Evoc Top Tube Pack review - small but perfectly formed bag for adventures and everyday use

A well-made top tube bag with velcro straps, water resistant features and a 0.5 litre capacity

Evoc's Top Tube Pack has a capacity of 0.5l
(Image credit: Luke Friend)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Top tube bags are a handy addition to any bikepacking set-up or simply for anyone who requires a bit of additional storage on a regular ride. The Evoc bag is a solid example of their practical nature, both storing a number of smaller items and offering easy access to them mid-ride. All told, it’s a simple bag that does what’s required of it. The quality of the fabrics and construction are all a bonus and lead me to believe that it will stand the test of time. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give the bag is that it’s still in use.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Well-made

  • +

    Quality materials

  • +

    Waterproof zip

  • +

    Easy to install

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not much, but perhaps would benefit from being a little bigger

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At the heart of any bikepacking trip lies the spirit of adventure; and whether it's an overnight stay close to home or a multi-day trip in some far-flung corner of the world, a good set of bags to carry your kit are essential. While seat, frame and bar bags steal the show, a small top tube bag is often included in the configuration. And with good reason.

Top tube bags are designed to offer easy access to smaller items that you, well, need easy access to while riding. If bikepacking seat, frame and handlebar bags typically hold larger and heavier items - think bivvy bag, sleeping bag, stove and cooking utensils, tools and a down jacket - then the smaller top tube bag or ‘bento box’ becomes the preserve of snacks, valuables and other compact items. This means that of all the bikepacking bags on offer, it’s the one you’re likely to keep on your bike at all times, as useful for a quick spin around the trails as it is on a long-haul journey.

Certainly, it can help shoulder the weight usually carried alone by the sagging rear pockets of your jersey. In fact, especially when combined with some of the other best bikepacking bags, it can allow you to ditch the traditional cycling jersey altogether, should you so wish.

Evoc Top Tube Pack: construction

In this regard the Evoc Top Tube Pack appears to fit the bill in both size and construction. It measures 15.5cm long, 8cm high at its tallest point and is 5.5cm in depth. It features a rigid construction that can handle slightly heavier items, such as a mobile phone, multi tool or charger, without them rattling around or causing the bag to lose shape or move about. Inside the 0.5 litre main compartment is an additional elasticated mesh pocket, presumably so you can organise your items to some degree. 

The outer material - available in carbon grey or loam - has a durable appearance and texture and is listed by Evoc as being ‘water resistant’. It features a cable port, so you can charge your head unit, phone or light via a stored battery pack. The bag’s sturdy construction and choice of materials is encouraging - it looks and feels well made. 

Evoc's Top Tube Pack attaches to the bike frame using two velcro straps

(Image credit: Luke Friend)

Access to the pack is via a single waterproof zip, which has a toggle attached to help proceedings when you're wearing gloves or have cold hands.

As for securing the bag to your bike frame, it’s a straightforward affair with two adjustable velcro straps, one to attach to the steerer and the other to the top tube. There are three slots on the base of the bag and one at the front, allowing you to move the position of the straps to best fit your bike setup. The slots are on what feels like a hardwearing strip of fabric, so as not to compromise the integrity of the pack’s main material. This strip also adds another layer of protection. Evoc also supplies a few frame protection stickers.

Evoc’s claimed weight for the pack is just 75g and my kitchen scales were in agreement.

Evov's Top Tube Pack features a waterproof zip

(Image credit: Luke Friend)

Evoc Top Tube Pack - ride

As you’d hope from a bag with just two velcro straps, the Evoc bag was a cinch to attach to the bike. More impressively, it also stayed put.

Given its gravel application my main concern once I’d strapped it to my bike was that it would start to move around and become a distraction. While it appeared to be held firm enough by the velcro there was a small amount of play if I actively moved the bag from side to side with my hand. 

Out on the road and the trails however it remained in place. I hit tree roots, bounced over rocks and got up plenty of speed on several descents and the bag didn’t budge. 

As for the load capacity, I tried the bag with a few different items. Given its rigidity it can’t really be stuffed with too many tools and the like, but it did hold a multi-tool or tyre levers and a spare gravel tube - but not all three together. I also filled it with snacks - a couple of bars and a handful of Haribo - as well as, on separate occasions, my phone and house keys and a wind vest. With regards to the mobile phone, I still use an old - some may say ancient - iphone. Anything more modern is likely to be too large to fit.

Evoc's Top Tube Pack

(Image credit: Luke Friend)

Getting items in and out of the bag is fairly straightforward, although its firm structure does mean that you really need to get your hand right into the bag to retrieve smaller items, like a random gummy bear left over from a previous ride. In all seriousness, the structure is generally a plus point because it ensures the bag keeps its shape, although a slight increase in size, say to 0.7l, might make it easier to get your belongings in and out of the pack, especially if you’re doing it while still in motion.

The bag has yet to get wet beyond a few light showers so I can’t attest to its level of water resistance. However, it shook these showers off without issue and, given the zip and fabric choices, I’d imagine that it would do the same with slightly heavier rain as long as it didn’t persist for too long.

Evov Top Tube Pack - value

The Evoc top tube pack retails for $40 / £30, which makes it competitively priced against similar bags. Restrap’s Top Tube bag costs $52.99 / £34.99, while the Brooks Scape top tube bag, which shares a similar rigid construction, is priced at $60 / £50. At the cheaper end of the scale, LifeLine’s Adventure Top Tube Bag features velcro straps, a 0.7 litre capacity and retails for $18.99 / £14.99.

Evoc Top Tube Pack: conclusion

Top tube bags are a handy addition to any bikepacking set-up or simply for anyone who requires a bit of additional storage on a regular ride. The Evoc bag is a solid example of their practical nature, both storing a number of smaller items and offering easy access to them mid-ride. 

I’ve tended to use it for snacks, with my mobile phone stored in the mesh compartment inside, although this won’t be an option for many larger phones, and have resorted back to storing tube, tool and levers in my jersey pockets. This may largely be out of habit but the top tube bags do seem best suited to on-the-go food, or, due to their position on the bike, for storing a charger to connect to devices fitted to the bars or stem. 

All told, it’s a simple bag that does what’s required of it. The quality of the fabrics and construction are all a bonus and lead me to believe that it will stand the test of time. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give the bag is that it’s still in use. 

Evoc Top Tube Pack: specs

  • Weight: 75g
  • Dimensions: 5cm x 8cm x 15.5cm (D x H x L)
  • Capacity: 0.5 L
  • Colours: Carbon Grey, Loam
  • Contact: evocsports.com

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