Revelate Pronghorn Review: Simplicity Always Wins
The Pronghorn is Revelate Designs’ new ultra-minimal, waterproof handlebar system. As part of Revelate’s new race-inspired series, the Pronghorn is stripped down to the bare essentials. We had a chance to give it a try on the Appalachian Gravel Growler. Here’s what we found…
The Pronghorn handlebar system was released today as part of a new series of Revelate Designs bags that are specifically designed for ultra-endurance cyclists and minimalist bikepackers. Alongside the Pronghorn, Revelate also announced the Cutthroat bag, an ultralight frame pack designed specifically for the Tour Divide-centric Salsa Cutthroat. We had a chance to test out the Pronghorn system prior to today’s announcement. Here’s the review after our five-day trip on the new Appalachian Gravel Growler route.
Designed to be fast and light, the Pronghorn handlebar system was personally tested and refined by Revelate designer Dustin Eroh during his 2018 Arizona Trail Race 750, and on an individual time trail on the Oregon Timber Trial. According to Dustin, the Pronghorn has been in the works for almost two years. He started the project because he wanted something that was quick to attach and detach—like the Revelate Harness—but minimal and light like the Sweetroll. Consisting of just a simple holster and a dry bag, the Pronghorn is bare bones. And that’s what makes it special. The 4.8 ounce (135 gram) holster is constructed out of two layers of X-Pac with a small, 8″ (20cm) fiberglass internal stay. The strategically placed stay is tied into both the handlebar mounting points and the two front drybag attachment webbing straps. This position and integration provides the system’s stability. The Pronghorn’s dual cam handlebar straps loop over the bars, through a hitch buckle, then back over the bars to secure at the front, providing a double wrap for strength. The dry bag straps clip in at the top of the holster and provide a locking cam for added security.
Each Pronghorn system comes with one of three ultralight, waterproof Dyneema drybags—small (7.5L), medium (11L), or large (23L). I used the medium bag, which weighs a scant 68 grams. According to Dustin, the drybag sizing options were also created based on his racing needs. He wanted a bag that would fit a -20°F sleeping bag for the Susitna 100 fatbike race, and smaller versions to have something minimal and sleek for the AZT750. The drybags are constructed out of Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF). This is a hybrid fabric that blends the high tear strength of Dyneema fibers with a light polyester woven face for seam strength. The bag’s end seams are sewn and taped, and the seam that runs the length of the bag is bonded. Oval in shape, the dry bags are each slightly taller than they are wide (or vice versa, depending on how you mount them).
Here are the sizes of each bag:
Small: 4.5” x 6.5” x 16.5” / 11.4 x 15.2 x 41.9cm
Medium: 5.5” x 7” x 19” / 14.0 x 17.8 x 48.3cm
Large: 7.5” x 8.5” x 24” / 19.1 x 20.3 x 61.0cm
On The Trail
A few days before we rolled out on the Appalachian Gravel Growler, we were well aware of the foul weather that was waiting for us. It rained incessantly on day one, and a fair bit on the second day as well. Still, I loaded up the untested drybag, complete with my sleeping system and a dry wool jersey. The drybag’s taped and bonded seams and the satisfying, sturdy feel of the DCF fabric gave me peace of mind. It rained a lot, but everything was still bone dry at the end of the day. The medium drybag is perfectly sized, and quite nice to use as well. The ovular shape allows it to be stack-packed. I put my tent on the bottom and then stuffed the sleeping bag and pad in another layer. The bag is also plenty long for expanded use with flat bars, or it can be rolled up tight (as shown) for use with drop bars. I might add that the Pronghorn system works really well with drop bars. It’s spaced just right to fit between the drops, and the handlebar attachment straps are each threaded with four removable foam blocks that allow adequate spacing for cables.
Considering how minimal and relatively flimsy the Pronghorn handlebar system is, I was pleasantly surprised at how stable it is. With zero padding or backing to speak of, it’s still completely solid. Even when loaded down with my Copper Spur UL1 tent, sleeping pad, half sleeping bag, and a merino jersey, as well as the Egress pocket full of smaller items, I experienced almost zero movement while riding. I think much of this can be attributed to the clever design of the stay, but the system’s stability is also partially owed to the solid head tube strap. There’s really not much more to add about the holster. It’s simple, well made, and the stabilizer design is spot on. Here are the full specs of the system from Revelate:
Features (from Revelate)
- Internal fiberglass stay provides a stable, lightweight mounting platform.
- Dual cam locking straps integrated into handlebar mount secure your load.
- Cam locking head tube strap with EVA foam spacer.
- Removable spacer blocks to allow you to adjust for brake lever clearance.
- Drybag built from Dyneema Composite Fabrics is light, durable, and waterproof.
- Includes pocket clips to allow the addition of a front pocket.
- Fast and light. Both the harness and dry bags are incredibly svelte and quick to attach/detach.
- Surprisingly stable considering its simplicity.
- Secure connections keep the bag locked into place which keeps it from rubbing the frame.
- Works well with drop bars or flat MTB bars and has options for different sized Dyneema dry bags.
- Waterproof and ultra-lightweight, which doesn’t always go hand in hand.
I racked my brain to try and come up with drawbacks and cons for the Pronghorn. I simply couldn’t. That’s a first for this website. That said, if I were to exaggerate, I might say that it’s a little pricey. However, if it holds up over the long haul, that’s not really a con. I’ll report back after I’ve put a lot more miles on it.
- Weight (holster + small/medium/large drybag) 170g/198g/227g (6oz/7oz/8oz)
- Weight (as tested with medium drybag) 165 grams (5.8oz)
- Volume small (7.5L) / medium (11L) / large (23L)
- Place of manufacture Alaska/Oregon, USA
- Price $145/$150/$160
- Manufacturer’s Details RevelateDesigns.com
In the spirit for which the Pronghorn was created, I’ll keep the wrap up light and quick. In the end, there’s a lot to like about this handlebar system. It’s elegantly made with attention to a minimal but highly efficient design. It’s also built with quality materials, and fully waterproof to keep your gear dry. For an ultra-endurance bikepacker, the Pronghorn is perfect, and I also think it’s great for just about anyone looking to streamline and lighten their luggage system. Plus, there are options for for different sized dry bags, so it can work for almost anyone, and on any bike.
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