Revelate Handlebar Bag Shootout: Harness vs Sweet Roll
Revelate Designs makes a couple of excellent solutions for toting gear on the handlebars. As I was weighing out which one would be functionally perfect for Gin on our upcoming trip, I jotted down a few notes…
Revelate Sweet Roll – for Bike Touring?
I had seen the Revelate Sweet Roll in action before, but didn’t really get much hands-on. The first thing I noticed when putting it together, in comparison with the Harness which I’ve used for a while now, is that it is much simpler, cleaner and lightweight. It weighs about 115 grams (4 oz) less than the 15oz Harness. At the same time it also seems slightly less rugged. But that may be because it’s a soft bag where the Harness has a semi-rigid backing. I’m sure that it’s as tough as a two-dollar steak; all of the Revelate stuff I have used is extremely well crafted and very durable. Here is a list of strengths as well as photos and notes:
- Waterproof – the Sweet Roll is essentially a tough drybag with elegantly designed and placed hardware, and reinforced fabrics to prevent abrasion.
- The design makes it easy to add tubular shaped or rolled items to the outside with the accessory straps.
- The bag is also designed to work with the accessory pocket.
- The Sweet Roll is slightly less complicated than the Harness.
- Integrated clips on the straps that go around the handlebar make it easier to attach and detach.
- The spacers on the handlebar straps work very well and by design, don’t shift around.
- The cinch cord add on is great for carrying maps, or letting something dry in the sun.
Ideal Uses for the Sweet Roll
- Carrying clothes, or other things that need to stay dry; perfect for lightweight bike touring.
- I think it will be perfect for Gin on our upcoming trip packed with all her sleeping gear and rain gear – 5.5lbs total.
- Great for tentless bikepacking. Or for use in combination with another method to store a small sleeping shelter; Dustin used his to tote a sleeping bag, tarp and a couple other items on our last bikepacking trip.
Revelate Handlebar Harness – Bikepacking loaded
I have put quite a few rough miles on the Handlebar Harness over a few trips. My initial decision to get the Harness over the Sweet Roll was based on using it with a full-suspension bike, not to mention the need to load a gigantic three person tent. Here is where I think it shines (also see notes in the photo captions):
- Perfect for stacking two large cylindrical items; in this case a tent and sleeping bag.
- The Harness also works with the accessory pocket.
- When items are stacked it moves the weight lower and provides a slightly better center of gravity than the Sweet Roll.
- Very easy to load and unload while the Harness remains attached to the bike.
- You can tell that Eric at Revelate spent a great deal of time perfecting the design of the harness; lots of intricacies and rugged hardware.
- UPDATE: Eric, from Revelate, let me know that they added the quick releas clips to the current iteration of the harness.
Ideal Uses for the Revelate Handlebar Harness
- Perfect for use on a full suspension bike with no room in the triangle.
- I have beat this thing up on some downhills carrying hefty loads and it seems very sturdy. This configuration weighs about 2,950 grams (6.5 lbs) without loading the pocket… on the last trip I had it bursting with a pound of trail mix, maps, a knife, etc.
- Great if you are planning on carrying a tent up front, or stacking narrower cylinders for a more vertical configuration.