Miss Grape are an Italian company from near Venice and have been making bike packing bags since 2014, although the company have been going since 2005. The UK arm of Miss Grape sent me a range of their bags to try out, the first being the Node top tube bag.
The Node, weighing in at 125g is a robust looking bag made from a nylon polyester mix with a water repellent polyurethane resin coating. this means the bag will shrug off a shower but if using in torrential rain a dry bag for the contents is advisable. A rather hefty looking weather resistant zip opens to reveal a lightly padded interior with a velcro centre parting that can be pulled apart to allow full length storage. On the outside two mesh pockets give quick access storage. Underneath the bag the base is a very shiny looking surface which turns out to be very grippy and stops the bag moving from side to side, A velcro strap at the rear of the bag wraps around the top tube and a neat strap and clasp with a rubber band to tidy the strap goes around your steerer. this has 3 height positions to swap depending on your steerer spacer configuration.
Using the Node I strapped on the node and used it for the small bit of commuting and local weekend rides. with the interior velcro divider open it easily fir my Pixel 3 phone, a container of hand sanitiser, a face mask (don’t you just love 2020?) a spare buff and house keys. On other rides I also put a gopro and mini tripod inside. The bag is quite tall ( 12cm) and so as with most other top tube bags careful packing is needed to stop the bag leaning over. Pack sensibly and there’s no movement. The rear strap wrapping around the frame is long enough to accommodate the largest diameter top tube. My frame has quite a thin steel tube so there was a lot of surplus strap that did catch my leg. If the pack didn’t have to be returned after the test I’d have trimmed this to fit and so this won’t be an issue for purchasers. The zip is easy to open and close with one hand while on the move so snacking without stopping is easy (pre cut your pork pie if not a fan of energy bars) and the bag will take a sandwich easily. It’ll also take a spare tube, multitool and tubeless repair kit for those minimal summer rides.
The Miss Grape Node top tube bag is a great bit of kit and will take a surprising amount of stuff and could be an important part of your bike packing or everyday it. the only things i’d like to see is maybe a media port to run a power pack through to or from a dynamo/computer etc and if the dotted surface of the material was reflective if would make for effective side on visiblity at night.
It’s definitely one to consider unless you run your stem slammed when it might be a bit too tall and the steerer mount might be difficult. Pair it with Miss Grape’s frame, seat post and barrel handlebar bags and it could be a perfect matching combo……good job tests on those very bags will be published here soon!
As with all my tests, this is an impartial and real world review. I’m not sponsored and I’m just an average rider like most of the cyclists out there. I do inform anyone who sends me things to test that It will be an honest review good or bad.