- Red Deer
The Handlebar Bag features a customizable dashboard to mount any BarFly Tech Adapter or Quad Lock compatible technology and is designed for quick, one-handed access with expandable storage. The easy on/off lever and integrated shoulder strap allows you to take the bag with you, on or off the...
We recently took delivery of a pair of handlebar bags that we plan to use on a multi-day cycling trip later in the season to the West Coast as well as on future extended rides. Our needs were specific and the goal was to find a relatively compact (non-roll top) touring bag that would enable us to access essential items during the entire trip. A solid bar mounting attachment was another key requirement as well as ease of attaching and removing the bag.
The Route Werks 3.2L handlebar bag with its simple clean lines won out as it virtually ticked off all of the boxes on our list of wants. The only caveats being were the cost of the bag which itself is on the high end of the spectrum and the fact that a couple of essential accessories were not included in the price.
The hard polymer lid is the first thing that stands out and allows one to mount either a phone/GPS device atop using the appropriate Barfly/K-Edge head adapters. Once again, those are considered extras though the Barfly mounting plate was provided with the bag. Fortunately, I had a spare Garmin adapter from a Barfly kit that I had purchased several years ago and affixed it to the supplied plate. The shock cord which wraps around the lid can be used to hold lighter items such as gloves or a windbreaker.
The bag is quite roomy given its 3L + size and has three internal pockets with snap closures as well as one zippered version on the underside of the lid. The interior is slightly padded so that rattling shouldn’t become an issue. There are also two small exterior pockets on either side of the bag for a multi-tool, patches or even an airtag. An integrated shoulder strap is also included and should come in handy when the bag is removed for transport.
The lid also conveniently flips up and out via a catch allowing one to grab items/snacks on the fly and clicks back into place quite easily. Weight of the bag is 677g including the bar mount and will carry up to 4kg of contents. The Cordura fabric is weatherproof but likely not 100% H20 proof although I suspect that the hard lid will help keep much of the moisture out during showers. Some reviewers have ridden with this bag in the rain and found it to have held up quite well with no signs of intrusion.
The bar mount is made from milled aluminum and uses four hex bolts when attaching it to the bars. It’s really quite solid and the bag doesn’t budge at all once it’s latched down. Removing and re-attaching the bag takes seconds with a simple flip of the lower orange lever. With the bag removed, the bar mount is unobtrusive and minimalist in appearance and clears the front of the stem by over 50mm. With the bag attached, there is plenty of space to move hands next to the stem. The mount will fit bars up to 31.8mm in width but can also be adapted to fit narrow version with shims.
The most distinguishing feature of this bag, IMO, is the functionality of the optional aluminum handlebar stubs. The bag accepts stubs on either side which are able to accommodate lights and bells. This eliminates any worry of trying to fit devices onto the bars where space may be limited and I definitely appreciate less cockpit clutter.
The addition of this bar bag for me will negate the need for either a dromedary backpack or frame bag which will free up room for a water bottle in the small triangle of my bike. I’ll carry another bottle in a rack trunk bag as the other cage will be occupied by the RE.
For anyone in the need of a larger bag, there are probably a ton of cheaper options out there including ones by Ortlieb which was our runner up to Route Werks. If you can convince yourself to swallow the steeper price along with the cost of any added accessories then this uber functional bag may be for you. We intend to get plenty of use from these bags once the snow has melted and it’s warm enough to hit the road.