Restrap. Bikepacking bag test
Bikepacking is growing in popularity. The packing method suits us, which enforces minimalism, resulting in a light and pleasant ride. If you want to learn more about the very idea of bikepacking, we invite you to this guide, and if you happen to be thinking about buying bikepacking bags, here's a test of a kit from the British brand Restrap.
The tested set includes:
- Seat bag – Saddle Bag (14 L – weight 630 g)
- Frame bag – Frame Bag Large (4.5 l – weight 255 g)
- handlebar harness with waterproof bag – Bar Bag Small (14 l + 1.5 l bag – the whole weighs 635 g)
The kit offers a total capacity of 35 liters, about the same as the backpack I use on multi-day trips. In favor of the bags is additionally the fact that we attach water in bottles and bidons directly to the bike – it does not take up space in the panniers.
If such a capacity proves insufficient, you can expand the set with fork-mounted bags, use a larger bag under the handlebars, or stuff it in the harness in bulk, for example. parts of the tent (the trousers are quite long), put some items of equipment under the elastic cords (such as. Carrimata, hammock, sandals, towel).
The elastic bands in the handlebar and seatpost bags (photo. outdoormagazine.pl)
Materials – first impressions
Restrap is a relatively small, family-owned company with production located locally, in Yorkshire. The company's attention to sustainability and the environment (even the patch is made of „vegan-friendly PU”), translates into a high price tag. This is, of course, the downside, we will buy the bikepacking kit in Poland much cheaper, but in addition to the intangible values, we also pay for high quality workmanship and materials.
Made in UK (fot. outdoormagazine.pl)
After six months of testing Restrapa bags, I can't say much about their durability. So far, no holes or abrasions. Rigid elements – straps, harness and seat stiffeners, straps, straps and Velcro fasteners – all make a very solid impression. Similarly, a bag in the frame and a first aid kit/bag clipped from the top of the handlebar harness – that is, items made of Cordura 1000D. The carry bags themselves are made of lighter and thinner nylon, which initially caused me concern, but nevertheless so far I have not had any problems. The bags remain waterproof under normal conditions. In case of immersion, a total downpour or a test soaking in the shower, after a while they start to soak through.
Under the normal conditions you'll usually encounter during bike tours, the Restrap kit is waterproof (fot. outdoormagazine)
The bag's laminated locks into the frame perform surprisingly well. In this bag I am not afraid to hold my phone, even in a downpour.
Good lamimn locks – they are waterproof, and can be opened with one hand (pic. outdoormagazine.pl)
Buckles, elastic and reflective strings, zippers, trousers, Velcro – I rate these items a 5+. They are very comfortable to use, you can also see that they are made of decent materials. Small patents, like the buckle with a magnet in the rear pannier, or the magnetic attachment of a small bag on the front harness, make the Restrap a pleasure to use.
Convenient buckle and strap allow you to quickly and conveniently clip in and out of the rear bag (pic. outdoormagazyn.pl)
Design, or patents
In addition to the aforementioned buckle (patent-protected), the way the seatpost is attached is also very impressive. With only one wide Velcro strap and one trocpe, we attach the harness to the saddle, and the whole thing holds very securely and rigidly.
Similarly, in the case of the front harness, the manufacturer offers a slightly different solution than the ones I've known so far. To stiffen all the heavy luggage under the handlebars, the harness is pinned with long straps from the bottom up to the fork, which completely solves the problem of any wobble (beware of paint abrasions, it is worth securing sensitive areas with protective tape – Restrap has a large set of protective stickers in its offer). The harness should fit most types of handlebars. Its construction is less armored than some competitors' models, yet it works flawlessly.
The frame bag seems to have all too many Velcro and trocars (small clever buckles), but maybe that's what makes it easy to open and close the zippers while riding. The larger pocket on the right has a useful mesh pocket.
The Restrap kit under test (photo. outdoormagazine.en)
Both bags have a classic rolling system with a stiffening strip, similar to those in sailor bags. One of the most important things in a bikepacking kit (it may be obvious, but it's worth reminding) is the ability to quickly unzip the bags and take them with you, e.g. For the tent. In the Restrap kit we have this possibility.
Restrap Test (fot. outdoormagazine.pl)
The lifetime first-owner warranty that Restrap provides for its bags is another perk. The warranty, of course, applies to defects in materials and workmanship, such as damaged seams, stitching, zippers, mounting hardware or clips. As Restrap states, the lifetime guarantee does not cover „reasonable wear”, tears, rips, peeling, broken locks and fading.
Aesthetic qualities, precise workmanship and sustainable production speak in favor of Restrap. At the end of the first season of using the brand's bags, I am satisfied with my choice, probably mainly due to the functionality and well-thought-out patents that provide comfort, but also make us deal with a pampered product – and that's always nice.
Bike on pontoon and pontoon on bike. You can learn more about bike-rafting HERE (photo. outdoormagazine.pl)
A set of bikepacking bags makes it possible to organize a wide variety of trips. Both in the summer and in the colder seasons (even in winter!), for the weekend and beyond, with a pontoon, slackline, hammock. The relatively small capacity forces you to combine, which makes the satisfaction of trips realized in bikepacking style even greater.
We recommend this type of travel, fun, exploring the area, a means of transportation to get to camp in the wilderness, and recommend a set of Restrap bags. From our first tests, it appears to be a well thought-out, designed and precisely made piece of equipment that can be trusted. How all the materials and components will stand the test of time? We will only be able to answer this question in a year or two. Meanwhile, let's take advantage of the good weather while we can. On the road!
Bikepacking on Hel (fot. outdoormagazine.en)
You can find Restrap equipment in the store of the Polish distributor:
fot. outdoormagazine.en fot. outdoormagazine.pl pic. outdoormagazine.en fot. outdoormagazine.en fot. outdoormagazine.en photo. outdoormagazine.pl fot. outdoormagazine.en