The front portion of a bike plays a significant role in carrying your stuff while riding. This is also true in the case of bike-packing bags, as there are different types of handlebar bags in the market. You can simply choose a decent handlebar bag along with a frame bag to utilize every inch of your cycle.
The most popular handlebar bags are Harness and Sweet roll. You can choose anyone between them according to your comfort and requirement. Let us have a look at these types before going through each product individually. We will be explaining their features and advantages to you so you can purchase according to your needs.
Harness Handlebar Bags: Harness handlebar bags strap directly onto your handlebar with stretchable straps which do not require any further support from other objects such as platforms, stem, or head tubes. They either carry a single long stuff sack or multiple small pockets for efficient use of space. Harness Handlebar Bag is one of the best handlebar bags. This bag comes with a main pocket, water bottle pockets, and expandable straps, which gives it an upper edge over other similar products.
Sweet Roll Handlebar Bags: A sweet roll or also known as a feedbag is more spacious than harness bags as they have more internal space to accommodate your gears. These are the best choice for carrying bulky items such as nutrition bars, tents, clothes, etc., on your ride. The only downside of this type of handlebar bag is that it has no compression system and takes up wide space on your cycle frame. Sweetroll handlebar bag for bike-packing comes with some multi-functional pockets which turn it into the most versatile stuff sack available in the market.
We will check both of these out one by one. Let’s start our journey!
Revelate Sweet Roll- for Bike Touring
Sweet roll is a simple, lightweight, and soft bag. But in the meantime, it is very durable and can hold all your precious stuff safely. The Revelate Designs Terrapin Seat bag is the best bike-packing handlebar bag which comes with a waterproof main pocket, stretchable straps, and expandable capacity to carry all your gears at once. It is available in large size as well as medium size, which can easily accommodate up to 3 liters hydration bladder. MTB Riders have the luxury of affixing two water bottle cages on this handlebar bag simultaneously by using its outer net sleeve pockets. This seat harness bag has enough space for carrying extra clothes, dry bags, or even tools along with your cycle gear. You can keep them safe by double cinching the compression straps.
Here are some of its strengths.
- One of the main strengths of the sweet roll is its waterproof and abrasion-resistant rating. Along with its unique and elegant design, the fabric used in its construction is pretty sturdy.
- Its structure makes storing rolled and tubular things in the bag much more effortless. Their width varies from 16” to 24”, so no worries about space. You can store multiple things.
- The sweet roll comes with an accessory pocket—another place for you to keep your stuff.
- Its straps are equipped with clips to make attaching and detaching around the handlebar easier.
- It has quality spacers that stay in place and keep the bag tight. They also prevent the bag from rubbing against your bike’s paint.
- Another exciting feature of this arrangement is that you can use the clinch cords to hold a map or something you want to dry.
Ideal Uses for Sweet Roll:
- The best use of sweet roll is for lightweight stuff like your clothes or things you want to stay dry.
- You can also use it to carry your sleeping and rain kit.
- It is an excellent choice for lightweight trips, so when you plan to camp outside, you should couple it with a frame bag to carry the camping gear.
Revelate Handlebar Benefits
A handlebar harness is a soft mount with inbuilt straps that can help you carry lightweight but bulky stuff such as sacks, dry bags, and other cylindrical objects. Here are some of its strengths
- This bag is ideal for carrying 1 or 2 cylindrical things like a tent and sleeping bag.
- It is also equipped with an accessory pocket.
- Due to its specific design, its center of gravity is lower (a bit better) than sweet roll.
- Loading and unloading are effortless while Harness remains attached to the bike.
- Its perfectly engineered design is a result of investing a massive amount of time and energy.
- New models are also equipped with quick-release clips.
Ideal uses for Harness:
- An excellent choice for suspension bikes.
- It can carry things up to 6.5lbs.
- Best to carry your tent or other cylindrical objects.
The features of both the bike-packing handlebar bags
- Harness Handlebar Bag: It is fully waterproof and comes with a roll-top closure system to keep your gears safe and dry. You can use it as a stuff sack or soft shell bag during camping or sleeping at night. The compression straps of this best handlebar bag for MTB allow you to reduce its volume while packing so that it can accommodate all other gears properly.
- Sweet Roll Handle Bar Bag: This multipurpose bicycle handlebar bag has multiple pockets which allow you to store different items separately such as nutrition bars, water bottles, tools, etc., You can cinch up the main compartment to keep your gears safe by pulling the straps on both ends. You can avail an extra 3 liters hydration bladder in this best MTB handlebar bag which is dry, dirt-free, and easy to clean as well.
How much volume do you need?
For cyclists looking for carrying capacity, Sweetrolls are designed to carry bulkier items (like sleeping bags) while Harnesses are better suited to smaller or lighter loads where compression is key (like clothing). Doubling up with a drybag overstuffing the roll will allow you to reduce its size to half, making it suitable even for smaller frame bikes.
What kind of bike/wheels?
You will also need to consider your bike and the type of wheels it has before choosing a bag. Some handlebar bags work with more than one wheel size while others fit some specific types of bikes only. For example, Harnesses are suitable for fat tire bikes, while some Sweetrolls can be mounted on almost any bike.
Revelate Handlebar Bags: Harness vs Sweet Roll
Price: Price is not justifiable in choosing between these two handlebar bags as there is no immense difference between them in terms of price tag, making both Sweetrolls and Harnesses affordable among other handlebar bags available in the market.
Route: Revelate Sweetrolls are compatible with any kind of riding you plan on doing, whether it is forested roads or rocky terrain. The only thing that affects its compatibility is the elevation and weather. Harnesses, on the other hand, work best in smooth dirt roads and mountain biking trails which require less stability and more compression for your items to avoid unnecessary movement.
Construction: Most people prefer Sweetrolls as they offer a simple but sturdy construction as compared to Harnesses which comes with an additional strap for compression. If you think quick packing/unpacking is necessary while cycling, go for Harness bags as these offer easier access than their counterparts. However, Sweetrolls can be rolled up efficiently when not in use making storage easier.
Weight: Revelate Sweetrolls are lighter than their counterparts, which is why cyclists prefer them despite being less versatile. However, Harnesses also have an advantage over Sweetrolls as they can be easily disassembled making it easy to store and pack up the bag when you abandon your cycle. Reassembling the harness is slightly time-consuming but worth it if you are planning on sleeping overnight in your cycle bag. For this reason, it is important to consider the weight of a handlebar bag before purchasing one for yourself.
Handlebar bags often require the use of additional straps around the stem to secure it properly onto the cycle frame; some models instead integrate the straps into the handlebar bag design. The former often offer a more stable mount as compared to the latter, which tend to move around and become loose with time.
Range of Usage: Revelate Handlebar bags are suitable for all seasons and riding styles; even if you feel like changing your bike-packing set up (frame bag and seat bag) in the future, both these bags will complement your cycle perfectly after that change.
But the question is, “How to choose the best handlebar bag?” The answer to this question lies in you. It depends upon what kind of traveler you are and how much space you need to store your gear.
Harness Handlebar Bag vs Sweet Roll Handlebar Bag: Which one is better?
Both of them are the best custom handlebar bags and can be used simultaneously on your cycle to carry different items. One cannot claim that one handlebar bag is better than the other as both of them come with distinct specifications like compression, weight, cost, etc., You should choose the best handlebar bag according to your requirement. If you own a lightweight bicycle frame made up of carbon fiber or alloy material then you must opt for Harness Handle Bar Bags But if you want an option to carry bulky items along with little extra space then you must go for Sweet Roll Handlebar Bags.
No matter which style of bike-packing bags you choose, make sure it supports your weight and keeps the balance, otherwise any bike-packing bag will be more of a nuisance rather than help.