Words: Liam Friary
Images: Cameron Mackenzie

Nothing like popping tags from your review bags just moments before heading away on an overnighter mission. This approach ensures that either we are testing them under a ‘real’ environment or that we are a little unorganised?! Either way bikepacking gear needs to be easy to fit and should stack up whatever you may throw at it on an adventure.

The removable dry bag made it easy to stuff in my kit for the next day, my merino tee, long johns and of course my pub socks; socks that are worn around the country pub. One key new feature of the Terrapin System 8L is a new independent saddle rail attachment system. Instead of looping through the saddle rails from the centre, as most seat pack strap systems do, the Terrapin 8L loops up and around. The coated straps come equipped with a loop that attaches via an active cam locking buckle system.

Not wanting to stop at just that, the team at Revelate have packed in more features and several new structural refinements for added for strength and load transfer. These include internal aluminium hardware at high stress points, foam-stiffened side panels with fiberglass compression stays, a composite internal top frame sheet, and an external plastic bottom skid plate for load support and protection from the rear tyre.

Out on the road with gravel roads turning to rock and boulders, we needed stability. The harness system was so strong and durable with no sway or swag. This bag really stayed in place and I didn’t need to tighten it up much. With other bikepacking bags I’ve had to keep on tightening the straps numerous times when on a mission. This can be super frustrating and when the bag is loose it not only sways but also means wasted energy. Not what you want when on a multiple day ride. Revelate have done a great job with this sturdiness of this harness. The higher tyre clearance was also welcomed when I packed it up for multiple night adventures. This also helps if you have a smaller frame.

I am now grabbing for this Revelate Terrapin when heading away on a bikepacking adventure. I like the fact you can just clip up the harness and remove the dry bag after the ride. The next day you simply stuff in your things, let the air escape via the valve and then put the dry bag back into the harness, easy! It has stood up to an arduous bikepacking adventure this summer where the terrain was the roughest I have been on with a drop bar bike. I was super impressed by the robustness of the Revelate Terrapin.