A while back I got a note from Barry Ward, who had started sewing handy handlebar bags. I tried a few out and quickly fell in love, so I was excited to learn that he recently founded a new company around his venture called Durango Sewing Solutions.
Ward got his start in rock climbing and was making some bomber climbing gear in the late ‘80s through the mid ‘90s. The company he worked for, A5 Adventures, was eventually acquired by The North Face. He wasn’t done creating though, and had a few other brands along the way, including Kokopelli Designs and HIFA Products. In 2015 he moved to Durango, Colorado, and a new project was born.
While these bags are a minor evolution over the previous generations, they continue to impress me with how useful they are. From commuting to touring to bikepacking to just cruising around the block, these handlebar bags keep goodies close at hand and secure. Fill ‘em with snacks, a small camera, a water bottle or really anything that you want easy access to. A good sign that the design works is that there are now a dozen or more bag makers with similar products.
Made from X-Pac and sewn by Ward himself, they have a drawstring closure on the top and a small foam puck in the bottom to help keep their shape. With a symmetric design, they can be used on either side of the stem. An adjustable loop with a buckle goes around the fork crown to keep it from swaying. This tall version will swallow a 24 oz. water bottle whole.
I’m not sure who designed these types of bags first, but Ward’s are the ones I fell in love with. His Durango Sewing Handlebar Buckets are available in short ($35), regular ($35) or deluxe ($40, pictured). The deluxe model has an exterior mesh pocket for empty snack wrappers or other small items: a $5 upgrade that’s totally worth it.
It’s rare that I ride a bike these days without one of these attached.
Ward let us know that he wasn’t the founder of A5, but joined the team early on.Tweet Print
Portland-based North St bags is now offering classically styled utility duffle bags for your cycling adventures. The Scout series features three sizes of American-made waterproof duffles, including options for bicycle basket or handlebar mounting kits.
- 1000 denier Cordura Outer Shell
- X-Pac Waterproof Liner
- Interior zipper pocket and lanyard
- Shoulder strap included
- Custom colors available
- Guaranteed for life
- Made in Portland of USA-made materials
- Duffles start at $59. Duffles with cycling kits start at $79.