Bikepacking with Restrap – #CarryEverything


Over the past seven years, Restrap has gone from making pedal straps, for fixed gear bicycles, in a bedroom, to a large workshop on the outskirts of Leeds, specialising in a range of hand-made outdoor accessories. This range has grown considerably and it has been inspiring to watch them grow from strength to strength. Our first glimpse into what has become the ‘Carry Everything’ range was at Bespoked in 2015, when Restrap collaborated with Woodrup Cycles to produce a bike ready to tackle the Transcontinental Race. You can see that bike and bag setup over here.

Headset Press has been using three different bags from the Carry Everything range for the last six months. The Saddle Bag Holster, Frame Bag and Bar Bag. In that time they have taken us along the West Country Way, a coast to coast route that takes you through the centre of Dartmoor and up the steep climbs of Exmoor. They also ventured as far as tropical Taiwan, where Steve spent three days touring along the east coast of the island staying at hot springs and climbing through hillside farms and cruising along rice fields.

The entire Carry Everything range requires no mounts or screws. The entire system has been designed to fit any bicycle with maximum ease.

Bikepacking with Restrap - #CarryEverything

Restrap Saddle Bag Holster

The saddle bag holster is made from 1000D military-grade cordura, with nylon webbing for extra strength and fastened to together with reflective military paracord. It has three core straps that attach the holster to your bicycle. The largest going around the seat post, through a buckle and back round to a Velcro patch on the outside of the holster. The other two go around your seat rails and clip into Restrap’s fantastic patented magnetic buckles. With the holster in place, you insert your dry bag and tighten the last cord over the dry bag and into a simple fidlock on the top of holster.

Once the holster is setup, the only adjustments you will need to make will depend on how full your dry bag is. The magnetic buckles are intuitive and add to the easy accessibility of the holster. It will fit a dry bag from 8 to 14 litres, which Restrap also make and sell.

The saddle bag holster was the most impressive product of the range we tested. The attention to detail is incredible, you can see this in every component on the holster. From the small clips on each strap to keep the excess cord nice and tidy to magnetic buckles which could opened with a simple flick.

Take a look the full range of Restraps saddle bags.

Bikepacking with Restrap - #CarryEverything

Restrap Frame Bag

The frame bag comes in three sizes to fit any frame comfortably. Made from the same 1000D cordura outer as the seat holster and VX21 fabrics internally. It features a fully waterproof zip keeping your valuables safe and dry. Rubberised strapping attaches the frame bag to your top tube and down tube with a reflective paracord zip pull around the seat tube so you can make sure it’s nice and tight.

There are two sides to the frame bag, both feature an inner mesh to keep the contents organised. We found this was a good place to store a bit of food for on the bike nutrition due to ease of access. The medium and large bags contain an additional document pocket. An extra cable slot runs across the top of the bag for dynamo cabling.

Take a look the full range of Restrap frame bags.

Bikepacking with Restrap - #CarryEverything

Restrap Bar Bag

The bar bag is also constructed from 1000D military-grade cordura and nylon webbing, same as the seat bag holster. It attaches very simply to the handlebars with two straps that you thread through a loop and buckle to keep it nice and tight to the bar. Insert your dry bag and connect the two straps to the magnetic buckles and pull tight. The bar bag holster fits up to a 14 litre dry bag.

There is an option to purchase the bar bag holster with an add-on pouch that attaches using a magnetic pin system to the top of the holster (pictured above). This bag is quite a nice little addition for lighter items or making an ideal food pouch.

Take a look the full range of Restrap bar bags.

Bikepacking with Restrap - #CarryEverything

Steve’s verdict

The Restrap bags went with me on three days riding, on the island of Taiwan, covering some stunning scenery, from mountains, to sea-views, with over 200 miles to cover. Stopping at hot springs meant we travelled light and needed no bedding, the bags were going to be perfect for light touring duties. I was going to be using the seat and frame bag and I was hyped to putting them through their paces.

My guide and friend in Taiwan, who spends a considerable amount of time touring Taiwan, was immediately taken by the set-up. The bags were incredibly easy to set-up on the bike and required little attention on the journey. I kept money, food and tools in the frame bag and clothing in the seat bag. The seat bag was brilliant to use as I could just pull the dry-bag out of the holster at the end of the day and pop back in at the start. It meant no fiddling, just a quick flick of the buckle. Simple.

One thing my friend commented on was, the bag didn’t sway from side-to-side (unlike others he and others had used). That might sound insignificant, but truth is, the seat bag is built very well for the job and shouldn’t sway and goes to show that Restrap got the design nailed down. Same goes for the frame bag, didn’t move an inch. All of this is very reassuring and you can relax about your equipment choices and enjoy the ride. It also meant they had little effect on the bike’s handling. They also look really nice on any bike we put them on, and these things matter you know. The prices are decent compared to others on the market considering how well made they are. I can’t wait for another chance to use them.

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