Alpkit Fuel Pod Review

Alpkit Fuel Pod Review – Ultralight Bikepacking Luggage

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 Orange
My partner Ellie also has an Alpkit Fuel Pod in orange.

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.

Alpkit Fuel Pod Waterproof Zipper
Alpkit Fuel Pod Waterproof Zipper

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.

Alpkit Fuel Pod Medium Red
Alpkit Fuel Pod Size Medium – Interior

The Alpkit Fuel Pod comes in three sizes, small, medium and large;

  • Small:
    Weight 70g, Length; 17 cm, Width; 5 cm, Height; 9 cm
  • Medium:
    Weight; 80g, Length; 20 cm, Width; 6 cm, Height; 10 cm
  • Large:
    Weight; 110g, Length; 25 cm, Width; 7 cm, Height; 11 cm
Alpkit Fuel Pod Velcro
Alpkit Fuel Pod uses good quality velcro!

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.

Alpkit Fuel Pod Attachment Points
Alpkit Fuel Pod has many attachment points.

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.

If you found this Alpkit Fuel Pod review useful please leave me a comment or share it with another cyclist!

2 thoughts on “Alpkit Fuel Pod Review – Ultralight Bikepacking Luggage”

  1. Hi James,
    Nice review, I agree with your observation about fuel pods slipping and leaning to the side. Ive had several makes over the years (Topeak x2 (zips burst on both) and I am now on a Revelate) and they all lean to some extent. I do wish someone would come up with a way of properly stabalising them. Maybe its me and I should just put less in!
    Cheers
    Mart

  2. Hi James

    Great review of the fuel pod! I’ve been using a cheap small top tube bag that I bought on Ebay but it isn’t waterproof. On the strength of this review I’ve just bought my own fuel pod ‘med size in steel’. It’s just arrived and I’m really pleased with its quality, and size. I will be using it on my second Transam ride on my recumbent next year. Alpkit do some great stuff and it’s good to support a British company.

    Thanks for taking the time to review this great item

    Regards

    Julie

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