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Superlight and easy to attach and remove, the Apidura City Handlebar Pack is a versatile and handy size for carrying bits and bobs, though the addition of a light tab would be useful.
Part of the ever-expanding range of urban equipment from expedition and bikepacking specialist Apidura, this two-litre pack has low-key looks to suit the intended stealthy city environment.
It's made from a lightweight but tough waterproof fabric with welded seams, and fastens with a straightforward Velcro flap at the front that's quick and easy to open and close – single-handed if necessary. The design works well to keep contents dry, even in persistent rain.
It's designed to be just big enough for the essentials, with space for a compact D-lock, packable windshell, wallet, keys, phone and the like. There's a single main compartment with a small mesh organiser pocket, and a Velcro-fastening envelope pocket at the back of the bag.
Although intended for urban use, I found it useful for long road rides too, as an alternative or in addition to a saddle bag or frame bag.
Adjustable webbing straps with padding and quick-release buckles allow for easy and straightforward attachment to the bike, with enough adjustment in the straps that it should fit most types of bars and cable configurations.
The neat dimensions mean it's useful for even small-framed bikes with little clearance, and it's not too wide either so doesn't nudge against brake levers or gear shifters. That also means it doesn't cause problems with bar-mounted lights, which is just as well as the one thing the bag doesn't have is a light attachment point. Not all bar bags do, so it's not alone in that, but Apidura does make a pricier Racing version that does have an LED tab... and given the City's purpose, it seems a surprising omission.
The City does have reflective accents that wrap around the bottom front corners, which help, but the ability to pop an emergency LED on the front would be good.
Although £5 less than its Racing sibling, the City pack is not a cheap option – it's £28 more than the very capable Craft Cadence Waterproof Handlebar Bag (down £5 to £34.99 since we tested it) and £17 more than the British-made Camelchops Blimp 2.0 (up to £46 since I tested it last year). The Craft Cadence is heavier and not as minimalist, though, and while the Camelchops is a similar weight it won't accommodate a D-lock.
Overall, the City pack is well made, minimalist, and useful for a variety of situations. It could do with some sort of LED light attachment in my opinion, given its urban focus, and it's not cheap, but it is very good.
Well designed and versatile, though it could do with an LED tab to suit its urban-focused aims
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Apidura City Handlebar Pack
Size tested: 2 litres
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Apidura says: "Keep your essentials close to hand while riding in the city.
Designed to carry city riding essentials like tools, keys, extra layers or a small D Lock, the City Handlebar Pack attaches quickly to the handlebars of any bike, providing convenient easy access storage on the go.
The cycling handlebar bag consists of a large storage chamber with an internal mesh pocket and back slip pocket for organisation and keeping valuables secure. The full-width waterproof opening allows fast access on the go and can be opened and closed one-handed while riding.
Quick release buckles make the bar bag easy to attach and remove while ensuring ample space for lights on the handlebar. Subtle reflective details ensure you are always visible and the waterproof fabric and opening ensure valuables remain completely dry, no matter the weather. The City Handlebar Pack takes everything we've learned about keeping cyclists' kit dry and safe in the planet's most challenging environments and applies our Precision Crafted, Adventure Proven expertise to the urban environment."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Simple adjustable webbing strap and clip attachment with hypalon reinforcement
Velcro fastening flap
Internal mesh pocket
External rear pocket
2 litre capacity
Superbly well made from high quality fabric and strapping.
Did a great job.
Early days, but should be no issues with longevity as it's well made and tough.
Not cheap, but around the same price as similar bags.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well as an urban-focused essentials bag.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its low weight and minimalist design, the capacity to take a compact D-Lock, ease of attachment.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of an LED light attachment point. I'd also have liked some sort of basic strap attachment options, for carrying around town.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Although £5 less than its Racing sibling, the City pack is not a cheap option – it's £28 more than the very capable Craft Cadence Waterproof Handlebar Bag (£34.99) and £17 more than the British-made Camelchops Blimp 2.0 (up to £46 since I tested it last year). The Craft Cadence is heavier and less minimalist, though, and while the Camelchops is a similar weight it won't accommodate a D-lock.
The City is pretty similar in terms of capacity and performance to the Brooks Scape Handlebar Pouch at £60, while the Topeak Barloader is now £66.99, so a little more expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good: well designed and good quality, with almost all the features you need for a versatile lightweight bar bag.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.