I bought the Moosetreks Full Frame Bag on Amazon in preparation for my first bicycle tour in Washington State. Before making this purchase, I inspected several high-end frame bags from cottage bikepacking bag manufacturers. At $100-$200, they just seemed overpriced for what they are. I ended buying the Moosetreks frame bag for about 1/4 of the price of comparable bags. This is my full review of the Moosetreks bikepacking Frame Bag.
Pros and Cons of the Moosetreks Bikepacking Frame Bag
After almost 5000 miles of use, I’m thrilled with the way this frame bag has performed. Having said that, it’s not perfect. I’ll start this review off by outlining the pros and cons that I’ve encountered.
- The price- This is one of the most affordable full frame bags on the market. It costs about 1/4 of the price of premium frame bags from major bikepacking bag manufacturers like Revelate Designs and Apidura.
- Sizing- This frame bag comes in six size and shape combinations for a custom-like fit. There are road and mountain bike versions available. Each version comes in a small, medium, and large size. No matter what frame size you ride, chances are one of these will fit your bike.
- Looks- The bag has a clean and simple design. It comes in black and has a small logo. It’s not flashy and doesn’t stand out.
- Sturdy attachment system- The bag mounts to the frame with 8 thick Velcro straps. Once you attach it, it’s not going anywhere.
- Good build quality- All of the seems are straight and well sewn. The materials feel durable. The zippers work smoothly. It is well made.
- Easy to find your gear inside- The bag’s interior is lined with bright orange fabric. Your gear easily stands out against the bright background, making it easier to find things in your bag.
- Two interior pockets for organization- The interior of the road version contains a flap that secures to the side with velcro. This creates two pockets to help you stay organized. If you don’t need two pockets, you can simply detach the flap and you have a large open bag.
- Not as durable as premium frame bags- The materials are a bit thinner than they are on more expensive frame bag options that I’ve inspected. For this reason, this bag probably isn’t the best choice for a round the world tour. It should easily hold up for a ride across a continent though.
- The zippers feel fragile- So far, the zippers on my bag have held up fine. Having said this, they don’t feel too sturdy. I did read that Moosetreks switched to higher quality YKK zippers since I bought my bag so this problem may have been solved.
- Not 100% waterproof- This bag keeps the rain out during a light storm. If you’re riding through an all-day downpour, the inside will get wet.
- Annoying to remove and replace- It’s a bit of a job to attach or remove the bag with so many Velcro straps but you shouldn’t have to do that often. Of course, this is a problem with pretty much all frame bags, not just the Moosetreks.
- The cranks rub against the sides of the bag- This happens if your gear shifts in the bag and makes the bottom too wide. It also happens when you overpack the bag. This is another annoying problem that you’ll likely experience with every frame bag, not just the Moosetreks.
- There is no opening for a hydration bladder hose- You have to leave the zipper partway open to allow the hose to pass through. The problem is that this allows water to get in while riding in the rain.
Frame Bag Design
The Moosetreks full frame bag is made from ripstop nylon laminated with thermoplastic polyurethane. This material is both durable and water-resistant.
The bag attaches to your bike’s frame with 8 one-inch wide Velcro loops that are spaced evenly around the bag. 3 straps attach to the top tube, 3 attach to the downtube, and 2 attach to the seat tube. With that much Velcro, the bag isn’t going anywhere.
The bottom portion of the bag is covered with a thicker plasticky material. This prevents water from entering the bag as well as adds to durability as this is the part that will rub against the frame.
The road version of the bag has two zippers. They are located on the right side of the bike. The longer top zipper allows you to access the top part of the bag and the shorter zipper below it allows you to access the lower portion of the bag. The mountain bike version just has the top zipper.
A divider in the center is sewn on to one side of the bag and attaches to the other side with velcro. This allows you to chose whether you want one large compartment or two smaller compartments. This option only exists on the road version of the bag.
The bag is lined with bright orange fabric. This is a nice touch because it allows you to more easily see your gear against the bright orange background.
Personally, I love frame bags in general. They offer a secure place to store fragile items like electronics. These are protected by the frame in the event of a crash. They are also a great place to store heavy items like tools. Carrying heavy items down low in the frame keeps the bike balanced.
The only drawback to frame bags is that they occupy the space where you would normally mount water bottle cages. The solution is to carry a water bladder in the frame bag.
According to Moosetreks, the frame bag is water-resistant but not waterproof. This is true in my experience. While touring in Washington State, I have encountered plenty of rain. During small storms, the interior of the bag stays perfectly dry. There are flaps over the zippers which keep water out. The nylon material that the bag is made of is waterproof.
During heavy rainstorms, the interior of the bag gets wet. It doesn’t get drenched but it does get wet enough that I wouldn’t want to store my electronics and other water-sensitive gear inside without extra protection.
The best solution is to use a dry bag or simply a trash bag for an extra layer of waterproof. Another possible solution would be to seal the seams with a waterproof sealant like Gear Aid Seam Grip.
This is one area where you are making a sacrifice when choosing a lower end frame bag such as the Moosetreks over a high-end alternative. Realistically, this bag probably won’t last as long. The material is thinner and cheaper. The zippers feel flimsier. The seems may not be quite as robust.
Having said this, I have not experienced any durability issues so far. I have used this frame bag pretty heavily and have overpacked it on several occasions. I haven’t noticed any abnormal wear. There are a few scuffs and a couple of stitches aren’t as tight as they used to be. The bag still performs just like it did when it was new.
The great thing about bikepacking bags is that you can easily repair them if they develop tears or holes. All you need is a needle and thread. I always carry a small sewing kit while touring.
One concern I have is that the zipper will fail. They feel fragile. For this reason, I’ll probably choose a roll-top frame bag when this one eventually wears out. I don’t expect that to happen for many miles though.
When the bag arrived, the quality really impressed me. Particularly for the price. The fabric is a nice rip-stop nylon that feels strong and durable. The bag is sturdy yet lightweight. The two zippers run smoothly. The seems are clean and straight. It looks like it should cost more than it does.
I believe that the Moosetreks full frame bag offers a better value than premium frame bags from competing manufacturers. The reason is that the Moosetreks frame bag costs 4-5 times less than high-end alternatives. High-end frame bags won’t last 4-5 times longer than this one. You’re getting more bang for your buck with this bag, even if you have to replace it every 5000 miles or so.
Moosetreks Frame Bag Sizes
This frame bag comes in two different versions, one for road/touring bikes and one for mountain/bikepacking bikes. The road version fits best on bikes with a larger triangle and horizontal top tube. The mountain version fits best on bikes with a smaller triangle and angled top tube.
- Road size large- 14 L capacity. Weight: 404 g. Fits most 60+cm road touring frames.
- Road size medium- 12 L capacity. Weight: 372 g. Fits most 54-58 cm road touring frames.
- Road size small- 6.5 L capacity. Weight: 331 g. Fits most 48-52 cm road touring frames
- Mountain size large- 8.5 L capacity. Weight: 275 g.
- Mountain size medium- 7 L Capacity, Weight: 245 g.
- Mountain size small- 6 L Capacity, Weight: 207 g.
To find the right size for your bike’s frame, measure the inside dimensions of your bikes’ triangle. You’ll want to take note of the length of your seat tube, down tube, and top tube. Take this information and compare it to the photos on the Amazon listing.
I measured my Schwinn High Sierra frame and found that the medium size road frame bag was the closest match. It fit pretty much perfectly. In my experience, the bag runs true to size.
Packing the Bag
I stuffed a lot of gear into this bag. The medium holds about 12 liters of gear. I packed the following:
- Cycling multi-tool
- Cable lock
- Spare brake and shifter cable
- Chain lube
- Needle nose pliers
- Spoke tool
- Spare tube
- Kindle e-reader
- 16 oz thermos
- Cell phone
- Spare battery
- Chargers and cables
- Cookies and candy
The Moosetreks bikepacking frame bag is a full triangle frame bag. It is available in road/touring and mountain/off-road versions. Small, medium, and large sizes are available in each version for a custom-like fit. This frame bag is well designed, durable, well built, and offers an excellent value. For the price, the Moosetreks frame bag is hard to beat.
Final Thoughts about the Moosetreks Bikepacking Frame Bag
To sum it up, I am really happy with this purchase. A custom bag for four times the price may perform better but I see no reason to upgrade. For those who ride many thousands of miles per year or travel through remote countries, this bag may not be the best option. In that case, a more durable high-end frame bag may be worth the money.
If you want to try out the bag you can buy it on Amazon here:
Do you have the Moosetreks frame bag? Share your experience in the comments below!
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