The Evoc Handlebar Pack BOA is well-made with an easy-to-use design that makes it a breeze to swap between bikes. I was initially unsure about the small 2.5l capacity, but it proved ideal for carrying some extra clothing and providing a place to stash layers once the day's warmed up. All-in-all, it's a great little bag for everyday use.
Quality materials and construction
BOA system makes fitting a breeze
Work well with narrower width handlebars
Side openings don't allow for access on the move
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Attaching a bag to bike is as old as the hills but in recent years the rise in popularity of bikepacking has altered the landscape just a little. Not only has it meant that the choice of bags is perhaps wider than ever before but it also has led to modern reinterpretations of classics such as the giant saddle bag and the handlebar bag.
Evoc's Handlebar Pack is one such bag. It adopts the functional design of larger bikepacking bags but shrinks it down so it becomes adaptable for everyday use with both road and gravel bikes.
Evoc Handlebar Pack: construction
Evoc’s Handlebar Pack is a small to midsize bar bag, offered in both a 2.5l and 5l capacity. Its smaller size means it’s better suited to day trips rather than bikepacking adventures, unless you’re traveling light or have plenty of other bags strapped to your bike.
Evoc advertises it as waterproof – and both the material and the design would appear to support this claim. The material feels robust and gives the impression of being able to handle much of what’s thrown at it, including some rain. The plain design, with roll top openings at either end, also means there are no zips or closures which could fall foul of water ingress. Equally, there is just a single taped seam, which bodes well with regards to its ability to keep its contents dry.
The central ‘chamber’ of the pack is rigid, thanks to its plastic cylindrical construction. It means it keeps its shape and provides added durability beyond the outer fabric; it also should make it easy to add and remove items.
The roll top closures use a straightforward plastic clip to fasten the two together once they have been velcroed shut and rolled up. It’s a tried-and-tested design that works well and allows the bag to grow or shrink in size based on the cargo it's carrying.
I tested the smaller of the two sizes, with the 2.5l capacity model measuring 12.5 x 12.5 x 20cm. The claimed weight of 200g rose to 220g my home scales.
Evoc Handlebar Pack: the fitting
The bag’s minimal design is heightened further by Evoc's choice of fixings. Rather than Velcro straps or similar, the German brand has opted for a BOA Fit System. A small bracket is fixed to the bag, with a couple of straps. These fit over the handlebars and are secured by two large rubber tabs. Once in place a central BOA dial is then used to tighten the bag until it is secure.
The result is a bar bag that you can fit in less than a minute. Without instructions. It really is that simple. If you’ve used BOA dials on cycling shoes, you’ll understand how it works and how easy it is to ‘dial’ in the correct fit, whether you’re securing the bag against the metal of the bars or against bar tape.
Evoc Handlebar Pack: the ride
While there’s been a move of late for gravel handlebars to get wider with more flare, I still ride a 42cm width. Despite having the smaller 2.5 litre bag to test, I was a little concerned that the relative narrowness of my bars, when combined with the bag, would lead to a somewhat cramped cockpit.
While the bag did fill the space between the levers, I found that it didn’t adversely impact my riding. I was able to ride on the tops without having to really adjust my usual hand position or have the bag rubbing against my knuckles. To create a little more room I did initially try and set the bag a little higher but inevitably found that after hitting a few lumps and bumps the bag had shifted down to what I assume is the ‘correct’ position.
Certainly this is no fault of the BOA system. Once in this lower position, the bag stayed in place. And when it came time to stop to remove an item from the bag, the ease of the BOA dial was a real bonus. By slackening off the dial a small amount I was able to move the bag enough to make it easier for me to access the roll-top opening. I’m guessing with wider bars this wouldn’t be an issue but it proved helpful with my set-up.
As for getting items in and out of the bag, the side-rolls are pretty easy – although because the bag is small in size, the opening isn’t that large.
I have tended to use the bag to stuff extra clothing in; in my experience it’s ideally suited for stashing a jacket, gloves and arm warmers until you need them. It's far less suited to heavier items with rigid structures, such as multi-tools, hand pumps and the like – unless you pack these along with the clothing.
If you’re looking to access items mid-ride, perhaps snacks or a camera, then having the opening at the top of the bag rather than at the sides would be more useful.
I’ve yet to use the bag in sustained or heavy rain, but it handles any showers with aplomb; the rain drops just bead on the surface and either evaporate or roll away. Given the single taped seam I’d expect it to deal with a genuine downpour equally as well.
Evoc Handlebar Pack: value and conclusion
At $130 / £129 the Evoc Handlebar Pack isn’t cheap. That said the quality of materials and construction point to a bag that should be plenty durable. For comparison the Chrome Industries Urban Ex bar bag has a similar capacity, uses a roll top closure positioned at the top of the bag and costs $75 / £75. Likewise the Apidura Racing Mini Pack has comparable storage but uses a lid as the opening and retails at $99 / £72.
When the Evoc Handlebar Pack arrived, I was a little unconvinced due to its size. However, it’s turned out to be ideal for my regular rides. It allows me to carry some extra clothing, or to start my journey with additional layers knowing that I don’t have to worry about trying to stuff them in a jersey pocket when I warm up. The 2.5 litre size makes it unobtrusive on the bike, again a good pairing for everyday use, although too small for a bikepacking trip.
The pack’s well-made, with a simple design that’s easy to use. The BOA system is a real standout; the ease of fitting means that you can swap it between bikes if needed. All-in-all it’s a great little bag.
Evoc Handlebar Pack: specs
- Weight: 200 g claimes, 220g actual
- Capacity: 2.5 litres
- Size: 12.5 x 12.5 x 30cm
- Contact: evocsports.com
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