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review

Altura Anywhere Drybag

7
£34.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Versatile and robust kit storage solution for a variety of situations
Translucent
Robust
100% waterproof
Versatile
Expensive
No air release valve
Needs another strap or two to improve versatility
Weight: 
140g

The Altura Anywhere Drybag is a sturdy, transparent option for storing clothing and kit in a variety of places on the bike. It's not limited to being attached to the bike – it can be used to keep kit separate inside panniers, and makes a good post-ride 'laundry' bag you can throw in the car.

As you would expect from the name, the bag is 100 per cent waterproof. I tested it in some horrific conditions while touring in Wales and it didn't let in a drop. The TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material appears rubber-like – it's super-flexible, durable and smooth to the touch, and conforms to kit inside it when tightened in place with straps.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The roll top is robustly made and the clip easy to use with gloved hands. Ensuring all the air is out is a must if you are to make use of the material's flexible quality and want a snug attachment to other bags. An air release valve – like Apidura uses on its Expedition Fork Pack – would be handy.

The bag comes with two Velcro style straps – a long one to secure the trunk of the bag and a short one to secure its base to a cage. The straps have an impressive waterproofing rating, too, to level IPX6; they don't become useless in the rain, nor do they become water-heavy and mud-clogged. Their welded construction means they shouldn't fray either. However, don't get them caught on your kit – they will snag it.

I found myself wanting an extra strap or two when mounting the bag (more on that in a minute). You can buy shorter ones for £4.99, but not longer ones.

2020 Altura Anywhere Drybag 5L Front Roll mount.jpg

I tested the 5 litre bag, which I found perfect for a sleeping bag or a good stash of spare clothing. Food, a stove and cooking utensils would also fit in comfortably.

While it's specifically targeted to be compatible with Altura's Vortex range, it's also adaptable and versatile if you don't have any. With three suggested mounting spots and at least two other 'on bike' possibilities, there are plenty of options for use. Altura's suggestions for placement are on top of its Vortex 2 front rolls, on its Vortex seatpack or with an 'anywhere' cage (used for mounting things to your bike, anywhere.) 

> 15 easy ways to carry stuff on your bike

I used it with an Ortlieb handlebar roll and a Topeak saddle bag and had to get a little creative to make it completely secure – Velcro straps are a bikepacker's best friend! I found at least two longer straps necessary. I experienced a little more sway from the saddle bag when the Drybag was attached, but it's possible Altura's own range of bikepacking kit offers more secure attachment.

2020 Altura Anywhere Drybag 5L saddle bag mount.jpg

I found it worked best in the anywhere cage. Here, it's possible to get away with one strap around the bag and one at the base (as is supplied by Altura). You can access contents without removing the bag and will always know which side you need to get into thanks to the bag's semi-translucency. Some might argue that seeing your kit doesn't look as slick as a solid coloured bag, but it's undeniably handy when it comes to fishing out a specific item.

2020 Altura Anywhere Drybag 5L front fork mount.jpg

I've also made use of the bag as a seat pack in its own right. While its shape doesn't make it a perfect option, don't dismiss it. Its lightweight, pliable nature means it can fold down and fit into a back pocket, and I've made use of this on several occasions – ridden to collect things, pulled it out on arrival and stuffed it full for the ride home. It's a nice alternative to a rack bag or rucksack.

2020 Altura Anywhere Drybag 5L as saddle bag.jpg

The reverse of this is also useful – fill it with supplies for the day and off you go. As it empties, you simply roll it down even more, with the option of taking it off completely if it's fully emptied.

2020 Altura Anywhere Drybag 5L as saddlebag on road bike.jpg

It can fit directly on the handlebar too – with an extra shorter Velcro strap...

I've had the bag bungeed to the top of panniers while touring, holding spare waterproofs, gloves and snacks. Since it's foldable/packable itself, you can stuff it anywhere (bar bag, back pocket) if you happen to empty it and don't want to open up panniers to stow it away. If you dabble in both traditional bike touring and bikepacking, the Drybag will seem even more versatile to you.

> Buyer’s Guide: 21 of the best bikepacking bags

It can also be used inside panniers, of course. I always group my kit into dry bags when touring, and the translucent feature is certainly a big winner if you are using it in this manner.

I've also used it as a wet kit bag at the ends of rides. It can get wet and muddy inside if I've been out on the trails, but it wipes clean with a damp cloth really easily.

Value

Value-wise, the drybag isn't the cheapest. It's got a lot going in its favour – inbuilt loop holes, packability, light weight without loss of robustness, translucency – but not everyone will want all of these features, and cheaper alternatives will likely offer one or two of your preferred features.

Ortlieb offers a basic 5L sack with a base loop that looks pretty sturdy for £15.50.

And if you're happy to size down a little and forgo translucency you can get a sturdy Podsac and cage for £24.99.

It is a tenner cheaper than the Apidura option I mentioned earlier, though.

Conclusion

Although I think the Anywhere Drybag could be improved with the inclusion of an air release valve and an extra strap or two, I'd say it's a versatile option for anyone who dabbles in traditional touring as well as bikepacking, or who wants a simple, packable, on-the-bike, kit-carrying solution. It's a little pricey, but at the time of writing there are several outlets offering it for less than the RRP, making it a reasonable investment.

Verdict

Versatile and robust kit storage solution for a variety of situations

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Anywhere Drybag

Size tested: 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?

Altura says: 'Designed to improve on-bike storage the Anywhere dry bag makes a great additon to your bikepacking gear.

'Keep your gear safe and dry in style. This Anywhere Dry Pack with its roll closure is a truly flexible companion.

'Engineered to take what the elements can throw at them, thanks to a protective watertight build. Constructed from a translucent fabric it's easier to find your belongings inside and the welded seam construction means you can pack it tight again and again.

'Complete with a Kross buckle for ease of closing, it's perfect for serious adventure cyclists. It's also compatible with the Vortex Grip Straps.'

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

Altura lists:

-Waterproof fabric

-Ergonomic design that fits on handlebars

-Welded seam construction

-Compatible with the Vortex Grip Straps

-Translucent fabric

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Cleanly finished and robust.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Does a great job – keeps your kit dry and can be mounted in various places – though it could do with an extra strap for more versatility.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Early days, but looking good.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

Lighter than many that are designed to go in 'anywhere' cages. Not as light as traditional nylon treated stuff sacs, but more durable than these.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

A bit pricey compared with others on the market, but it's a quality, durable item.

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

Will keep your kit dry, and simple to mount in a variety of places.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Translucency.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I think it needs an extra strap, but there's nothing about the actual bag to dislike.

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

Certainly more expensive than many alternatives. You can pick up a 5L Ortlieb drybag for £15.50. Granted, it doesn't come with the compatibility element/loops, but it's not difficult to get a few straps around it.

You can also get 6Ls from Osprey for £12, although this is a super-lightweight, treated nylon type and might not handle the weathering and wear and tear of on-bike exposure that the Altura does.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? At a slightly discounted price, yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a very versatile, 100% water-tight kit storage option, even if you don't have compatible Vortex bags. Its robust material and construction mean you should get years of varied use for your money. It could be improved with an air release valve and a couple of extra straps, the latter not a big ask given the rather high RRP.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 173cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Road  My best bike is: Carbon road.

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!

Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing. 

Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…

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