Adventure Cycling & Cycle Touring

Alpkit Bikepacking Bag Reviews

Stingray Custom-Made Frame Pack, Toliari 20 Panniers, Airlok Dual 20L Drybag and Koala Bikepacking Bag Tested

Bikepacking is freedom. A whole new world opens up. The distances you can cover off-road touring is vast, and then there’s the wonderful nights spent in secluded woodland, or by a beautiful lake. Alpkit have cornered much of the bikepacking market thanks to cleverly designed kit that is well built and well priced. They also make superb bikes now too, like the Vir Fortis fat bike we tested for the Outdoor 100. However it is for their bikepacking bags that they first became known, and these are still some of – if not the – best in the business.

“All you need to do is send Alpkit a template of the frame and then choose options. You basically get to build the bag yourself.”

We’ve been testing the Stingray bespoke frame bag, the Airlock Dual 20l drybag (which clips to your handlebars) and the Toliari panniers. The Stingray is described by Alpkit as the ‘ultimate bikepacking companion’. Each one is custom-designed for your bike and it’s quite an amazing piece of kit.

The idea is that the bag fits perfectly in the triangle of your frame, all you need to do is send Alpkit a template of the frame (there are easy to follow instructions), and then choose options such as openings and whether you want a document pocket, hydration port, reflective piping and colour, frame attachment and padding. You basically get to build it yourself – never has buying a bike bag been so much fun. The attention to detail is quite exceptional, and the quality of the bags, all of which are handmade in Derbyshire top notch. The material is the super tough VX21. The ones we tested fitted the Sonder Vir Fortis fat bike perfectly, as did the Toliari panniers.

The Toliari are super durable waterproof panniers that come in a 12 litre and 20 litre size. They are designed for tough life on the road. The TPU coating is highly resistant to oil and grease. The simple roll down system, usually seen on dry bags, has two simple clips making the bags very streamlined too. The flat, rigid panel gives the bag a bit of structure and the Hypalon tabs on the front and side provide more stability. Another neat touch is that the 20 litre bag can fit at the front too. There’s also a useful carrying handle.

The other bags we tested on our bikepacking shoot were the Airlok Dual 20L Drybag, and the Koala bikepacking bag. Both are really neat bits of kit. The Airlok Drybag is based off Alpkit’s popular Airlok Xtra model, but they’ve added straps that make it easy to attach to your handlebars, and entrances at both ends – so you don’t have to take it off the bars to get to what you need.

The Koala Seat Bag attaches to the seat post of your mountain bike or touring bike. And features straps to keep it rigid and fixed at the right angle (as in, high enough to not interfere with your rear wheel) even when it’s not fully stuffed.

Alpkit has become the one-stop shop for bikepacking gear, and with kit as good as this at prices like these, it’s hardly surprising that they’re going from strength to strength.

Alpkit Stingray Frame Pack
Price: £65
Weight: Varies

Alpkit Toliari 20 Panniers
Price: £40
Weight: 800g

Alpkit Airlok Dual 20L Drybag
Price: £18
Weight: 206g

Alpkit Koala Bikepacking Seat Bag
Price: £70
Weight: 275g

Alpkit Bikepacking Bags Stats:

The 100 Best Outdoor Products for Winter 2016 View them all

Shot on location in Chamonix.

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 Winter 2016

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