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Amongst the diverse list of sleeping bags, shelters, pots, stoves and gadgets people name on their ‘here’s all the stuff I took on my trip to Scotland / Wales / Norway / The shops lists, the one item you’ll never see mentioned is ‘space’. Space? Yeah space. You see, filling your bags to bursting so that every available nook and indeed cranny is filled, leaving not enough room to squeeze in a lone titanium tent peg is often a mistake. You should consider ‘space’ as a contingency, overflow parking or the answer to the question, “what am I going to do with these now?” as you emerge from the Spar carrying two Frijj milkshakes.

Now, please don’t think that I’m condoning the use of any packing principle other than TLS here. On the contrary, continue to take less shit, as doing so will invariably produce additional space inside your luggage; just don’t be tempted to cram your dwindling pile of stuff into ever smaller bags because doing so, may mean having to glug two milkshakes, half a cooked chicken and a full battenberg before you can resume your two wheeled wandering. Aside from those times when we’d like to carry Marzipan confectionery, we should also consider the changeable conditions in which we often ride. It’s raining, no it’s not, yes it is, no it’s not. I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m hot again … continually stopping to re-pack or un-pack a waterproof, warm top or hat from your bags is a bit of a faff but it’s one that could largely be negated if there was a way of securing these items closer to hand.

Just 5g each … the packaging probably weighs more than the straps.

Tube strap is a simple but effective way of packing additional ‘space’, adding carrying capacity to cope with the unforeseen and a handy way of keeping those items you may need to access quickly, close to hand. What appears to be the outside surface is actually the inside face in use and is covered with ‘waves’ of sticky / grippy silicone. It does a good job of preventing the strap slipping against your frame / bars / seat post / whatever and also helps hold the ‘cargo’ in place. My tape measure reckons each strap has a useable working diameter of 100mm but some experimentation indicates that it is possible to link two straps together if the need arises … you will lose half the silicone waves from the inside but it obviously means you can secure something a little bulkier.

Just one strap is enough to securely fasten a dragon to a fence.

There are similar products out there and some have been tested here previously but there aren’t many that cost less than a tenner for three – that’s right, ten quid for three. Each strap weighs a piffling 5g and yet could provide a litre of so of extra capacity.

You can buy some at TUBE STRAP


  1. Mike says:

    Polaris Fixies – £6.99 for 10

  2. Ooh not seen those before Mike. Are they non-slip or just the 'velcro'?

  3. Mike says:

    Seem to be a form of Velcro with combined hooks and loops. Can be joined together for longer needs. Available from Polaris direct or shops like Tredz. Postage adds quite a bit from Polaris but if combined in an order to, say, Tredz would be better.

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