Issue #027 Review

The Lab: Tailfin Frame Bag – Plenty of Storage, Minimal Wobble

Three years in the making, Tailfin’s Frame Bag is designed to give you more freedom – with an umbrella, techie charm and room for almost an entire melon. On top of that, the Frame Bag sits rock solidly on the bike, and works perfectly with the company’s own Top Tube Bag. Can a frame bag offer any more?

Tailfin Frame Bag | Tester Martin | Distance 912 km | Price € 130
Weight 330 g in size 3.8 l | Intended use ultracycling, bikepacking, touring
Manufacturer’s website

Bikepacking used to have a similar reputation to gravel biking, but as with the latter, this subcategory is now also well established. There are so many brands and bags on offer that it’s hard to keep track of them all. You’ll find everything from the big specialists to small custom tailor brands, and even the big outdoor companies that don’t focus on bikes, but are in the bike bag business anyway. One manufacturer that stands out from the crowd is Tailfin from the UK. Many people know Tailfin for their racks, which look like modern carrier systems. They may be polarising in terms of look and price, but they have a huge following for their practicality and quality. Now the Brits are launching their own frame bag – their first classic bikepacking bag. Its seamless design promises waterproofing and stability for any adventure. But does it live up to its promises and stay securely on the frame?

Tailfin Frame Bags – Many sizes, many features

The universe of Tailfin Frame Bags can be a little confusing at first, but you’ll soon find your way around the myriad of options. It all comes down to the sizes, both in length and carrying capacity, of the different models that Tailfin offer. Essentially, you can distinguish between Tailfin’s Wedge Frame Bags and the larger Half Frame Bags. The Wedge Bags are available in three sizes: 1.9 litres, 2.7 litres and 3.5 litres. The Half Frame Bags, designed for more space and larger frames, range in size from 2.3 litres to a massive 6.5 litres. The main difference? Their length. The Tailfin Wedge Bags leave a little space at the back, while the Half Frame Bags are designed to cover the top tube entirely.

With nine different variants, there should be a bag to suit every bike and every rider. But it’s not just about size and shape – the Tailfin Frame Bag is also packed with useful features. It is completely waterproof thanks to special materials and zips, which are also designed to run extremely smoothly. To make sure the Frame Bag stays in shape no matter how full it is, an integrated carbon space frame runs the length of the bag. Inside the Frame Bag, there are straps for your pump, which then hangs conveniently in the top of the bag. Small pockets help to keep things organised, and the light grey, stretchy material makes it easy to find what you need. The large covered opening at the front allows for both hydration hoses and cables to be routed from the inside to the outside. The price varies between € 115 and € 150 depending on the size. Weighing in at 330 g for the 3.8 litre size, it may not be the lightest frame bag, but it offers plenty of space and functionality for all sorts of bike adventures.

Carbon instead of sag: The subtle carbon space frame is designed to prevent the loaded bag from sagging and thereby avoiding knee contact.

The rubber hits the road – The Tailfin Frame Bag mounting system

In addition to the standard features, the Tailfin Frame Bags have an interesting twist. They use replaceable rubber (TPU) straps instead of Velcro to attach to the frame. Depending on the size, the bag comes with three or four straps. You simply pull these straps between the bag and the V-mounts, which sit directly on the frame like small guide rails. This design minimises scratches by reducing friction, it also increases stability. Depending on the length of the bag, three or four V-mounts are used, reducing the number of contact points between the bag and the bike. The same straps used for the Frame Bag can also be used to attach a Tailfin Top Tube Bag. This means you can add an extra bag without using more straps, and still maintain a secure hold.

The Tailfin Frame Bag doesn’t rest entirely on the frame thanks to the rigid V-mounts. This design increases stability and reduces the risk of scuffing.
The Tailfin Top Tube Bag is attached using the same two straps as the Frame Bag.

Over hill and dale – Tailfin Frame Bag 3.8 l on test

Visually, the Tailfin Frame Bags have a technical look, free of hip patterns or eye-catching colours. Instead, black and grey dominate without any playful details, except for the zip straps in the company’s own petrol-coloured design. The bag impresses with its high-quality materials and sturdy workmanship. The rubber (TPU) straps make attaching the bag extremely quick and easy, requiring less effort than traditional Velcro straps. The V-mounts ensure stability even with moderately tightened straps. Mounting a top tube bag is also quick and easy, and for bikes without bosses in the top tube it is an excellent solution. With nine different sizes to choose from, the bag fits perfectly into the frame and even looks tailor-made, as it did in our case with the Fairlight Strael.

The large main compartment has room for many different items.
But charching cables and soap bubble tubes, for example, fit into the narrow side compartment.

Although 3.8 litres doesn’t sound like much for a frame bag, it’s surprisingly roomy and easy to load. While a divider would be a useful addition to help compartmentalise the space, the small pockets inside help keep the contents organised. The Tailfin Frame Bag shows no signs of weakness during the ride and stays in place even on uneven terrain. The zips are easy to open and close, although an additional opening at the rear would have made access easier while riding. Also worth mentioning is the integrated carbon strut, which prevents the bag from sagging and bulging, thus avoiding uncomfortable knee bumps. Despite possible slight deformations dependent on the filling, it remains much less noticeable than other frame bags. The waterproofing has also proven effective. During our tests, no moisture penetrated the bag during extensive rainfall.

Conclusion on the Tailfin Frame Bag

All those years of development have really paid off. After almost 1,000 test kilometres, the Tailfin Frame Bag is a new benchmark for frame bags. It is well thought-out, practical and highly functional. The wide range of sizes means there should be a bag for every frame size. With the V-mounts, the bag is virtually glued to the frame. The integration of the Tailfin Top Tube Bag is first class. Additionally, there is very little bulging, even when fully loaded, and the bag is highly waterproof.


  • very simple yet incredibly firm attachment with straps
  • ideal integration with the Tailfin Top Tube Bag
  • very strong and durable material
  • carbon strut prevents bulging and sagging


  • no extra room divider

For more Information visit

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of GRAN FONDO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words & Photos: Martin Staffa