Once you have finally arranged to escape the day to day grind, Blackburn's Outpost Handlebar Roll will provided an effective option for pedaling your sleeping bag, tent and other lightweight bikepacking gear out to your chosen slice of isolation. Use the included quick-release mount to attach the durably constructed harness to your bars. Load the 10 liter, water resistant, ripstop stuff sac and secure it in the harness. When space is limited and you desperately need to take that extra burrito with you, use the additional tie-downs and lash that thing to the exterior of the roll. And should the weather look foul, the Outpost Handlebar Roll will also accommodate many other standard dry bags for additional protection.
Quick release mount - installs securely and releases quickly at your whim
Works with many standard dry bags and stuff sacks
Daisy chain loop webbing provides extra opportunities to attach lights or other gear
Save your headaches, not your money; buy a better bag
I purchased this handlebar roll, as well as a Blackburn seat bag (see separate review) for a bikepacking trip and I must say I was underwhelmed by the quality from the moment I removed it from the box. First, the dry bag that comes with the harness was described as “ripstop” when it reality it seems to be more of a light weight plastic material than the ripstop nylon most people would be familiar with. In reality, it feels like a cheap version of a quality vinyl dry bag. Regardless, I’m sure the bag would have been fine had the handlebar bracket not failed on the second day of my trip. Because the bracket is designed to fit three different size bars, inserts are used to fit the smaller two diameters. If you have a 25.4mm bar the bracket is provided with a hard plastic insert that fully encircles the bar, however, if you have a 31.8mm bar (as I do) you must use thin strips of rubber to take up the slack. It was difficult to install and align the bracket using the rubber strips and the result was ill fitting at best. Additionally, there is a chintzy cable that is routed beneath the bar stem, presumably to act as a safety preventing the bracket and harness from rolling forward and contacting the front tire. Unfortunately, the friction between the hard plastic bracket, the thin rubber strips and my bar were not enough to keep the harness from rolling forward and eventually the cable yielded to the strain allowing the whole system to fall and rest on the front tire. Ultimately the whole arrangement seems to be a half-baked solution and in my opinion, Blackburn should offer this harness with three complete brackets sized to fit different bar diameters (especially since its made from inexpensive plastic...) or give the customer the option to select the correct size bracket at the time of purchase and do away with the inserts.
One positive thing I can say for this setup is the strap that allows you to secure items to the outside of the harness which was perfect for quickly stowing a jacket, gloves and buff when it started to warm up. I would highly recommend that anyone consider adding something similar to his or her setup, however, I would not recommend buying this Blackburn product; don’t cut corners here, do the research and go for a better quality manufacturer.
P.S. – Five Stars to Jenson for taking this back and making it right for me.
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