Bedrock Dakota Review: Roomy Top Tube Bag
The Bedrock Dakota top tube bag is roomy enough to carry essential gear and small enough to stay out of the way when you are out of the saddle or have both feet planted on the ground. And it looks good!
The Dakota has a curved design that makes it look modern but this bag is not just another pretty face. The exterior is made of burly 500d Cordura fabric that is both tear and water resistant. The bottom of the bag is padded, helping reduce rattling due to your gear bouncing around inside the bag. Another nice feature is the red ripstop nylon liner. The red contrasts with the bag’s contents, making it easier to find your gear inside the bag.
One of the main contributing factors for this bag’s stability is the stiffened material sewn-in between the outer layer and the ripstop liner. This allows this bag to hold its shape even when completely empty. I was worried that the sidewall material could be bent out of shape, but that has not happened. I have abused my Dakota – thrown in transfers shuttles, train rides, and packed inside a duffel bag – and it has kept its original stiffness and shape.
The rubberized wraparound strap keeps the bag in place. Once you tighten the main strap’s velcro around the top tube, this bag will not budge. To keep things even steadier, Bedrock added a double-sided velcro strap that hugs the steerer tube and another elastic band that goes around the top cap. Both the double-sided velcro and the elastic band can be moved up or down in the daisy chain attachment in the frontal part of the bag.
Let’s talk size
A top tube bag is where you get to throw all the mismatch gear that does not have a home anywhere else on your bikepacking rig. I usually carry a range of miscellaneous items like nail clippers (very handy when it comes to cutting zip ties), granola bars, sunglasses, headlamp, multitool, valve adapters and other things I do not know where to stash. When commuting, this is where I keep my trail pass (required on Wisconsin state trails).
In order to give you a better idea of volume, I used a known unit of measure that all bikepackers are accustomed to: Clif Bars. The Bedrock Dakota can comfortably house 8 Cliff bars without bulging.
|VOLUME/SIZE (IN CLIFF BARS)||8|
The tapered design keeps the bag out of your knees’ way, minimizing knee rubbing/striking. During the 6 months I have used this bag, I never thought I had to watch where my knees were going to avoid rubbing against the bag, I also noticed it stays out of the way when peddling out of the saddle. I have not endured any downpour while riding with the Dakota, but I have camped under light rain once. The bag was exposed to light rain all night, and I did not notice any wetness inside the bag. In addition, I have not noticed any discoloration due to sweat. All of the pictures on this page were taken after having used this bag for over 6 months – you can see how well it holds up.