British bikepacking equipment brand Tailfin has applied its technical problem-solving approach to dry bags with the release of its Cage Pack range from 1.7 litres of capacity to 5 litres, alongside Cargo Straps.
“It’s common knowledge that the most straightforward method for getting more kit on your bike is to strap a dry bag to a rack, frame tube or cargo cage,” says Tailfin. “It’s a technique that, whilst being pretty excellent at delivering increased volume without needing a tonne of technical equipment, unfortunately also brings plenty of drawbacks.”
But now Tailfin reckons it has a solution that achieves a solid, secure and consistent attachment to make this system work effectively with its Cargo Cages, as well as those from other brands.
Tailfin’s new Cage Pack range is designed to work as seamlessly as possible with its existing Cargo Cages, and, in doing so, create a complete storage system.
Size wise, there’s three to choose between. The smallest 1.7 litre Cage Pack is intended for positioning inside the frame triangle and under the down tube, the 3 litre bags are said to be ideal for smaller loads on forks and on rear racks, and then there’s the larger 5 litre bag that’s suitable for bulkier loads.
Unlike traditional drybags, Tailfin has shaped the Cage Packs with flat side panels to minimise interference with the rider when used inside the frame or under the down tube.
It’s the Speed Hook Loading System that makes the Cage Pack unique though. “We specifically created the Speed Hook system to eliminate the tedious nature of traditional ‘daisy chain’ style closed strap guide loop systems commonly found on existing bikepacking drybags,” explains Tailfin.
“After many years of coping with the faff of having to unthread cage straps fully with a daisy chain style bag in order to remove it from the cage, the new Speed Hook system is a revelation.”
The open-ended design of the Speed Hook is said to enable you to semi-set up your straps and just guide the bag in. Tailfin claims it provides a secure hold on the bag even when using cargo cages without a platform.
The Strap Hooks are constructed using a flexible yet strong TPU and are individually welded to the Pack.
Tailfin explains that it chose to weld rather than mechanically attach (either sewn or with screws/bolts) as, “this technique creates the lowest profile, durable and guaranteed waterproof approach to integrating hardware into a soft bag.”
As the pack is for use in conjunction with a Cargo Cage, Tailfin opted to produce the Cage Pack without an internal framework as the pack can instead use the cage for the structure it needs to keep the load stable.
“We felt this was beneficial in maximising load capacity, regardless of the often odd shaping of bikepacking kit,” says Tailfin. “It also increases conformity with the multitude of cage shapes found within the bikepacking world.”
Heavy-duty 420D Hypalon laminate has been used in high wear areas, while lighter, more flexible ripstop nylon can be found in all other areas with the idea that this creates a very conformable shape.
The roll-top closure is designed to provide easy, weatherproof access and as with all Tailfin technical bikepacking bags, the Cage Pack has been constructed using a process of welding the fabrics together to create a completely watertight, seam-free package - Tailfin claims this construction method guarantees the Cage Packs as being 100% waterproof.
The larger 5 litre Cage Pack also ships with additional T Hook compression straps to reduce the length of the bag or compress soft contents.
While Tailfin has designed the Cage Pack to work perfectly with its own Cargo Cages, the brand says they place just as nicely with any brand of cargo cage.
The Strap Hooks have been spaced to align with the strap guides found on the Cargo Cages, but this spacing is also compatible with any strap arrangement. Plus, the Strap Hooks will accept any brand of cargo strap up to 25mm in width.
Alongside releasing the new Cage Packs, Tailfin is now producing its own Cargo Strap range that are inspired by ski straps.
“Rather than just copy and paste the classic design, we invested in considerable R&D to offer specific advantages from our Load Lock Buckle design and material selection,” says Tailfin.
“The buckle shaping has bicycle frame tubing profiles in mind, and the whole strap utilises non- scratching materials.”
A specifically tuned TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) material has been used for the straps.
“The compound balances stretch, grip and strength whilst also operating consistently over a wide temperature range,” says Tailfin. “It’s also highly abrasion resistant, providing reliable resistance to damage.
Tailfin says that this need for strength also led it to use Nylon 6/6 for the Load Lock Buckle.
“This material is almost indestructible, you can smash it with a rock or hit it with a hammer, and it will bounce back to shape without breaking a sweat,” the brand claims.
The hook and eyelet interface have been designed to work best with soft bags and compressible loads, and are said to help provide an effective and positive engagement.
“The design incorporates a self-locking mechanism that holds fast even when your bag contents shift; an engineered feature that creates peace of mind even when riding rough terrain,” Tailfin adds.
Another interesting feature is that the eyelets cover almost the whole length of the strap to maximise usable length.
The Cargo Straps are available in the standard 20mm width to ensure a universal fit with all cargo cages and bags.
Three lengths are also available: 40, 50 and 65cm for compatibility with all sizes of bag and cargo.
1.7 litres, 115g, £30
3 litres, 154g, £35
5 litres, 183g, £45
The straps cost an extra £10 for a pair when bought with the Cargo Packs.
If bought separately, the 40cm version costs £7.50 per strap, then it's £8 for the 50cm version and £8.50 for the 60cm length.