A bit of background on our Bikepacking gear: The successful introduction a few years ago of our innovative lightweight carbon seatpost compatible Randonneur Rack and TailRider rack top bag set the stage for our very own line of bikepacking bags. Bikepacking bags available at the time all lacked key features which we felt needed to be addressed.
- They needed to be part of the frame and eliminate side sway.
- They needed to be easy to take on and off the bike.
- Fit any bike frame small or large.
- Have functional features, be waterproof and lightweight with best in class material.
The picture above: Testing our Rollpacker bags in rainy Nicaragua.
The design: The Rollpacker 15 & 25 (that is the 15 liter and the 25 liter model) feature side to side dual entry so think of it as a dry bag (tube) that rolls from both ends and hangs perpendicular to the frame rather than in line like the common wedge designs. This keeps the weight closer to the seat which helps handling of the bike especially with the larger 25l capacity offered. Both sizes can carry a significant amount of gear but keep in mind that they can also be compressed from both ends and carry large and small loads quite well.
Side to Side Dual Entry
We also wanted an extra waterproof pocket used to stash a camera, wallet and other small items that we like to keep close and readily accessible. This front pocket also allowed us to integrate an easy access, open slot pocket in between the front pocket and the main body of the bag. This is a great place to drop energy bars, arm warmers, gloves etc. Obviously, this open slot pocket is not waterproof but the compression strap secures and prevents gear from falling and a small drain hole at the bottom of the slot prevents water from pooling. Also, note the web loops on the top to tie-down a wet jacket or any other piece of clothing and the daisy chain at the back to hook up a blinker light and such.
Extra waterproof roll-top pocket and open slot in between main body and waterproof pocket
The Rollpacker comes with a lightweight aluminum “hanger” that attaches to the seat rails with a quick release attachment and that abuts to the seat post with a soft rubberized bracket that attaches with a velcro. The combination of these attachment points makes for a very stiff and solid connection of the hanger to the bike even though the hanger can be installed and removed in seconds. Furthermore, the hanger is compatible with carbon seat posts although we do not recommend using it with carbon seat rails.
Rollpacker attachment to seat post
The other great feature of the Rollpacker is the fact that the bag can mount over or underneath the aluminum hanger making it compatible with a huge range of frame sizes and wheel configurations. The arched seat rail & post adjustment of the hanger allows for a multitude of positions to achieve the perfect fit. Designing this hanger can look simple but it was actually quite a challenge. We’ve had to go back to the drawing board a few times before finally coming up with a design that works great and on pretty much any bike.
Fully adjustable lightweight aluminum hanger for over or underneath bag configuration
PIcture below: Extra-small bike frame with over-the-hanger bag configuration
PIcture below: Large bike frame with underneath-the-hanger bag configuration
Installing the Rollpacker bag onto the hanger is quick and easy. The bag has a sleeve both on the top and on the bottom of the main body of the bag. It is simply a matter of sliding the sleeve onto the hanger and buckling the compression straps for a tight and secure fit. The sleeve on the top of the bag is used for an under-the-hanger configuration while the sleeve on the bottom of the bag is for the over-the-hanger fit. So the Rollpacker can be installed on the desired configuration based on the clearance available over the rear wheel. This allows installing the Rollpacker on the widest range of bike frames, extra-small to extra-large, including rear-suspended mountain bikes.
Hanger sleeve on top and on bottom of bag with compression straps
And it’s waterproof: The shell of the Rollpackers is made of American-made X-Pac™ high performance nylon ripstop fabric. While the X-Pac™ fabric is waterproof, the seams and stitches to the bag create tiny holes that will let water through. So we integrated a waterproof liner both inside the main compartment and inside the external pocket. The liner is made of a nylon fabric backed with a TPU membrane that is 100% waterproof. And the seams to the liner are tape sealed (like a Gore-Tex™ jacket) for total waterproofness.
Picture above: Waterproof sealing tape being applied to seams of liner
Weight consideration: The complete hanger weighs 13 ounces or 360 grams. While weight is an important consideration especially in bikepacking, we feel that the added weight of the hanger is a very small price to pay to achieve these unique features of the system:
- Rock-solid stability of the load.
- Exceptionally quick installation/removal of the bag.
- Perfect fit on the widest range of bikes including cases where no other bag configuration would work.
Hanger weight 360 grams / 13 ounces
Epilog: We’ve been testing the Rollpacker in different settings as well as on short and long bikepacking trips. Typically, Paul, our general manager carried the following in his rear Rollpacker 25 bag on a 3 week stint around Lake Nicaragua and in Costa Rica:
- Pair of light shoes.
- Pair of jeans.
- Evening shirt and sweater.
- Light towel and toiletry kit.
- Acer Notebook.
- Socks, underwear etc.
- Bike multi-tool, spare tube & parts, first-aid kit in rear pocket.
- Ultra-light wind/rain jacket stuffed into the slot pocket.
- Rest of the gear and valuables went into the front Rollpacker.
In a nutshell, the Rollpacker is a true joy to use. It pushes the envelope in terms of functionality and stability within the bikepacking philosophy. Don’t hesitate to send us your feedback and comments on the bag and on your bikepacking experience, we love it and we listen!