To complement their extensive range of adventure bikes Specialized have come up with the Burra Burra line of strap-on baggage which includes a seatpack, handlebar harness, top-tube pouch and pizza bag. The Burra Burra Framepack is their bag designed to fit inside the frame triangle and comes in three sizes, the 3, 5 and 8, each number corresponding to litres of storage, and the subsequent small, medium, large of the bags is designed to fit different sized frames.
Bikepacking luggage has gone from the preserve of the hand-made cottage industry to being something the big boys have taken an interest in as the genre has suddenly become A Thing and Specialized have come in hard with their Burra Burra bags. The Burra Burra Framebag is made from a suitably rugged looking coated nylon that’s welded at the seams for added strength and weather resistance, it’s also an easy surface to keep clean so you don’t fall into the ‘cycling tramp’ category too quickly. A semi-rigid spine runs internally along the top of the bag and continues down the front and back to give the bag structure and to lessen any bag sag and sway, and it’s a firm base for all the straps that are attached to it. There are seven of those straps in a variety of styles so it takes a while to attach the Burra Burra to the bike and cinch it all down.
Three Velcro straps secure the bag to the top-tube; a wide strap sits centrally and has a reinforcing strip holding it to the bag, a slimmer strap holds the bag at the rear and at the head-tube end there’s a strap that can be moved between several webbing loops so you can get the right fit around any cable bosses you might have in that area. The two rear straps are rubberized to stop any thigh lycra rubbing or fluffing, which is nice, while the front is a plain slim nylon affair.
A slim nylon Velcro strap tightens the bag to the head-tube and can be moved between webbing loops as well, and just below it a rubberised strap holds things to the down-tube tightening down via a camlock buckle. Two similar rubbery straps and buckles are out back to fasten the rear to the seat-tube, these camlocked straps can’t be relied upon so much to tension the bag to the frame, a task best left best left to the Velcro straps, and are better at just keeping the bag in place. The rubberized straps come supplied goodly long and can be easily cut to suit your particular dimensions when everything’s all sorted, and those loose ends can be tucked into tidying loops.
Running along the bottom of the framebag is a line of eight loops sewn into a strip of webbing for you to attach whatever bikepacking accessories you should so wish.
The 8 litre capacity of the Burra Burra Framepack 8 is split between a cavernous main compartment and two smaller pockets on the left hand side for frequently required smaller bits and ride essentials. You can fit a fair bit in this largest of the Burra Burra Framepack; enough on it’s own for a big day out on the bike or as part of a bikepacking luggage system for longer jaunts. Spare tubes, a pump, food and extra layers will easily squash into the main compartment while the smaller pair of pockets can look after slimmer items like cash, keys, phones, mini-tools and beard wax.
Such is the capacious size of the main compartment that a divider or pocket in there somewhere would be handy for a bit of organising potential to save you scrabbling about so much for the thing you need, or turfing everything out. Nothing that sorting important things into seperate dry bags wouldn’t sort, but still...
The Burra Burra 8 is only 15cms deep so there’s a good chance it’s not going to get in the way too much of water-bottles and removal thereof, this is going to vary according to bike design and bottle boss placement though.
Specialized say that the Burra Burra is water resistant rather than waterproof but the gimp-like coated nylon construction and welded seams do a very effective job of keeping the wet stuff out. Similarly the urethane-coated YKK zips are classed as weather-resistant rather than waterproof but they’re quite leak free, and the main compartment zip is further protected from the elements by a large flap that extends the full length of the bag.
Such is the size and design of the Burra Burra 8 that it can get quite bulbous between your legs when even lightly packed and you might find that it rubs the inside of your knees and calves. This is of course entirely dependent on your pedaling style and also where your frame design puts the bag but I found it incredibly awkward to ride with. The zip flap on the right-hand side was also an issue as it rests proud of the bag further extending its inter-thigh width. I’m happy to admit that I might have a freakish heels-in knees-in pedaling style but I know I’m not alone and I found it impossible to ride with the Burra Burra bag without having to painfully adjust my pedaling style. Other riders had less of a problem, although they did say that the sticky-out zip flap could get annoying, catching every random pedal stroke. Try the bag fully stuffed before you buy if you’re in any doubt.
The Specialized Burra Burra Framepack is an incredibly well made bit of kit; it’s sturdy and very resistant to the weather with a well thought out and secure if fiddly to set up multi-strap system. While it has these good points and nicely thought out details the width of the bag could be a deal-breaker for some and the protruding zip flap a silly annoyance to many, and while we’re being picky the main compartment could do with a divider of some sort.
At £95 the Burra Burra is at the top end of the price range for a frame bag, for that money you could get a custom made bag to fit your frame and bottles rather than something off-the-shelf. But in the world of bike-packing luggage where a lot of it is hand-made and sometimes a little hand-made round the edges the Burra Burra stands out by being well made, sturdy and a lot more weather resistant than a lot of bags.