I’ve been on somewhat of a quest over the past five years to seek out the best frame bag for my Fatback Corvus FLT named Ten Beers. This is the fourth frame bag that I’ve fitted to this bike. The last two bags have featured precise bolt-on attachments that led me to upgrade. I thought that my last custom bag was the cat’s meow until I tried this pack from Revelate Designs. Revelate makes this pack for Fatback Bikes and you can only order this pack through Fatback. The pack that I’m going to review is a partnership between two of the OG’s of my Alaskan Fat-Bike Hall of Fame, working together to create something bulletproof and backcountry functional.
The bag mounts with four M4 bolts into the water bottle cage mounts on the seat & downtubes along with a trio of velcro straps. Fewer straps make this pack play well with other packs that get strapped onto the frame for bikepacking. The water bottle cage attachment points have a cover sewn into the lining of the bag that makes installation a bit more of a challenge, but protects the bag’s contents from rubbing against the head of the bolt. The top of the bag has a row of twin eyelets that line up with the cable routing on the underside of the top tube. The way the bag attaches to the cable guides makes installation a snap and holds the top of the bag firmly in place. The fit of this bag is just what I would expect from these two companies. The bag and the bolt-on points fit like a glove inside of Ten Beer’s BELLY!
The details on this pack show how Revelate continues to innovate. The pull-thru zipper on the main compartment insures a water-tight seal when the gales of November come early. The roof of the pack has two velcro pump straps that hold my Lezyne pump easily and securely. The main zipper area is made with a material that has some elasticity to it, which makes opening and closing the zipper easier. The main body of the pack looks like a somewhat shiny patent leather jacket.
Fatback designed the Corvus with frame bag cargo in mind. I can run the widest and tallest tires on Ten Beers, so that means that the bike can handle a wider bag that can carry more gear, clothes, food, etc. This bag is quite a bit wider than the last model that I tested. There’s a clever little mesh pocket sewn into the main compartment and there’s a velcro stabilizer panel to keep things tidy when the bag isn’t fully stuffed to the gills. There’s a pocket on the left side of the bag that is a bit smaller than what I would call a map pocket, but I found it to be much more functional. It can easily swallow a giant-sized smartphone and a couple of energy bars.
The bottom line here is that I believe that I have traveled the long and arduous path to bike purse nirvana. The partnership between Revelate and Fatback set my expectations pretty high and they were blown away by how this bad boy works out in the field. I rode this pack through the full-on nasty spring ice break up and I’ve taken enough overnights to expose this bag to the full arsenal of accessory bags in the gear bin. This bag plays exceptionally well with other bag straps. It carries three metric gnome-tons of cargo and it’s shiny like Elvis’s leather jacket.
The only question left to ask is how will this pack stand the test of time and thousands of miles? We’ll have to see how that works itself out somewhere down the pollen path amigos! ¡Via con bicis gordas!