The Bar Bag Small is the latest addition to the extensive bag range of Yorkshire bike packing specialists Restrap. The separate holster and roll bag combo adds weight but makes unpacking/repacking easy. The deep, bar spaced design adds capacity without cramping hand positions and it’s a solid mount as long as you’ve got the vertical space for it.
Design and specifications
Restrap have gone for a two part ‘holster and dry bag’ design. The stiffened ‘C’ shaped textured Nylon ‘holster’ is fixed onto the bars with two straps tightened with big spring loaded buckles for a fast fix. Two foam spacers are fitted as standard too, dropping the bag below the bar. Another two straps loop through two one of (or both) wide webbings straps that loop around under the fork crown. The ‘jaws’ of the holster are then tightened with another pair of straps fasten onto clip buckles, with Velcro tabs to stop the loose ends flapping. The holster is finished off with a black or orange cord locked ‘8’ bungee and Restrap’s signature vegan leather badge.
In contrast, the dry bag is pretty simple. It’s a tape sealed single seam tube made out of lightweight waterproof fabric with a plastic rolling bar and snap lock buckles at either end.
You can also get the Bar Bag Large which magnetically attaches a zipped, hardcase 3L Food Pouch bag to the top of the holster. All Restrap bags are made in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK and they’re covered with a lifetime defects and materials warranty. They also run an in-house repair service.
The big advantage of the holster and dry bag design system is that once the holster is strapped securely onto the bars you can remove and refit the dry bag really easily. That’s a major plus compared to trying to pull things out of the ends with the bars in the way, or having to unmount the entire bag. The holster also does a decent job of protecting the lightweight dry bag too - from above and behind at least. It also keeps the whole set up stable and gives you a firm base for the bungee (and the Food Pouch if you go ‘Large’).
The downside is that the chunky ‘holster’ with its heavyweight straps weighs more than some complete lightweight bag bag set ups. You also need to line up the slightly saggy dry bag carefully to stop it getting lopsided and getting too close to the bars even on a relatively broad, flared bar.
While the spaced, below the bars set up means you still get a full set of hand positions it also adds depth to the whole set up. Restrap themselves recommend at least 230mm of clearance between bar and tire and that’s not going to be possible with some smaller bikes. Obviously you could remove the spacers and cinch it right up to the bars if needs be though. While the holster straps that hold the dry bag have tidy tabs, there aren’t any on the fork crown straps. That means you’ll need to be careful to tuck loose ends out of the way of the wheels. They also add another area where the paint will need protecting from wear. Alternatively you can use the cunning new Restrap Bumper Bar that slides under the stem as a more solid secondary mount/paint protector.
Restrap’s two piece Bar Bag system makes the dry bag a lot easier to get in and out of and creates a stable base with extra storage potential too. The holster is very solidly made and can be used for other loads besides the supplied dry bag too. Even though the dry bag is very light (which potentially raises some durability concerns) the whole set up is heavy. There’s also some potential small bike fit, loose strap and paint wear issues to think about.
Tech Specs: Restrap Bar Bag Small
- Price: $163.99 / £109.99 / €131.99
- Sizes: 14L (Small, tested) or 17L (Large)
- Weight: 310g (holster) + 160g (dry bag) = 470g