Specialized Burra Burra Bikepacking Bags: Tested

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…

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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.

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