Get Off My Back… And Into the Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

The Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag is a must for me during my preparation and training for the upcoming Trans Iowa. It is a definite requirement that I carry little-to-nothing on my back, but that’s a challenge for a ride such as TI which is 337 self-supported miles.

I’ve had neck and shoulder muscle tightness and pain for years now. That seems to be the area where I carry my stress, and I have to be careful not to flare those muscles up by adding extra strain to them. It’s also why I have to avoid traditional pack hydration systems. I tried what I thought might be a viable option when I found a pack that carried most of the water weight in the lumbar area. This did offer shoulder relief, but destroyed my lower back. From that moment on, it was imperative that I find a way to carry my water and gear on the bike instead of on me. Enter the Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag.

The Tangle is a half-frame bag, meaning that the area of the water bottle cages is still exposed. The Tangle is offered in three sizes to fit various geometries, and I chose the medium for my L/XL frame sizing. It’s possible that I could have gotten a large in the space, but the bottles would have been tight. I have seen the large bag fit into a medium Specialized AWOL, but the bottle space is compromised.

Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

My medium Revelate Designs Tangle will be my main storage for long training rides and for the Trans Iowa. The bag saw its first use at the Land Run 100 gravel race. As a “race,” I considered going light. But as training for Iowa, I loaded my bike down and used the race as a gear check. For the 107 mile course, I was able to carry all I needed and then some in just my jersey pockets and the Tangle with only one stop for a resupply. That said, with the exception of water, I could have made the entire route on what I could carry, as I had plenty of food left at the checkpoint and the end and even had additional room in my jersey pockets.

Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

The two main pockets of the Revelate Designs Tangle allow me to separate items that are only needed in the case of a stop from those that I want to have access to on the bike.  During the Land Run, in my stop pocket I packed a 3 liter (100 ounce) bladder filled to just past the 2L mark, a 29X2.0 tube, a multi-tool, a mini-pump, a patch kit, tire boots, chamois cream, cash and cards, tire levers, lens wipes, and a course map. The other pocket contained 2 Lara Bars, a Bearded Brothers bar, a PROBAR meal bar, a brownie, some gels, and several packets of Advil. The Tangle held these items easily without being overstuffed.

The Tangle is full of nice touches that make it the best frame bag I have seen and used.  The material is ultra-tough Dimension Polyant Xpac 400 Denier fabric with reinforcements at the attachments. The zippers are beefy and water resistant, yet easy to open with one hand thanks to their design and the grab-loop. The interior has contrasting bright colors so you can see what you‘re grabbing and not lose any small items. There is a tube port at the front that is large enough for a hydration tube and any other wiring or cables you might need to route through there. The tangle has heavy duty Velcro for the top tube attachment and adjustable webbing attachments for the down and seat tube attachments. There is even padding where the bag attaches to the down tube to prevent both frame damage from heavy items inside and annoying tings and rattles.  All of this comes at a weight of just 9 oz.

The Tangle is compatible with other top tube bags from Revelate Designs such as the Gas Tank and Jerrycan. Look for upcoming reviews of these products in use on longer training rides. That little 7 hour ride in the Land Run didn‘t quite warrant that much storage space.

The American made Revelate Designs Tangle is an amazing frame bag. At only $70 retail, it is an incredible deal too. If you‘re looking for storage for long rides, and want to keep as much as possible off your back, do yourself a favor and grab a Tangle.  You won‘t be disappointed.

– Alex (Steak Sauce)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased the Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag from Relevate Designs at a discount, and am sharing my review because they make great gear. 

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