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The Apidura Packable Musette is a really useful piece of kit that packs down very small, can attach to the bike and has a very effective stability strap. It's expensive and not quite as comfortable as a cotton one, but it's waterproof and much more practical.
When you think of a musette you generally think cotton and simple: those basic bags handed out in feed zones or filled with brochures at exhibitions. The idea of redesigning something so effective seems a bit odd, but in the case of the Apidura Packable Musette, it works.
One of the issues with traditional musettes is that when you've emptied one, it's a bit of a pain to store – especially as you're only wearing it in the first place because your pockets are full. The Apidura Packable Musette folds into a separate pouch, after which the straps can squeeze it even smaller. You don't have to pocket it all, in fact – you can strap it to a tube instead.
It packs down to about the size of a box of paracetamol: not tiny, but much easier to deal with than a regular musette. Packing is nothing more complicated than stuffing it all in the pouch, and otherwise the pouch hangs on a strap inside the bag, so there's no chance of losing it.
The stability strap means this musette doesn't shift and swing round to the front as much as a regular one. It's easy to clip and unclip even with gloves, so will work well year round.
As will the fabric. RS20D is a lightweight polyester that's waterproof, and the seams are taped. A velcro flap covers the top to keep the insides dry, and the high-vis patterns across the rear are a welcome safety element.
The straps are good. I used this a lot on longer lockdown rides, as my regular fill-up stops obviously weren't an option, so the Apidura was actually well loaded throughout. Though always noticeable, it was still pretty comfortable.
At £24 the pricing is steep, but the waterproofing, stability and packability go some way to justifying the additional cost. That said, the £25 Restrap Race Musette is also waterproof, and while it doesn't pack down quite so practically, it's handmade in Leeds – whilst the Apidura is made in China.
Overall I was really impressed by the Apidura. I've been using musettes for years, but this design sits so well and packs away so usefully that I'm surprised that nobody has done it before.
Innovative and practical waterproof storage that's easy to pack – expensive, though
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Apidura Packable Musette (7L)
Size tested: 7L
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Apidura says it's designed "to provide flexible storage for bulky items on long rides," and "compresses into an integrated on-bike pocket for easy storage when not in use."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Packable Musette bag is made from RS20D.
Designed to meet the demands of long-distance cycling and carrying bulky loads, the material is ultralight and waterproof, with strong tear resistance.
Very well made, the fabric and stitching feel robust and strong.
Doesn't feel like it's likely to rip any time soon.
Even at 10g heavier than claimed, it's extremely light – 65g.
The stability strap means it's very comfortable, and makes a big difference when laden.
It's very expensive for a musette, but then it's also innovative, waterproof, and packable.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How easy it is to pack down and store.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The closest comparison is the Restrap Race Musette, which is waterproof but doesn't pack down quite so practically and costs £1 more. However, the Restrap is handmade in Leeds – the Apidura is made in China.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a brilliant musette that's both more comfortable and more practical than a traditional design, so although it's expensive it seriously earns its keep – it's a nine.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.