HPG Frame Bag – Biking Config
Piotr Ma gives us his overview of this rugged and robust frame bag that boasts quality, but doesn’t break the bank!
I tried cross country biking for the first time about 12 years ago and I was hooked immediately. I don’t take it to the extreme of course, but I still can’t imagine summer vacations without at least 2 weeks of backcountry biking with family and friends.
So after very good experiences with HPG packs, I thought I’d try something smaller, cheaper and not obvious – a frame bag! And before you ask… yes, I decided to go with the camo version just for the sake of it, it looks bold and cool in MultiCam (including the straps!).
There are a lot of frame bags on the market. But not many of them are as solid as HPG’s. Made of 1000D Cordura, solid webbing, YKK zipper and manufactured in US by First Spear it’s actually beyond just ‘solid’ – it’s rugged and robust!
Three straps with buckles keep it in place and with a system that allows it to be mounted in multiple positions. I’ve tried it on the front part of the frame and in the back position, facing up and down. In the end I decided to go with a front and up position as it is most protected from dirt and mud that way (coming from the front tire) and it’s also away from my legs.
The central compression strap with G-hook protects the bag from flapping around and can be also used to keep additional small items strapped to the bag, in my case a Chris Reeve Sebenza in a custom sheath.
The size is just perfect for all the necessities, which in my case are:
That’s quite some content considering it’s just 11 inches long and 3 by 2 inch wide. A huge opening and well-shaped outline make the use of space very efficient, no doubt about it. Thanks to the bomb-proof construction and heavy duty stitching I didn’t care too much about it. I really stuffed it with all the gear that I might need immediately (like a IFAK, knife, etc.) and prefer to keep on my bike at all times.
Usually I ride with side panniers on my bike (which I use for camping gear) and padded front bag for photography gear but I prefer to keep my real essentials separate. I’d prefer not to take a risk of unloading my IFAK together with the panniers by mistake just before a short extreme fun ride. That’s why there will always be a place for a good small frame bag on my bicycle.
Bottom line – it’s surely a heck-of-a-quality piece of gear for an off-road biker and actually you get a lot of US-made value for your $20 (yeah, it’s just twenty dollars!). Easy to use, easy to mount, and also easy to store as it takes almost no space when rolled up for transport (or after the season). It’ll surely stay on my bike for a long time.