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Portland Design Works Bikepacking Bindle Rack Review

The Portland Designs Word Bindle Rack lets you attach a stuff sack to your seat post for bikepacking
The Portland Designs Word Bindle Rack lets you attach a stuff sack to your seat post for bikepacking

The Portland Designs Works Bindle Rack lets you use a waterproof stuff sack to carry camping gear behind your seat on bikepacking trips. I like the Bindle Rack because it’s a reasonably economical way to get into the sport of bikepacking without a huge upfront expense and because you can use backpacking gear you already own.

Packing for a bikepacking is similar to backpacking in certain respects, especially the discipline of packing light and taking only the gear you need for a trip . Where the two differ, are the storage and carrying options open to bikepackers for hauling their gear. Wearing a multi-day backpack while you’re riding is a non-starter because it’s too uncomfortable. Gear bags specifically designed for unpaved bikepacking like Relevate Design’s Saddle Sack ($145), Handlebar Bag ($110), and Top Tube Bag ($90) are expensive and heavy. And while front and rear paniers are a viable option for road bikes, they don’t provide enough wheel clearance for mountain biking or gravel-riding on unpaved roads.

The Bindle Rack attaches to your seat post and gives you a floating shelf that you can lash gear to
The Bindle Rack attaches to your seat post and gives you a floating shelf that you can lash gear to.

The Bindle Rack is an alloy rack (13.1 oz) that attaches to your seatpost with two screws and an adjustable strap that loops around your seat supports. It provides a lightweight frame, basically a shelf, that you can lash a bag of gear to like the waterproof 20L SealLine BlockerLite dry bag shown here. You can keep the shelf level or angle it up, giving your rear tire plenty of clearance for off-pavement riding.

Installation is easy, provided your seat post is thick enough (the mount fits seatposts 22.0 – 31.6 mm). The stock seatpost on my REI ADV 3.1 wasn’t, so I wrapped some white Gorilla Tape around it to shim it out, which worked fine. The two ends straps behind the seat help keep the shelf at the angle you want, leaving a pair of additional straps for attaching gear to the rack.

The Bindle Rack secures to the seatpost with two screws
The Bindle Rack secures to the seatpost with two screws.

Long skinny bags like the 16L Relevate Terrapin Dry Bag still work best with the Bindle Rack because their pointed tapered ends can get closer to the seatpost than camping or backpacking dry sacks which have flat bottoms. But conventional backpacking dry bags and stuff sacks also work well and are a much more economical option since you can get higher capacity dry bags at a much lower cost.

I like to keep my Ursack bear bag (top) and food separate from my camping gear, especially on bikefishing trips
I like to keep my Ursack bear bag (top) and food separate from my camping gear, especially on bikefishing trips

In use, there’s very little side-to-side sway when gear is strapped to the Bindle Rack with a little creativity and Voile straps, you can even secure multiple bags to the rack if you want to carry more gear and supplies.

Written 2017.

Disclosure: Portland Designs Works gave the author a sample rack for this review.

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for the post, it’s always nice to see variety in your content. I like the idea of a rack that only mounts to the seatpost, but only coming in 31.6 kinda stinks. Hopefully they will offer other sizes for different seat post sizes (like 30.9).
    Adding tape to make a $80 rack fit doesn’t sound like a permanent solution, especially for a mountain bike.

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