Specialized Burra Burra Bikepacking Bags: Tested

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Over the weekend, Specialized introduced their full line of Burra Burra Bikepacking Bags. This weather-resistant range includes a frame pack, handlebar harness, stabilizer seat pack, top tube pack, pizza rack pack, fork cage with stuff pack, and dry bags. We had a chance to try some of the bags before their launch. Here are our initial impressions…

The Specialized Adventure Gear division has been all but idle over the last couple of years, with many projects coming to fruition in the last several months. Following their beautifully executed short film series, The Adventure Dispatch, the team led by Kevin Franks and designer Erik Nohlin revealed the impressive and notable Sequoia drop-bar adventure bike. To tie in with its launch, they’ve also announced an extensive range of bikepacking bags that will likely make a far reaching impact on the market, enticing more people into the magical world of bikepacking.

Like other products from the Adventure Gear division, the family of bags is named after a favorite place within Henry W. Coe State Park — the team’s personal proving ground adjacent to their offices in Morgan Hill, California — specifically, Burra Burra Peak. Coe, as they’ve dubbed it, harbors a wealth of trails, dirt roads and terrain that they use for R&D, testing and inspiration, including a weekly group overnight bikepacking trip.

  • Specialized Burra Burra Bikepacking Bags
  • SPECIALIZED BURRA BURRA BIKEPACKING BAGS

The Burra Burra bags have a unique look with a few standout characteristics. By virtue of a coated nylon outer fabric, each bag has a water-resistant shell, giving it a somewhat shiny appearance. Specialized have also integrated reinforced daisy chains to several of the bags punctuating a signature aesthetic, and adding utility. Prior to launch, we had a chance use and abuse several of the Burra Burra packs for a few days, then take them out on a bikepacking trip in our own proving ground — North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest. Here are full spec lists for the bags and our impressions of each…

Burra Burra Handlebar Stabilizer Harness

First up, and for good reason, is the Handlebar Stabilizer Harness. This handlebar system is designed unlike any we’ve yet seen, so we’ve given it a little more attention than most of the bags shown here. Named after its unique mounting system, the harness attaches to the handlebars via two aluminum brackets, which in turn clamp to a U-shaped tube affixed to the carrier itself. This stabilizer structure was designed with drop-bars in mind, allowing space between the bars and the load — perfect for multiple hand placements. That said, we also tried it on a straight bar mountain bike setup where it frees up space for gadget attachments and other accessories. Specifically, the brackets attach to the bars just at the sides of the stem which allows ample room for straps belonging to other bags, such as a stem bag.

Specialized Burra Burra Handlebar Harness, Bikepacking

  • Specialized Burra Burra Handlebar Harness, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Handlebar Harness, Bikepacking

In addition to the stabilizer and bracket system, the handlebar harness is built to a rugged spec. Its main body is constructed with tough fabrics and reinforced with burly stitching and closed cell padding. There are four main straps; a pair that close the harness featuring locking compression clips, and two optional straps that wrap the handlebars for added support. Also, there are two bar-stitched daisy chains that run along the carrier for added utility.

  • Specialized Handlebar Harness, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Handlebar Harness, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Handlebar Harness, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Handlebar Harness, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Handlebar Harness, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Stabilizer Handlebar Pack
  • Specialized Burra Burra Stabilizer Handlebar Pack

Overall, the Handlebar Stabilizer Harness is a well-conceived system for stowing light gear, such as a tent and sleeping pad, or a sleeping bag. But it takes some fiddling around to set it up reliably. In Sarah’s case, the roll bag she’d loaded into it was filled to capacity. The clamps slipped enough to cause some tire rub, given the limited clearance between bag and tire on a 52cm frame. Once we’d tensioned up the secondary straps more tightly – which took some effort – the matter was mostly resolved. If your front load is relatively light, however, it doesn’t seem to be such an issue. When we later ran the harness on the full-suspension Pony Rustler we had no issue, even ridden over the very rough and tumble singletrack in Pisgah — without using the secondary support straps at all.

Ultimately, when not overloaded and assembled with the proper clamp torsion and strap tension, the Handlebar Stabilizer Harness seems pretty solid — especially considering its modest weight and the generous spacing afforded by the stabilizer brackets. In comparison to the similar Revelate Handlebar Harness, it’s worth mentioning that Specialized’s offering doesn’t have the option for an integrated Accessory Pocket, an add-on which we’ve found invaluable for quick access items such as maps, snacks, a phone, etc. To make up for this, Specialized added an accessible zippered pocket to their Drypack (below), albeit far smaller in volume to Revelate’s accessory.

  • Dimensions (cm): 27 (length)
  • Weight: 318g
  • Price: $90
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Contact: Specialized.com

Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack 10L & 20L

Another mainstay in the Burra Burra range is the Stabilizer Seatpack, which is strikingly similar in concept to the Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion — they both utilize a small metal rack mounted to the seatpost to minimize any bouncing or side-to-side sway under load. Specialized refers to it as an engineered aluminum stabilizer arm. Also like the Mr. Fusion, the rack affixes to the seatpost via a machined aluminum bracket. A sleeve built in to the top of the bag allows it to slide on and off of the the rack. The bag can then be removed by releasing the velcro seatpost closure strap and unclipping the seat rail straps. The seat pack ships with two brackets, 27.2mm and 30.9mm.

Specialized Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack, Bikepacking

  • Specialized Seat Pack, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Seat Bag, Burra Burra, Bikepacking

The pack itself features a welded roll closure design that’s highly resistant to inclement weather. Like other packs in the Burra Burra range, it’s arguably heavy rain-proof, although Specialized can’t make that claim and we didn’t have the opportunity to test it in major weather. The Seatpack is available in two sizes, a 10 liter version and a high volume 20L model. We tested the 10L which is better suited for ultralight bikepacking or for use on smaller bikes that may harbor less space between the tire and saddle.

The Stabilizer Seatpack has a few thoughtful touches worth noting. Its roll-top enclosure has a snap button in the middle which seems odd at first, but proved handy during on the bike packing and unpacking — often when left unattended, bags can spill their remaining contents on the ground — not ideal in muddy environs. Additionally, the button solution doesn’t snag clothing when stuffing or removing from the pack. Specialized also had the foresight to alternate the male and female ends of the clips on the roll-top closure. The clips are designed to fasten to others alongside the bag, but with the alternating ends, they can also be clipped together, making it possible to close the bag and hang it on a tree branch or hook. Another handy little perk.

  • Specialized Seat Pack, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Seat Pack, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Seat Pack, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack
  • Specialized Burra Burra Stabilizer Seatpack

Specialized pulled off a notable first pass at a seat pack with the Stabilizer Seatpack. There are a few clumsy nitpicks we’d mention, including tricky seat rail straps, and a finicky seatpost clamp that all but destroyed a carbon seatpost (not recommended) when installing and removing it. In comparison to the Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion, the Seatpack is more difficult to quickly load and unload from the bike; the Mr. F has just a single rear release strap while the Seatpack requires the release of a velcro strap and the two seat rail compression straps. But all-in-all the 10L version we tested offers a stable system that’s highly weatherproof. And at $130, it’s a good option for beginning bikepackers looking to snatch up some bags at an LBS and test the waters.

  • Dimensions (cm): 55 x 19 x 10
  • Volume: 10L (also available in 20L)
  • Weight: 415g (the 20L is 450g)
  • Price: $130 (20L version is $140)
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Contact: Specialized.com

Burra Burra Framepack 8

Like other packs in the Burra Burra line, the Seatpack is constructed from welded polyurethane coated nylon. And although Specialized can’t technically claim it as waterproof — realistically there are zippered openings — it’s probably the most weatherproof frame bag currently on the market. Specialized launched the Framepack in three sizes, the 3L, 5L, 8L. We tested out the 8L on both the 58 and 61cm Sequoias.

Specialized Burra Burra Framepack, Frame Bag, Bikepacking

  • Specialized Burra Burra Framepack, Frame Bag, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Framepack, Frame Bag, Bikepacking

The Framepack connects within the bike triangle via a sturdy six-point attachment system. There are two immoveable straps at the top of the pack in the middle and rear position, two reinforced webbing straps that can be relocated along a daisy chain at the front of the bag, and three fixed straps at the bottom and back, each flush with coated webbing and camlocks. The pack has a main zippered opening with a overlapping weather hood which prevents rain from hitting the main zipper. It also has two zippered side pockets for additional easy access storage for small ride essentials.

  • Specialized Frame Bag, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Frame Bag, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Frame Bag, Burra Burra, Bikepacking
  • Specialized Burra Burra Framepack
  • Specialized Burra Burra Framepack

Again, with the Framepack, Specialized has introduced an accessible option to fit most any hard tail or gravel bike and get riders out on the trail for multi-day exploration. One quibble we had with the system is the moveable webbing straps — they are cumbersome and the velcro is not terribly secure. If you pick up a Framepack, it might be worth ditching them for a couple straps made from quick and easy Velcro One Wrap. And to keep the load stable when not packed to the gills, the Framepack might benefit from reinforced padding on its bottom.

  • Dimensions (cm): 45 x 5.5 x 12
  • Volume: 8L (also available in 3 and 5L)
  • Weight: 253g
  • Price: $110 (5L is $100 & 3L is $90)
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Contact: Specialized.com

Burra Burra Toptube Pack

The Toptube Pack is similar in design to most others. It’s constructed from the same coated nylon fabric with padded inserts on the sides, bottom and front. It connects to the bike via a fixed rear strap, a removable bottom front strap with two daisy chain locations, and the moveable headtube strap with three daisy chain locations. The main compartment is accessible via a single weather-resistant YKK zipper. There is also a mesh inner pocket for stashing dollars, keys, or a couple Clifbars.

Specialized Burra Burra Toptube Pack

  • Specialized Burra burra Top Tube Bag
  • Specialized Burra burra Top Tube Bag
  • Specialized Burra burra Top Tube Bag
  • Specialized Burra burra Top Tube Bag

As with the Framepack, our one main complaint is with the moveable straps. If you choose to purchase the Topetube Pack, you may consider ditching them for One Wrap. That said, the Toptube Pack is a nice little accessory and with the moveable strap positions, it’s easy to swap between bikes with various head tube lengths, and it plays nicely with other bags as well.

  • Volume: .75L
  • Weight: 138g
  • Price: $50
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Contact: Specialized.com

Burra Burra Seat Stuffcage and Stuffpack

The Stuffcage is Specialized’s take on added fork storage. It’s similar in design to the King Cage Manything Cage and most likely inspired by the original oversized three-bolt Salsa Anything Cage. However, the Stuffcage is slightly different in that it’s fabricated from oversized tubular aluminum, versus Salsa’s latest plastic offering and King’s titanium tubing. It comes with two coated nylon straps and is designed for use with the Stuffpack, a weatherproof, one-liter rolltop canister that installs via two Velcro straps. While we got to see and fiddle with these products, we didn’t get to put them to use. On first inspection, the cage seems like an extremely light yet relatively rugged option for additional portage at the fork or down tube.

  • Specialized Burra Burra Stuffcage
  • Specialized Burra Burra Stuffpack
  • Specialized Burra Burra Stuffpack, cage fork mount
  • Specialized Burra Burra Stuffpack, cage mount bag
  • Volume: 1L
  • Weight: 150g
  • Price: $30 for Stuffcage & $40 for Stuffpack
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Contact: Specialized.com

Burra Burra Drypack

The Burra Burra Drypack was built specifically for the Stabilizer Handlebar Harness. It provides weatherproof protection for significant chances of gear such as a sleeping bag, tent, or other significant items. There are two sizes, the 23L version, which is obviously more suited for large tents and sleeping systems, and a smaller 13L bag. The 23 will only fit securely on flat bar bikes via the Harness, but the 13 will fit drop-bar rigs as well. Its rolltop design permits access to its contents from either end of the pack. Both bags are constructed from durable and water-resistant 100D Cordura ripstop nylon, and each has an external zipper pocket for easy access to on-the-fly items such as an iPhone, map, or keys. Unlike the bags mentioned above, the Drypack wasn’t available for testing.

  • Specialized Burra Burra Drypack
  • Specialized Burra Burra Drypack
  • Volume: 13L/23L
  • Price: $40/45
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Contact: Specialized.com

Burra Burra Pizza Bag

The Burra Burra Pizza Bag was specifically designed to work with Specialized’s Pizza Rack. We didn’t get a chance to try it, but there was one acting as a roving cooler during the press event group ride. To summarize, it’s small enough to feel like an out of the way rando bag, but big enough to haul some serious cargo. The Pizza Bag has a padded interior that keeps its contents safe and protected — and cold — plus like other Burra Burra bags, it has a urethane-coated, weatherproof construction that’ll stand up to Mother Nature when she’s in one of her moods.

  • Specialized Pizza Bag, Burra Burra
  • Specialized Pizza Bag, Burra Burra
  • Dimensions: 33x24x13cm
  • Weight: 740g
  • Price: $100
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Contact: Specialized.com

The 2017 Specialized Sequoia, Burra Burra Bags and new Sawtooth tires will be available from retail bike shops mid-August.

Tags

  • Peter NIss

    Wow… Specialized … now it really starts. Bikepacking will skyrocketing and will conquer the whole bike market, too. Congrats Logan & Team being THE epicentre of the movement. Greatings from Germany from a devoted follower.

  • ncoffeeneur

    Specialized is in Morgan Hill, CA but it is Santa Clara county…

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • http://www.emptyfields.org/ kamaz

    so many rip-offs :D none of those products were designed by red S, just a copy-fucking-paste.

    How do you feel being in the same shameful ship, @ultraromance?

  • Dave

    OK, the Pizza Bag is innovative.

  • http://www.emptyfields.org/ kamaz
  • Dave

    I stand corrected! Those f*ckers.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    I think PR ended up making those Monkeywrench bags… basketpacking bags.

  • Jim

    In all seriousness how much innovation was there going to be, anything anyone brings to market at this point is unlikely to not be something someone else already has on the market with regards to bike bags.

  • Andrew Wracher

    Actually there is quite a bit of innovation among the non-corporate builders in the game right now. That innovation comes from on the ground use and quick prototype to final turn around time. Working with Asian manufactures leads to a minimum of one year to go from idea to a bag. In a small shop it can take hours. Not to mention I know some manufacturers that have 100k budgets for just shipping prototypes back and forth to Asia. Do you want to pay for that in your bag purchase? You do if you purchase one made overseas by a large company. Not to mention, often times products made by large corporations are designed by, well, designers. Who are guided by marketers. These people most likely do not have an abundance of passion for, or experience with, bikepacking. The innovation in the market right now is, and always has been, driven by folks who get out there and find a problem that needs a solution. This is how the sport was born after all.

  • Jim

    For the record the only bag I have right now is a Revelate but the bar bag and seat bag here have me interested .

  • Doug Nielsen

    I must admit, when that merger was announced a little piece of me died. I mean, we all got to make a living but him joining S is like Bernie Sanders announcing he’s the new CEO of BankofAmerica. The hypocrisy in that cuts deep for some.

  • Mark Troup

    A rising tide floats all boats.

  • DamagedSurfer

    Most likely the folks who purchase Big S bikepacking bags aren’t going to buy US-made bags anyway, but it would be a real shame if these bags cut into the US-made market. Companies like Porcelain Rocket, Rogue Panda, Oveja Negra, Revelate, Cleaveland Mountaineering, etc etc make outstanding products for the same price. I guess that’s what blows my mind – why would you buy these bags when you can buy bags made by actual bikepackers?

  • DamagedSurfer

    And to be clear, I’m not sure if bikepacking is really going to explode. Bikepacking, especially difficult trails and remote parks, is damn hard. Rewarding sure, but hard. It takes a combo of skills and fitness that most people aren’t suddenly going to develop just because they bought a bike and a few bags. Between route planning, selecting gear, maintaining fitness, increasing rider skill, and practicing mechanical skills necessary to repair a bike in the backcountry, it can be daunting for the uninitiated. In the mainstream most people think I’m crazy for setting off like most of us on these sites take for granted.

  • freisianpug

    Specialized make bikes, they make clothes, they make shoes and now people complain that they make bags? We live in a consumer society, like it or not, so I guess if you don’t like the fact they are made in Vietnam, don’t buy them. When you look at who’s on their design team, it’s hard to say the products are not created by bikepackers. And if you don’t like Sarah Swallow or Eric Nohlin or Ultraromance working for them, offer those people a job yourselves, but we all have to turn a dollar somehow. Their bikes seem to get a good rap, so why not their other products as well….

  • http://www.emptyfields.org/ kamaz

    simple answer for you – because design is stolen

  • iam

    ghm

  • http://MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.net Max Dilthey

    Not super impressed. These look heavy and overbuilt compared to the rest of the market.

  • ncoffeeneur

    I have a Porteur bag from ILE that the Burra Burra seems to borrow a lot from.
    It is nice to see that the unwashed masses now have an option for bags like this.

  • Mark Troup

    When larger profile companies embrace a new niche, they raise awareness of that niche and expand its audience. If I’m a small bikepacking bag manufacturer, my first reaction is–“Those guys stole my designs!” My second reaction, after a couple beers and a bit of thought is–“Those guys are massively expanding the audience for my products!”

  • DT TD

    There’s a market for this, but I will continue to support those small companies that are doing what they love for a living. I already slave a way for a corporation, so I admire those making a living doing it their way. Add local business to the equation and they’ll have access to my bank account. We all have choices…

  • Bob Ewing

    I expected much more from a company with such big r&d ressources. But Specialized just copied ideas and sell them as their own and as a lifestyle.
    Btw. With these clamps any carbon bar/seatpost is out of the game.

  • Peter Raible

    I have to admit, I don’t get you folks: I live in Switzerland where bikepacking is kind of inexistent and wanted to buy bags from Bedrock or Porcelain Rocket: Bedrock does not sell to countrys outside the USA and Porcelain Rocket seems to have reduced its production rate dramatically. These are as far as I know the only manufacturers that build saddle bags with stiffer parts to reduce tail wag. My point is: These little manufacturers quite often can’t handle global demand for their products. So I am glad, there is now a major one, who can.

  • http://www.offroute.ca Skyler

    Arkel and Defiant packs also make stabilized seat packs.

  • mikeetheviking

    Don’t be confused… @ultraromance does whatever the hell he wants, whenever the hell he wants, HOWEVER THE HELL HE WANTS!

    Here are some relevant facts about @ultraromance

    1. Donald Trump considered him for vice president
    2. He oils his saddle with tanning lotions
    3. Even animals are attracted to him

    From what I understand @ultraromance sailed to Vietnam with his original patterns to offer insight and sewing technique to the vietnam specialized team, and in his spare time he worked with the village children teaching them wheelbuilding and how to operate an oxy acetylene torch safely without catching your beard on fire.

    It’s one thing to be a sex icon/super hero…. But a philanthopist as well? Poppi is someone we can all look up to.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    LOL. Jokes aside, having had the chance to meet and ride with him for a day or so, he’s a super nice and genuine dude. Folks can think what they will.

  • Kristoffer NRJ

    Now, if someone were to manufacture those mini rails for the handlebar and seat post that small custom builders could use, it would be best of both worlds! Anyone interested in this? It could be a standard rail that the many small builders could agree on… Just an idea… Let me know.

  • Kristoffer NRJ

    Pretty cool dropper post compatible rail system on the Arkel!

  • http://www.emptyfields.org/ kamaz

    Guy making bikepacking stuff in switzerland http://www.spokwerks.com/
    There is few positive reviews of his stuff on this site too. T
    The problem you are talking is all gone.

  • Scott Felter

    I admit that this week has been a tough one, and has left me feeling slightly betrayed.

    That said, a fellow (I’m assuming a feller, could easily be a lady) by the handle @chronicles_of_gnarnia posted the following to Instagram last night, and I feel like it is one of the healthiest, most astute views of a situation like this.

    “I hate to disrupt the group-think going on here but I think the market is big enough for both. Different companies with different consumer bases. Unless it’s a direct copy, piggy-backing is still innovation, however small the step. Henry Ford invented the car but imagine a world with only Fords.”

    It’s easy to stand so firmly on one foot, that we have a hard time hearing from the other one. This has made me open my ears and listen.

    Thank you, whoever you are. We are all better because of brains like yours.

    Scott

  • btompkins0112

    They are attached to carbon bars/seatposts….

  • Peter NIss

    He Peter. There is a small BP boutique in Berlin which also do mailorder: http://www.gramm-tourpacking.com

  • Mike Anderson

    Specialized doesn’t build anything. They are designers—a term loosely applicable to most products that come out of the factories abroad which they’ve utiised since Day One, since most of their products are simply variations, if not blatant rip-offs of the work created by real designers.

  • DF

    A little disappointing….
    As Jim stated, at this stage probably not a lot of innovation left at this stage of the game. The front roll attempts to create an improved attachment system, but from what I observe it doesn’t appear to provide anything Revelate hasn’t, but at a possible weight penalty(?).
    For a company known to threaten litigation on others for any perceived copyright infringement, their seat pack appears to be a brazen rip-off of Porcelain Rocket’s design; I’m no legal expert but it would appear Scott Felter has a legitimate claim.
    The StuffCage looks like a legitimate option to the Manything cage at a lower price point: I’ll be interested to see what the long term durability reviews show

  • Francesco Nardone

    I’m a bit puzzled about the plagiarism comments: there are already several bags sharing the same design principle https://defiantpack.com/collections/seatbags/products/malamute-seatbag-harness, http://www.arkel-od.com/en/bikepacking.html, http://www.porcelainrocket.com/product/mr-fusion-seat-system/ (these are only those already mentioned in these comments, there may be more).

    I don’t know Specialized’s history (or bikepaking’s history) and it may well be that they are a bunch of assh***s but they do not seem to be the second ones coming out with that kind of product.

  • Wakatel Lu’um

    Designers who sue on the first chance they can get!

  • Peter Raible

    Thank you guys for the links! Appreciated. I bought some bags from Burgfyr (http://burgfyr.de/en/), located in Hamburg, Germany, now. These are quite nice bags too. As for my other statement (ability to handle demand): I will stay put.

  • Cy

    For those not completely pissed about the Big S getting into bikepacking, there is another comprehensive review of these bags here: http://www.bikepacking.it/it/news/specialized-burra-burra-recensione

  • LAB 2.35:1

    The handlebar harness looks ideal to me… precisely what i’ve been looking for, personally – just ordered one. Thanks for sharing!

    I stumbled upon your website two days ago and have been consumed buy all the great articles and guidance. Have my first bikepacking trip in Mammoth Lakes with my 2year old coming up soon – you’ve inspired me!

  • Pit

    I think the seat pack looks very interesting, but I am confused about the volume ratings. The large one is called 20l but the dimensions (55x19x10cm) would yield about 10.5l of actual volume. The bag is very comparable in price to a Revelate Terrapin and I was excited that it might be larger than the stated 14l for that while at the same time being stabilized and lighter. This sounds too good to be true. Could anyone who has seen the Revelate and the large Burra Burra in the flesh comment on the size and stability between the two?

  • Stephen Poole

    Re the handlebar harness: It’s perhaps the only thing that will fit a Specialized Sequoia – the Revelate harness won’t fit the strangely shaped bar centres, plus the cables and hoses conflict with the Revelate clamps. :-(

    It seems too that prices in Oz are 75% higher in $ than those listed here; I may have to make something…

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