A Guide to Custom Frame Bags

By Alex Guerrero

Meet Gemma. Gemma is one of our wonderful custom machinists at Alpkit’s UK-made factory on the edge of the Peak District. She works on the Stingray – our completely custom frame bag. Made to order.

Gemma at the sewing machine

  1. Why should I buy a custom frame bag?
  2. What are the benefits of a custom frame bag?
  3. What features can I choose?
  4. What else should I consider?
  5. How long does it take?
  6. How do I buy and design my Stingray?

Why should I buy a Stingray?

stingray bikepacking bag

You could buy a standard-sized Glider half frame bag, designed for road bike geometry. Or the Possum half frame bag, created with MTB in mind.

But, with a Stingray, you can maximise the space available on your frame. From corner to corner (to corner) of your frame, Stingrays are made to match your bike. They’re fine-tuned technical products. Like two soulmates in a rom com, finally getting their meet cute.

What are the benefits?

The answer is in the name – it’s completely custom and versatile. You can personalise the colours, zips, pockets and dividers to your heart’s content. This can give you more space and organizing potential for the bits and bobs you couldn’t leave at home. Or maybe you just want to match your bag to your kit!

What features can I choose?

If you go for as Stingray, you’ve got some decisions to make. You can even request a teeny tiny one like the black one on this page!

Colours and fabrics

Choose from over 25 to match your bike. Or to match your kit! Some fabrics are more durable and harder-wearing – but, bear in mind, this is at the cost of their weight.

Openings

Standard zip opening or L-shaped “surgeon” zip which makes it easier to get bulky items in and out.

Dividers

You can divide up your bag to help with organisation, making a smaller section for valuables and a larger one for bulkier items like a spare layer or your bike lock. Dividers are also highly recommended for larger frame bags to prevent bulging – no mid-pedal-knee-knocking here!

Document pocket 

Sewn onto the drive side of your frame bag, the pocket can be used to store documents like your map or your passport.

Attachment style

Choose between stitched on velcro loops in a fixed location or a daisy chain webbing ladder. Webbing ladders allow the Velcro to be attached at various points on the frame.

Reflective piping

Be seen on the trail with reflective detailing on the zips.

What else should I consider?

tiny stingray custom frame bag

If you know what you want to put in your bag, you can design it to suit your needs.

Crossing a country border on an epic continental bikepacking adventure? Ask for a document pocket to keep your passport safe and accessible. Want to be as lightweight as possible? Avoid additional extras like padding to save a gram or two. Durable fabrics, like Cordura, will resist abrasion. But they will impact how lightweight your setup is.

How long does it take?

For a straightforward Stingray, it can take Gemma as little as 45 minutes to cut and sew the bag. But she’s super busy with all your orders and only working a few days a week on custom bags. So, it might take her a smidge more than 45 minutes to get the bag from our factory to your frame! Custom orders are expected to take a maximum of 3 weeks to be despatched from your order. 

How do I buy and design my Stingray?

Follow the instructions on the Stingray product page to do your art. Sorry, we mean cardboard frame bag template. Don’t forget to label important information like the location of bolts, bottle cages and where you want dividers. Then, send your template to us at:

Alpkit

Units 12 - 14 Oak House

Moorgreen Industrial Park

Engine Lane

Newthorpe

Nottingham

NG16 3QU

 

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