Mountain Biking

10 Best Bike Frame Bags in 2022 – Recommended Frame Bags – Bicycling

Staff, Courtesy of Blackburn

Frame bags aren’t just for bikepacking. Commuters, gravel riders, and mountain bikers of all skill levels swear by the convenience of a sleek, sturdy frame bag to carry extra items instead of a worn pack.

In contrast to other attachment packs like panniers, seat bags, or handlebar bags, frame bags are dimension-dependent, as they sit inside the triangle of your bike. Your bike’s geometry and tube length will determine which pack works best. Below, we’ve rounded up the best bike frame bags for a variety of different riding styles, bike sizes, and storage needs.

Best Bike Frame Bags

  • Best Overall Frame Bag:
  • Easiest to Use:
  • Best Affordable Hard-Shell Frame Bag:
  • Best for Mountain Bikers:
  • Best for Short Commutes:
  • Best for Fat Bikes:
  • Most Versatile Frame Bag:
  • Best for Full-Suspension Bikes:
  • Most Durable Frame Bag:
  • Best Budget-Friendly Soft-Sided Bag:

    What to Consider

    Material

    Most bags are built using some type of nylon, though there are also some hard-sided bags out there. Nylon bags are more flexible than their hard-sided counterparts and allow you to pack in more items, though each bag’s specifications will have different deniers for increased durability or weight savings. It’s wise to check on whether or not a bag you’re eyeing is fully waterproof before you make your purchase. Even a PU-coated nylon bag won’t be fully watertight if the zippers and/or openings aren’t built to be waterproof.

    Dimensions

    The dimensions of a frame bag matter more than volume. Since this bag fits inside the triangle of your bike—and there are so many variations on these sizes—it’s critical to know every dimension of your bike frame before committing to a bag. Some brands, like Salsa, will tell you exactly what bike each frame bag fits, and with others you’ll have to take measurements.

    You want the frame bag to fit securely between the top tube and down tube. Larger frame bags will also reach all the way to the seatpost, creating a secure triangle usually held in place with webbing or hook-and-loop closures. Road-style commuter bikes or gravel bikes will usually have the widest triangles, with full-suspension mountain bikes typically requiring specifically fitted bags to accommodate for rear suspension.

    Capacity

    What type of riding will you be doing? Bikepackers or riders on extended tours will want a frame bag with a 6- to 10-liter capacity. These larger bags will naturally fit better on touring or gravel bikes, which have larger front triangles to accommodate frame bags. These bags can fit layers, snacks, water reservoirs, and quick-grab repair tools.

    Commuters or day-riders will likely be fine with a smaller bag with a 1- to 4-liter capacity. These riders might have bikes with a smaller triangle, and will only need to stash snacks, a lock, phone, wallet, and a small repair kit in their bag.

    How We Evaluated

    We considered a long list of available bike frame bags, narrowing our selections to include models of various shapes and sizes that fit a variety of bike dimensions.

    These bags were chosen for their measurements, volume, and intended use. We found bags for commuting, bike touring, and mountain biking, and chatted with industry experts, local bike shops, and first-hand users to come up with our final picks.

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1

Best Overall Frame Bag

Ranger Bike Frame Bag

Revelate Designs

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 7.3 liters (medium)
  • Material: XPac nylon, ripstop lining, Cordura
  • Dimensions: 17.75 x 9.5 inches (medium)

The Ranger is a classic model from one of the most beloved frame bag companies on the market. The seams and material on this standard-shaped bag are coated with urethane tape for near-total waterproofness, and the company has four different options for volume and dimensions, which means a tight fit for almost any bike frame.

The medium bag pictured can fit a water bottle, gloves, rain poncho, electronics, and a water filter with ease and without being super bulky.

3

Best Affordable Hard-Shell Frame Bag

Hard Shell Bicycle Storage Bag

ROCKBROS

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 4 liters
  • Material: EVA plastic
  • Dimensions: 10 x 5 inches

Hard-shell frame bags are less common than fabric bags, but for riders or commuters looking for serious protection for their gear, this is the way to go.

We like this affordable version for its easy-to-organize interior, which has several gear slots and stabilizing elastics. The zipper is smooth and easy to use, but reviewers say it’s not quite as sturdy as those on many pricier bike frame bags.

This bag has three mounting straps with an adjustable fit based on your individual bike, and the sizing is relatively narrow to fit a variety of bike frames.

4

Best for Mountain Bikers

Outpost Elite Frame Bike Bag

Blackburn

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 6 liters (medium)
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 16 x 11 inches

While frame bags are often seen on long-distance bikepacking rigs, mountain bikers can also benefit from the aerodynamic, lowered center of gravity provided by these handy bags. This is a secure-fitting bag (necessary for rugged trails) and best used on a hardtail bike.

We love the easy-access horizontal zippers, as well as the external pocket perfect for quick-grab snacks. This is a rugged bag with a hose port and sturdy sidewalls that won’t bow out on bouncy singletrack.

5

Best for Short Commutes

0.7L Bike Tool Bag

ROCKBROS

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 0.7 liters
  • Material: Polyester
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5 inches

Sometimes all you need is a place to store a spare tube and your phone. This handy little bag fits the bill for bikers on shorter commutes or with smaller front triangles. It attaches to the top tube and down tube, sitting snug against the front of the bike for easy access. This has a full-width opening and is small enough to not hit your knee or leg when riding.

We also like this model for shorter mountain bike rides, as it fits even with full-suspension hardware and is perfect for carrying a spare tube and Allen key.

6

Best for Fat Bikes

EXP Series Fat-Tire Hardtail Frame Pack

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 7.5 liters
  • Material: Nylon, polyester
  • Dimensions: 19 x 9 inches

Fat bikes can be hard to fit for frame bags, thanks to their wider tubes and unique geometry. This durable, winter-proof bag is designed to fit Salsa fat-tire bike frames, with specific models listed for each size. This bag has wide dimensions perfect for bulky cold-weather gear, and the tough 500D nylon is laminated and coated for better weatherproofing.

Not riding a Salsa bike? Just check the specs to find the one that works for you. This bag also has a top-tube exit port for a hydration reservoir, and side pockets for small tools, maps, and keeping cords organized.

7

Most Versatile Frame Bag

Outpost Bike Frame Bag

Blackburn

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 6 liters (medium)
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 18 x 7 inches (medium)

This is a mid-range bag both in dimensions and volume, and has highly adjustable straps. We love this 6-liter pack for gravel, commuting, overnights, or mountain biking, though full-suspension bikes with narrower triangles might have some trouble with the fit.

This pack comes in several sizes, with the medium size easily fitting a 70-liter hydration reservoir. We love the security of the multiple attachment points and the low-profile build that won’t hit your legs as you ride.

8

Best for Full-Suspension Bikes

EXP Series Full Suspension Frame Pack

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 5.7 liters (medium)
  • Material: PU-coated nylon
  • Dimensions: 19 x 6 inches (medium)

This bag comes in three sizes, so you have a better chance of finding the perfect fit for your full-suspension bike. Full-suspension bikes are typically the most challenging bikes to find an appropriately sized frame bag for, and you’ll still have to pack carefully to utilize all the available space. This Salsa bag is made of durable, waterproof PU-coated nylon, made to take the use and abuse of the toughest mountain bike rides.

The bag’s construction is highly water-resistant, and the front opening can accommodate a hydration reservoir hose or a front-facing light.

9

Most Durable Frame Bag

RC Frame Pack

Ortlieb

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 6 liters
  • Material: PU-coated nylon
  • Dimensions: 19 x 11 inches

Ideal for extended bike trips, this sturdy bag can hold up to six pounds of gear securely in the center of your bike, helping maintain load balance with a lower center of gravity. The hook-and-loop closures for the straps help this pack stay secure on your frame, with attachment points on your bike’s top tube, down tube, and seat post. This bag has a roll-top closure and is entirely waterproof, thanks to the hefty, PU-coated nylon it’s made from.

10

Best Budget-Friendly Soft-Sided Bag

Triangle Bicycle Frame Bag

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 4L
  • Material: 600D twill fabric
  • Dimensions: 10 x 5 inches

This aerodynamic bag works well for road bikes or sleeker commuter bikes. It has a side zipper for easy access and a versatile angle for almost any top tube. You can easily stash a small pump, tube, patch kit, snacks, phone, and multitool in here and the 4-liter size provides ample storage space without bulk. This bag is reasonably priced and sturdy, and we like the basic shape that allows you to fit items into the corners and use all of its available space.

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