A Look at the New Agave Products Handlebar Bag: the Arroyo Backpack

One of the joys this website has brought me over the years is helping out small companies jettison their products into the world. From component manufacturers, apparel brands, frame builders, and yes, bag makers, there’s something special about watching a brand bloom over time and having been a part of that process. Last week, I met this fella named Jeff at Sincere Cycles where he showed me a new prototype bag he’s developing under the moniker Agave Products called the Arroyo Backpack.

Jeff and Agave are based in Austin, Texas, my old stomping grounds, and so this project plucked at my heartstrings a bit. Read on for a more in-depth look at the Arroyo Backpack…

Having spent the last few years of his life designing products for the outdoor cooler and lifestyle brand, YETI, Jeff left to start his own venture. All that experience working at YETI paid off and Jeff now had the knowledge about what goes into making bags from both a construction perspective and user experience.

My architectural background is what I blame my love of bags and bicycle portage on. Each bag has a different UX, much like a building, and that part of my education will never leave me, especially when it comes to sleek and minimal designs such as this…

the Arroyo Backpack

The thing I like about the Arroyo Backpack is how it takes an idea many of us have had with backpacks – particularly photo bags – and solidifies it into a functional and simple product. The bag itself is accessed from a side, which faces up while mounted on the bike. You can take it off the handlebar, via these little velcro molle straps, and install the backpack straps with a simple velcro system, similar to a surfing leash. Once it’s in backpack mode, it operates as a roll-top bag with side access.

The bag is 20L and expands to 25L thanks to the rolltop design, which really hits the sizing sweet spot in terms of an everyday carry. It’s made from a three-layer 100% recycled laminate material, which is lightweight, durable, and designed to withstand everyday use.

My Take

I am particularly interested in a few points. The first being the functionality as not only a bikepacking or touring bag but as an everyday errand or photography bag. Jeff and I discussed this a lot. It’s important to design products that fill multiple niche functions without sacrificing usability to the point that you use it a few times and then it ends up in a closet or bin somewhere.

The size of the Arroyo Backpack is ideal for an everyday bag while making it super practical as a touring bag as well. These are two big plusses in my opinion. The only note I will make is I can’t imagine using this on a bike without a front rack…

About that rack, Jeff’s buddy who typically builds 4×4 bumpers fabricated it for his Karate Monkey.

Your Take?

Whether you realize it or not, you, the commenters from this website have helped shape the cycling industry. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to companies, both large and small. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with brands that have commended the comments on this website for helping with product research and development.

So, I’ve presented you with information in the form of photos, supplied you with the intent of this bag, and offered a platform to discuss. What do you think?

Any glaring issues you’d have using this sort of bag or anything you’d like to see added on? Keep in mind, this is a production bag but input and feedback always help shape the next generation…

The current Arroyo Backpack retails for $299 and is made by hand to order in Austin, Texas with a 4-6 week delivery…