Drawcord Bar Bag: Outershell Adventure

Drawcord Bar Bag: Outershell Adventure

Cycling UK staff and keen bikepacker, Sam Jones, tries out Outershell Adventures Drawcord Bar Bag, and gives his opinion.

I’m no Cartier-Bresson but I like to document my journeys using a camera rather than my phone. Easy accessibility is important, and that’s easy to achieve with a conventional bar bag for on-road touring. When bikepacking, or just riding around off-road, I’ve found traditional bar bags impractical due to the mount. 

I wanted a bag that could carry my compact camera, some filters, a small tripod, a spare battery, a lens cleaner, and perhaps a snack. This would have to fit on my handlebars, but also fit around my stuff-sack on overnight adventures. I despaired of finding anything suitable until I discovered Californian company Outershell Adventure’s Drawcord Bar Bag. 

Whoever designed this bag might have had me in mind: it fits all my requirements. It will also carry a D-SLR and spare lens. It’s a well-made and well-designed bag: secure yet easy to access on the go. Pretty much everything can be done one handed except fitting it. To open and close the lid you simply flip the drawcord off or onto your stem, and tightening it is literally a cinch. That might not sound secure but over 80-plus miles of rugged bumpy tracks in the Tuscan hills I didn’t have a single issue. 


There are three exposed outer pockets, on the front and sides, which can hold flat things like phones, compasses, and snacks. D-ring attachments mean that you can then attach a strap for easy portage off the bike. 

To get the most out of this bag, you might want to invest in the stuff-sack harness (only available from the US unfortunately) and the padded camera insert (available from Baus Worldwide). 

The bag is fastened to the bike by straps and elasticord, so it’s not as simple to remove as a KLICKfix system, but it’s only a faff when using the harness. While it’s not fully waterproof, mine went through a night of snow, sleet and rain, and kept the contents dry. 

It’s not cheap and importing extras is a pain, but if you want to combine photography with your bikepacking it’s worth considering. It comes in a variety of colours.

Price: £89.99

outershelladventure.com, bausworldwide.com

Pros and cons

+ Great for camera carriage 
+ Useful accessories 
– US import, thus expensive

Verdict

Outershell’s Drawcord Bar Bag is a simple and practical design that works really well. Its deluxe quality is reflected in the high price.

Other options​


Apidura Backcountry Accessory Pocket (4.5L) £40

Watertight, small-camera storage. It attaches to an Apidura handlebar pack. apidura.com


Revelate Designs Egress Pocket £66

A waterproof roll-top bag with a padded liner, this should fit a point-and-shoot camera. revelatedesigns.com

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Comments

Ortlieb have produced camera inserts for their bar bags for 20 odd years.Now, I know that bike packing kit is in vogue at the mo' but I've been "bike packing" for decades with trusty Ortlieb and Vaude bags - proven, indestructible and immensely practical.

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