Review - Restrap Rando Bag - Front Rack Rack-Top Pannier

The Restrap Rando Bag is designed to be a go-anywhere do-anything front rack pannier bag; with a semi-rigid construction to make it easy to load, and extra stable. I have used Restrap's panniers, handlebar bag, and frame bags for numerous long distance tours, and they are faultless. While I have not taken the new Restrap Rando Bag on any global adventures, yet; it has been fitted to my run-around Quella Varsity single-speed bike, and it is performing very well.

The concept behind the Rando bag is that it would be ideal for a long distance randonneur (a.k.a. Audax'er) with a front rack, equally though it is superb as a daily run-around. It connects to the rack using two magnetic fasteners on the bottom front of the bag, and a tie-back strap on the rear of the bag; securely holding it in place but making it easy to remove. [N.B: you do need to use the magnetic buckle tie-back strap if you do not want to see your milk go flying down the road on the next downhill!]

The Rando bag design is fundamentally different from a handlebar bag. The first thing is that it is larger, which is an obvious advantage if you have lots of kit (or shopping). The second thing is that it sits on a solid front rack base, so it is not putting stress on your handlebars or stem, and it positions the weight lower down on the bike—making it more stable.

I have the Small Restrap Rando Bag fitted to a Medium Pelago Commuter Rack. It is a perfect pairing—Restrap actually make magnetic fittings specially to work on the Finnish Pelago racks.

As with all kit from Restrap that I have tested to date, the Rando bag is superbly made. Mine was handmade by 'Ben' in Yorkshire, and the detail and high quality level are evident.

There are not mountains of features or pockets on this bag—you get a clear map pocket on the top, a small zippered pocket on the front outside, and two mesh pockets either side of the rigid main compartment; there is also a shoulder strap with attachment points. It is a straightforward design, but it functions flawlessly.

From experience, everything from the fabric to the fastenings on Restrap bags last for years, and for thousands of miles. This Rando Bag is sure to be my go-to shopping bag for decades to come.

>> View the Restrap Rando Bag here <<


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