Apidura Expedition Fork Pack: First Impressions
Apidura’s new Expedition Fork Pack provides extra storage for any fork mounted cargo cage, weighs just 120 grams, and is 100% waterproof. Here are our initial impressions after some wet winter riding on British Columbia’s west coast…
Apidura’s new Expedition Fork Pack, comparable to the recently announced Revelate Designs Polecat, is designed to universally attach to any fork-mounted cargo cage out there, providing up to 4.5 liters of extra storage in a lightweight, waterproof package. Weighing in at just 85 grams (or 120 grams with two provided straps) the Expedition Fork Pack is one of the lightest cargo cage bags on the market, yet still offers all of the features we’d expect from such a product. Although we can’t speak to its long-term durability yet, we snuck in a few wet weather gravel rides in British Columbia to get a grasp on the new bag’s form and function, both on and off road. Read on for everything you need to know.
It’s no surprise to see Apidura taking advantage of a three-layer laminate designed specifically for them. The fabric is lightweight and very robust feeling. Apidura also claims the bags are highly resistant to tears and abrasion, and welded seams ensure fully waterproof construction. The included velcro straps are designed to loop through any cargo cage, rather than around the fork itself, which makes unloading and loading the bags easier and doesn’t require any disassembly or mucking about. As an added bonus, the yellow graphics on the bags are reflective, adding another source of visibility when riding at night.
The Expedition Fork Pack has a slight taper towards the bottom, and the overall form takes on Apidura’s signature hexagonal shape. The result is a slender bag that doesn’t look or feel bulky when riding, which addresses my foremost issue with running fork-mounted cargo in general. Because the multiple attachment loops on the front of the bag are minimal and extremely flexible, the bag performs predictably whether it’s packed half full or at max capacity. Apidura also incorporated a hands-free air release valve to easily purge excess air when using the roll-top closure. I found the interior of the bags somewhat too grippy when stuffing in anything slightly rubberized, such as my Endura rain jacket, but had no problem loading it up with an extra toque, gloves, and soft-shell jacket.
At 3.5″ deep and 3.7″ wide, the Fork Pack is quite slender, and can pack down to a height of just 7.9″ or expand up to 11″ when fully loaded. I found the shape to be effective and minimal, and it paired well with the DOM Gorilla Cage using either Apidura’s straps or the Gorilla Cage’s velcro holster. The bags stayed put with some lightweight gear, but for storing food or heavier items, I’d be more inclined to use a King Cage Many Things Cage or Salsa Anything Cage. Both of these cages offer a little more support at the bottom end of the bag.
Here’s what Betsy Seed of Apidura Product Development had to say about the new bags, “We only pursue a product if we truly believe in it, whether to create something new, or improve a product already in existence. With the Apidura Expedition Fork Pack, we’ve comfortably made the lightest fork pack on the market, and introduced an innovative attachment mechanism that allows for easy fitting, removal, and all-round use.”
- Lightweight and waterproof fabrics that should hold up well to abuse.
- Adjustable straps will accommodate any cargo cage and eliminate contact with the bike itself.
- Hands-free air release valve is a nice touch.
- Interior is slightly grippy, making certain items tricky to pack.
- Expensive when compared to other cargo bags and standard dry bags.
- Velcro straps aren’t the most durable option, but could be easily swapped out for Voile straps.
- Volume 4.5 liters (275 cu in)
- Packed Diameter 3.7″ wide x 3.5″ deep
- Min/Max Internal Packed Height ~7.9″/11″ (~20/27.9cm)
- Weight 120 grams (4.2 oz)
- Place of manufacture China
- Price $56
- Manufacturer’s Details Apidura.com
This by no means a long-term review, but given Apidura’s reputation in the bikepacking world, especially on the endurance racing side of things, we expect the Expedition Fork Pack to hold up well. The tapered profile and realistic volume make for a clean and less bulky option that will likely surpass lashing a standard dry bag onto your fork. Of course, this comes at a price, and it’s too early to know if they’re worth the investment or not. Overall, the shape is nice, the size seems right, and it has the signature Apidura touches that some folks just can’t enough of. We’ll be sure to update this article after some more serious riding this spring, so check back.