I know, I know. Kickstarter, right? Often, crowdfunding gives us a glimpse of truly WTF products (The Babymaker e-bike??). But every once in a while, crowdfunding works in the way it was intended – launching a new brand to the masses with a unique new product. That seems to be the case with Route Werks and their new handlebar bag. Apparently two years in the making, this take on the humble bar bag offers a number of clever features – which makes it clear why it was fully funded in just six hours.
There’s a lot going on with the bag, but we’ll start with what Route Werks refers to as their customizeable dashboard. The rigid bag top has a built-in Tech Mount which is compatible with Quad Lock, K-Edge, and Barfly adapters giving you a huge range of options for what can be mounted on top. Phones, cameras, GPS units, even lights – although the bag also has threaded M5 accessory mounts on the side which are the ideal place for a light or bell.
The rigid polycarbonate top allows you to open the bag away from you while riding, and the integrated stop will keep whatever is mounted on top from smashing into the front of the bag. The latch to open the bag is spring loaded making it super easy to access the contents mid-pedal.
The bag is fairly narrow at 145 x 235 x 153mm so it fits well between narrow drop bars and still looks like it would provide plenty of room for the movement of shift levers. But thanks to its depth, it still offers 3.2L of storage in a 648g (1.5lb) package. The maximum carry weight is 4kg (9lb), which should offer the ability to haul most of what you’d ever carry in a handlebar bag.
Note that while all the photos show the bag mounted to dropbars, it seems like this would also work well on flat bars, if you have a flat bar commuter, gravel, or road set up.
Inside, there are storage dividers made from ripstop nylon, and the outside is made from 500D cordura fabric for a water resistant construction. Additional storage is offered with exterior pockets on the side, plus shock cords to strap down things like an extra layer.
Mounted to the handlebar with a rigid bracket, the bag won’t put any pressure on your cables, sag or bounce, or rub on the frame. There’s also a locking on/off lever for easy removal and installation of the bag. Note that the included mount is for 31.8mm bars only. Route Werks says that they will have custom shims with a matching finish available to fit smaller bars, but they are also planning to have dedicated Bike Mount adapters for other sizes in the future.
When you’re not riding, you can take the bag with you using the minimalist integrated shoulder strap.
As with any Kickstarter project, there is some risk to backing it. However, the reward for trusting that Route Werks will deliver the bags on time in January, 2021, is that you can pick up one of the bags for a discount. Planned MSRP for the Handlebar Bag will start at $179, while the current lowest Kickstarter price is $127 for the bag and a 31.8mm bike mount.
Handlebar Bags will be offered in your choice of black or green and there is also an optional matching saddle bag included for a higher pledge. The small bag includes a waterproof zipper, and a .4L capacity and weighs 40g.