Revelate Pronghorn Stratex Dry Bag: First Look
Using a new “ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene” fabric, the Revelate Pronghorn handlebar system just got even more durable. We had a chance to try it out ahead of today’s launch. Find the details here…
Last year, we were quite impressed with how well the Revelate Pronghorn handlebar harness system functioned, considering its meager weight and relatively basic construction. To summarize, simplicity wins, and although it’s a “race-focused/minimal/fast-and-light” handlebar system, it’s also proven to be reliable and very user-friendly on all types of trips. You can read my initial review here, and also find it in our 2019 Gear of the Year Awards. Today, Revelate introduced a change to the Pronghorn system to make it even better—a redesigned dry bag built from Stratex, an interesting new material that’s still lightweight and waterproof, but far more durable.
The original Pronghorn dry bag was made from a white Dyneema fabric with taped seams and a roll-top closure. The version I’ve put a ton of miles on has proven to be extremely weatherproof and has held up very well, although it’s starting to show some serious wear where the straps come into contact with the bag. As Revelate’s Eric Parsons points out, “With the original drybag, even with some of the best and most well-known pack fabrics out there, we’d still see users wearing holes through them. A bike’s handlebar area is a pretty exposed spot for abrasion. The new material adds less than an ounce of weight to the small and medium Pronghorn drybags but is many times more durable than any other fabrics we’ve tested. The larger size UHMWPE fibers in this fabric are basically indestructible without much of a sacrifice in weight, keeping true to what the Pronghorn was built for.” The UHMWPE Eric references stands for ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. The new Stratex fabric, which is proprietary to Revelate, is composed of 400 denier UHMWPE yards, the same raw material found in Dyneema. The larger size yarns are woven with polyester and laminated to a waterproof film.
As mentioned, I didn’t have any wear failure in my original bag, but there were a few worn spots on it after a lot of use. I only put about five days on the new Stratex bag, but it feels substantially tougher. You can see an example in Revelate’s abrasion test of the two fabrics below:
The Pronghorn system is available for purchase with the Stratex bag in three different sizes for $145 to $160. Each of the three volumes was designed with a different use in mind. For the 7.5-liter small size bag, think warm weather drop-bar rides. The 11-liter medium, which is what I tested, is perfectly sized for a little bit of everything. I carried my full shoulder season sleep kit, which fit perfectly: a two-person Big Agnes Bikepack tent, a Katabatic 20° down quilt, a Nemo Tensor insulated sleeping pad, and an inflatable pillow. Revelate also offers a large 23-liter bag for winter expeditions. Stratex dry bags are also available to purchase separately. Here are the specs from Revelate, including the dimensions of a closed bag with four rolls at closure:
- Small (7.5L) – 16.5 x 4.5 x 6.5″ (41.9 x 11.4 x 16.5cm) / 2.6oz (74g)
- Medium (11L) – 19 x 7 x 5.5″ (48.3 x 17.8 x 14cm) / 3.3oz (93.5g)
- Large (23L) – 24 x 8.5 x 7.5″ (61 x 14 x 19cm) / 4.3oz (122g)
The bag I tested weighed in at 91 grams, just 22 grams over the old Dyneema bag it replaced. Generally speaking, I prefer the feel of the new Stratex bag. It has a much sturdier construction that’s easier to pack. I suppose if I had one gripe, it’s that I liked the look of the weathered Dyneema version. It’s a little less “bright wight,” but I suppose time will tell how this one patinas with use. And if it’s anything like other Revelate products, it should last a long long while…
- Actual Weight (Holster / 11L bag) 96 grams / 91 grams
- Price (System with 11L bag) $150
- Price (11L bag only) $75
- Place of manufacture Oregon, USA
- Manufacturer’s details Revelate Designs
Revelate Designs has long been at the top of the game when it comes to making reliable and durable gear. I still have a couple of their bags in rotation that are closing in on a 10-year birthday. That’s especially impressive considering the weather and rigors that bikepacking bags face. With that said, it’s fitting to see the new Stratex bag upgrade to the Pronghorn—a reliability-focused improvement to what I already consider one of the best handlebar systems out there. I’m sure some folks will wish it came in black or some other colors, but for those looking for a super functional and lightweight system that’s both waterproof and durable, the Pronghorn is hard to beat.
I’ll report back once I put a few hundred more miles on the new Stratex dry bag, but I don’t expect any issues anytime soon.