Vaude make superb apparel and equipment; they have been my choice for clothing, tents, and bags on many past bikepacking adventures. The new range of bikepacking bags from the eco-conscious German brand caught my eye because of their simple and smart designs. The Aqua Box Light is the new ultralightweight handlebar bag in the range, offering four litres of storage in a tiny 170-gram package. Here is my review…
Handlebar bags have evolved a lot since the traditional ‘box’ design that sat prominently in front of the handlebars of a touring bike. With the growth of bikepacking, riders have demanded lighter handlebar bags that will house their valuables safely within their gaze but will not obscure the bike’s front wheel for those technical off-road sections. The Vaude Aqua Box Light Handlebar Bag is a further evolution of the minimalist tendency seen in handlebar bag design. It is in essence a shaped roll-top waterproof bag that attaches to your handlebars with two robust welded 2D rubber straps—arguably the simplest handlebar bag design you could imagine.
Yet, the simplicity of the design does not mean reduced functionality. The Aqua Box Light measure 15 x 26 x 14 cm and weighs just 170 grams; but it will securely hold an impressive amount within its waterproof capsule. To see what I managed to squeeze into this bag, check out my past post: ‘What’s in Your Gravel Adventure Handlebar Bag?’
The best thing about the Vaude Aqua Box Light Handlebar Bag is that it sits nice and low (below the level of your computer mount), this means you keep full visibility of the front wheel—vital for off-road riding. The bag’s strapping points are quite widely spaced, which does mean they will sit on top of your handlebar tape on a drop bar gravel bike; but this is only a minor inconvenience and does help to stabilise the bag to a greater extent.
Lightweight, robust, compact, and fully waterproof. The Vaude Aqua Box Light ticks all of the boxes for a minimalist all-weather bikepacking handlebar bag. Whether you are looking to be self-sufficient on a long weekend ride or you are exploring in far off lands, this little handlebar bag is the ideal choice to house your valuables, snacks, and spares.
Disclaimer: Vaude UK supplied Life In The Saddle with a Vaude Aqua Box Light Handlebar Bag for test and review