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review

Brooks Scape Frame Bag

9
£85.00

VERDICT:

9
10
If it fits your bike, this is a top quality waterproof frame bag that's perfect for bikepacking
Plenty of capacity with several compartments
100% waterproof 'tech' pocket
TPU port at front for cable or bladder hose routing
Light and very durable
Main zip isn't 100% waterproof
Only available in one length
Weight: 
233g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Brooks Scape Frame Bag is a high-quality, waterproof pack that is ideal for slightly larger frames (think medium and upwards). It can carry plenty, making it ideal for day trips or longer bikepacking adventures, and there are plenty of pockets for separating items. A neat finishing touch is the handy cable port on the interior tech pocket, along with a port on the front of the outer fabric for charging or hydration. It seems relatively expensive at £85, but actually comes in well under many of its competitors.

We've reviewed pretty much the entirety of the Brooks Scape range – Saddle Roll, Pannier, Handlebar Roll, and more – and overall have been impressed with everything we've seen. This latest, the all-important frame bag, is the party piece if you're bikepacking, but it's also versatile enough to be useful for touring, day rides or commuting.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Like the rest of the range, the Frame Bag is an aesthetically pleasing dark green, and is constructed from 100% waterproof welded material, which features a small reflective Brooks logo on the right side. It's very rugged stuff and should withstand a lot of abuse.

There are three hypalon Velcro straps at the top to fasten to the top tube, with two options for fore or aft placement for the front-most loop.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag - strap detail 1.jpg

There are also two at the front for attaching to the head tube and down tube, and one at the rear for the seat tube.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag extra 6.jpg

Basically, it's easy to fit, and the hypalon material shouldn't scratch your frame, so you don't have to put frame protectors in place (though you might want to if your ride is going to get wet and muddy).

The bag measures 460mm in length, and was a perfect fit inside the triangle of a Trek Checkpoint in a medium size. On a larger bike, such as my XL Ribble CGR Ti, I was able to secure both front and rear straps to the head tube/seat tube, with a 3-4in gap front and rear. You'd struggle to fit the bag in smaller frames, however, so it's worth measuring before purchasing.

With a height of 120mm, the Scape Frame Bag doesn't fill the triangle too deeply to make bottle access problematic, either. The 60mm width also ensures the bag doesn't stick out too far either side of even skinny top tubes, and I never encountered any interference with my thighs during testing.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag - strap detail 2.jpg

There are two zips on either side of the bag, which run along almost its entire length. The right one gives you access to the generous 3-litre main compartment, which is big enough to take some spare items of clothing, tent poles, a couple of sandwiches, a head torch, and some other bits.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag - zip under flap.jpg

Clearly, what you put in there is up to you; I managed to fit my 2-litre Camelbak hydration bladder, using the TPU port at the front of the bag for slotting the drinking hose through, for easy access to sips on the move.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag extra 1.jpg

When it's not being used it can be sealed, so there's no chance of the elements permeating the interior in torrential weather.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag extra - TPU port sealed.jpg

On the left side of the bag is a waterproof pocket with a KCC waterproof zip, making it the ideal place to store your phone, credit card or charging brick.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag - other side zip.jpg

Because of the slim width of the pocket, a charging brick will also need to be reasonably slim – I managed to stow a brick the width of about two iPhone 12s. That's about the thickest you'd want to go.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag extra - waterproof pocket battery width.jpg

One neat feature of this fully waterproof pocket is the addition of a cable port, enabling you to slot the cable from your charging brick into the main compartment, and then through the front TPU port. This allows you to charge your lights, GPS or phone while riding.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag extra - waterproof pocket cable port.jpg

Brooks says the Scape Frame Bag weighs 200g, though our scales showed 233g. It's still pretty light, which is good news if you're counting grams. It's slightly heavier than the similar capacity Miss Grape Internode (190g), but can't quite match the lighter Ortlieb Frame-Pack Toptube (170g).

There's not much to dislike about the Scape. If I was being picky, the bag could do with a touch more reflectivity, though Brooks does sell a small hypalon reflective patch which can be attached to any of the bag's loops. Another minor issue is that when the bag isn't totally fully, the material does tend to collapse slightly in some areas because of a lack of structural rigidity. It doesn't cause a problem, it's more of an aesthetic thing really that will either mildly bother you or not.

2021 Brooks Scape Frame Bag - back.jpg

Value

As to the price, £85 isn't cheap, but it's not outrageous either when compared with similarly specced frame bags. The 3.5L Alpkit Possum is lighter and slightly cheaper at £72.99, but its weatherproofing isn't on a par with the Brooks.

Going up the price scale and the Miss Grape Internode comes in at a tenner more at £95. Again, it's not as weatherproof as the Scape, but it does come in three different sizes to suit more frames.

> Buyer’s Guide: 26 of the best bikepacking bags

At the top – cost-wise, at least – is the Ortlieb Frame-Pack Toptube. It's slightly more capacious at 4L and features IP67 waterproofing. That aces the Scape, though it's only really a boon if you're planning on submerging your bike. On the downside, you only get one pocket for storing stuff, so you can't subdivide your valuables, and there's no port for threading a cable or bladder hose through externally. And there's the small matter of the £105 price tag.

Conclusion

Overall, the Scape is an excellent option for the money. If you're on the lookout for a top-quality frame bag with good carrying capacity that doesn't take up much frame space (and your frame is capable of accommodating it), then it's a great piece of gear.

Verdict

If it fits your bike, this is a top quality waterproof frame bag that's perfect for bikepacking

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Brooks Scape Frame Bag

Size tested: Volume: 3L Width: 46cm Height: 12cm

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?

Brooks says, 'Able to fit most standard-sized frames, the Scape Frame Bag is a practical welded bag,100% waterproof, with 2 full length zips, suited to bikepacking, gravel and other all-day adventure cycling pursuits."

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

Brooks lists:

Lateral reflective logo

Two lateral pockets:

One pocket with coated YKK zip with protection flap, big compartment with internal organiser and cable exit

One KCC waterproof zip for small accessories

Easy pull zipper

Hypalon velcro straps for easy attachment

Frontal TPU cable hole

Waterproof

Capacity 3 L

W 460 x H 120 x D 60 mm

Weight 200 g

Max Load 3 kg

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Exceptional build quality.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

All signs point towards it being very resistant to wear and lasting a long time.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Not the lightest against similar products, but still pretty light.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

No issues with leg interference.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Not cheap, but cheaper than most of its competitors and outperforms them overall.

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

Easy to fit, lots of storage space, and pretty much impervious to foul weather.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The 100% waterproof compartment for your gadgets and the TPU port.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

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

£85 isn't cheap, but it's not outrageous when compared with similarly specced frame bags. The 3.5L Alpkit Possum is lighter and slightly cheaper at £72.99, but its weatherproofing isn't on a par with the Brooks. The Miss Grape Internode comes in at a tenner more than the Scape and again isn't as weatherproof, though it does come in three different sizes. More expensive still is the Ortlieb Frame-Pack Toptube, which is slightly more capacious at 4L and features IP67 waterproofing, but costs £105.

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 Brooks Scape Frame Bag is excellent. It does everything very well, so as long as you can fit it in your frame.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

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