Tested: Rogue Panda Canelo Handlebar Bag Review

Discover key features, performance, & insights of the Rogue Panda Canelo Handlebar Bag & Harness in this comprehensive review for bikepackers.

Close up photo of Rogue Panda Canelo bikepacking handlebar harness on bike

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The Rogue Panda Canelo has revolutionized handlebar bags for bikepackers. When I first started bikepacking, my handlebar setup was bulky, heavy, and fixed to the bike. When I wanted to get something out of it, like my sleeping bag, I had to fuss around between my bike’s cables and the bags straps to get access. And that was the easy part. Packing gear back into that bag was even harder!

But the Canelo is designed differently. Instead of the bag being fixed to the bike, it’s attached to a harness that allows you to remove it from the handlebars so you can carry it into your tent and have much easier access to your gear.

I’ve tested the Rogue Panda Canelo on several tips now (including a 460+ mile ride around Costa Rica) and I’m a big fan. Not only is it more convenient, but it’s also super durable, well-made, and secure.

In this post, I share what I love about the Canelo, a few things that could be better, and tips on how to decide if this is the bikepacking handlebar bag for your adventures.

Rogue Panda Canelo At A Glance

  • Weight: 6 oz (harness), 5 – 6.4 oz (dry bag)
  • Fits handlebar diameter: 22 to 35mm
  • Carbon fiber bar length: 12 in
  • MSRP: $100 for the harness
    • $25 (GlidePlate)
    • $60 (Gila dry bag)
Rogue Panda Canelo Handlebar Harness for bikepacking


  • Can remove dry bag from harness
  • GlidePlate provides stability & protects against rubbing
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality buckles
  • Very secure if installed correctly
  • Three dry bag sizes to choose from
  • Good tire clearance (depending on bag size)


  • GlidePlate doesn’t work with some bikes
  • A little tricky to install the first time
  • Two separate pieces to keep track of

Where to shop:

Fun Fact: The Canelo is named after the Canelo Hills section of the Arizona Trail, which traverses through beautiful rolling grasslands in southern AZ.

How The Rogue Panda Canelo Works

The Canelo Handlebar Bag & Harness is designed to meet the needs of every bikepacker from weekend warriors to long-haul adventurers.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of its features and how it works:

The Harness System

The harness system is the key feature of the Rogue Panda Canelo. It is designed to securely attach a dry bag to your handlebars while distributing the weight evenly across the front of the bike.

The harness is made up of several parts:

The harness

The harness is a triangle-shaped piece of durable material where the dry bag securely sits.

Rogue Panda Canelo bikepacking handlebar harness and GlidePlate laid out on gravel ground
The Canelo Harness (left) and GlidePlate (right)


The GlidePlate is a separate piece from the harness. It straps around the head tube and provides additional stability for the harness. It also protects against abrasion, which can wear away paint or damage the frame.

The GlidePlate requires a minimum head tube circumference of 7 inches, so it won’t work with all bikes. (See more about the GlidePlate in the “What could be better” section below).

Rogue Panda Canelo handlebar harness GlidePlate attached to the front of mountain bike
The GlidePlate helps secure the harness and prevent wear on the bike frame

A 12-inch carbon fiber bar

This bar provides rigidity and structure to hold the harness and dry bag securely in place.

Close up photo of Rogue Panda Canelo bikepacking handlebar harness on bike
The carbon fiber bar provides stability for the harness

3 straps with high-quality buckles

The Canelo has three long straps that secure the dry bag to the harness. Two of the straps are attached to the carbon fiber bar and one strap is attached to the harness.

Each strap has a high-quality buckle that allows you to really tighten down around your dry bag.

Rogue Panda Canelo handlebar harness and dry bag attached to front of mountain bike

2 precision-cut foam blocks

These foam blocks act as spacers between your handlebars and the harness. They allow for more space for your brake/shifting cables and they also make the harness sit up higher, giving more room for front tire clearance.

The foam blocks are secured to the handlebars with heavy-duty velcro straps.

Close up of Rogue Panda Canelo Handlebar Harness attached to front of mountain bike
The two foam blocks on either side of the stem give space between the handlebars and the harness/dry bag

The Gila Dry Bag

The Canelo can be used with any dry bag, but if you don’t have one or you’re in the market for a new one, the Gila Dry Bag is designed to be used with the Canelo.

The Gila comes in three sizes – Small, Medium, and Large.

While Large may sound like the best option (you can fit more gear!), keep in mind that you’ll lose some clearance between your front tire and the harness and you’re risking added extra weight to the front of your bike.

I have the Medium Gila dry bag and I can fit my sleeping bag, my sleeping bag, and a puffy jacket.

step-by-step Guide to Installing the Canelo Harness

Need help strapping your Canelo Harness to your bike? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Install the GlidePlate around the head tube and secure with the longer strap. The rubber backing goes toward the frame.
  2. Place the foam blocks on either side of the stem faceplate. Secure the blocks with the Velcro straps.  
  3. Thread the shorter GlidePlate strap through one of three loops on the back of the harness and secure it with the clip buckle. You may need to try different loops to see what fits best. The harness should be flush against the GlidePlate.
  4. Secure the dry bag to the harness with the three straps. Really cinch them down by pulling up on the straps to gather in extra length. 
Close up of Rogue Panda Canelo handlebar harness and GlidePlate attached to front of mountain bike
The GlidePlate attaches to a loop on the back of the harness

What I love about the Canelo

The Canelo has a lot of great features. Here are a few that stand out to me as a bikepacker:

The removable dry bag

Being able to remove the dry bag from the harness is huge. If you’ve used a fixed-bag handlebar bag, you know how annoying it can be to unpack and repack your gear. Plus, you can’t bring the bag into your tent (or accommodation), which might require multiple (unplanned) trips back to your bike.

You can choose to use your own dry bag or purchase the Rogue Panda Gila dry bag, which comes in three different sizes and lots of color choices.

To help you choose a Gila dry bag size, here is a rough guide:

  • Small (12L): Best for drop bar bikes or s/xs bikes
  • Medium: (16L) Best for bikes with flat handlebars and front suspension
  • Large (20L): Best for flat handlebar bikes with no front suspension

Some other cool features of the Gila dry bag are:

  • Seam-taped construction for waterproofness (it downpoured on several occasions during my trip to Costa Rica and my gear stayed dry).
  • Fun color choices. I chose a subdued olive green/brown color.
  • Stiff plastic inserts on the ends for easy rolling
  • Different colored webbing on either end so you know which side you stashed your rain jacket
Photo of dry bag showing different color webbing on buckles to differentiate sides.
The Gila dry bag has different colored webbing on either side so you can tell which side to open for specific gear

The Quality & Durability

Rogue Panda doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality and durability. All of their custom bags are hand-sewn in Flagstaff, Arizona (the harness is not) and they truly care about providing the highest quality products possible.

The Canelo harness is made from top-notch materials that strike a balance between durability and being lightweight. It’s seriously pretty tough.

The harness system also has thoughtful features like heavy-duty buckles (the last thing you want out on the trail is for a buckle to fail), a rubber grip on the back of the GlidePlate to minimize rub, and contrast webbing on the Gila dry bag so you can tell which side specific gear is on.

Sure, the price of the Rogue Panda Canelo may be higher than some other handlebar bags and harnesses, but in this case, you are paying for what you get.

Its stability & Performance

So how does the Canelo perform? I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how stable and secure the harness and bag are when attached to my handlebars.

Even when bouncing down rough roads or technical singletrack, the bag stays anchored and in place.

I will say that there are a few things to keep in mind when using the Canelo harness:

  • Make sure you install it correctly (obviously…) If it’s not on right, the harness will slip and the dry bag will sag.
  • Really compress your dry bag so that the straps don’t dig into the bag and create bulging sections.
  • Keep the dry bag light. You want to pack your lightweight gear like a sleeping bag or tent in your handlebar bag to prevent it from sagging.
  • Check the harness before you start riding for the day. Make sure the straps are tight, the foam blocks haven’t slipped, and it’s not rubbing in places that it shouldn’t be.
Woman riding loaded bikepacking bike down remote road lined with trees
I pedaled 460+ miles through Costa Rica with no issues or complaints about my Canelo!

Good tire clearance

Depending on what bike you have and what size dry bag you’re using (and how full you stuff it), you can actually get quite a bit of tire clearance, which is awesome for mountain bikes with front fork suspension.

Photo showing good clearance between handlebar bag and front tire on bikepacking setup
There is good clearance between the dry bag and front tire on most bikes

What Could Be Better

While overall I love the Canelo, there are a few considerations to think about before buying:

Can be Tricky to Install (at First)

You’ll probably spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to install the Canelo harness onto your bike the first few times you use it.

It is a bit tricky, but as with everything, practice makes perfect! Don’t not buy the Canelo Harness because you’re unsure of how to use it. Refer to my step-by-step guide above.

GlidePlate Doesn’t work for all bikes

Unfortunately, the GlidePlate doesn’t work with bikes that have less than a 7-inch head tube diameter due to its size.

Tape measure held against head tube of mountain bike
The GlidePlate doesn’t work on bikes with less than a 7-inch head tube diameter (measure all the way around the head tube)

If this is your bike, you’ll need to use the included alternate strap to secure the harness and apply tape around your head tube to prevent rubbing and abrasion.

Can Sag with heavier loads

This is true for all handlebar bags and harnesses, but if you carry heavy items in your dry bag, you risk having it sag down toward your front wheel (which is no bueno).

I recommend only packing your lightest gear in the front and checking the straps and foam blocks every day of your trip to make sure they haven’t shifted.

Small bikes will probably need to use a small dry bag

Small and extra-small bikes have less space to accommodate handlebar bags, so you will probably need to opt for a small dry bag in order to prevent the bag from hitting your front tire.

This is true for all handlebar bag setups, though, not just the Rogue Panda Canelo.

How it Compares

There are several other bikepacking handlebar harness systems out there. Here’s how the Canelo compares to two of the more popular ones.

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness

Weight: 14.7 oz

Fits handlebars: Not specified

Price: $95

Rogue Panda Canelo

Weight: 6 oz

Fits handlebars: 22 to 35mm

Price: $100

Salsa Anything Cradle

Weight: 14.8 oz

Fits handlebars: 35.0 – 31.8mm

Price: $125

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the Rogue Panda Canelo handlebar harness and Gila dry bag system. It’s lightweight, durable, and more importantly stable and secure when riding even the roughest of trails.

I’ve put the Canelo through the test of over 600 miles of bikepacking and it hasn’t failed in any way. It does require some time to install correctly and it’s good to check the straps a few checks throughout a trip, but it’s a great choice for any bikepacker looking for a simple and efficient handlebar bag.

Have you used the Rogue Panda Canelo handlebar harness? What are your thoughts about it? What questions do you still have? Leave a comment below!

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