The last bag I needed for bikepacking was a handlebar bag and I wanted to compare the performance of this black ripstop fabric with the Liteskin and Xpac fabrics I used for the other bags. After researching all of the handlebar bag designs the floating harness rig to secure a dry bag seemed to be the best. My home sewing machine wouldn’t be able to sew all the layers of webbing and heavy fabrics needed to make the harness so I decided to make a very minimal bag with hook and loop double roll closures that would be mounted with either 1″ webbing or Voile ski straps. Of the two options of straps for this bag I like the ski straps the best. For the closures I used a 3/4″ webbing, 3/4″ hook/loop and a couple side release buckles. I tried it without the hook and loop and it would never have stayed closed on the bumpy trails without the hook/loop closures. The inside seams are all sealed with seam tape to prevent water ingress.
For an easy to reach and waterproof phone carry I added sidelock buckles to the front of the bag to hang my Vaya Bags pouch or something else in the future. The 5oz Dyneema from the saddle bag was perfect for the webbing and accessory attachments because it could be cut and attached with the edges left unfinished because the laminated construction of the fabric and strength of the Dyneema fibers kept the raw edges from fraying. Below you can see my waterproof shoe covers hanging on the accessory straps to dry while riding.
For navigation I have been using a Suunto Ambit 3 Peak watch, with no space left on the handlebar I added a mount for the watch on the front of the bag which worked out really well considering it’s limited navigation but the placement was perfect and worked well with the Vaya bag directly below the watch that reduced the watch from bouncing.
Check out the pics of the inside of the bag after the first 5 days / 250 miles in the rain. The movement of the bag and contents plus the fabric being pinched tight wore down the poly-urethane coating on the inside. Most of the seam seal tape held up except in a couple places where it was doubled up or there was a lot of friction or stress.
For the next version I want to try a light weight harness that will carry a easily removable dry bag to reduce the damage of the dry bag being crushed and the harness would be mounted to a out-front accessory bar and the handlebar to avoid the bag and contents from banging into the head tube.
70D Ripstop Nylon
1.9 oz/yd 2 (*~2.5 oz/yd 2 with PU coating)
PU backside, DWR front with UV and FR treatment 2000 mm
.51 oz Dyneema® Composite Fabric Composite
Content 35% Dyneema fiber / 65% other polymer film
Weight .51 oz/sg yd
Tear Strength warp 14 lb / weft 14 lb
Made in the USA