The Best Handlebar Bags for Bikepacking
Spring and warmer days are almost upon us - bringing with them a wealth of biking adventures! One of our favourite things to do in the spring and summer months is to pack up our gear, oil up our bikes and head out bikepacking.
Bikepacking is also defined as 'minimalist camping', where you carry the lightest load with you in order to hit the road for a few days, a week or even longer. This means packing wisely is central to your overall experience, so you can carry the essentials safely and securely.
Pannier bags are perfect for carrying heavier gear, and can save your back from a lot of strain. The best way to pack for a two wheel road trip, though, is to use a combination of bags - including frame bags, seat packs, tube bags and, of course, handlebar bags.
For quick access to road trip items (think: phone, wallet, snacks, camera), handlebar bags can't be beaten. They’re one of the most popular bike bags among cyclists thanks to their simplicity. Using clips to attach to your bike’s handlebars, handlebar bags fit most bikes and don’t require a pannier rack. They’re also available in different sizes to suit your needs.
Here are a few handlebar bags we recommend checking out in time for bikepacking season!
We love this Jumbo Jammer bag by Road Runner Bags, which has tons of storage and was designed to weather even the rowdiest of rides. It’s durable, lightweight and weatherproof, making it a great choice of handlebar bag for bikecamping! We love the colour, too.
Note from Reid: When I was writing articles for Momentum Magazine, I got to spend some time with Road Runner Bags founder, Brad, at Interbike. Brad and I are kindred spirits both starting grassroots bag companies in home workshops. #Coopitition (Cooperation + Competition). Road Runner makes great gear in the USA and are some of the funkiest, nicest people in California.
Of course, this article wouldn’t be complete without including our very own Dayliner Mini Handlebar Bag. This clever bag secures to practically any handlebar setup, and can transform to a useful off bike tote. It’s able to accommodate your keys, wallet and phone – with room to spare for an extra few extra items like a light jacket or a pit stop beverage. The waterproof roll top closure makes it easy to access, while internal organization keeps your stuff easy to find.
The provided carry strap also works as a handy utility strap for securing just about any random thing to the outside of a bag or rack. It’s a great riding choice where stops involve a little wandering, too!
Available in black and graphite grey, this design is also now available to pre-order in a splashy Tofino Blue, too!
Note from Reid: This bag is simply awesome for bombing around town or as a complimentary pack to your bikepacking setup. The additional utility carry strap is one of the biggest secret gems in this bag. It clips in for carrying the bag but also clips together and tightens up so you always have an extra utility strap with you.
Shop it here.
This compact, waterproof bag easily attaches to your bike's handlebars using adjustable and secure straps. Like our Dayliner Mini Handlebar Bag, Po Campo's design converts into a crossbody bag for off-bike convenience.
It also has loads of pockets, great internal organization and reflective accents for visibility in low-light conditions. We’re big fans of the classy design and understated feel, also.
Note from Reid: Po Campo is another great independent bike bag company that is woman owned. More healthy #Coopitition. Po Campo is currently doing a little crowdfunding investment round if you want to support the company: https://republic.co/po-campo
Shop it here.
REI stocks some incredible cycling brands (we’re excited to be included!), and its own line of products is always on point. Made with durable materials with a water repellent (DWR) finish, REI’s Co-op Link Handlebar Bag holds up against the elements.
Its wide U-zip allows for easy access, while the 3 pockets and key clip keep gear safe when you're on bumpy terrain. Like Two Wheel Gear, it's made using bluesign®-approved materials, which help to make manufacturing more sustainable for us and our planet. Find out more about our sustainability practices.
Note from Reid: And when buying from REI, you get your membership dividend. A nice bonus when it comes around.
Shop it here.
Another customer favourite, the Dayliner Handlebar and Trunk Box Bag offers total utility, and is great for both commuting and bike camping. We initially sized this as a bike share basket bag, so it generally fits any front basket or bike share system.
Known as the ‘4-in-1 Shapeshifter'. Riders can:
- Attach it as a trunk bag on all standard rear racks
- Securely mount it to the handlebars with quick slide attachments
- Attach it as a porteur bag on most front racks
- Use its removable shoulder strap to carry groceries or gear in between trips
- We included an external zip pocket in the design, with a fluorescent rain cover to brighten you up. Because it’s nice to keep things organized while on the move, there’s internal organization and side bottle pockets, too. Alongside small zip pockets and several slip pockets, we included multiple daisy chain anchor points around the bottom edges of the bag so it secures in pretty much any application.
Note from Reid: For full on bikepacking, I recommend using this bag with a front rack. It secures so beautifully and gives you a large, easy access front trunk. It will be the most frequently used bag on your trip.
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