When going bikepacking, whether it’s off-road or back-country bicycle touring, having all the essential gears are a must especially if you’re planning to be out for a few days.
Included in this list are the best handlebar bags you’ll need for your bikepacking trip. Some work with straight handlebars, while others also work with drop bars. Although, things might get a little tricky because some manufacturers make separate bags for the two different bars, and some just state minimum lengths, so make sure to get extra information on the company’s websites.
Majority of the bicycle handlebar bags in this list have internal stiffeners that prevent the pack from sagging, and also mounting arrangements that help the bag to stay in place even when the bike is in motion.
7 Best Cycling Handlebar Bags
Check out these seven best handlebar bags that are perfect for cycling:
ROCKBROS Bikepacking Large Dry Pack Handlebar Bag
With large Velcro straps and eight spacers, plus 2 nylon straps with side release buckles, the ROCKBROS Bikepacking Handlebar Bag ensures its security to your bike’s handlebars. In addition to that, a short strap is attached to the head tube in preventing the bicycle from shaking back and forth.
The ROCKBROS Handlebar bag also lets you fit a 3-person tent, sleeping bag, and clothing which are a must if you want to keep dry. Its 7-14L adjustable handlebar will make your long travels hassle-free. One very admirable feature is its roll-down closure design at each end which helps you find your stuff easier. It also comes with two exterior straps for your extra gear or tent.
Made from very durable materials, it is 100% waterproof and 600D nylon high tear-resistant, this product guarantees safety for your things inside. Another great feature of this is its four alloy hooks that can adjust the compression straps in order to protect your bike’s frame and brake shift cables.
- Light reflectors for night safety
- Secure strap storage loop
- Extra elastic cords
- Great for any outdoor activities
ROCKBROS Bikepacking Bags Front 2 Dry Packs
Another ROCKBROS backpack for our second pick, this bike handlebar bag gives you a variety of volumes to choose from, ranging from 7-14 liters. It also helps you a hassle-free hunt for your things because of its dual roll down closure at each end.
If you’re new to this stuff, the ROCKBROS Front Bikepacking Bag 2 Dry Packs guarantees you easy securing to the handlebar due to its 2 nylon straps with side-release buttons. The extra-large velcro straps also provide you more room for extra gear.
With a small add-on pouch of 6 liters, you can store any necessary handy items you’ll be needing in your bikepacking journey. This bike front bag just proves to be a very great choice, need I say more?
- Comes with extra add-on pouch
- Long velcro straps for additional gear
- Flexible mount with adjustable height
Ortlieb Handlebar Rack-Pack Luggage Roll
If you’re planning to go camping, this cycling handlebar bag is one of the best bags to accompany you. The Ortlieb Handlebar Rack-Pack Luggage Roll provides a space of 15 liters that can accommodate your sleeping bag and sleeping pad. Together with your other necessities, it shouldn’t be that hard to bring out because of its roll closures on both ends.
There’s also space for additional gears with the compression belts and drawstrings on the outside. If you’re kind of on the heavy packer side, you can also avail separately the Ortlieb Accessory Pack.
Regardless of your handlebar type, this 15L backpack can work around it so you don’t have to worry, its spacers and straps are bound to do so. The Ortlieb Handlebar bag also provides extra safety with its 3M high-luminosity front reflectors, perfect for some night cycling.
- Comes with a 3.5L Accessory Pack
- Great for carbon handlebars
- PVC free
- 5-year warranty
Blackburn Outpost Elite Handlebar Bag
This next handlebar bag has quite a distinct feature apart from the other on this list. The Blackburn Outpost Elite Handlebar Bag comes with an alloy, angle-adjusting faceplate. This unique feature lets you easily attach it to the harness and secure the bag to your bicycle. It also comes with an easy detachable waterproof dry pack.
Its durability is represented by the sturdy aluminum frame platform, which also lets you carry extra gears. As for its appearance, the welded seam construction gives a clean look, both inside and outside.
Leakage? That’s not an issue with the dry pack’s air bleed valve making packing easy and tight. The Blackburn Outpost Handlebar Bag also reduces the material’s bulk weight, guaranteeing top handlebar bag performance.
- Front allows plate attachments to the cargo
- Extra waterproof dry bag
- Easy installation
OBOVA Bike Handlebar Bags
Featuring a 0.64lb lightweight and sturdy handlebar bag with just the perfect average size, the OBOVA Bike Handlebar Bag comes with a foam padding that reinforces your bag’s shape. This bag has a 135-FL OZ main pocket that provides just enough room to hold all of your biking necessities.
This handlebar bag boasts of 4 layers of protection: water-resistant PVC, 210D linings, foam padding, and water-resistant 400D ripstop nylon, taking durability into another level. The upgraded model also comes with a rain cover, perfect for your rainy adventures. Another great feature are its detachable shoulder strap and some extra pockets for handy items.
With the 9.4-inch 3 super-strong & anti-slip velcro straps, it guarantees you the Quick release, Easy install feature. The transparent touch-screen phone holder, that can also act like a bike camera bag, adds a great deal to your convenience, making it perfect for your bikepacking adventures.
- Waterproof material
- Double-zip waterproof zippers for the main pocket
- Comes with a raincover
Topeak FrontLoader Handlebar Bag Black
If you’re looking for a more average-sized bicycle front bag, the Topeak FrontLoader Handlebar Bag is a great option for you. With its 8-liter volume, it can be categorized as a small handlebar bag, than those of the others. Its two quick-release mounts are of perfect strength in attaching your bag to the handlebar.
With its 2 roll-side closures, it guarantees you easy accessibility inside. You also have storage for extra items using the two external straps. A great bonus of this bag are the waterproof bag and its built-in air release feature.
This Topeak Handlebar bag works with both straight and drop bars, so you don’t need to worry. Its harness also comes with straps and quick-release buckles that will make mounting hassle-free.
- 2-year warranty
- Comes with a waterproof, built-in air release bag
- Quick-release buckles
BraveHawk OUTDOORS Bike Handlebar Bag
For our last pick is a handlebar bag that has multiple purposes, the BraveHawk Bike Handlebar Bag can be used as a bike top tube bag, shoulder bag, waist bag, and messenger bag. Its average size also fits most people.
You can store all sorts of things with a combination of main zippered pocket and inside mesh pocket, one front zippered pocket, and two side zippered pockets for your small daily necessities.
It’s scratch resistant, anti-abrasive, colorfast, rust resistant, and is reinforced at all stress points. This just goes to say that the BraveHawk Outdoors Bike Handlebar Bag will perfectly cater your outdoor adventures.
- Multipurpose: Bike bag, Handlebar bag, Waist bag, and Messenger bag
- Tactical Bag with MOLLE system
- 900D Nylon Oxford Fabric Material
Do you live in the Washington area? Here’s a guide on the best bike routes in Washington.
Handlebar Bag Buying Guide
To help you find the best cycling handlebar bag, we came up with this handy buying guide that tells you everything you need to consider when shopping for a handlebar bag.
Determining your handlebar before choosing a bag is important. Some bags are specifically made for certain types of handlebars. Drop bars aren’t that compatible for wide bags, while flat bars may have issues with cable routing. To make sure your bike is compatible with the bag you want, we suggest contacting the manufacturer for detailed information.
Speaking of handlebars, check out this review of the best mountain bike grips for a better, more comfortable, and safer riding experience.
The tire clearance measures the distance from your handlebars to your front tire. Most handlebar bags are manufactured in compatibility with most bikes’ tire clearance, but just to make sure, you should definitely check to see if your tires fit the bag of your choice.
In cases of a road bike or bikes with 29er wheels, these sometimes have a smaller frame that may not be a perfect match for your preferred bag, so it’s best to double-check.
Volume / Capacity
Just like ordinary bags, handlebar bags also vary in size, too. Smaller bags, which are about 3-7 liters, are best for day rides and daily necessities, while the larger bags are perfect for overnight or a couple days’ travel where more equipment is needed. Few bags also have an option to be rolled down for additional purposes.
A handlebar bag is a great way to carry your personal items along for the ride. But, if you’re going on a road trip and want to ride around in your destination, what can you use to carry your bicycle itself? Fret no more- here are the best hitch cargo carriers we found.
Material and Waterproofing
Most handlebar bags have waterproof material. Although it’s not required, having a waterproof handlebar bag can prove to be extremely useful at times. Bags made from nylon are waterproof. This material is also lightweight which won’t overly harm your handlebar. In terms of durability, nylon is the perfect go-to material.
Your handlebar bag’s stability should depend on what purpose you’ll use it for. A bag should have a more solid and stable built in cases of mountain biking, where your mountain bike or gravel bike will get bumped around a lot, than for road cycling, where things aren’t that much intense.
If you’re aiming for a bag that’s more secure, soft bags with many straps are the way to go than those with rigid mounting brackets, though they will also take longer in attaching and removing. Most of the handlebar bags are produced versatile, but if you’re doing a lot of rough activities, then we suggest choosing a bag specifically designed for that type of terrain.
Mounting is how the bag will be attached to your bike. Of course, lighter and smaller handlebar bags use straps than those of the larger ones that come with mounting brackets for more sturdiness.
Few of the most common straps are Timbuk 2 Beacon, PRO Discover, and Chrome Helix. You can secure your bag to the handlebar without altering the mounting system by mounting brackets.
Ease of access
This factor refers to how easy you can access your gears with a bag’s specific design. Naturally, everything comes with pros and cons, so the type of bag you should pick may depend on its purpose/usage. Below are the different types of access:
- Top access: One of the most common styles of access with handlebar bags, bags with this type open from the top side, making access easier when riding. The Chrome Helix and the Thule Shield are few examples.
- Side access: With this design, you either open your handlebar bag from one side (left or right) or both sides. Accessing your gear while riding may come with hassle.
- Bag roll: Used in storing sleeping bags and clothes, this type of access has a roll closure system. Most handlebar bags like the Lezyne Bar Caddy and the Ortlieb have this design.
Finding a handlebar bag that has a large main compartment should not be your only priority, handlebar bags that come with a lot of small compartments inside and outside will also contribute to your convenience as it can store small daily necessities.
This is a common situation regarding handlebar bags. Most come with additional items such as shoulder straps, and magic scarf and strap from MATTISAM products. Generally, additional items are always a great bonus so you can look for bags that provide them.
Bikepacking trips may be a bit challenging especially in terms of packing as you have limited spaces and weight capacity. This is why choosing the perfect handlebar bag for your travels and adventures is very crucial.
Fortunately, provided in the article above is a list of the best handlebar bags for cycling and bikepacking which can put you at ease and help you narrow down your choices easier. Additionally, the bags mentioned above can sometimes double as other purposes, and that’s a great win. If this article helped you choose your pick, then let us know down below.