When we’re out biking in the wild, there are a lot of essentials to which we need quick access. A map, a phone, money, and most importantly, a water bottle. A top tube bag is specially designed to attach to the top tube of your bike. It provides quick and easy access to your valuables. And may let you interact with your phone and even rotate it in real-time.
But which bag is the best top tube bag of all time? And how can you decide that for yourself?
We take a closer look at which bags are the most recommended, and how to choose the right one.
Table Of Contents
10 Best Top Tube Bags 2020 Comparison
|Topeak Top Tube Bag||0.26 pounds||5L|
|ROCKBROS Bike Top Tube Bag||0.18 to 0.26 pounds||5L|
|Salsa EXP Series Top Tube Bag||0.35 pounds||1.2L|
|Ortlieb Top Tube Frame Pack||0.375 pounds||4L|
|Top Tube Bag Bike Phone Case Holder||0.375 pounds||0.8L|
|Revelate Designs Mag-Tank 2000||0.325 pounds||1.4L|
|Bell Stowaway Series Bike Bags||0.27 pounds||1.5L|
|Rhinowalk Top Tube Bag||0.28 pounds||5L|
|Ibera Bicycle Top Tube Phone Bag||0.3 pounds||1.1L|
|VUP Bike Front Frame Bag||0.46 pounds||2L|
Recommended Best Top Tube Bike Bags Reviews
With the overwhelming number of products available, finding the right top tube bag can be very difficult. We’ve prepared a list of the top 10 best top tube mount bags for your bike. You’ll find each has its use and unique features, so pay close attention.
1. Topeak Top Tube Bag Fuel Tank with Charging Cable Hole
Topeak features an innovative top tube bag that comes with a charging cable hole for your smartphone. In the digital age, also it all top tube bags come with a charging hole. This is a great bag for keeping your bottles and valuables. It has an internal capacity of 5 liters and is made from 420 denier nylon.
Denier is a measure of the fabric’s weight. The 420-denier can resist tears, abrasions, and doesn’t shrink when exposed to water or sun. It also tends to maintain its color for a long time.
Moreover, the Topeak top tube bag has been waterproofed right down to the zipper. This means all of your valuables are safe from rain and mud. The only problem is the Velcro strap can easily be dropped and lost. So you’ll have to use the zipper only.
2. ROCKBROS Bike Top Tube Bag Bicycle Waterproof
It’s made from 840 denier nylon, which is ballistic nylon meant to prevent tears and rips. It’s highly waterproof and the most durable forms of nylon there is. So your bag will readily survive not just the elements but your riding mishaps too.
The bag is designed not to interfere with pedaling. It’s highly slim and doesn’t extend even a tiny bit over the top tube. It features an easy-to-install hook and loop design.
However, it may cause some discomfort when mountain biking. The bag’s straps may interfere with your steering, depending on how you set it up.
3. Salsa EXP Series Top Tube Bag
Some top tube bags tend to sag and cannot hold their shape but this is not the case with Salsa EXP. This specialized top tube bag has been laced with closed-cell foam to maintain its internal structure. So, the Salsa top tube bag will stay just the way it is and not interfere with your cycling.
What’s more…! it features two mesh pockets that are rarely seen. It also features simple hook-and-strap installation and can be installed onto any bike top tube.
Unfortunately, it has a smaller capacity, of just 1.2 liters. But it features a 500 denier nylon that is coated with polyurethane. The PU coating makes it more waterproof, as nylon isn’t the best against rain.
4. Ortlieb Top Tube Frame Pack
The Ortlieb Top Tube Frame Pack is a long storage bag that is made from PU-coated rip-stop nylon. It’s designed to distribute weight equally over the top tube and doesn’t interfere with your pedaling at all.
The PU coating on the nylon helps it resist water and rain damage. So don’t be afraid to pop your phone in there. The straps are simple hook-and-loops and can be adjusted individually for a snugger fit.
Additionally, the Ortlieb has a larger capacity, being 4 liters in volume and is long too. So you can easily store a water bottle there. The only thing it lacks is a simple charging cable and special pockets.
5. Top Tube Phone Bag Bike Case Holder
You don’t have to worry about your phone getting wet or damaged. The phone stays inside the bag at all times, with a TPU film window letting you interact with the screen. The screen won’t work with touch ID though, so it can make quick access a bit difficult.
As for the bag itself, it’s quite small, with just 0.8 liters of internal capacity. However, you won’t be putting your phone in there, so it leaves just a bit more space for your valuables.
It’s made from composite carbon polyester, which is lightweight and durable.
6. Revelate Designs Mag-Tank 2000 Top-Tube Bag
The Revelate Mag-Tank 2000 is a highly composite nylon bag which offers up to 50% more capacity than the Mag-Tank. However, even with that, the internal capacity is low as compared to other products, at just 1.4 liters
It features a composition of multiple layers. The outermost layer is made of 420-denier rip-stop nylon. And underneath that, you also have a closed-cell foam padding. This allows it to retain its shape and provide support to your valuables.
Along with that, the side panels have additional strengthening with an HDPE plastic sheet padding. The interior has a yellow and red inner lining so you can see your objects more clearly.
7. Bell Top Tube Bag Stowaway Series
This Bell top tube bag features a clear TPU film that lets you interact with your phone while keeping it dry and safe. The side of the bag has reflective trim, so it stays visible even in the dark. What’s more…! this bag can convert into a fanny pack that you can carry with you at all times.
It’s made from rip-stop nylon that’s been water-treated and tested multiple times. The only downside here is the bag can only hold a few models of phones.
8. Rhinowalk Waterproof Top Tube Bag
What makes the Rhinowalk bike bag so special is its unique composite-layer design. It is known as “Twill fabric”. This fabric is essentially a blend of three different kinds of fabrics. The top and inner layers are made from a special water-resistant coating. The middle layer is a Twill-woven nylon mesh that keeps your valuables safe and secure.
If you’re tired of bike bags constantly slipping, you might like this one. The strap and Velcro systems have been designed to provide a non-slip leather grip on the top tube. It’s big enough to fit a large smartphone screen of 6-inches and below. It also has an inner neoprene foam layer for added water protection.
The only negative here is that items can fall out when you open the bag.
9. Ibera Bicycle Top Tube Phone Bag
If you want a bike bag that can fit even the largest phones, this large-capacity phone holder will be the perfect pick. This is a nylon-based phone bag that can hold larger Android and iOS devices such as the iPhone X and XS.
The Ibera bicycle top tube bag has a clear vinyl layer that allows you to not only see the screen but also use it. The sides feature Velcro straps to keep everything secure. It has two pockets with zippers and reflective trim. All of this makes installation and use exponentially easier.
Additionally, the Ibera Mountain Bike Top Tube Bag uses a 1680D ballistic nylon that’s been waterproofed. It features a cable hole for battery charging and earplugs.
The bag tends to interfere with your pedaling to some extent but that also depends on your pedaling style.
10. VUP Bike Front Frame Bag
When reading off from maps, we like to rotate our phones to better match our direction. With the VUP Bike Top Tube Bag, you can not only use your phone but also rotate it 360 degrees. This is due to the special silicone holding pad that is highly flexible and rotatable.
It fits phones as small as 4.0” and as big as 6.5”. The bag is equally distributed over the two sides of the tube and made from waterproof 600D polyester.
However, there are two major flaws in its design.
Firstly, the bag tends to interfere with pedaling. It rubs your knees and stops you from going at a high speed. So avoid it for mountain biking.
Secondly, the phone doesn’t have a protective film over it. It’s completely open to rain and dust. But the good part is, you still get to use Touch ID and Face ID.
How to Choose the Best Top Tube Bag?
Top tube bags come in all shapes and sizes, and not to mention the vast number of features. It’s quite difficult to decide on a decent top tube bag. Here’s a list of everything you need to know to buy the best top tube bags for road bikes, moutain bikes and more.
Easy Access and Opening System
Check where the top tube bag is meant to be placed. Some are meant to go under the tube, which can make access a bit harder. Many new models also come with phone holders that let you interact with the touch screen.
Most top tube bags open using a zipper. Make sure the zipper is metal and opens smoothly. If the manufacturer mentions that there’s a strip of nylon under the zipper, then it will most likely zip up smoothly.
Also make sure the zipper is from front to back, not top to bottom. This way, your objects won’t fall when you open the bag.
Check Size and Capacity
Next, consider the size and capacity of your bag. Most bags state which types of handlebars and top tubes they are compatible with. Top tube bags, except for the phone holding ones, shouldn’t be too wide, as this will interfere with your cycling.
Capacities can range from 0.5 liters to up to 5 liters. Mostly just 1 or 2 liters is enough to secure your phone and wallet. 5 liters may be needed if you have a lot of cargo such as multiple devices and water bottles. But it’s not mandatory.
Waterproof and Dustproof Features
Many top tube bags resist water and dust damage. This is usually in the form of a higher denier of fabric, polyester fabric, or a PU coating. Some may also use a silicone sealant on the zipper for added water protection.
You should always test your waterproof top tube bag before taking it out for a ride. Put a dry piece of paper or tissue in it and completely soak the bag. If the paper or tissue gets wet, you should know it’s faulty.
This is important since you’ll be having your phone, money, and even spare batteries in there.
Also, take a look at the material of the bag. Most top tube bike bags are made of a certain denier of nylon. The higher the denier, the denser the weave will be. Some may also use polyester due to its natural waterproofing abilities.
But some use a combination of the two. Some tube bags have a special closed-cell foam padding around the sides to help the bag maintain its form. Always do your research on the benefits of the material before buying a product. They not only decide how secure the bag is but also the possessions it houses.
Top Tube Bags Weight
Finally, consider the weight of the top tube bag. This isn’t a big issue, but some bags can weigh down your bike. You want a bag that’s no more than 6 pounds heavy. Preferably, go for the one that is as light as one pound.
The weight will increase as you add more stuff into it. But a lighter initial weight will help minimize the stress your bike has to handle.
FAQ on Top Tube Bags
Can I Attach A Top Tube Bag On Any Bike Type?
Yes, you just need to find the right bag for it. Some bikes have a downward-sloping top tube, so bags that have a top to bottom zip aren’t useful there. It all depends on design and usage.
How To Install the Best Top Tube Bike Bag?
Most bags come with circular hook-and-loop straps or Velcro straps. You simply secure the straps around the top tube or near the handlebars and you’re all set.
What Can I Put On A Top Tube Bag?
Anything from phones to wallets, keys, jewelry, money, bottles, and even power banks. Just anything that fits should be compatible with your bicycle top tube bag.
Are Top Tube Bags Secure?
They can be. Good top tube bags don’t let any water in and are not prone to falling. If you get a bad product, that’s an entirely different story.
What Is The Best Top Tube Bag For Bikepacking?
The best bike top tube bag for backpacking is certainly the Topeak Top Tube Bag. It’s got a strong nylon construction with a charging cable hole.
Cycling top tube bags make bikepacking a whole lot easier. They hold your valuables and don’t hinder the access to your phone. If anything, they make all your belongings easily accessible through the top tube.
If we were to pin down one top tube bag as the best, it’d have to be the Topeak. This is a very simple and qualitative product. It features a 420-denier nylon fabric and a hole for charging your phone. It doesn’t even rub your knees when you pedal.
But as always, there’s a top tube bag made just for you. Keep experimenting with your top tube bags, and enjoy MTB season while it lasts! You can also read our guide of the best bike saddle bags if you are looking for more gear.