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  1. #1
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    "lumpy" handlebar bag. How to solve?

    I've got a Revelate Designs "Sling" for the front of the bike. The sling is essentially a little guard to prevent your brakes/bar rubbing on your bag and a set of straps to mount your bag. It doesn't have any "structure" to it.

    I'm using a REI compression dry sack (Dry Sack at REI.com), which is great. In there I have my hammock, rain fly, hammock straps (DoubleNest Hammock) and a sleeping bag liner (Thermolite Mummy Bag Liner).

    My problem is that the bag is lumpy with 4 things in there, and the straps end up digging in between the items and the straps end up loosening up over a ride as the items in the bag shift around.

    What's a good way out of this? I knows some others carry a lot bigger items up front like a big sleeping bag, but I'm doing my bikepacking in the GA summer, so the liner is all I need. Was maybe thinking of getting a plastic tube or something like that to give that dry bag some structure.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    I also use the revelate sling and drybag approach. I start off by putting the folded sleeping pad around the circumference of the bag. Everything else gets shoved into the middle and then compressed down. This gives a smooth outside and some structure to the bag. With your gear, I would try folding up the rain fly into something about 12 inches by 24 inches and then rolling that into the dry bag and then stuffing the rest of it in the middle.

  3. #3
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    Yea, if I had a sleeping pad that would be the easy button, but I'm using a hammock to sleep. I like the rain fly idea. Wonder if that will give enough support. It's pretty thin as it's the Eno brand one vs just a tarp.

    -Tom

  4. #4
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    I don't use a sling but do use an event dry bag on my handlebars. I know exactly what you're describing. I think the trick is using the right webbing. You need to use a webbing that actually buckles that way you can really crank down on them. If it loosens up during the ride you can just cinch it down even more.

  5. #5
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaxc View Post
    You need to use a webbing that actually buckles that way you can really crank down on them. If it loosens up during the ride you can just cinch it down even more.
    good idea. if you can cinch it easily, then i think the lumps are just a cosmetic issue, right?

  6. #6
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    I can't exactly visualize your bag arrangement, but wonder if a really lightweight length of bamboo in your pack would help. I have used bamboo to replace heavy pack stays. They are quite light. If you need a bit more bulk, try a really small camping pillow. I use a tiny one in my hammock. It is springy and compressible, so would make a bag into a structure.

  7. #7
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    It's more of a cosmetic issue, as I can crank down on the straps just fine, even while riding. It would be nice to have more of a "structured" pack though. Was looking through some bikepacking blogs tonight and someone had listed a sheet of closed cell foam as structure for a handle bar bag, so I think that might be the easy button for me. Should weigh pretty much nothing. I'll pick a sheet up next time I'm passing a craft store and see if that works

    -Tom

  8. #8
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    Dude, it's just cosmetic. Trust me, nobody is looking at your lumpy handlebar bag (sounds dirty!). Also, putting in some closed cell foam is just going to reduce the volume of the stuff sack.

  9. #9
    gran jefe
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    trhoppe, i have to admit that i just filled my bar bag for the first time, and buckled it down tight, and looked at it and said, "aww, man, it's all lumpy."

  10. #10
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    Hi, hoppe & all,

    I get lumpy bags too when I insert already-compressed items into any, including my drybag in my Revelate Harness (not sure how different the Sling is). I've taken to using my drybag (and seat bag) as the compression sack itself and stuff them with loose items. This m.o. seem to fill the voids better than my old method of using small compression sacks, etc. inside the bags.

    I use an OR drybag which has a sewn-on daisy chain, so two out of my three Harness straps can be threaded thru the appropriate daisy pocket, and that really helps keep everything locked together and where it's supposed to be.

    Rock on,

    Mike


    PS: I just looked at the OR web site and don't see the nice windowed drybag with daisy that I have. Seems like it wouldn't be terribly hard to sew on some flat webbing with stitching every inch or two. Or just sew on a small piece exactly where you need it for each Sling strap. Hit those stitches with SeamGrip inside and out and it'd be bomber.

    PPS: I don't think Fastex buckles are the nazz for every application. In some configurations they tend to loosen. With some gear I have, I take the free webbing end and secure it in some way; a simple overhand around the taught strap/buckle, etc. Whatever creates more friction to avert the webbing sliding thru the buckle.
    Last edited by She&I; 06-21-2012 at 07:37 PM.

  11. #11
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    I ended up solving mine and it had to do with weight distribution. I used to have the hammock, rain fly, and sleeping bag in the handlebar bag. That ended up being too heavy so I just switched to the rain fly with my jacket, pants and shirt rolled up around it. Ended up being only 3lbs, non lumpy , an a perfect fit under the handlebars.

    -Tom

  12. #12
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by trhoppe View Post


    I ended up solving mine and it had to do with weight distribution. I used to have the hammock, rain fly, and sleeping bag in the handlebar bag.
    Wow, that is quite a bit. I actually just stuffed laundry in mine to see how it looked. Next step is to try with real gear. I'd like to get my hammock, rainfly, and blanket in the bar bag. Maybe a little more will fit, but I don't want to wipe out from too much weight on front, as you observed.

    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    PPS: I don't think Fastex buckles are the nazz for every application. In some configurations they tend to loosen. With some gear I have, I take the free webbing end and secure it in some way; a simple overhand around the taught strap/buckle, etc. Whatever creates more friction to avert the webbing sliding thru the buckle.
    I noticed that as I tried mine. Bumping the buckles just right could cause them to loosen pretty quickly. The overhand knot you mention seems like a good idea. Thanks.

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