Revelate Harness vs. Sweetroll

  • Cyclewerks Crew

Handlebar bags 101 - Revelate Designs Harness vs Sweetroll

We get a fair number of phone calls from bikepacking curious riders asking what they need to carry gear on their handlebars. Often our advice is along the lines of strapping whatever drybag you currently have to the bars with some Voile straps.

While strapping a drybag to your bars for those first adventures works, you'll soon just want to ride without fiddling around with your setup, and that's where we come in.

Revelate Designs offer a couple of different handlebar gear carrying solutions, primarily the Harness and the Sweetroll.



Let's get down to it: What is the difference?

We get this question a surprising amount. To some extent, the choice is just a matter of personal preference but there are some technicalities depending on your ride. Let’s start with a comparison and then go through some of the features of each system.

Singular vs Modular

These two handlebar systems essentially serve the same function: an easy way to carry gear up front. The major difference between the two is in their form.

The Harness is a modular system. It offers you the ability to quickly load, and unload, a drybag (like the Saltyroll) or carry gear like a packraft.


The Sweetroll is a single unit that is designed to stay fixed to your bike and provide access to your gear through its double-ended drybag.


The capacity of these two models is pretty similar. The Sweetroll comes in two sizes, 11L and 15L. The Harness only comes in one size, but you have the ability to fit a large capacity drybag if needed. If you pair the Harness with the Saltyroll, the maximum capacity is 15L, equivalent to the larger Sweetroll.

If you need to add a bit more capacity, both handlebar options are compatible with the excellent Egress pocket. This addition adds about 3L capacity and it also is one of the handiest places to organise your smaller bits.

The Egress pocket is waterproof with an easy access roll-down closure and comes with a removable padded liner.

Handlebar Fit

The Sweetroll is the most versatile for drop bars, however both the Harness and Sweetroll work with both drop and flat bars.

The important thing to know here is that the Sweetroll is not rigid like the Harness. You can roll up the ends of the bag to fit a more narrow space between the drops and still have room to shift.

Generally with lots of tyre clearance, you can opt for the larger diameter Sweetroll, the 15L, to maximise capacity.


There are some common questions we get asked.

Q: Which is better for singletrack?

A: They’re both good! In general we don't recommend carrying a lot of weight on your bars because it can lead to poor handling.

Q: Where do my cables go?

A: This is a little bit different on each bike, but the major guidance you need to know is that the cables should not be sandwiched in with the mounting blocks. They need to be worked around them so that the compression of the bag does not interfere with your ability to shift or brake. It’s best to figure this out before you’re ready to depart for your trip because it may take a little bit of time to figure out the best setup.


Got a specific question, get in touch and we can help.


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