The simple things in life tend to make the most joy. I was skeptical of the usefulness of bike packing frame bags for a long time before riding with my uncle in South Dakota last Fall on his Salsa Warbird equipped with a Revelate Tangle 1/2 frame bag. I had a flat about 20 miles into our ride and my uncle wanted to show off his new tire pressure gauge (also awesome but more on that later), he reached into his frame bag and it was like a scene from Mary Poppins…stuff just kept coming out. He pulled out his air gauge, a Clif Bar, and I caught a glimpse of the rest of his kit stuffed in there and I was a little impressed. That awkward dead space above a traditional bottle case setup was now useful!
I started shopping around using the following criteria: the bag had to be made in a small shop (think not sweat shop), it had to be a spacious 1/2 bag, and it needed to be at least water resistant. I quickly came across my selection, the Oveja Negra 1/2 Frame Bag. Oveja Negra is a relatively small shop in Salida, CO and they make truly cool products in a seriously cool place!
Below are the bag specification from the Oveja Negra website:
- Full zip main compartment (drive side)
- Half zip tool pocket (non-drive side)
- Hook & loop closure hydration/wire port
- Adjustable/removable Velcro® One-Wrap® top tube straps allow for a more customized fit
- YKK® Uretek water resistant zippers
- X-pac® VX21/VX42 water resistant face fabrics
- Cordura® abrasion resistant fabric along tubing
- MIL-SPEC webbing and binding
- High Density closed-cell foam padding along down tube
- Reflective Oveja Negra logo
- MADE IN THE U.S.A. of domestic and imported materials
Build Quality & Design
The craftsmanship of this bag is really high quality and it shows right out of the box. All of the zippers and fabrics are water-resistant and look/function great! I opted for MultiCam Camo as the color matches my Revelate Designs seat bag, but there are 6 other colors available and if you reach out, I am sure Oveja Negra could whip up something custom. The zippers pull and function as they should and the placement of the zippers is really well-thought out and accessible from the saddle.
One of my favorite features of the 1/2 frame bag is the high-contrast interior fabric that really stands out compared to the outer fabric and the interior items that you will be reaching for. I was unsure about the bright green initially, but after using it once it made perfect sense!
There are several pieces of the bag that really set the Oveja Negra bag apart from the rest of the pack. First, it looks really good! The reflective Logo and adjustable velcro make the bag really look good and function well on the bike. Second, the inclusion of a bike pump/tent pole strap in the bottom of the bag is a big deal. My old school long frame pump fits perfectly in the straps. The zippers have covers where they close for extra moisture resistance and there is even a hydration bladder port for running a large bladder in the frame bag. So many extra touches made this bag really stand out.
An extra large size bag fit my 62cm Surly Disc Trucker really well and the adjustability of the velcro one-wrap makes this bag extremely adaptable for other bikes that I ride including my single speed. I am beyond excited about this bag and after almost 200 miles of use, I will not ride another gravel, touring, bikepacking or commuting bike without one of these bags strapped to it!
To purchase or see more specs/measurements head over to the Oveja Negra website.