When it comes to bikepacking, you might think that a backpack is enough to hold everything together. However, you will quickly run out of room for your snacks and electronics. That’s when a top tube bag comes in handy! There’s nothing better than having a convenient, easy-to-reach storage for snacks to keep you energized as you blaze your trail. So, get your best top tube bag!
Whether you’re a professional cyclist or a casual biking enthusiast, you will find value in having the best top tube bike bag in the front of your saddle.
Since it’s a popular accessory, choosing the best can be overwhelming. Fortunately, I made a list of the best top tube bike bags to narrow your choices.
Table of Contents
- Best Top Tube Bag Reviews
- 1. Rockbros AS-019 Bike Top Tube Bag
- 2. Topeak TC2296B Fuel Tank
- 3. Wild Man Bike Phone Mount Bag
- 4. Rockbros 039BK Top Tube Front Bag
- 5. TriSeven Aero 30 Carbon Cycling Frame Bag
- 6. Rhinowalk Bikepacking Bag
- 7. Roswheel Race Series Top Tube Bag
- 8. Rockbros Front Frame Bag
- 9. SLS3 Top Tube AERO Bag
- 10. Upgear Top Tube Bike Bag
- 11. Hikenture Bike Frame Bag
- 12. Sahoo 122051 Waterproof Bike Front Bag
- What to Look for When Buying Top Tube Bag
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Top Tube Bag Reviews
1. Rockbros AS-019 Bike Top Tube Bag
You’re looking for the best bang-for-your-buck top tube bag? Then, you’ll love what Rockbros has to offer. The Rockbros Bike Top Tube Bag has everything you’d expect from a storage bag. At just under $20, this waterproof top tube bag is an excellent choice for bikepacking on a budget.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. A waterproof bag in this price range? It’s not going to be good. Believe me, I also had the same thought when I heard about it. But, when I got one for myself, I realized that it’s actually not that bad. In fact, I can even go further to say that this bag is quite impressive for its price.
Having quite the experience with a wide range of top tube bags at both ends of the spectrum, I can honestly say that it’s far from mediocre. I’m even surprised that a quality top tube bag as good as the Rockbros bike tube bag is under $20. While it isn’t completely water resistant, it will keep your snacks safe and dry.
The bag is made from 850D nylon material with a TPU waterproof coating. In simpler terms, it’s made with love and durability in mind. From my perspective, the fabric feels light and premium. After a few months of use, I didn’t see any indications of wear and tear, which is great!
2. Topeak TC2296B Fuel Tank
If you’ve been cycling for quite a while now, you may have already heard of Topeak. Being in the industry for nearly 30 years, this brand manufactures top-of-the-line cycling tools and accessories. One of its best sellers is the top tube bag, nicknamed “Fuel Tank”, this tank top tube bag has a lot to offer.
When you think about the best top tube bags, you immediately associate it with storage for snacks and energy bars. However, with the Topeak Fuel Tank, you also have space for your gadgets. This Topeak top tube bag is superb since you can’t go anywhere, nowadays, without your phone. This bagwill make sure that your phone is within an arm’s reach at all times.
The moment I laid my eyes on this tank top tube bag, I knew that it was high-quality because it had incredibly intricate texture and stitching. The outer material is made from textured rubber, which proves that the Fuel Tank is meticulously designed for convenience and heavy-duty use. Moreover, there is a carbon-like finish that puts the finishing touches on a well-built bag.
The charging cable hole is probably my favorite feature of this Topeak Fuel Tank. It allows me to connect my phone to my charger or headphone jack with ease. Talk about next-level convenience!
3. Wild Man Bike Phone Mount Bag
If you like multi-purpose top tube bags, then you will definitely love the Wild Man bike phone mount bag. As the name suggests, this top tube phone bag is both for storing and mounting your phone.
With a strong velcro strap that locks items in place, the Wild Man bike phone mount bag can be installed easily. It can hold your snacks, gadgets, and even a few small tools. You can store your biking essentials like goggles, bike locks, tire levers, and more.
The main feature of this incredible top tube phone bag is its built-in phone mount. It’s an amazing bonus for bikepackers who like to use their phone while they ride. For example, you can use your GPS or listen to music while you ride your bike.
The phone mount also comes with a transparent touch screen case. Thus, you can use your phone even during rainy weather. The phone stand sticks well to the bag via velcro pads.
4. Rockbros 039BK Top Tube Front Bag
Let’s end this list with the brand that we started with. Rockbros is a prominent brand when it comes to biking accessories. Their bikepacking bags, in particular, stand out as one of the best at very low prices.
This top tube front bag is a great accessory for keeping your iPhone. It’s compatible with different iPhone versions, including the 11 Pro, Pro Max, XR, XS Max, iPhone 7s and 8s.
I firmly believe that all Rockbros top tube bags are the same. So, making a choice isn’t really a problem.
However, what separates this variant from other Rockbros top tube bags is its incredible size. This pouch offers a large main compartment for all of your electronics, tubes, snacks, and more.
Installation is also a breeze when it comes to Rockbros top tube bags. All it takes is placing the velcro straps in their respective places and you’re set. Once installed, you have a durable top tube front bag that will last for a long time. But there are times when it can bend if you place a lot of things in it.
5. TriSeven Aero 30 Carbon Cycling Frame Bag
Are you looking for a road bike top tube bag that offers easy installation, sleek design, and heavy-duty use? Then, say hello to the TriSeven Aero 30 Carbon Cycling Frame Bag. It provides all of the features that you would want in a top tube bag without any compromises!
The TriSeven Aero 30 is known for its easy installation and robust build. We all hate bikepacking bags that take a lot of time and effort to install. That’s why TriSeven made things easier for owners of their Aero 30 Carbon. Extremely quick and easy to mount, you can even custom fit the bag to your frame seat, post or saddle case. With four removable velcro straps, you can mount the bag anywhere.
With its minimalistic design, the TriSeven Aero 30 carbon looks great on any bike. It matches with any color and will definitely be a staple feature on your ride. The zipper is also easy to use, without any visible signs of wear even after a while.
As the name suggests, this bag has an aerodynamic carbon design that will reduce the drag on your bike. It’s also extremely lightweight. The only weight that your bike would feel are the items that you’ll store in it.
6. Rhinowalk Bikepacking Bag
Like other brands, Rhinowalk aims to solve one big issue in the cycling world: lack of storage. That’s why they came up with their water resistant pannier bag. Unlike most bikepacking top tube bags, the Rhinowalk bike bag is a large one. Even so, it isn’t bulky or distracting. This bag focuses mainly on carrying capacity and overall functionality.
Some people aren’t fond of bringing huge backpacks during bikepacking as it will only put more weight on their backs. I certainly am not a fan of carrying huge loads during my backpacking runs. If you’re the same, this Rhinowalk bikepacking bag is ideal!
With a large capacity of around 10 liters, this bikepacking pouch has a main compartment that makes storage easy and convenient. You can focus more on your rides and less on what you’re carrying.
When it comes to design, the bag isn’t far away from most saddle bags. After all, this bag’s main purpose is for bikers to store as many items as they can. But you are going to have to exert more effort when handling the zipper because it’s a tad bit too tight.
7. Roswheel Race Series Top Tube Bag
While it was first invented in 1919, bikepacking bags weren’t vogue until the last decade. Now, bicycle top tube bags are one of the hottest items in the biking world. Manufacturing high-quality bike products since 2007, Roswheel is among the pioneers of modern-day bike top tube bags. Among their best products is this top tube frame bag.
If you’re looking for a bike bag that gets the job done, Roswheel’s race series top tube bag should be your top pick. It’s a sleek, all-around bag that features good storage and capacity, gear capacity, as well as longevity. Its aerodynamic design also provides speed and added aesthetics.
If there’s one thing that separates the Roswheel race series top tube bag from the rest, it would be its premium feel and durability. Simply put, this bag is built like a tank. The TPU-coated nylon material is welded together tightly to avoid wear and tear. The zippers are rubberized to keep moisture from seeping through.
I also need to mention the effortless installation experience I had with this top tube bag. Unlike the struggles I had with traditional velcro, this bag uses lightweight rubber bands. This innovation proves to be effective as the rubber bands latch onto the top tube better.
8. Rockbros Front Frame Bag
We have another entry from Rockbros. This time, featuring their front frame top tube bag. The Rockbros top tube bag was an absolute winner for most ‘worth-it’ bikepacking bags for its price. If you’re looking for a steal, you should definitely check out this bag. It has the same features and pricing but is larger and more durable.
I’m a huge fan of Rockbros and their products. They manufacture high-quality bikepacking bags that won’t put a hole in your pocket. Their front frame top tube bag falls under the same category. At under $20, this bikepacking pouch is an absolute must-have for both casual and professional bikers.
This front frame bag offers incredible sturdiness and durability. Unlike the traditional Rockbros bike top tube bag, their front frame variant is made from EVA Shell material. That means it’s more durable in every way.
It also has more storage capacity to fit your snacks and essentials in a single main compartment. With this top tube pouch installed, you won’t have to reach through your backpack to get your snacks or gadgets. You can simply place all of them in this bag for easy access.
9. SLS3 Top Tube AERO Bag
Bikepacking is a fun yet strenuous activity. That’s why it’s crucial to keep yourself energized as you ride. With the SLS3 Cycling Top Tube AERO Bag, you can reach your energy bars and snacks even when you’re on the go. It is a versatile top tube bag that’s capable of storing all of your cycling necessities. The best part is that it’s so discreet, you’d think that it’s a part of your bike.
Some top tube bags tend to be bulky, which slows you down but not the SLS3 cycling top tube bag. Its sleek, aerodynamic design ensures that your speed isn’t compromised as you cycle through any terrain.
Just mount the bag to your bike frame and you’ve now got a secure capacity without any restrictions. With this bag, all of your small biking essentials are available right at your fingertips.
I’ve always preferred small bags over bulky ones when backpacking. That’s why I absolutely love this bag. It’s an easy-to-install bag that straps onto your bike frame right away, just like the Apidura top tube bag.
10. Upgear Top Tube Bike Bag
When it comes to competitive cycle sports, I highly recommend the Upgear top tube bag. This heavy duty bikepacking pouch carries all of your essentials without affecting your performance. Its aerodynamic design will allow you to feel the adrenaline rush as you dominate the competition.
The Upgear bag is an excellent solution to all of your storage woes. It features an ample amount of space to fit all of your needs. With good storage capacity for its size, you can say goodbye to bringing backpacks or saddle bags that are bulky and hold you back.
What I love about this top tube bag is just how much items I can put inside. I can store my wallet, smartphone, earphones, small repair tools, and even small packages of snacks. This just won’t be possible with other bags of this compact nature. I’ll need a secondary bag for my wallet and smartphone. That’s why I love using the UPGEAR top tube bag. It doesn’t look like much but it offers superb storage space.
11. Hikenture Bike Frame Bag
The Hikenture Bike Frame Bag doesn’t look flashy or eye-catching but it’s very practical in providing you with what you need. This padded bikepacking pouch sits conveniently on the top tube, attaching around and onto the stem using high-quality velcro straps. In addition, there is an ideal phone holder for large-sized phones.
When I tried this frame bag during one of my weekend bikepacking tours, I found that my phone goes easily in the lid section. It’s held perfectly in place against the cover, which helps ensure a good connection with the touch screen. Thus, I can easily use my smartphone even when I’m pedaling.
I’ve also been using this top tube bag to stash my keys and wallet. I can even fit in a large power bank and a few small packages of snacks. It’s quite surprising considering its small size.
However, it does have some limitations in terms of accessory compatibility. For instance, some variants don’t have a cable hole for the headphone jack or power bank cable to pass through.
One of my pet peeves when it comes to top tube bags are hard-to-open zippers. Some manufacturers purposely make their zippers tight, which guarantees that the bags won’t fall open, but in turn, these are difficult to open while bikepacking. However, I didn’t experience this with the Hikenture bag. In fact, the zipper was effortlessly easy to open and close.
12. Sahoo 122051 Waterproof Bike Front Bag
Are you looking for one of the best water resistant bikepacking bags? Then, you should give the Sahoo 122051 Fully Waterproof Bike Front Frame Bag a try. The name speaks for itself. This bike bag is 100% waterproof, and it’s ready to offer value to anyone who wants it.
Sahoo’s best-selling bikepacking bag is fully waterproof. Thanks to the taped waterproof technology and durable zippers, no moisture will be able to penetrate. The additional TPU cloth and HYPION materials guarantee that your items are safe and dry. Whether you’re cycling in rainy weather or traversing watery roads, this pouch won’t let you down.
Some brands claim that their bikepacking bags are fully waterproof. Yet when I try them, I only end up disappointed. The same cannot be said for Sahoo. This company walks the talk with their waterproof bikepacking pouch.
Design-wise, Sahoo made sure that their direct mount top tube bag has a concise style. Incorporating better material without going overboard with the overall aesthetics, this bag will fit with any bike. It features thicker cushioning bottom pads for added protection as well, which makes this also one of the best top tube bags for road bikes. You can even use it as a handbag!
The only downside is that the Velcro straps can loosen easily after a few uses.
What to Look for When Buying Top Tube Bag
Choosing the best bike bag isn’t a walk in the park. It takes a lot of time and effort to find the one that’s right for you.
I honestly don’t have the magic formula that will give you the exact top tube bike bag to go for. It depends from person to person and how much storage capacity is needed. However, there are considerations that you can take into account when choosing for the ideal top tube bag.
Keep in mind that there are trade offs when going for specific sizes. For example, larger and bulkier bags are inherently less stable than their smaller and more compact counterparts. Make sure you go for something that fits all of the items you need for bikepacking and other cycling activities.
How wide do you want your bikepacking pouch to be? Keep in mind that wider bike bags can get in the way and graze your knees. Unless you’re purposely using your bike to transport items, you might want to consider a narrow bike bag.
Both the height and clearance are worth checking. The right top tube bag should sit just on top of your bike frame. If it’s too high, it could potentially become a distraction. So, go for something smaller and more compact.
Choose a top tube bag that’s made from premium materials like ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), which is highly abrasion-proof. Other good quality materials include polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC), Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), Laminated ripstop fabric, and more.
Since this bag is for outdoor use, it wouldn’t make sense if it isn’t waterproof. Keep in mind that each bike bag has a specific level of water resistance.
Some packs are 100% waterproof, while others have water resistant fabric but not the seams. The full-on waterproof options tend to be more expensive. However, they ensure that your items are safe inside your bike bag in any weather conditions.
Other Important Factors to Consider
An important factor to consider when shopping for a new or even used bolt-on top tube bag is what it will be used for. Are you using it for casual rides around your neighborhood? Do you compete in a cycle sport and need storage for your essentials?
Are you looking for something that’s suitable for long-distance touring? How about something that’s perfect for bikepacking? There really isn’t a solid option for each one of these scenarios. It will still depend highly on what you need and how much you are bringing with you. But knowing these details will help the selection process.
- Accessory Compatibility
Having a keen eye for detail is an essential skill when shopping for top tube bike bags. Look for bags that are compatible with the accessories that you’ll be bringing with you.
For instance, if you’re using your smartphone for navigation, opt for a top tube bag that has a built-in phone mount for easy access. If you bring a power bank to keep your phone juiced up, go for something that features a cable hole. Again, it is really up to you and your needs.
While not technically an essential, the look of your bike pouch does factor into your overall look while riding your bike. So, once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s important to choose a bike bag that’s appealing to you.
Maybe you really like a particular pack for its aerodynamic look. You might prefer something that’s dark and have a carbon finish. Maybe you want something bright and flashy. Whatever it may be, make the right choice so that your bike will also look good when you attach the pack.
What is a Top Tube Bag?
A top tube bag is a small pouch that serves as a convenient place for stashing small items. Also called ‘bento boxes’, it has great storage capacity for anything, including your biking essentials. It keeps your water, snacks, phone, power bank, or even your sunglasses within an arm’s reach. Bento boxes attach to the top of a bike’s frame, specifically the top tube. It can also be placed in front of your seat post or under your saddle.
How does it work?
A top tube bag gives you easy access to all of your essential items even when you’re pedaling. So, when shopping for one, make sure you consider the factors mentioned above. Also, it’s critical that the bike bag you choose does not interfere with your pedaling.
Backpacks are great for bikepacking but if you are spending long hours in your saddle, you don’t want to feel any additional weight that’s pressing against your back.
That’s why you should choose a top tube bag. It’s useful for any cycling events like bike touring, triathlon, gravel racing, and more. It’s a great place to stash energy bars and other ride snacks to keep you going.
Top tube bags are usually mounted using velcro straps attached to either the top tube and the step or head tube. If your bike has fittings that let you mount bolt-on bags, you won’t need to go for a bag with straps at all.
Top tube bags come in different shapes and sizes. There’s the smallest MTB top tube bag variant that has just enough storage capacity for snacks. Then, there’s the 1.5-liter tanks that can carry more items.
While it all boils down to preference, I find the best ones to be the ones that are small enough to not get in the way of my knees when pedaling. I don’t like to bring much during bikepacking, so smaller bikepacking bags are fitting for me.
What Are the Different Types of Top Tube Bags?
Apart from their size, build, and design, top tube bags are all the same. They provide and fulfill the same purpose. So, there really isn’t any particular type of top tube bags. However, there are other bikepacking pouch variants that you should know. That way, you will know what type of top tube bag you’ll need for your biking trips.
- Stem Bag
Like top tube bags, a stem bag is a small pouch that attaches to your bike. The difference is that this one is placed behind the handlebar or stem. It’s also excellent for stashing small items like water, snacks, phone, and other accessories.
- Bottle Cages
Most bikes, especially mountain bikes and dirt bikes, have built-in bottle cages. But just in case yours don’t have this feature, you can attach one any time. As the name suggests, bottle cages are where you place your water bottle during bikepacking and other biking activities. It’s usually found on the seat or the under tube. Having a bottle cage is important as it features convenient and easy access to your water bottle.
- Cargo Cages
It looks similar to bottle cages but instead of carrying a water bottle, cargo cages carry gear or tools that will come in handy for emergencies. It can also carry larger water bottles. Both cargo and bottle cages are positioned the same way. If you already have a bottle cage, you’ll need to make some adjustments to fit both together perfectly.
Finally, we have the traditional backpack. I personally don’t try to bring a backpack with me during bikepacking as it will only slow me down. However, there are instances where you will need to bring a backpack with you. For instance, if you’re carrying more bikepacking gear, then it’s best to utilize a backpack.
Why Do You Need Top Tube Bags?
You carry several items during your bike rides. That’s why you need to place them in a compact storage that’s easy to reach. Backpacks and saddle bags are nice. But since you’ll need to stop to access them, they’re not as convenient. Heavy backpacks can also affect your balance and slow you down. All of these hindrances are not ideal if you’re trying to finish your tour. That’s why the best solution is getting top tube bags.
A top tube bike frame bag isn’t as spacious as a backpack or saddle bag. However, what it does bring to the table is convenience, such as the case with a top tube bag for phones. Since you place it on your top tube, you can get easy access to all of your essentials even when you’re on the go. With a top tube bag, nothing will stop you from reaching your destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted top tube bag brands?
There are a lot of top-rated brands that sell high-quality top tube brands. I’ve been collecting top tube brands for years now and know which brands stand out from all the rest. Here’s a short list of my top picks:
- Bontrager Adventure Top Tube Bag
- Blackburn Top Tube Bag
- Ortlieb Top Tube Bag
- Rockbros Top Tube Bag
- Upgear Top Tube Bike Bag
- TriSeven Top Tube Bag
- Rhinowalk Bike Bag
- Roswheel Race Series
- Oveja Negra Snack Pack
How to set up and use a top tube bag?
Installing a top tube bag involves strapping the velcro onto the right places. Most bikes have velcro straps on both the bottom and side. When installing, the two bottom velcro straps will go to the tube of your bike. While the one on the side will go to the stem. Make sure you have proper placement to get the stem velcro around. Once everything is secure, you can now start storing items, such as any bikepacking gear in your bikepacking pouch.
How to clean a top tube bag?
After several uses, your top tube bag will require cleaning. To make sure it lasts long, it’s important to take proper care of your top tube bag. Without cleanup, your top tube bag will succumb to wear and will get destroyed. That’s why regular maintenance is a must.
Here are the items you need to clean your top tube bag:
- Leather conditioner
- 2 pieces microfiber towel or cloth
- Leather shampoo
To start cleaning, follow the steps below:
- Step 1 – Damp the first microfiber towel before pouring on a small amount of leather shampoo.
- Step 2 – Start rubbing the shampoo onto your top tube bag. Be careful when doing this. As too much rubbing can weaken the leather. Focus on the areas that have visible dirt or stain. Use a soft bristle brush for deep cleaning. Don’t brush too strong as it can potentially damage your top tube bag. Depending on the leather shampoo that you’re using, rinsing will or will not be required. You can follow the instructions printed on the package of the leather shampoo.
- Step 3 – Apply a small amount of leather conditioner onto another microfiber towel. Apply it to your bag using a smooth rubbing motion. The conditioner will become softer. It will also need to set, so give it some time to allow the conditioner to penetrate into the leather. Rinse as required.
There are loads of great options out there when it comes to the top-rated top tube bag. There are several amazing additions for bikepacking and other outdoor biking activities.
It’s quite exciting to see how the bike bag industry has grown over the years. These are just my takes on the best top tube bags available in the market right now. You can discover more by doing your research and trying some out yourself. Happy shopping.