In our never ending efforts to avoid wearing a hydration pack whenever possible, we happened upon the Dakine Hot Laps Gripper Bike Bag. Its goal is packing a bit more in than your standard tube strap, and as it’s a partially enclosed unit, security is also key. While this little bag is designed around being affixed to a top tube, seat tube or downtube, it can also be mounted to your saddle rails. Here’s what we thought of it…
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- On-bike storage solution
- Tire levers, C02, and tube specific storage
- Attaches under seat or multiple locations on bike frame
- $22.00 USD
- 3 Colors
This is everything we managed to stuff into our Hot Laps bag…
- Full size 27.5″ tube
- Mini multi-tool
- 25gram C02 and inflator
- Patch kit
- Tire boot
- Dynaplug Micro Pro
- The best tire lever on the planet (Michelin)
The tightening strap is attached to a flap which secures the contents.
The underside of the bag features a grippy, durable patch meant to prevent the unit itself from moving and shifting around too much wherever it’s secured to the frame. The overall construction is quite tough. It’s mainly constructed with cordura and like all Dakine products boasts a lifetime warranty.
On the trail
Depending on the bike you own and thus, your frame layout, the only real potential hangup with the Hot Laps is where you can fit it on your frame. On one bike (Cannondale Jekyll) we jammed it into the headtube/toptube/downtube intersection up at the front of our bike. On the bike (Trek Fuel EX) with the photos for this review, we stashed it under the top tube. How full you pack the bag will have some bearing on where you can stow it. One tip we’d offer is to track down an ultralight tube as your spare…It will pack down much smaller thus freeing up extra space, plus it’s less weight to drag around.
Anyhow, once we figured out what to stash and where, there wasn’t much to think about unless we needed to access the goods. We stashed a small Specialized multi-tool in the elastic sleeve on the side as it’s the type of thing we’d often want to access. It turned out that we could squeeze it in and out without undoing the strap, but it never fell out on trail. The materials have been tough and held up nicely over the last few months. We’ve bounced the bag from bike to bike dozens of times and the strap and its velcro have both held up nicely. Our only gripe with the bag was that the grippy material could be a bit grippier and initially it was easy to knock the bag around. Over time the stiff backing underneath it softened up and we noticed the bag would better conform to the section of frame that it was being strapped to, but you do have to harp on it a bit to get it nice and snug. Another option is to put a small strip of mastic tape on your frame where you’re storing it. That fully prevents any excess movement.
All things considered, this is likely the most robust and thorough on-frame storage device out there. You can pack quite a great deal of “everyday ride” survival gear into it, or you can just stash a tube if you choose – it’s scalable in that sense. If you are trying to avoid wearing a hydration pack and/or stuffing your pockets with odds and ends that bounce around awkwardly, at just $22 the Hot Laps is a no brainer.