A bar bag is a useful bit of kit for touring, audaxing, commuting and the like and this Topeak Compact handlebar bag is an excellent example, assuming you don't want to chuck the kitchen sink up front.
The SKS Energy Bag is nicely made and easy to access, and it's pretty cheap too. Triathletes have been using top-bar-mounted energy hoppers for years, and they're becoming more popular among road riders too as they give you a handy place to chuck a few gels or your phone.
This is the smallest of Avenir's range of waterproof handlebar bags. Trimmed down to the basics, it's ideal for audax rides, club-runs, commuting or other occasions when the stuff you need to carry is too much for jersey pockets, but not enough to warrant full saddlebag. We found it lives up to its waterproof claims and is actually slightly bigger than its nominal capacity, but it's marked down by a couple of quirks.
Ortlieb know a thing or two about making quality bike luggage and the Ultimate 5 Plus Bar Bag has been on their books for a while now, but it's starting to look a little expensive and basic.
If you are serious about getting a handlebar bag – and we're talking £100+ worth of commitment – then you will be hard pushed to find a better one than this.
The construction of this Canadian-built bar bag is what you would expect when you pay top dollar. It is solid and all the materials have been chosen for their performance rather than for the budget. Arkel have simply set out to make the perfect handlebar bag and they have got pretty close.
The Silene bar bag from Abus is a bit different from the norm, turning away from the common box type shape of many bar bags, where the lid can often be used for maps, towards a more ‘handbag’ like shape, complete with compartments, padding and even a shoulder strap. It’s the kind of bar bag that could be used on day rides just as happily as long tours requiring maps and GPS, and wouldn’t look out of place slung over your shoulder at the supermarket.