• Joe Lininger

    I have this bag and like it a lot. I originally bought it for a 5-day tour, hoping to use it as a camera bag for my DSLR and a spare lens, but this combo didn’t leave much room for anything else. So, I left the big camera at home and took a Canon PowerShot instead, which made room for all kinds of other goodies. I’m very happy with it.

    August 31, 2012
  • Thanks Russ for making this video and for the review. A few things to point out – we do offer a raincover for this bag – you can find it at your local Arkel dealer or order it directly from our online site. The reason the RC comes as an option rather than with the bag is that the bag itself is waterproof – it’s coated with knixwax – the same material used on northface tents. In the two decades we’ve been selling this bag we don’t get any complaints about water getting in – ( btw it has been updated over those years 😉 We like the 70s look BTW – that’s when stuff was made to last – but the ykk zippers , the coated cordura fabric, the oversized mapcase, the cutting edge materials and all the craftsmanship is 2012. The main reason to order the raicover is that wghile giving the bag another layer of waterproofing it’s really for grime protection and added visibility.

    August 31, 2012
  • I like the expression “smash-a-wire”.I prefer the less savoury “gentrif@*ked”.Grant,you’re a great bloke ,but you have a lot to answer for!

    September 01, 2012
  • Harm J. Linsen

    As I understand you need the aluminium mounts on every bike if you want to switch quickly from bike to bike. Are these sold separately? If not it takes a lot of work to switch from one bike to another. I don’t mean that the installation of the mounts is complicated but you have to dismount and install them every time you switch bikes (even when that doesn’t happen too often). That can be a hassle. I like the way you can carry it on and of of your bike

    September 02, 2012
  • […] Looking for a handlebar bag that threatens to last longer than its owner? Here’s a video review of the Canadian-made Arkel Small Bar Bag. (The Path Less Pedaled) […]

    September 06, 2012
  • julie

    On the handebar bracket issue I’ve take a different approach. I only use “Klickfix” (not Clickfix). I have 2 attachment systems and they have gone on and off different bicycles over the years. One came with an old-style Detours Town and Country basket and the other with an Ortlieb mini-front bag. When I got my Banjo Bros. handlebar bag I added a rain cover and after some frustration with their Clickfix system I ordered 2 of the plastic Klickfix plates from a cycle shop in the UK. I removed the Clickfix plate and used the Klickfix plate as a template to drill new holes. I put one plate inside the bag and one outside and screwed them together.
    As for the rack thing: I love the look but having tried several different systems over the years I haven’t felt better handling while riding and I much prefer being able to quickly remove the bag rather than deal with extra staps.
    Anyway, with this system I can switch between bags and bikes without constantly looking for all the mini parts.

    September 18, 2012
  • Steve Jones

    Straight out of the 70’s styling suits me just fine. Too bad it doesn’t come with a nice steel rando / touring bike from the 70’s too! Looks like you could secure a compact solar panel on top of it for re-charging on the road as you cycle.
    nice functional design.

    September 23, 2012
  • […] for our upcoming California tour, I got the itch to use my beloved Acorn bag rather than my Arkel. I need to carry a bit more weight and volume than the Arkel could handle without being a bear to […]

    January 05, 2013
  • […] different bags in the shops. I solicited advice from Twitter. And I rewatched the Path Less Pedaled review of the Arkel handlebar bag about a dozen times. So, I went ahead and ordered the small handlebar bag from McCranks. (You get a […]

    July 03, 2013
  • Hayes

    Nice looking bag. Some things to consider: the highly-reflective map sleep will reflect badly, esp. at night. Worse in rain AND at night. Some motorcycle bags use frosted, non-glare plastic for this. Side pockets can snag brake/shift levers (“Brifters”) when you shift. Zippers are a deal-breaker; they break eventually. Even before that, they are too slow to use several times and hour during a brevet. Traditional canvas bags (1830 tech; wax-impregnated cotton) are waterproof. A rain cover can be lost, and won’t allow access to the bag or map while riding. Having the weight up high seems unwise. A low, rack-mounted bag looks nice, and keeps center of gravity lower. Clamps consume handlebar real estate.

    July 01, 2016
  • “Having the weight up high seems unwise. A low, rack-mounted bag looks nice, and keeps center of gravity lower. Clamps consume handlebar real estate.”

    I’ve been riding with one of these bags on my 1990 Bianchi Volpe since 2010, and would much prefer having a rack-mounted solution. Not only do the clamps take up handlebar space, but the bag itself height and width) prevents me from using handlebar-mounted headlights. You’d think that, by now, I’d’ve bought and installed such a rack, and you wouldn’t be wrong; more fool, me. But the bag? It’s great! Never leaks, not even in South Florida downpours. Sigh.

    October 15, 2016

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