Vaude's Trailframe bag is a tough and waterproof roll top bag, with a side access zipper that keeps your gear easily accessible. It's a simple design that's stable, functional and easy to fit and remove, though the straps can be a bit of a faff.
Built from strong polyester and finished with Vaude's own Eco Finish water-repellent coating, the Trailframe is a good shape for adapting to various frames – it even fits some full suspension frames (depends on where your shock attaches).
At approximately 48cm long, 22cm high and 11cm wide it happily swallows a stove, gas, or anything else heavy and bulky items you might want to carry centrally.
It attaches to the top tube via two rubber thick straps, while two more grip the down tube and seat tube. You can also clip the roll top round the headtube for even more secure attachment.
The main straps are very solid once set, but need careful adjustment to stop the excess strapping sticking out at annoying angles. I managed to set them to point down in line, as trying to wrap them just sees them working loose. I also looped them back through the pack – it's a bit of a wriggle, but does keep them stowed.
I really like the roll-top access and the fact there's a zip so you don’t get air trapped when you want to compress and roll the bag down. The zip is long enough to get a pump or other wide bits of kit in and out. It's also waterproof, and has a small hood to tuck the zipper into, adding more protection. It resisted a hosing down to clean it happily, plus several wet, puddle-heavy rides.
The section where under the top tube is a more robust material, and this provides a little bit of structure, but it's still essentially two pieces of fabric welded together with no mid section to give any real shape. I never found this this an issue, though, and if anything it gives flexibility when packing as the bag can balloon as wide as your knees can cope with.
It's super easy to remove, even with cold hands in the dark and wet, and the roll top makes access pretty much faff-free. It could be a couple of centimetres wider, just to be the same width as the rest of the back, but I suspect Vaude is looking to avoid compromising zip access with the bag scrunched into a small frame.
The Trailframe proved stable and happily took plenty of scuffs, rough trails and bad weather. Time will tell how it fares long term, but it's not shown any scuff or wear marks in a period when other bags have done. The ripstop-style fabric is reassuring to minimise any possible tears or nicks.
Vaude has awarded this bag its own Green Shape label, indicating its eco credentials – it doesn't use any PVC (aka vinyl) or PFCs (aka fluorocarbons) in its creation, as both can be harmful to the environment and human health. Instead of 'eco' being an added value it really should be the bare minimum, but well done for the thought and intention.
The Trailframe isn't the cheapest of frame bags, but the build quality, simplicity, waterproofness and the environmental standards really make it stand out – and if all that's missing for you are eyecatching visuals, it's also available in bright green.
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