There’s no denying that gravel cycling has exploded, and made hip packs and handlebar bags (once reserved for those weird, old, touring cyclists) cool again. Back in the day we did all of our riding on the dirt roads of Vermont, and rode in weather conditions that probably lead to moving to California… How nice it would have been to have room for that extra layer, and apple cider donuts back then.
Sticking to our Vermont roots we’ve designed a smaller handlebar bag that won’t get in the way on those fast and hard group rides yet can handle the loads required for those all day adventures, named after Smuggler’s Notch, a picturesque Vermont climb through maple trees that was used by smugglers during the Napoleonic Wars and Prohibition. Voile ski straps make attachment quick and easy, and more secure over time than Velcro or those fiddly little buckles that are hard to operate. Made out of Dimension Polyant VX42 fabric with bartacked Hypalon attachment loops and a waterproof YKK zipper. The Smuggler measures in at 7.5x3.5x3.5", for a total volume of 72 cubic inches, or 1.15 liters.
"Handlebar bags might seem like a bit of a trend, but if you like long rides they are really handy. At this time of year, a ride might begin at 45 degrees and finish at 65, that requires an entire wardrobe change and I hate stuffing my jersey with gloves, legwarmers, and vest. Orucase’s smuggler bag isn’t huge, but it has enough space for a light pair of gloves, a small jacket, and a snack. What really makes it stand out is the excellent use of ski straps to hold it to the bars without flapping around or falling into your front wheel. Since I got this review sample I have not ridden without it."