The Bontrager Adventure Frame Bag is really well thought-out, offering plenty of useful features without being fussy or pointless. It’s also properly waterproof, impressively rugged and hardwearing, and stable no matter how hard you ride or how rough the terrain. Only its dark fabric and lack of reflectives let it down.
The bag's waterproof-backed nylon ripstop proves rigid enough not to distort when packed, yet flexible enough that you can actually get your stuff in easily. It buckles neatly to your top and seat tubes, while the soft rubber coating on the straps helps both with reducing frame damage and increasing grip.
The straps work well and can be adjusted and moved to get a really good fit, and they're long enough to wrap any frame. If you use the bag for just one (regular) bike, you might well end up cutting them down.
Bontrager make the bag in three sizes (2 litre, 2.7L and 3L), allowing for a really good fit to your bike. I tested the big 3L version.
Both sides have (waterproof) zips with useful pull cords, and the bright interior really helps when you're scrabbling around for small, buried items. The waterproofing is extremely good – this bag survived a couple of long gravel/road rides in rain, a 24-hour mountain bike race and a couple of direct hosing downs.
Inside it's well-organised: there's a pump attachment on one side, and a selection of decent-sized stow pockets in the other, though you can of course cram it all in freestyle if that's your preferred method.
I managed to fit in two tubes, a small first aid kit, a pump, a multitool, tyre levers, an emergency blanket and some gels, though I reckon with some savvy packing you’d get more in. The Adventure strikes a great balance between making use of the space and avoiding bulk that could catch your knees when riding.
There isn’t much that I can mark the Adventure bag down on: it’s waterproof, robust, easy to attach, secure and, at £80, competitively priced. The only colour is black, however, which could put some people off, especially if you spend any time on roads as there's little in the way of reflective detail. A bright and visibile version would be great – but that, really, is my only real criticism.
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