J.Paks FramePak Review

by Andy Amick on April 17, 2014

in Bikepacking, Gear

J.Paks bikepacking adventure bagsJ.Paks is a Denver based maker of bikepacking bags. Joe, the owner, sewer, designer, do everything guy, has made all my bags for the Tour Divide ride this summer. For the frame bag, we met over beer and pizza to discuss options and my goals for the bag.  Joe offered some suggestions to my initial design based on his experience bikepacking and his experience making bags for other riders.  Having someone local that makes high quality gear can’t be beat!

External Appearance

J.Paks bikepacking bags, FramePak, frame bag

The first thing you notice from the outside is how perfectly the FramePak fits the frame. Each curve of the tubes is matched and the triangle is fully utilized.  The result is frame bag that holds everything I want to carry for the Tour Divide as well as being flexible enough for other types of bikepacking trips.

Towards the head tube area, the FramePak flares out to give an extra 1.5″ of width at the head tube.  It may not sound like much, but the small amount of extra width offers enough storage for a few more food items or even a lightweight windbreaker.  When you’re trying to get all of your gear in bags on the bike, every bit of storage counts.  The flaring is noticeable for it’s storage, but completely anonymous to your knees when you pedal out of the saddle.

J.Paks FramePak profile, bladder, flaring

Another area of possible interference with pedaling is at the bottom bracket.  With the J.Paks FramePak, there is no reason to worry.  Even with a full 100oz bladder sitting at the bottom of the bag, there is no bulging that could rub against shoes or pedals.

Internal Storage

My main requirement for the frame bag was being able to store my 100 oz hydration bladder.  The bladder slides into the main compartment of the FramePak and places the weight just above the bottom bracket.  There is still room at the front for food, clothing, a collapsible 1L bottle, tubes, etc.

FramePak storage, pockets, frame bag space

Joe and I talked about zippers on both sides of the main compartment, but we settled on a single right sided zipper. This allowed for a separate outside pocket on the left side. I’m using that pocket to provide easy access to my tools and bike repair gear.

J.Paks, JPaks, hydration port, storage

The main compartment has inner pockets on each side as well as the main area for the bladder.  The left inner pockets are wider and deeper which hold items like maps and a pump.  There are two small right side pockets.  These are perfect for smaller items such as a wallet, sunscreen, phone, etc.

FramePak, bikepacking, pockets, storage, gear

My main goal was storing the hydration bladder.  The FramePak with it’s multiple inner pockets and one external pocket stores and organizes so much more than just a bladder.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of gear involved with bikepacking.  However, the J.Paks bags are something that I don’t have to worry about because I know they will hold up to the wear and tear of bikepacking.  What makes the bags from J.Paks even better is that they are from a local company that does business the right way – customers and quality come first, second, and third.

It just doesn’t get any better than having high quality gear made by someone local that also loves riding bikes.

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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