Updated on May 22, 2020

A top tube bag has one major purpose and that’s to hold all your snacks! Because there is nothing worse than being out riding bulk miles, feeling completely in the zone and having to stop to rummage around in your frame bag, panniers, or backpack to find some quick energy to keep pushing on the pedal. The best top tube bags are also super handy for storing your phone or even a little point and shoot camera to capture that perfect Instagram worthy moment.

No matter what you plan on storing in your top tube bag, what’s most important is having enough space and being able to access what’s in there quickly, easily, and safely while riding. Looking across these main points, we’ve collected a list of options that are super versatile and cover everything from basic to the bee’s knees.

For more of our top bikepacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Bike Handlebar Bags.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Top Tube Bags

  1. Topeak Tri Drybag
  2. Blackburn Outpost Top Tube Bag
  3. Revelate Designs Gas Tank
  4. Salsa EXP Series Top Tube Bag
  5. Oveja Negra Snack-Pack Bolt-On

 

Comparison Table - Best Top Tube Bags

PictureNameGear CapacityWaterproof?ClosurePriceRating
Topeak Tri DrybagTopeak Tri Drybag0.6LYesVelcro$3.9
blackburn outpost top tube bagBlackburn Outpost Top Tube Bag0.5LNo (Water Resistant)Zipper$$4.8
Revelate-Designs-Gas-Tank-Top-Tube-BagRevelate Designs Gas Tank1LYesZipper$$4.5
Salsa EXP Series Top Tube BagSalsa EXP Series Top Tube Bag1.2LNo (Weather Resistant)Zipper$$$4.0
Oveja Negra Snack-Pack Bolt-OnOveja Negra Snack-Pack Bolt-On6+ Candy BarsYesZipper$$$4.2
PictureNameGear CapacityWaterproof?ClosurePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Top Tube Bags

Topeak Tri Drybag

Specs
  • Closure: Velcro
  • Dimensions: 5.7” x 1.9” x 5”
  • Weight: 2.29oz
  • Mounting System: Velcro Hook & Loop
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 0.6L
Features
  • Waterproof Material And Construction Keeps Your Gear Dry
  • Padded Main Compartment For Added Protection
  • Secures Closed With Velcro So It’s Easy To Open And Close While Riding
Topeak Tri Drybag

BEST FOR: STORING WATER SENSITIVE ESSENTIALS

If you hate storing your phone, keys, and wallet in your jersey pocket, then it’s time to invest a few bucks in a Topeak Tri Drybag. The waterproof materials and welded seam construction means your water sensitive items will stay dry even in a downpour. The interior is also padded which will keep your items safe and sound even if you are riding on rough terrain.

The lid of the bag opens like a book and secures with velcro which makes it super easy to open without even having to look away from the road. It attaches to the frame with adjustable straps, however if you have a narrow top tube on your bike, then make sure you double check the strap length before purchasing to make sure it will stay firmly in place.

Blackburn Outpost Top Tube Bag

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 9.2” x 3.1” x -4.7”
  • Weight: 5.9oz
  • Mounting System: Velcro Hook & Loop And Optional Bolt System
  • Waterproof?: No (Water Resistant)
  • Gear Capacity: 0.5L
Features
  • Bolt On Option For Extra Stability
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Small Accessory Pocket For Storing Small Cards Like Your ID Or Credit Card
blackburn outpost top tube bag

BEST FOR: RUGGED RIDING

Redesigned from the previous model, the Blackburn Outpost Top Tube Bag now fits onto even more bikes. The inclusion of additional straps of varying lengths allows you to custom fit this bag, no matter the diameter of your top tube. 

The straps are also made from a soft material that will minimize any damage to your paint work. If you have a gravel specific bike that comes with top tube bolts, you can ditch the top tube straps and securely fasten the bag using the bolts provided for a super sleek look.

There are three compartments in this bag, including a mesh sleeve on top, a small side zippered pocket – perfect for carrying your ID – and the main compartment. The main compartment is accessed with a book opening style top with a zipper around the side, giving you excellent access inside the bag. The heavy duty, padded construction means this bag will hold its shape and keep your snacks and phone secure.

Revelate Designs Gas Tank

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 9” x 4.5” x 2.5”
  • Weight: 3.7oz
  • Mounting System: Velcro Hook & Loop
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 1L
Features
  • Padded Bottom And Side For Frame Protection
  • Separated Compartment Design
  • Zippered Closure For Secure Storage And Easy Access
Revelate-Designs-Gas-Tank-Top-Tube-Bag

BEST FOR: EPIC ADVENTURES

If your ideal ride involves maximal miles with minimal stopping, then you are going to need plenty of energy at your fingertips to get you through the day. The Revelate Designs Gas Tank top tube bag has a decent 1L capacity, so it can store plenty of energy gels, bars, and other goodies to keep you fuelled for your whole ride. 

The tapered design means this bag is taller at the front and shorter at the rear gives the bag greater stability. The tapered shape paired with secure and adjustable hook & loop straps means this bag isn’t going to accidentally slip off your top tube, no matter how rugged the terrain. It features a single book opening style zippered compartment that has a movable divider, allowing you keep some organization within the bag. The bag is also fully waterproof and padded so you can store a camera or phone with no worries about water damage.

Salsa EXP Series Top Tube Bag

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 9” x 5” x 4” Narrowing to 2.25”
  • Weight: 5.6oz
  • Mounting System: Velcro Hook & Loop And Optional Bolting System
  • Waterproof?: No (Weather Resistant)
  • Gear Capacity: 1.2L
Features
  • Internal Mesh Compartments
  • Adjustable Strap For Micro-Adjusting Fit
  • Can Be Easily Mounted On Top Tube Bolts On Salsa Bikes
Salsa EXP Series Top Tube Bag

BEST FOR: CONFIDENT RIDERS

If you like form as much as you like function, take a look at the Salsa EXP Series Top Tube Bag. This bag looks high end and does come with the appropriate high end price tag. However if you own a Salsa Bike, is there really any other choice? The ability to mount the top tube bag directly to the top tube bolts as featured on many Salsa bikes (and some other gravel specific bikes too), means it’s hard to go past what appears to be a perfect pairing.

The bag is accessed via a single top zipper that opens the main compartment that holds a whopping 1.2 liters of gear. Two mesh pockets inside the bag help to organize your snacks and gear. The zipper is super easy to open while riding, but you do have a little less access to easily see what’s inside the bag, so it may mean you are fishing around to find what you’re looking for. If you are super confident riding a bike, this shouldnt pose an issue.

Oveja Negra Snack-Pack Bolt-On

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 8.5” x 4” x 3”
  • Weight: 3.6oz
  • Mounting System: Bolt On System And Hook & Loop
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 6+ Candy Bars
Features
  • Padded Bottom For Frame Protection
  • Reflective Logo So You Can Be Spotted At Night
  • Waterproof So Your Gear Will Stay Dry Even When Riding Through The Rain
Oveja Negra Snack-Pack Bolt-On

BEST FOR: BIKES WITH TOP TUBE BOLTS

This top tube frame bag is designed for your hardcore gravel enthusiasts, whose bikes have top tube bolt mounts, as this is the specific mounting system used. If your bike does not have these mounts then check out the Oveja Negra Snack-Pack.

Designed from waterproof materials including a high quality waterproof zipper, you can not only store those 6+ candy bars in this top tube bag but also keep your phone or camera dry and safe. The sturdy material also helps the bag to hold its shape even when stuffed full. The single zipper opening on the top makes for easy access. However it can be a little tricky to see what you’re grabbing when you open it up while riding if you aren’t super confident on the bike. 

If you like a bit of color and flair, this bag is available in camo and some bright pops of color alongside standard colors if you’re not feeling as adventurous.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A BIKE TOP TUBE BAG

Ask yourself these two questions: 

How many snacks do I want to carry? – (Correct Answer – all of them)

Do I want to store my phone and/or camera for taking instagram photos? – (Correct Answer – umm of course)

All jokes aside, snacks and phones/cameras are the main things that are carried within a top tube bag, so it is worthwhile considering exactly what you would like to store in the bag. Knowing what you’ll keep in your top tube bag will help you determine the size of bag you need, the opening system you’d prefer, and whether or not you need a waterproof bag.

 

SIZE AND WEIGHT

Everything from super compact top tube bags right through to pretty large bags with decent storage capacity are available. Make sure you choose a bag that comfortably fits everything you want to carry in it. Also consider the weight of what you plan on storing, as you don’t want to overload the bag and have a bulky mass on your top tube affecting the way the bike handles.

 

MOUNTING SYSTEM

There are two main mounting systems for top tube bags:

Straps

Whether Velcro, hook & loop, or a strap with a buckle, all types of straps will all affix in a similar way. Measure the diameter of your top tube and compare that to the strap length to ensure the strap will fit around the tube firmly. Some top tube bags are noted for having straps that won’t cinch down tightly enough, leaving a bag that is less than secure.  So measure twice, buy once!

Bolts

Some bikes are built with bolt mounts on the top tube. These are generally high end gravel bikes (like the Salsa Cutthroat), touring bikes, or if you are lucky enough to have a custom built bike then you can ask for these to be added. Bolting the bag to the frame is simple enough and ensures a very stable bag, meaning you can also do away with the straps for a super clean look.

DO NOT attempt to mount a bolt system to a frame that did not come from the manufacturer with bolt mounts! You will not only damage your frame but also risk your safety by compromising the integrity of the entire bike. 

 

CAPACITY

Choose a top tube bag that will comfortably fit all your snacks and gear in it, but don’t go too big just for the sake of it. Having just a few things in a 1.2L capacity bag can have them rattling and rolling about. 

 

ACCESS

Top tube bags have various closure systems and open in different ways. Consider your confidence level and ability to take one hand off the bar and open your bag while riding. Perhaps you may feel more confident with a velcro system compared to a zipper, and a book or flap style opening compared to a slot style opening

 

WATERPROOF VS WATER RESISTANT VS WEATHER PROOF

What you plan on carrying in your top tube bag will play a role in deciding whether a waterproof bag is a necessity. If it’s simply gels or wrapped energy bars, then a water resistant or weather proof option may be suitable. If you plan on carrying your phone, a small camera, or your wallet, a waterproof bag will give you peace of mind.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

MOUNTING SYSTEMS

Hook And Loop

This is a mounting system that is a strap of velcro that loops through a typically plastic ring, simply tighten around the top tube of your bike frame to the perfect tension.

Bolt System

The top tube bag has two small bolt holes inside the bag that align to two mounting bolts on the top tube of your frame. Simply bolt the bag to the frame for secure mounting. Only select gravel, touring specific or custom made bikes may come with these bolts – it’s important to note the spacing between the bolts on your frame and the bolt holes in the bag as they may not be the same.

 

SOFT STRAPS

The hook & loop straps are made of special material that is softer than normal to reduce rubbing on your frame which will protect the frame and paint work.

 

PADDED BAGS

The underside of many top tube bags will feature some form of padding to protect the paintwork and frame of our bike from wear and tear or rubbing of the bag against the frame.

 

BOOK STYLE OPENING OR FLAP LID

This refers to the way in which the bag opens. The entire top section of the bag flips open like a book cover allowing easy access into the bag.

 

SLOT STYLE OPENING

This refers to the way in which the bag opens. This is a simple slot opening similar to a zippered pencil case.

 

WELDED SEAMS

The seams of the bag are taped, otherwise known as welded, to ensure the item is waterproof or water resistant. Without the seams being taped there would be a chance the seams would leak where they have been stitched.

READ MORE

For more of our top bicycle touring gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

0 Shares
Tweet
Pin
Share
Email
Flip