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review

Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof

7
£135.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Excellent construction and waterproofing, but very expensive
Well constructed
Fully waterproof
Slim, low-profile design
The price
Single slim seatpost strap
Weight: 
265g
Contact: 

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The Miss Grape Cluster 7 is a strong, fully waterproof bikepacking saddle pack designed for road or gravel bikes. While the fabrics and construction are very good, it can sway a little unless well packed, and it costs more than most similar bags.

There are three sizes of this bag – the Cluster 13, the big Cluster 20, and this seven-litre Cluster 7 aimed at day rides.

The bag is made in Italy, with the main 420-denier nylon fabric being fully waterproof and rugged – it feels thicker than many similar bags. Some panels are reinforced to help stop the bag sagging when loaded, and this works very well.

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The underside and edges near the saddle are strong polyester, and there's abrasion-resistant PVC around the saddle rail area – good news, as it's a spot that always wears. Inside a full waterproof lining covers all seams and attachment points for complete protection.

Some extremely wet testing, with rides on trails that were full of puddles and stream crossings, failed to bother it – the Cluster 7 kept its contents completely dry, without fail.

2021 Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof Underseat Bag 2.jpg

The access is generous for the size of the bag, and I found it possible to pack a lightweight sleeping bag in. When packing, I found it easier to remove from the bike, then attach when full – it's easier to stuff items in and maximise the space.

Fitting

The straps are different colours, which can help speed up attachment, and the camlock buckles are both secure and easy to use. For lighter loads, the way the roll top secures is fine, but if pushing the weight limit or space available I would prefer to see the style of closure where each side can be tensioned.

2021 Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof Underseat Bag 3.jpg

There are four loop fixings on the top for extra cargo, but no elastic cord for them – disappointing given the price.

2021 Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof Underseat Bag 5.jpg

The bag is attached to the seatpost by a single Velcro strap, with a non-slip fabric on the bag. When packed well (with mass concentrated near the post) the sway is limited.

> 26 of the best bikepacking bags — how to choose lightweight luggage

Where the bag excels is when space is tight – it needs just 5cm of seatpost showing above the frame, and 16cm from saddle to tyre.

2021 Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof Underseat Bag 6.jpg

The slim design, which tapers from a very narrow shape by the seatpost, ensures your thighs don't rub against anything either.

> Your complete guide to bikepacking - what kit you need, how to plan and prepare plus inspiration for an adventure

The Cluster 7 weighs in at 265g, which is reasonable – especially given the fully waterproof design. The also-waterproof Altura Vortex 2 Compact is 280g but only 6L, although the Alpkit Koala is also 7L and a bit lighter at 186g.

Value

At £135 the Cluster 7 is expensive – some equally good bags are much less. While that Altura Vortex 2 Compact is not perfect, for instance, it is less than half the price at £59.99. Also, Wildcat's Tiger Drover Harness and a matching 10L tapered drybag work out at £102 for the pair, and proved extremely stable and versatile.

Conclusion

If you have minimal clearance and want the highest quality, most waterproof design around, the Miss Grape Cluster 7 is worth a look. Otherwise, the high price is tough to swallow when there are many other equally good bags available.

Verdict

Excellent construction and waterproofing, but very expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof

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?

Miss Grape says this is an: "Underseat bag for racing, gravel and race bikes. Stable, ultra light and 100% waterproof."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Miss Grape lists:

Nylon 420 polyester 300 dotted fabric with water-repellent polyurethane resin coating 10,000 water columns, tear-proof with very high mechanical resistance.

Custom polypropylene ribbons, black/green and black colour.

Nylon plastic accessories.

The Cluster 7 WP bag is produced in Italy and certified according to Reach CE n. 1097/2006. 1097/2006.

Dimensions:

Max length

44 cm

Width

16 cm

Height

14 cm

Min volume

1 liter

Max volume

7 litres

Weight

290g

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

Never interferes with pedalling.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well – it's fully waterproof, with a shape that makes for comfortable pedalling.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good fabric and buckles, very waterproof.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

More expensive than almost all similar bags. The only one that matches it is the updated Ortlieb Seat-Pack, which is now also £135. Many comparable packs are much less, including the Altura Vortex 2 at just £59.99 or the Wildcat Tiger Drover harness (£72, or £102 with a tapered 10L drybag).

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No – it's too expensive.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe

Use this box to explain your overall score

In terms of fabric, construction and performance, the Cluster 7 is very good. It allows for pedalling without any interference and the waterproofing is excellent. The price really holds it back, though – it's more than a lot of very good bags.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 168  Weight: 62

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.

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