Feb 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm #1325455Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I'm spending the cold rainy days assembling a bikepacking rig. I'm thinking out loud with this setup but I think it has merit.
I ran across an Ikea VARIERA plastic bag dispenser for $2. The core section struck me as a perfect support to use with a stuff/dry bag for a bikepacking handlebar or cargo rack pack.
It took seconds to cut the flat back panel free of the curved front section. There is a bottom piece that simply snaps off. That leaves the section that is 17.5" long , 13.25" measuring across the arc, 9" across as it sits unloaded and it weighs 5.8oz.
Many bikepacking handlebar bags us a roll-top dry bag supported by some sort of stiff panel and webbing straps for attaching the stuff sack and mounting to the handlebars. IMHO any bike luggage needs to carry the load with attention to stability and secure attachment with safety in mind. The system needs to provide good access and protect the contents. Durability, weight and cost are factors as with any hiking gear.
My load-hauling strategy is rack based rather than bikepacking handlebar and seat bags. I use my bike for rail trails and local/urban use, so trail clearance is not a concern and package handling is on the list. The racks on my bike were dirt cheap and the combined load capacity nearly 100 pounds! I have no thought of getting close to that.
I do have waterproof panniers, but I do have waterproof stuff sacks for a lighter setup more worthy of an UL hiking style load. I recently acquired an OR Dry Peak Bagger waterproof backpack that gives me 29 liters of hauling volume in a 9.6oz package. My plan is to use the OR pack on the back rack and an Outdoor Research Hydroseal Drycomp Sack #3 (33.9L) on the front rack. That leaves the pack for day hike and town use without adding more gear and weight. The two bags together give me 63 liters maximum storage— more than enough for UL multi-day trips. I'm sure I could get by with the backpack and a ~13L dry bag on the front rack. I want to keep the front load to a minimum, planning on a small bag with compressed sleeping and camp insulation.
Having the bags shift and slide or droop is a concern and that is where the bikepacking handlebar bags use a stiff panel to keep the stuff sack secure and stable. The re-purposed Ikea item is stiff enough and all those holes allow the use of bungie cords and webbing straps. Note in the photos below that the stuff sack has a daisy chain down the side, creating the perfect opportunity to keep the bag from squirting out of the support. A strap or bungie cord across each end could help keep a bag in place–if needed at all. Line to could be used to the same purpose. I plan to use the same straps to secure the bags and to hold the whole works onto the rack.
The bare center section of the bag holder:
OP compression dry sack strapped in place.
There is room for a torso-length RidgeRest pad:
One concern is rubbing holes in the dry bags. Smoothing any sharp corners or edges would be easy and well advised. It is long for a handlebar bag with flat bars. The problem in cutting it down is the long slots in the center of the holder. It could be trimmed to about 9" long using one slot's worth, leaving a little over half the length to use. If you have bars with a some sweep like my North Road style bars, the grips are well out of the way and the whole section can be used.
Have bike, will travel!Feb 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm #2172097John S.BPL Member
Good idea. What I ended up doing for my San Juan Hut to Hut trip last August was to use a dollar store cutting sheet inside my dry bag for some support. For the outside straps I used hollow plastic tubes (2-3 inch length and 1 inch diameter) to feed straps through and those tubes keep the bag away from the bar and help lessen friction against the fabric (maybe). I had gotten the ideas from bikeforums.net.Feb 7, 2015 at 6:29 pm #2172379John McBPL Member
I'm starting to look into the way I'll be carrying the same dry bag on my rack. Thats a great idea. I've been concerned about the straps. Your idea solves that.Feb 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm #2172386rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
Ingenious idea. Thanks for sharing.Feb 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm #2172404Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
"I'm starting to look into the way I'll be carrying the same dry bag on my rack. Thats a great idea. I've been concerned about the straps. Your idea solves that."
Many panniers stick up a couple inches from the rack top deck, making a good cradle for a cylindrical stuff sack. Those with a daisy chain down the side are easy to strap down securely. One trick to keeping those without daisy chains from sliding is to clip the roll top buckle to the loop at the forward end of the rack.
Where the Ikea dispenser excels is to keepa bag from drooping on a short rack or pn handlebars. Another use would be to strap a stuff sack on the side of a rack where a pannier would mount. You could haul two stuff sacks on the sides of a rack plus another on top. Using the OR bag shown, that is over 90 liters volume— more than enough for anyone with UL gear. You could haul two waterproof stuff sacks with a backpack or a bear can on top.
The things I like about the stuff sacks are the low weight and cost in comparison to panniers, plus the option to use them for hiking or boating. A larger bag can be made smaller too.
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