Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Pack review

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The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Pack is billed as a pack to hold ‘all the extra layers and supplies for big rides or bad weather’. It comes in two sizes – this is the Smalll/Medium 17.5 litre pack, while the L/XL pack holds 20 litres.

  • Brand: Patagonia
  • Product: Dirt Roamer Bike Pack 20L
  • Price: £140.00
  • From: Patagonia
  • Tested by: Hannah for 3 months


  • Light and comfortable
  • Hydration bladder included
  • Great eco credentials from Patagonia


  • Poor organisational options
  • No storage in left hip wing

I’ve recently been riding with backpacks with built in spine protectors, so I was keen to try something a little lighter weight for general trail rides. This Patagonia Dirt Roamer bike pack has a pretty minimalist layout: a top zippered pocket for small items (it’s not fleece lined like a goggle pocket often is), and a main internal double zippered pocket with a few elastic loops for stowage. Tucked away in the upper back of this main section is a zippered pocket and key clip. And on the right hand side of the pack there’s side access to the hydration pack area. On the right hand hip there is a small zippered pocket – nothing on the left hand zip – and the hip strap fastens with a simple clip. The hydration pack can be routed to exit on either your right or left straps, where the tube clips into the chest strap. There’s no magnet or clip for the actual mouthpiece – it hangs down.

The absence of internal pouches or pockets in the main section has thrown me. The elasticated loops don’t really serve to replace the presence of pouches – they’re too big and baggy for things like cereal bars and pumps, and too small to stuff things like a jacket into. Consequently, everything just sinks to the bottom of the backpack. I’ve found this annoying when I just want to be able to reach in for a cereal bar, or multitool, and have often ended up taking loads of things out in search of the thing I’m after.

Here, the big central zip comes into play. On the one hand, it’s easier to access what’s lurking in the bottom of the pack because you’re not having to mine your way down from the top. And you can see things against the contrasting terracotta inner fabric. On the other hand, if it’s bogging it down with rain, you’ve now opened up your whole pack to the elements.

Whether you find this internal layout annoying may depend on how you like to organise your stuff. Personally, I like to have:

  • In the main section, but easy to find:
    • a tube for the bike I happen to be riding
    • a pump
    • tubeless plugs
  • Somewhere more handy, or easy to get to in the main section:
    • snacks
    • multitool. There’s a good chance I’ll have an extra layer of some sort to stuff in there, plus a small first aid kit and perhaps a lock. I want to have my pump and tube
  • In the main section:
    • a tool roll of things I hope not to need
    • my jacket if I’m not wearing it
    • first aid kit and spare layer
  • Somewhere secure:
    • Wallet
    • Keys
  • Accessible without taking my pack off:
    • phone
    • rubbish stash spot
Internal pocket contain key clip

So far the zip is still running smoothly – despite being in the firing line for trail filth being kicked up by the back wheel. And when zipped up in doesn’t seem to let the water in any more that the rest of the pack – with its dual layer of nylon it’s reasonably waterproof in spite of the absence of a rain cover. I think I’d feel more kindly towards the central zip design if there was more of an organisational system inside, but since you’re just opening it up to a guddle of things settled wherever they’ve been shaken to, to my mind there’s too much opportunity for getting the contents wet and covered in mud.

The internal zip pocket with key clip is fine, but it’s pretty tucked away in there, making it best used for things like a passport, or a wallet if you don’t think you’re going to need it. It’s a bit too inaccessible for a cafe stop – especially in bad weather. By the time you’ve rooted through the things in front of it with your wet and mucky hands and sleeves, you’re going to have got the rest of your contents in a mess. Which of course is a criticism you could level at a top opening backpack too, if what you need is at the bottom.

The top pocket could be used for your wallet – but then where are you going to put your phone somewhere you can get to it quickly and easily without worrying about dropping other things out of the same pocket? The right hip pocket is not big enough for my phone and seems better suited to a multitool or snack. It seems a real shame to me that there’s no functionality in the left hip piece – a stretchy mesh pocket for trailside trash could have been a great addition here.


Yes, I’ve found the Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Pack a little frustrating to use – I just can’t get everything organised where I want it, or get it to stay there. Which is all the more frustrating as it’s really light, comfortable and flexible. It manages to have a barely there feel to it that I really like, and without the stiffness of some cycling packs it feels a little more versatile – it’s perfectly comfortable to walk with. Plus, given that it comes with a hydration bladder, it seems like pretty good value compared to many packs.

Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Pack Specification

  • Made with 100% recycled nylon
  • Raised mono-mesh back panel to increase breathability, does not absorb water
  • Breathable Regulator® airmesh through the hip belt and shoulder straps
  • Included Hydration Reservoir2-liter HydraPak® reservoir included
  • Internal key clip
  • Top compression strap to manage the load or carry a helmet

Review Info

Brand: Patagonia
Product: Dirt Roamer Bike Pack 20L
From: Patagonia
Price: £140.00
Tested: by Hannah for 3 months
Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Pack review
  • prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    🤔 £140, weak organisational consideration but includes a bladder. Glad my turn of the century HAWG only needs a bit of stitching to stay with me.

    Nice product placement with the Bum Butter® 👍

    Often disappointed by MTB bag offerings. Always seem to fall a little short in the organising department.

    Full Member

    “a guddle of things”?  First time I’ve heard that, I’m going to use it!

    Full Member

    Another downside to the lack of organisational compartments… (or compression straps?)

    what happens when you’ve drunk half your water, eaten your lunch, used your tube, and put your jacket on? Your remaining items are now bouncing around a near empty sack which feels awful and probably isnt much good for those items either.

    Full Member

    I’ve previously regarded Patagonia’s Dirt Roamer collection as equivalent to those terrible BSO that car companies sometimes inflict on unsuspecting members of the public. This isn’t doing anything to persuade me otherwise.

    Free Member

    How’s your own experience using it?

    Free Member

    Interestingly enough I have this very bag. Same colour and size but mine has a zipped pocket on each side of waist belt, no inner zipped pocket and no stretchy tool storage on the inside. I use small drybags for organising my kit – tools, survival essentials, clothes – and it works a treat. Easily better than any of the Camelbaks I have had over the years.



    Full Member

    After having a Camelbak which was prone unzipping and depositing it’s contents in the road, the big back zip does not inspire confidence.

    Full Member

    Must be difficult to impossible to design a pack that suits a high percentage of riders. People carry different items in different brands and different sizes. I tend to go bigger than I need and just use the cinch straps to reduce volume to what I need. That way I can fit all the stuff I like to carry. Still never had a pack that I couldn’t criticise in some way though!

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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