Rogue Panda Blue Ridge Handlebar Harness Review: Shred-Ready


Rogue Panda Blue Ridge Handlebar Harness Review: Shred-Ready

Flagstaff, Arizona-based Rogue Panda announced its new Blue Ridge Handlebar Harness ($185) earlier this year, and John has found it to be the most stable handlebar harness yet. Read on for his in-depth review of this lightweight and secure system that eliminates both head tube rub and cable interference. 

It’s been years since I’ve used stuff sack-based bicycle bags. If I recall correctly, it was on the San Juan Huts trip back in 2021. Instead, I’ve opted for top flap-style bags like the Ron’s Bikes Fabs Chest and lightweight racks on my rigid 29+ tourer. Even on singletrack – where I prefer to do my bicycle camping here in Santa Fe – I’ve found this setup to be incredibly stable and secure. Yet when switching to a hardtail or full suspension bike, there’s no denying the allure of stuff sack harnesses.

I’ve tried a number of handlebar harness designs, and they are all variations on a theme. They rely on webbing and buckles, foam block spacers, or other means to keep the bags secure without flopping around and from rubbing your bike’s headtube and smashing your cables.

Rogue Panda has developed several stable stuff sack bags over the years. The Ripsey Seat Pack made our Top Products of 2023 list, and for good reason. Spencer wrote a thorough review of it, so check that out if you haven’t. Perhaps the most advanced and stable setup they’ve made, however, is the Blue Ridge Handlebar Harness.

Blue Ridge Handlebar Harness Quick Hits

  • $185 with plastic buckles or $225 with Austere Mfg Cam Buckles
  • Lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber construction
  • Fits 22.2⌀, 31.8⌀, and 35⌀ mm handlebars with $10 shims
  • No head tube attachment or contact whatsoever
  • Straps are attached to the harness for less fiddling
  • Holds weight close to the handlebar for minimum flex
  • Weight: 8.3 oz (confirmed)
  • Carbon Fiber Bar Length: 12 inches / 300mm
  • Capacity: Below 6 lbs

The Blue Ridge stuffed with my Outdoor Research bivy, 40º Western Mountaineering sleeping bag, Six Moon Designs ground covering, and Nemo sleeping pad, all rolled up tightly and crammed into the Gila dry bag.

About the Name

Blue Ridge is a forested section of the Arizona Trail that passes near the C.C. Cragin Reservoir, formerly known as Blue Ridge Reservoir, Northeast of Payson. Rogue Panda does a great job of naming its products after Arizona vernacular.

Assemblage Analysis and Installation

The Blue Ridge Handlebar Harness consists of two CNC-milled clamps made in Flagstaff. Each clamp attaches to your handlebars in either a 22.2⌀, 31.8⌀, or 35⌀ mm. 3D-printed shims allow for precise fitment. These shims are $10 per clamp diameter set; I’d suggest buying any diameter you own now or might in the future.

When attaching the clamps, you’ll want to ensure they’re installed in the clamping area of your handlebars and torqued to your handlebar’s specification. Don’t clamp them down just yet, though; leave them loose enough to adjust.

Each clamp attaches to carbon fiber poles, 12″ in length and about 1/2″ in diameter. Sewn directly to these poles are the cargo straps. I opted for the USA-made Austere Mfg Cam Buckles upgrade (bringing the total to $225 plus shims and shipping.) These straps are what you use to attach your drybag of choice to the cradle. I opted for a Rogue Panda Gila size small in Ultra 200x fabric but you can use your existing drybags, no worries.

Once the bag is stuffed with your stuff and installed, you can position the clamps to give your head tube some space and safely tuck your cables behind the cradle. When you find the correct approximate position, tighten the four bolts of the clamp to torque spec.

For extra burrito-carrying capacity, I added the Oveja Negra Lunch Box handlebar bag to the system!

Built for the Rough Stuff

The Santa Fe National Forest’s singletrack is not what I would consider easy terrain. It’s steep, loose, rocky, and high-speed. The bike-legal riding tops out at just shy of 12,500′, and you can camp as high up as you’d like. Which is why I’ve found myself using racks almost exclusively since living here. Racks are lightweight and offer stability for your bags. When you use Loctite on the bolts, they won’t rattle loose, and you can strap just about anything to them.

In a lot of ways, this “harness” is in fact a lightweight rack, similar to systems used in motorcycle touring or even 4WD vehicles. The cradle bolts right on and as long as you’re mindful about stuffing the sack, torquing the hardware, and tightening down the lashing correctly, the Blue Ridge does not move at all.

What’s nice about mounting to the handlebars is that your bag is always in front of the bars. Steerer-tube-mounted racks or harnesses often limit you to riding short stems. As such, you can use the Blue Ridge harness on drop bars with longer stems, too.

There’s nothing worse than your crap flopping all over or webbing loosening, or having those foam blocks tear after some rowdy riding. The Blue Ridge, combined with the Ripsey seat pack, offers movement-free portage for getting both wheels off the ground, hammering through chonk, and glissading down steep and loose terrain.

I love touring and bike camping on singletrack and try to ride all of my bikes in a similarly jibby style but this ultralight and secure system opens up riding much rougher terrain on an even bigger bike. More on that later…

One Modification and Adieu

While pedaling and normal riding, the Blue Ridge and accompanying Gila stuff sack stayed in place, but if you set your bike down on its side, the stuff sack and straps will slide down the carbon poles. I’ve found electrical tape wrapped outside the straps on the carbon poles to keep this from happening. It’s good practice to carry extra tape on camping trips anyway!

I like supporting the bagmakers we have here in the Southwest, and over the years, Rogue Panda has brought some truly innovative products to market. The Blue Ridge Handlebar Harness and Ripsey Seat Pack offer stable solutions for rough terrain when you want to pack lighter in favor of having a more flickable bike. While the system is expensive, its provided fortitude and stability are worth it. Your bike’s headtube and hoses/cables will thank you!


  • Incredibly stable
  • Works on flat bars and drop bars, on any length stem
  • Made in Arizona
  • Adjustment is easy
  • Clamps to 22.2⌀ up to 35⌀ mm bars
  • Lightweight at 8.3 oz (with the above-mentioned electrical tape “hack” and a 35 mm shim)
  • Innovative design
  • The system still allows for front-mounted handlebar bags like the Oveja Negra Lunch Box.


  • More expensive than standard handlebar harnesses – Rogue Panda offers its Canelo harness for $100.
  • The harness strap and stuff sack will slide side-to-side when you set the bike on its side.
  • You have to pay even more money for the correct shims.


Check out more at Rogue Panda! … and thanks to Onur for facilitating in taking the action photos!