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Hvala Croatia: A cycling film by Restrap

At Restrap they don’t just make bikepacking bags and cycling accessories, they live and breathe bikepacking too. Every year the Restrap team plans a big tour that allows them to shakedown their bags and look for ways in which they can improve them. We recently tested them in FNLD GRVL and BBBC, and we checked firsthand that both handlebar and frame bags are the result of running several iterations until they come up with the desired product.

They had already ridden through France and Spain, crossed mountain ranges in Japan, and taken on the elements in Scotland. They were eager to go again on an adventure overseas after two years without leaving the UK, so in September 2021 they didn’t miss the chance when it appeared in front of them.

In the film, we see managing director Nathan, market manager John, brand manager Alex, and their friend Guideon. They arranged a meeting to plan where to go to, but Nathan could not resist the temptation to book flights to Croatia when he found out how cheap they were.

The flights they took led them to Zadar and they headed north avoiding the more touristic areas. Within one week they would be traveling, and they still had to get a route together. Gideon was assigned as the route master, and the rest of them relied on his planning abilities.

His route took them north along the coast from Zadar, up towards the Bay of Rijeka and then island-hopped them back to the starting city. They would make detours inland to climb mountains and explore the interior areas of the country.

They embarked on an epic bikepacking tour through the northern part of the country, taking in huge mountain passes, narrow cliffside roads and winding forest descents while battling with the infamous Bora winds, soaring temperatures, and relentless climbing.

They all brought a large Restrap frame bag with them, but from there everyone chose a different setup. Large bar bag, smaller bag with an additional food pouch or dry bag, one or two cockpit bags… They have a solution for everything, and for the same trip, they followed different approaches in terms of packing their gear.

Hvala Croatia is the latest film in a series documenting Restrap’s tours around the world where they put themselves and their kits to the test, experiencing the joys of bikepacking and cycle-touring while hunting for the best cycling roads and destinations.

Photos: Restrap archive