

Cons:
> The zippers require a lot of force to zip up

This is an excellent bike frame bag from Blackburn.

I like the fact that there are several compartments in this framebag. In addition to the long zip running near the top on the right-hand side, there’s also a zip near the bottom, so you can easily access smaller items that have fallen to the bottom of the bag. Great for heavy tool and spares or maybe a small water bladder or food.

There are also two exterior pockets on the right-hand side, so you can access gear without having to fiddle around with any zips.

It also features an exit port for a hydration hose, and you can easily fit a hydration bladder in the bag. The fabric of the bag is 100% waterproof, and the zippers are 100% waterproof too.

I’m impressed by the use of nine connection points to the bike frame.

It’s available in 4 different sizes. This includes a small, a medium-short, a medium-tall, and a large. To see the precise dimensions, please click on “Check price” below.


Buyers Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. It will walk you through all the key things to think about before you buy. It makes for a handy checklist.

Fit

Your first and foremost consideration will be whether or not the bike frame bag will fit on your particular bike. This is important, because although many bikes have a universal shape and design, they aren’t always exactly the same.

The bikepacking frame bags mentioned in the gear review will fit most common frame sizes but some frames such as very large frames or mountain bike frames may not be able to fit these bike frame bags. There are many custom bike frame companies that can make a frame bag specific to almost any type of frame size. And these could be better suited to some people.

Aesthetic

Ideally, you want the bike frame bag to look just as good as the bike itself. But this is certainly quite low on the list of most important features.

And with that in mind, where applicable, we have referred to the different color options available in each bag we’ve reviewed. In most cases the bags look great if you love the color black.

And on the subject of appearance, it’s always good to have reflective strips on your bike frame bag to aid visibility in low light conditions. Some people may not like this feature when trying to stealth camp out of sight of others.

Capacity

Ok, we’re going to level with you here. Bike frame bags don’t usually offer a great amount of storage space, due to the minimal space they have to be squeezed into. 4 to 6 liters is the normal amount of space inside these bike frame bags.

But we would argue that your bike frame bag should be at least big enough to house your tent poles, bike pump, a water bladder, some tools and maybe some food or clothing such as rain gear.

Water Resistance

Even though your bike frame naturally has some protection from rainfall thanks to the bike frame itself, this protection is minimal in most cases. Rain is often accompanied by wind, and no matter what, most bike frame bags will get wet in the rain. There are some exceptions to this such as the Ortlieb Frame Bag.

For this reason, it is my view that most bike frame bag should not be merely shower resistant, but 100% waterproof. There have been many bikepackers that have learned the hard way that frame bags are not waterproof.

Secure Fastening

It’s also very important that your bike frame bag remains securely attached to the bike’s frame throughout every journey you make.

The last thing you want is to be fiddling around with straps and have a frame bag that just doesn’t fit onto the bike. Most of the frame bags have some sort of adjustment in the way that straps fit the frame. Nice to know that the frame bags will not interfere with the function of the bike in anyway or stop you from mounting other storage bags such as cockpit bags etc.

Value for Money

Cheaper does not always translate to better value for money.

If you were to waste your money on a cheaper, inferior product, you will have to invest in a brand new one before you know it. I have tried to only list the best quality bicycle frame bags on the market and have tried to avoid any that would be crappy quality.

But I understand that most people have to work within a budget, which is why I recommend checking prices as you go along.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Bicycle Frame Bag?

A bicycle frame bag is basically any bicycle bag that fits and is secured under the top tube of the bike. They can either run in a line parallel to the top tube, or they can take up that whole triangle of space in the bike’s frame. The main advantage of this type of bike bag is just how well it helps to keep the bike balanced and stable, lowering its center of gravity.

Are Frame Bags Useful?

Bike frame bags can be very useful. You’ll be surprised just how much stuff you can fit into one. And it’s perfect for carrying a hydration bladder in because it means that you haven’t got to stop and reach behind you to access your water. Moreover, most bike frame bags feature an opening that allows you to access your gear one-handed without having to uninstall the bag.

Which Bike Bag Is Best?

If you’re going to go for a bike frame bag, it is recommended to take a look at the Ortlieb 6L Frame Pack or the Revelate design Ripio Frame Bag. There’s a size for most bikes, and they have excellent zippers.


Another one of the Best Bike Touring Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.


More Bike Touring Gear Reviews

Frame Bags for Bikepacking

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

Download the
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Add your name and email to download the Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.