Rapha has done branded shoes with Giro, headphones with Bang & Olufsen and sunglasses with Carl Zeiss. Now the clothing company has set its sights on long-haul riding with handlebar and saddle packs made by bikepacking specialist Apidura.
The $130 Rapha + Apidura Handleback Pack and $160 Rapha + Apidura Saddle Pack are massive bags that can fasten onto virtually any bike without need for a rack. In announcing the products, Rapha included the following directive in its press materials: "It is very important that the packs are referred to as 'packs' and not 'bags'."
At first blush, Rapha's insistence to call the pieces of lightweight bike luggage packs instead of bags seems pretentious, like the brand's determination to call its vests gilets. However, the 'pack' terminology comes from Apidura, and with perhaps good reason, as the bags are designed for bikepacking, and the massive things really can pack away the gear.
The Handlebar and Saddle Packs have reflective stripes and Apidura logos, plus reflective yarn in the shock cords and outer webbing.
The Saddle Pack has an external bungee for extra, quick-access storage, plus an attachment for a rear light.
Apidura provides the bikepacking construction know-how, Rapha does the design
Although the roll-top-closure bags are water-resistant, Apidura is hesitant to call them waterproof.
Rapha has not yet specified the carrying capacities of its packs, but Apidura makes multiple sizes of each, ranging up to 17l for saddle packs and up to 20l for handlebar packs.
Those familiar with Rapha will note the brand's signature bright pink in the bags' lining, and in the external pink and white stripes.