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Revelate Designs Tangle Bikepacking Frame Bag Review

The Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag is a bikepacking bag that sits in the unused space on your bike below your top tube. It’s called a half-frame bag because it doesn’t fill the entire space in front of your seat post, leaving space underneath for bottle mounts. Frame bags are a great place to store a mini-pump, tools, tubes, CO2 cartridges, snacks, tent poles, tent stakes, and your personal effects. I use one on every ride I take and on every bike I own. I like them better than handlebar racks because they don’t block my front tire visibility, something I need when I ride on gravel or off-road.

Specs at a Glance

  • Sizing:
    • SM: top length 17.5″, overall height 4″
    • MD: top length 19.75″; overall height 4.5″
    • LG: top length 21″; overall height 6.5″
  • Weight SM 7.3 oz; MD 8.8oz; LG 11.9oz
  • Volume SM 3.5L; MD 4L; LG 6L
  • Materials VX21 XPAC; 1050 denier domestic ballistics nylon; 420 denier diamond ripstop lining; closed cell foam padded tube sections.

The Tangle is available in different lengths to fit different bikes, so you need to measure the length of your top tube before purchasing one (see specs above). It’s a heavy duty bag, but made with ultralight waterproof XPAC fabric, with snag-free waterproof zippers down the sides. The interior volume ranges from 6L down to 3.5L depending on the size bag that will fit your bike.

The Tangle is great for storing tent poles mini-pumps, tools, and tubes
The Tangle is great for storing tent poles mini-pumps, tools, and tubes

Frame bags, like most bikepacking bags, have to have their own attachment system to hold onto your frame. This requires extra durable anchor points and straps, which is why so many bikepacking bags are sewn with XPAC and heavy-duty, high denier nylon.

Urethane straps prevent damage to your frame
Urethane straps prevent damage to your frame

The Tangle also has a fairly elaborate attachment system to hold it secure with straps on three of its sides. It has beefy velcro straps on top that can accommodate a wide variety of top tube diameters, with front and rear urethane straps that won’t absorb water or damage your frame. The top of the bag also has an exterior daisy chain, so you can loop the straps of a top tube bag through it if you choose to use one.

The other side has smaller pockets for tire levers and patches
The other side has smaller pockets for tire levers and patches

The interior of the bag is brightly colored so you can see inside it with several tire lever and food bar-sized organizational pockets, in addition to long side compartments which are ideal for storing a pump or spare tubes. This being a bikepacking bag, you can also store your tent poles in the long pockets if they’re short enough, or tent stakes, to protect your other gear from their sharp points. When packing for overnight trips, you do need to avoid overstuffing the Tangle too much to avoid leg rub, but it’s not usually a problem for me.

Leg rub is minimal even when the Tangle is packed full
Leg rub is minimal even when the Tangle is packed full

The Tangle also comes with a hydration and wire port if you choose to store water in it or music. Water is pretty damn heavy, so I’d personally avoid that as it will put stress on the bag’s attachment points, by YMMV.

Recommendation

I’ve been using the Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag for over a year on all of my bikes and consider it an essential for bikepacking trips and everyday training rides. The Tangle uses space on my frame that would otherwise go to waste and provides super handy access to items, like food and gels, while I’m riding. For bikepacking, the Tangle also provides a convenient place to store tent poles or tent stakes where they won’t get in the way. I also use panniers on my gravel and fat tire bike to hold the bulk of my camping gear. If you’re trying to decide between bikepacking bags or panniers, I’d encourage you to consider a mixed approach. See Bikepacking Bags vs Panniers: How to Choose.

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Last updated: 2018-07-09 21:31:42

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The author purchased this product.

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