Good on-bike storage is a great thing to have, but it’s even better when your bike’s cargo bag can double as a hip pack or backpack too. In this roundup we’ll check out a few new handlebar bags from Swift Industries, including their Elwha hip pack/handlebar bag. We’ll also preview the Svolta backpack/handlebar bag from Sentier Adventure Gear, which is currently seeking crowdfunding through their Kickstarter campaign.
Swift Industries Handlebar bags:
Seattle, Washington’s Swift Industries have a few new handlebar bags available, including the Bandito Handlebar and Saddle Bag. The Bandito attaches to your bike with three straps – two leather straps wrap around your handlebars, and a third goes around the stem (or seatpost) to stabilize the bag. If you have a Brooks-style saddle with attachment loops, the Bandito’s main straps are spaced to fit them.
The Bandito’s 3.2L capacity offers enough space for carrying a tire repair kit, your wallet and keys, a small camera and some snacks. D-rings on the sides allow you to attach a shoulder strap (sold separately) and two elastic loops provide external storage for a hand pump.
The Bandito is made from 1000D Cordura with a packcloth liner. Plastic inserts and an internal dowel keep the bag rigidly in shape. The Bandito retails for $86 USD, and comes in Rust or Steel colors. A Cascade series Bandito bag is also available in Black or Green.
The Paloma handlebar bag is a Randonneur bag that uses Klickfix Adapters or Nitto F15 brackets for easy attachment. The bag’s aluminum frame clips into the Klickfix adapter, and comes off with the push of a button. It should be noted that cross-top levers are not compatible with this bag.
The Paloma’s 6L capacity offers enough room for your lunch, DSLR camera, an extra layer and other small items. Internal dividers and a front pocket help divide up your cargo, and two D-rings can accommodate an optional shoulder strap.
The various models are constructed from 1000D Cordura, X-Pac X10 Canvas or VX21 X-Pac fabric, all with plastic inserts to hold their shape. One common feature is the transparent, touch-screen responsive map pocket on top.
The Paloma comes in Cascade, Hinterland, Horizon and Custom models with lots of color options. MSRP ranges from $160-179, and Klickfix Adapters are available for an additional $27.
The Elwha pack doubles as a soft-mount handlebar bag and a hip pack. When mounted to your bars, the hip pack straps neatly tuck away behind the bag’s mesh back panel. Designed with anglers in mind, this pack features two web loops on the bottom to carry the Swift Industries x Tankara Rod Co.’s limited edition fishing pole (or a pump, perhaps).
The pack’s Dyneema ripstop liner and 1000D Cordura exterior ensure durability, and waterproof YKK zippers will keep your cargo dry inside. The bag has a flat front pocket, and its main pocket has internal organizers to separate small items.
The Elwha offers a 2.5L capacity, but Swift’s Sidekick Pouches can be attached to the webbing on the hip stabilizers to gain more cargo space. The pack can also carry a bed roll with an optional harness strap kit. The Elwha pack retails for $120, and comes in Olive or Black.
Sentier Adventure Gear- The Svolta:
Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter is the Svolta; a 4L handlebar bag that converts into an 18L backpack. The Svolta was designed by Sentier Adventure Gear, who successfully crowdfunded their Bike Trolley through Kickstarter two years ago.
In backpack mode the bag is 100% waterproof, and uses a roll-top closure which makes its size and capacity easily adjustable. For additional storage there are two lycra side pockets and a front pocket with a waterproof zipper. Above that pocket is a Velcro flap with two smaller pouches and a key loop. The shoulder straps are foam padded for comfort, and include a detachable chest strap.
In handlebar bag mode, the Svolta offers an easy access top opening (with the small key loop pockets on it’s inside), and both side pockets remain accessible. In handlebar mode the bag is only water resistant, but you can still use the roll-top closure inside the top flap for 100% waterproof storage.
To convert from backpack to handlebar bag, the two strips of back padding are removed and re-routed through their lower buckles to act as handlebar attachment straps. The shoulder straps get tucked away inside the bag.
The Svolta is made of three different Nylon fabrics, including Ripstop Nylon on the roll-top portion. The graphics, logos and accessories have reflective detailing to enhance visibility. The Svolta will be sold in Sage Grey or Stealth Black.
Kickstarter supporters can currently pre-order a Svolta for $78 USD. With under two weeks to go this pack needs more funding to go ahead, so click here and pre-order now if you want to see the Svolta become a reality.