It’s finally time for my Alpkit Fuel Pod review. I’ve been using the Alpkit Fuel Pod for the last month where it’s been invaluable on several long rides and some light touring. It’s not the first top bar mounted frame bag that I’ve used, I previously carried my essentials in a Topeak Fuel Tank, but Alpkit’s Fuel Pod it might just be the best.
Alpkit Fuel Pod Review
Coming from an ultralight cycling perspective the Alpkit Fuel Pod is a promising product. The materials are strong and light, the total weight for size medium, including straps, is a mere 80 grams.
Particularly important to me is the water-resistant seal and zip dock that has kept my camera dry for the prolonged rainy days cycling from Reading to Devon.
A fortunate but possibly unplanned feature is that the material on the sides is translucent allowing light to pass through, this stops the Alpkit Fuel Pod from becoming a black hole. It’s much easier to spot where that packet of dried fruit has shifted to at a glance when cycling along.
The Alpkit Fuel Pod comes in three sizes, small, medium and large;
Weight 70g, Length; 17 cm, Width; 5 cm, Height; 9 cm
Weight; 80g, Length; 20 cm, Width; 6 cm, Height; 10 cm
Weight; 110g, Length; 25 cm, Width; 7 cm, Height; 11 cm
I was impressed by the type and quality of the velcro strips provided with the Alpkit Fuel Pod. It has very fine teeth that doesn’t pull too hard and damage the hairy side with repeated use.
The Alpkit Fuel Pod uses a fabric ladder that the velcro strips can be threaded through. This system has a couple of advantages that I can see; you have more choices for attachment points and you can use more of them by adding extra straps of velcro.
I would say that the overall design, price and aesthetics of the Alpkit Fuel Pod are good but if I were to be critical (and this would apply to all top bar mounted bags that I have seen and used) I would say that they need to be stabilised better. Top bar bags still have the habit of sliding sideways and hitting your leg when a heavy item inside leans to one side.
I envision a small platform about the size of a playing card that grips the top bar with a rubber clip, or something. The Alpkit’s Fuel Pod could then be mounted over the top of the supporting platform that would keep it straight on the frame. The same design would probably work for all top bar bags and has the potential to be integrated into the bag itself.
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