The best handlebar bags have leapt from the bikepacking world onto the road and gravel riding scene in a big way in the past few years. Lezyne’s Hard Bar Caddy zipped, softshell pod adds fresh option to fabric ‘school pencil case/barrel’ bar bag designs. Accessibility is great and attachment easy – if basic – but it needs careful packing to keep it quiet.
Design and build
The Hard Bar Caddy uses two EVA halves with a fabric ‘hinge’ at the bottom and a double puller zip that closes it into a 2.2 liter capacity ‘pod’. Fabric bellows on the side stop it opening more than 90 degrees and there’s an elasticated top mesh pocket across the back section. The front section has two reflective ‘daisy chain’ strips to clip lights or other dangling delights onto. The back section has a horizontal four slot webbing strap for two 29cm double over hook and loop bar straps and then another two slot vertical strap for a 42cm double over hook and loop head tube strap.
The three strap system is certainly easy to understand compared to puzzlers like the Ortlieb bar bag I’ve tested. The 90 degree ‘Pac-Man’ opening and hard body make it really easy to get stuff into/out of without stuff falling on the floor.
The bar straps are bizarrely long though so have the scissors ready to cut them down. The hard body design makes it harder to pull it in tight to the head tube with that strap. It also makes the design more likely to bounce around. Unless you’ve filled the whole pod with a jacket or something soft, things won’t stay in the elasticated pocket long on rough ground either. Add the natural ‘soundbox’ effect of the pod to loose stuff jiving around inside and it can rattle drum very obviously even on relatively smooth roads. Obviously, if you need to pull whatever jacket/gillet etc. it is you've used as muffling out to use it, then everything will start flying around again after the first bump.
The accessory loops are also so close to the pod that they're directional in terms of vertical light placement and while it shrugs off showers and drizzle, the zip and seam mean it’s not waterproof.
Lezne’s Hard Bar Caddy looks really neat and it’s easy to fit and zip and flip open/shut to get stuff into and out of though. It’s not the most stable though and unless it’s got a soft filler as sound deadening it’s like having a toddler with a drum on your bars anywhere remotely rough.
Tech specs: Lezyne Hard Bar Caddy handlebar bag
- Price: £54 $
- Size: 26 x 13 x 13cm
- Color: Black only
- Weight: 207g (including straps)