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Restrap's Race Aero Bag is designed to work with aero bars on long-distance adventure rides. It fits securely to the bike, and even when loaded up there is minimal sway. The two-piece design makes it easy to grab or remove kit from your bike should the need for speed be important, and though it's not cheap, it's exceptionally well made.
As the name suggests, Restrap's Race range is designed for adventure riding or events where it's not just the distance that is a factor, it's also about speed.
While there is a 'standard' Race bar bag in the range, for these types of rides many riders use tri-bars for a bit of aero assistance and comfort, which makes the fitting of standard bar bags tricky.
The Race Aero Bag uses a holster and dry bag design, just the same as the Race bar bag and Race Saddle Bag, but with the cradle using four straps, two for each tri-bar.
It makes the holster very easy to set up, regardless of the shape of the extensions; straight, curved or whatever, the straps give a secure fit.
Extra slots in the holster for threading the straps through cater for different distances between the two tri-bars, allowing you to go wide or narrow depending on your setup.
Dimensions-wise, the bag and holster are about 170mm wide when fitted to the bike and 160mm deep, so there shouldn't be any issues with front tyre contact. Length is around 330mm.
Once the holster is fitted it's just a matter of inserting the dry bag. This is fully waterproof and has a volume of seven litres.
With the bag being positioned at the front of the bike you aren't going to want to carry anything heavy as it'll affect handling, but you can cram plenty of lighter stuff in there such as a jacket and other clothing or, as I did, a sleeping bag, inflatable floor mat and inflatable pillow.
The dry bag has great waterproofing, and Restrap recommends rolling the end over three times before clipping it closed to stop water ingress through the opening. I rode in the rain with a headwind, and nothing got in.
The bag is secured in place with a strap and magnetic clip from the holster, and it stays put even on rough gravel tracks, but also makes grabbing the dry bag off the bike easy, when darting into a shop or something where you don't want to leave your kit unattended.
For extra carrying capacity there is elasticated cord criss-crossing over the top of the holster, ideal for stuffing a paper map, route notes or gels and the like.
Restrap's bags are handmade in its Yorkshire factory and come with a lifetime warranty – not that you should need to use it, as the Aero Race Bag is so well made.
The holster has a hardshell carcass made from VX21, which is a waterproof material made from layers of PET film, nylon and polyester.
It's very robust and durable, so you aren't going to need to worry about bumps and scrapes. All of the strapping is also very tough and there is no weakness to any of the stitching around the clips and buckles.
It's a bit of an investment at £99.99, but if you do want a large volume bag designed specifically for tri-bars, there isn't a huge number of options.
Apidura's Racing Aerobar Pack is a similar idea and is cheaper at £84, but it only has 2.5 litres of space.
The Race Aero Bag is made to Restrap's usual high quality, and is very useful considering the amount of storage it is capable of handling.
Excellent build quality, and a bag you can rely on when speed is important
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Restrap Race Aero Bar Bag
Size tested: Capacity - 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?
Restrap says, "The Adventure Race Aero Bar bag uses our unique laser cut holster design for ultra-distance events, audaxes and races when using aero bars."
It's easy to fit to a range of aero bar designs.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"The holster has a dedicated 7.0L drybag which is front-loaded and easy to take on and off the bike. The dry bag is 100% waterproof and secured with a Fidlock™ magnetic buckle that's easy to adjust, even whilst wearing gloves. Reflective detailing on the dry bag also aids visibility during night time riding.
The holster is a hardshell construction with an X21 technical outer. It also includes laser cut Hypalon loops to make it fully adjustable for different aero bars, whilst its elastic cord allows storage between the bars for smaller items."
Weight - 265g
Capacity - 7L
A specially developed combination of technical materials like VX21 and 1000D textured nylon work in conjunction with coated nylon linings to keep the worst of the elements at bay.
Our signature brown Restrap label may look like leather but fear not - no animals have been harmed in the making of our products. PU leather or heat-pressed labels mean our kit not only looks great, but is cruelty free too.
As much as we'd like to always ride in ideal conditions, we know that's far from the reality. Reflective details aid visibility in low light, poor weather and outright darkness so when the day draws to a close, your adventure doesn't have to.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed. The dry bag is easy to get in and out quickly, and remains secure once clipped in.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to set up and very well made.
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?
Apidura does an aerobar pack for £84, but it only carries 2.5L, much less than the Restrap.
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
The Restrap bag is exceptionally well made, which goes a long way to justifying the price. Once fitted it is also very secure, and the dry bag is fully waterproof.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!