Post Carry Co Frame Pack review: a smallish choice
A small but secure frame bag built to fit performance road and gravel bikes.
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If you’re like me, the mention of frame bags conjures a mental image of hardcore bikepacking expeditions and the entirety of the front triangle consumed by a piece of luggage. However, there are now a vast number of minimalist “half-frame” options designed to carry a few essentials in the unused space between your top tube and bidon cages.
[ct_story_highlights]What: A half-sized frame bag to fit most road and gravel bikes.||Features: Three sizes, water resistant construction, reflective panels, one main pocket and a small stash pocket, multiple strap lengths and mounting points provided. ||Weight: 234 g (medium size) ||Price: US$70 (roughly AU$100 / €60 / £50) ||Highs: Shape and strapping method fit well with many frames, compact height, solid construction, easy to fit, won’t sway, decently priced.||Lows: Still sits wider than many top tubes, long zipper pulls, contents will rattle if not packed tightly. [/ct_story_highlights]
Post Carry’s Frame Pack is a pretty dialled example of a minimalist bag intended to fit road and gravel bikes with performance geometry. The bag is produced in three sizes to suit frames from 51 cm and up, and the internal capacity gets a modest increase as the respective length and height grows with each size. All three sizes feature a tapered design – narrowing from a measured 71 mm wide at the front to 50 mm at the back – all in an effort to not impede pedalling. My tested medium measures at 460 mm (L), 130 mm (H, max), 71 mm (W, max).
The water-resistant nylon bag is reinforced with a plastic sheet along the left side (and on the top right above the full-length zipper), with the semi-rigid construction keeping it in place and sway-free with only minimal strapping. All other sides are kept soft to greet the contours of various frames or expand to fit more luggage.
There are loops along the top of the bag that allow you to customise where you put the rubber-backed securing velcro straps, and then additional loops at the front allow you to choose where to loop the supplied drawstring. Post Carry also supplies a handful of spare and different-length Velcro straps (along with an extra drawstring) to fit a wide range of top tube shapes – a nice touch.
The build quality is solid and I have no hesitation in saying this bag will last for many years of abuse. As with using most bags I’d recommend protecting delicate paint against abrasion, but it was good to see that the Post Carry didn’t mar the unprotected paint of the bikes I tried it on.
Quick and simple to install, the bag is indeed secure and doesn’t have any negative impact on the handling of the bike. Post Carry suggests using two velcro straps to secure the bag, and while that’s ample, I found the bag rock-solid with three. If I were fitting it to a road bike I’d go with two straps, but more is better for gravel.
I fitted my medium sample to both a 54 cm Cervelo Aspero 5 and a small-sized Ritte Phantom without issue and in both cases was able to access my water bottles without needing special side-access cages. However, both of those bikes feature fairly horizontal top tubes, and Post Carry does suggest side access cages (and/or brackets to lower your cages) may be needed for frames under 53 cm.
The main pocket is accessed from the right and the zipper runs the full length of the bag. The claimed internal capacity of my medium sample is two litres, enough to easily stash a Rapha Shake-Dry jacket, a OneUp EDC 100C pump (with multitool within), a small packet of trail mix, and an iPhone 12. The bag can carry more again, but everything on this list fit without being fussy about how the bag was packed or causing it to balloon out.
Whether the contents within rattle or bounce around will depend on what you put in it and how you pack it, and care is needed to keep hard objects separated from each other. Pack it well and this is a bag that won’t distract when your concentration should be on what’s ahead.
On the left of the bag sits a small breathable mesh pocket intended for nutrition, a phone, or similar small object that you may want to access on the go. However it doesn’t take much for this pocket to bow out, and squeezing a phone in here made the bag look pregnant. I’d use it for a gel, rubbish, or a tubeless plug kit, but nothing larger.
My pedal stance is quite narrow. Some wider top tubes bother me, I rarely get on with Bento-style bags, and I often complain about certain rear light straps sitting too broad of the seatpost. Post Carry’s goal was to create a minimalist bag that went unnoticed in riding, and while they’ve ticked many boxes, I was still aware of its presence through the width that sits out from the top tube. With time I adapted to it being there, and would even forget about it, but I never truly stopped skimming it. The more items I put in it, the more noticeable the issue became.
Making the bag skinnier would have a direct impact on the already limited internal volume. While the bag measures up wider than Post Carry claims, I believe the American company has found a healthy balance that should work well for most users.
My only other criticisms are related to the long zipper pull tabs and the excess drawstring which can dangle against the frame. For the zipper pulls I found that the best solution was to tuck them into the respective pockets, but this makes accessing those pockets a little trickier. The supplied zipper pull tabs may be easier to use with gloves on, but personally, I’d rather cut off the long rope-based tabs and make do with the regular zipper pulls.
Meanwhile, the excess drawstring can be tucked away or tied up however you wish, but it left me wishing for a cleaner solution like the velcro straps used on the top tube. Sadly such a strap isn’t as versatile at fitting a variety of down tube shapes like the provided drawstring.
Post Carry certainly didn’t invent this style of bag, but they’ve done a great job of solving a number of the weaknesses of bags that came before it. It’s easy to fit to a bike, it isn’t heavy (234 g for my size medium sample), water resistant, built tough, has reflective details, stays put, the shape and sizing should work with a great number of bikes, and it can carry a good few essentials. And it does all that with a fair asking price.
A bag like this is a roomier alternative to a small handlebar bag, or a great option if you simply need more carrying capacity without trading off access to the bottle cages.
Post Carry certainly deserves your attention if you’re interested in this style of bag, but it’s worth also worth considering the Revelate Tangle Half-Frame bag, Apidura Expedition, and Ortlieb Frame-pack Toptube.
Visit postcarry.co for more information. A sizing guide is included within the gallery below.