Dakine Hot Laps Gripper Bag – A long term review

With the continuing trend of riding without a pack, more on-bike storage solutions are coming onto the market. The Dakine Hot Laps Gripper Bag is one such example, allowing you to fit your essential tools and inner tube to the bike. For rides of 2 hours or less, these products allow you to ride without a pack but still provide the means to carry out basic repairs out on the trail.

Ease of Use

The Dakine Hot Laps Gripper bag is really easy to fit to the bike using its long and stretchy velcro strap. The length of the strap allows it to fit around the largest tubes of the bike including the downtube. You then thread the strap through the buckle and cinch down on it until it’s super tight. There is a soft rubber backing on the underside of the bag to help prevent any scratches to your frame.

This simple attachment method allows the bag to be placed virtually anywhere on the bike. Some of the most popular and discreet positions are just above the bottom bracket area or below the top tube. However, if you are running a 2x drivetrain setup and you fit the bag in the bottom bracket area you may find clearance between the bag and the front derailleur is very tight. Also, if the bottom of your downtube is perfectly round and not ovalised/shaped it can tend to slip out of place on particularly rough terrain.

But if you’re running a 1x setup and have a shaped downtube then the position above the bottom bracket is a great use of unused space. For these reasons, on my bike with a 2x setup I’ve fitted the bag under the saddle. I still think this position looks pretty discreet compared to a traditional saddle bag, and it doesn’t move or rattle at all. It’s also worth noting due to the way it attaches to the saddle rails it should work fine with all dropper posts.

Durability & Secureness

I’ve been using the Dakine Hot Laps Gripper bag for over a year now and it shows no real signs of damage or wear. The bag itself is made of a thick, high-quality material which should last for many seasons to come. The stitching seems really robust and has not begun to pull away or fray yet.

The stretchy strap feels very durable and has kept the bag securely in place since installation. It uses that kind of almost industrial strength velcro that once fastened will not come apart unless forced too. The bag is also pretty easy to clean with a soft brush, hose or sponge.

With regards to security, I’ve ridden down some pretty rocky descents and it hasn’t moved at all. Even if it did slip a little out of place I doubt it would ever actually come completely undone.

Storage Capacity

Despite it’s compact size the stretchy compartments allow it to expand to accommodate several tools and a 650B/29er inner tube. In mine I have a 650B inner tube (Continental Light), small 9 piece multi-tool, dedicated chain tool, 2 tyre levers, KMC Quick-link and some glueless patches.

If you have a small enough multi-tool with integrated chain-tool you could probably fit some CO² cartridges in there too. Obviously it won’t hold as much as a Hydration pack, but for short local rides it should be enough to fix any basic mechanical issues. With all that weight off your back it means you can move around on the bike easier.

What drew me to this product over other strap type solutions, is that it provides some protection against the elements without having to fit a full-blown bike bag. However, I would still recommend putting any metal items in a small plastic bag first to prevent any corrosion.

Summary

So if you are looking for a good value, well made on-bike storage solution to go packless with, or at least reduce the weight in your hydration pack, then the Dakine Hot Laps Gripper bag is a solid option. As well as the black version I have, it’s also available in Camo, Lichen (green) and Blue for around £19.

In the U.K you can purchase this item from Amazon or Leisure Lakes Bikes, but it can also be found at many other online retailers worldwide.

Pros

  • Lightweight and relatively discreet
  • Can be placed almost anywhere on the frame or under the saddle
  • Compatible with most dropper-posts
  • Protects contents better than other strap type solutions on the market
  • Durable with a very strong elasticated strap
  • Good value for money
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • Bit of a tight fit in the bottom bracket area with a 2x setup
  • Can slip out of position depending on location and frame tube shape
  • Contents not fully protected from the elements

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