The Expedition Downtube Pack is a brand new model in Apidura’s Expedition series of bikepacking bags, made for your downtube and various other places on your bike. We’ve got all the details on their new lightweight and waterproof bag, which we had the exclusive opportunity to test before its release.
The Apidura team have earned an excellent reputation in the bikepacking community for making durable and waterproof, no-nonsense bags. The British brand categorise their bags according to three different ranges: Backcountry, Racing and Expedition. As the name suggests, the new Expedition Downtube Pack is part of the latter, most robust series. It’s made of extremely durable, waterproof materials for use in extreme conditions.
The name doesn’t leave you guessing what the bag is made for either. The Expedition Downtube Pack is mainly intended for use on or under the downtube. However, thanks to the flexible fastening system, its construction and its slim design, you’re not limited to the downtube, allowing you to attach it to the top tube, seat tube or fork legs if they don’t have any bottle cage bosses. As long as the tube you attach it to has a diameter between 30 and 60 mm, otherwise the bag is likely to slip or come loose when fully loaded. You should also be careful that the bag doesn’t come into contact with the chainring when attaching it under the downtube. Despite the bag’s slim design measuring only 80 mm in diameter, the chain line on gravel and road bikes is significantly further inside than on a mountain bike. Our test bike equipped with SRAM’s Rival 1 crankset offered just enough clearance.
If you stick to the correct tube diameter, the Apidura Expedition Downtube Pack is super secure and doesn’t budge even on rough gravel roads. This is mainly thanks to the sophisticated yet simple strap mechanism that simultaneously attaches and compresses the bag. It’s super quick to take off and put back on. However, you’ve got to keep it at least half full or you won’t be able to strap it to the bike firmly enough and it’ll slip. The bag itself has two padded, elongated strips on the back for stabilisation. The strap runs around the entire bag with the front half guided through internal channels. To distribute the compression more evenly and stabilise the bag, you’ve got two straps going around the front. The back part of the strap features rubber non-slip pads to offer the perfect hold and stability. A tab on the bottom of the bag allows you to attach an additional strap or accessories.
For the dimensions of the Downtube Pack, Apidura used a 710 ml bottle as a reference, which fits snugly inside the bag. Common 750 ml bottles do fit just as well. However, we only recommend using the bag to carry an additional bottle as a backup solution, for cooking in the evening perhaps, but not as a replacement or additional bottle holder. Because of the combined compression/fastening system, the bag always has to be removed or at least loosened in order to get to its contents. You won’t be able to do so while riding. Due to its waterproof, robust construction, it’s particularly suitable for stowing heavy and less frequently used things, such as tubes, spare parts, multitools, CO2 cartridges and the like under or on the downtube. Depending on the diameter, it also lends itself well to being attached to flat and wide fork blades if it doesn’t have any bottle cage bosses, especially for light items such as a rain jacket. However, it doesn’t work on round fork legs (such as suspension forks) in which case the bag tends to wander towards the back of the fork on bumpy roads and could end up in the spokes. When using the bag as intended, on the front triangle, it always remains securely in place even when carrying a full 750 ml water bottle.
Thanks to its slim design and clever fastening system, the Apidura Downtube Pack can be attached quickly and securely to various parts of your bike. The bag offers a decent capacity of about 1 litre and is very light despite the use of robust and waterproof materials. However, the tube you attach it to should have the correct diameter and the bag has to be at least half full, otherwise, the strap won’t work. Do that and the Downtube Pack works perfectly.
- robust, light, waterproof
- very secure fit
- can be attached to various places on your bike
- quick and easy to attach
- must be removed to access contents
- not perfect for all tube diameters
- must be at least half full so that it stays put
Price € 59 | Weight 81 g | Usable volume 1 litre | More info apidura.com
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