18 months or so ago the only handle bar bag you’d see on a bike was a carradice saddle bag converted to bar use and was paired with panniers and racks on a classic touring bike. Then with the advent of the popularity of gravel bikes a few companies sprung up around the world making short run bespoke bags specially designed for carrying enough kit for a day out in your local area. The type of ride you only need a packable jacket, multi tool, spare tube and some sandwiches. these bags are perfect for that on their own, cutting down on stuff jammed into pockets or strapped to the frame. Fast forward to now and companies are mass producing these “burrito” bags and they are available at a much more favourable price point. But has this meant sacrificing the usability and watered down the ideas seen in the original bags?
The Bag quite simply is a cylinder with a zip across the front, four attachment points, two of velcro and two with the same style of fixings seen on the Node top tube bag with a stabilising strap that goes around the frame head tube and it is also made of the same weather resistant material as the Node. On each end of the bag is a mesh elasticated pocket for stashing stuff you need to get to while riding along. Although the main zip is purposeful enough to enable opening while moving too. Inside the bag is a plastic stiffener that helps keep the bags shape and structure.
In use the bag fits easily to the bike and is stable when riding. I got a packable waterproof jacket, inner tube, tubeless repair kit, my phone, keys and a go-pro and mini tripod in the bag and there was still room for more. The end mesh pocket was used to stash a face covering. The inner stiffener meant that heavy items didn’t deform the shape and make the bag sag. this same stiffener also meant that anything like a bunch of keys if not wrapped in say a buff would rattle constantly and was very annoying! wrapped up safely and this was cured. The bag straps fitted either side of the stem on my bike but they aren’t adjustable for width if you have narrow bars or a lot of bar furniture. loading the bag up with heavier things ( i may have visited the beer shop for some take away cans) made no difference to the stability and the extra mass on the bars didn’t affect the handling of the bike.
The bag is good, it’s the right size for day trips and looks and feels like it would last a long time and still look good due to the material it’s made from. if the inner plastic stiffener was covered in a soft material to stop rattles and the straps could be adjusted for width it would be pretty much perfect and a great way to get into the bar bag scene.
more info can be found on the Miss Grape Insta page or the official webpage
As with all my tests, this is an impartial and real world review. I’m not sponsored and I’m just an average rider like most of the cyclists out there. I do inform anyone who sends me things to test that It will be an honest review good or bad