Resolute Bay's Shoulder/Frame Bag is a decent enough bag that features a really effective reflective grid pattern for night-time safety. While it's waterproof and nicely made, bear in mind that it'll only carry a small selection of things, and off the bike its looks might not appeal to everyone. It's also very expensive.
I'm not sure when the brief fashion for 'man bags' started, but I'm pretty sure it's over now. Which is a great shame for this little frame/shoulder bag, which would fit the bill perfectly as a safety conscious dandy-about-town's essentials holder.
I really don't want to get into a debate about gender stereotypes and who looks right carrying what, so let's stick to the practicals. This bag is made from reflective 'grid fabric' with a DWR waterproof coating and a waterproof YKK zip. It also features a shoulder strap, two sturdy belt hoops, and three Velcro straps to turn it into a frame bag. Two of the Velcro straps go over the top tube, the other goes around the seat tube.
It certainly looks a very nice bit of kit, but do bear in mind the volume. At just 3.5 litres, it's effectively the same as a typical gentleman's old-school washbag. With just one pocket, and a diagonal zip to access the innards, it's fine for carrying things up to about A5 paper size, but no bigger.
On the bike as a frame bag, it's easy to use and very stable. Even in noticeable crosswinds the three straps do a fine job of holding the bag in place, and the waterproofing does a grand job of keeping things dry in a downpour. The reflective material is also impressive and really makes you and/or your bike stand out at night.
The fact that you can remove the bag so easily and quickly, clip on the shoulder strap and take it with you is rather pleasing, too.
As a shoulder bag, I found it better to wear it diagonally, either across the chest or back, messenger bag style. It can look quite tiny dangling off one shoulder.
At grave danger of stating the obvious, the real value of this bag is whether the things you want to carry can be adequately transported within it. And don't forget, when in use as a frame bag, part of that volume will be taken up by storing the removable shoulder strap (it's a shame there's no separate pocket or retention system for the shoulder strap when on the bike).
When you can get extended seatpacks such as Topeak's Backloader with more volume, more features and for a similar price, the practicality argument of the Resolute Bay product starts looking a little shaky.
However, if the bijou proportions of the Resolute Bay bag are just what you need, along with the reflective quality and ability to double up as a frame bag, this is about as good – and stylish – as it gets. It comes at rather a hefty price, though.
Nicely made reflective frame/shoulder bag, but it costs a lot for its size
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Resolute Bay Shoulder/Frame Bag
Size tested: 3.5 Litre
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?
Small shoulder/frame bag aimed at urban riders.
Resolute Bay says: "The black reflective grid shoulder / frame bag is the perfect bag to carry your most important items. This bag can either be worn tight across the chest or secured to your frame. Easy to attach with nylon velcro straps, no mounts or screws required. This bag isn't just reflective, it also has a DWR coating, an internal water-proof membrane and fully waterproof YKK zips. All our frame bags will keep your things safe and dry in the worst weathers."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Resolute Bay lists these features:
Reflective grid fabric
Water-proof YKK zip + rubber pull
Velcro strap on the top and side to secure bag to bike
Nylon / velcro straps
Very nicely made.
Good, secure attaching to bike. Waterproofing works well.
All seams and straps are strong and securely constructed.
Very light – there's nothing to it!
Fine if worn round the chest/back.
Nearly double the price of 'similar' frame bags (but you can't 'wear' them). £60 seems a lot to pay for a small waterproof and reflective bag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's fine – as long as it's big enough for your needs.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Reflectivity is excellent.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's only one pocket, and the diagonal zip isn't that convenient. It's also a bit too small for my liking.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There aren't really many similar products out there. The BBB Middle Mate is a proper adventuring frame bag for £34.95 but it doesn't double up as a stylish accessory off the bike. Or there are frame-top bags such as the Zefal Z Race for £33.99, but again, you can't 'wear' it.
Did you enjoy using the product? It's OK.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
Although Resolute Bay's Shoulder/Frame Bag does everything it sets out to do well – it's a definite 7 on that front – the price is restrictive (as might be the capacity), which brings the score down.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure