- Brilliant top tube attachment
- Good size range
- Maximises frame space
- Takes a while to fit or remove
- Velcro bands aren't removable
The Wildcat Ocelot Frame Bag is a light, high quality bag available in a useful range of sizes. It's great in bad weather, the elasticated attachment works brilliantly and the whole thing has a premium, handmade feel. You won't get it on or off that quickly, though.
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The Ocelot is a development of Wildcat's old Clouded Leopard frame bag, and features different fabrics and a new style of attachment.
The Ocelot fixes to the top tube using an elastic cord that feeds through all the looped attachment points. It takes about 10 minutes to set up the first time, and it's not really a design for taking on and off on a regular basis.
The benefit is excellent support – it doesn't sag like some bags with Velcro straps – and this in turn makes the zip really fluid and easy to use. Zip garages keep the pullers out of the way as you ride.
On bikes with exposed cabling you can feed the elastic underneath the lines without affecting shifting performance at all. The design easily accommodates various cables and stops.
Attachement to the down and seat tubes is via more traditional Velcro straps. They are very wide and also sewn in place, so while you can easily trim them, that could cause problems if you plan to swap this between bikes.
The Ocelot comes in four sizes – the smallest being 40cm long and 9cm deep, while the largest is 54cm long and 14.5cm deep. All bags are 8.5cm wide. I tested the 50cm size large, which offers 4.5 litres – enough to take awkward things like tent poles, alongside anything you might need on the go.
The main fabric is LS21, a dual-layer fabric that is hardwearing but also extremely light. It's non-woven and waterproof, and can't get saturated or heavy. The seams are not sealed, however, and there's a cable port too – obviously the bag as a whole is only water-resistant, but it's very effective. Neither heavy rain or hose pipe washes saw any water getting in.
The space is plentiful, while the shaping still allows access to both water bottle cages, and padded sections keep it quiet when it's less than full. The stability is superb.
There's a second, slim pocket on the non-drive side, which I personally didn't find much use, but can easily take maps, keys, cash or the like.
The £105 price seems fair for the quality, and exactly matches the Ortlieb Frame-Pack Toptube – that has a different attachment design, but also works really well. The Wildcat is a little lighter, but only a little: it's 194g vs 205g.
The Alpkit Possum is another solid contender and cheaper at £70, but it can't quite match the performance of the Ocelot.
The Wildcat Ocelot for me outperforms many of its rivals by virtue of its elastic attachment, and also, to some degree, in its choice of fabrics.
I really enjoy using it, and the clever fitting is a big part of that. If you're after a high quality, feature-packed frame bag that's at home in any weather, the Wildcat Ocelot is absolutely worth checking out.