By Stefan Abram
Ortlieb has just launched the Handlebar-Pack QR which has a host of clever touches that could make this a go-to model for bikepackers, cycle tourers, commuters – and anyone else who’s after a little extra carrying capacity.
A roll closure system – which is accessed from the top – stands to make accessibility when mounted on a drop bar bike significantly easier than handlebar bags with a side entry design. When closed with three rolls, the bag meets the standard for an IP64 rating – meaning it should keep your things dry even in the most torrential of downpours.
There are straps inside the bag to help keep things arranged, while on each side there is a mesh pocket for food, water bottles, or anything you want quick access to. To further help keep to contents from rattling, there are two compression straps at the front of the bag.
With an 11-litre volume, Ortlieb’s Handlebar-Pack QR is more capacious than some saddlebags, although it does have a 5kg weight limit. It’s 32cm, so even with that large volume, it should play nicely with even relatively narrow handlebars. The claimed weight is 530g.
But what is particularly interesting about this handlebar bag is its quick release mounting system. Should it work as intended, this could make the bag quicker and easier to mount, while also playing more nicely with brake / gear cables than the current solutions based around straps. However, one caveat to this is that the system is only rated for use on metal handlebars – carbon handlebars are out with this design.
The pricing stands at $160 in the USA and £125 in the UK – which places it among the most expensive handlebar bags out there. But with that said, the Ortlieb has genuinely earnt its reputation for hardwearing and well-thought-out products. Its bags have been field tested on countless long distance cycle tours, such as those by hels.on.wheels, rausgefahren and Supercyclingman, to name just a few.
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