The Wizard Works Lil Presto! Barrel Bag is a neat and sturdy handlebar accessory that gives easy access to snacks and extra layers with its zipper opening at the top. On our test bag (not currently available) visibility is covered with the reflective outer, but lights can be hooked onto the front webbing of all the Lil Presto! designs. Also, it took no time whatsoever to attach, so it's a good option for a bag that doesn't live on your bars for every ride.
It's 22cm long and has a diameter of 14cm, with a capacity of 2.15 litres inside. The cylindrical body is completely rigid as it has a sheet of HDPE plastic inside to help keep its shape. This is really useful as it means it'll remain neat at all times no matter what you try to stuff into it.
Wrapped in a waterproof Cordura outer fabric, lined with a waterproof nylon fabric, and using a YKK Aquaguard water-resistant zip, even though the bag doesn't promise to be fully waterproof my contents have remained dry through rainy rides, so it does a solid job at keeping the water out without sacrificing usability, with quick access thanks to the zip opening.
Fitting the bag to the handlebar is super-easy to do by looping the two Voile Nano rubber straps through the daisy chain webbing at the back of the bag. As the straps are made of rubber these don't leave any marks on your bar, which is great for a non-permanent handlebar helper. With daisy chain webbing there's choice in how far apart you place the straps, which makes it a lot easier to attach it between other clutter on your bar like lights and GPS units. And, as I said earlier, there's also a daisy chain on the front that a light can be hooked to. You can also attach it to your saddle, depending on its design.
When riding, I found the bag sat on my handlebar incredibly securely – even over rougher terrain it shook only the tiniest bit. A Cordlock strap is also included to tighten the bag up to your head tube when tackling gnarlier terrain, but I found it didn't need this.
If you need them, a six-pack of 1cm foam bar spacers can be purchased for an extra £6.50. These push the bag away from the bike to provide a gap for cables and space for your fingers if you like to sit on the tops. You can also buy a shoulder strap for an extra £7.50.
With the zipper at the top of the bag, it's easy getting stuff in and out when riding. The zip has a large loop, too, so it's easy to grab while wearing gloves. That said, with the stiff shape of the bag, it's not much of an opening to get your hand in to search for something at the bottom. With an out-front Garmin mount it is harder yet again as this gets in the way, so probably best to swap it out for a stem-mounted option when using this bag.
After a couple of experiments on rides, I realised it was better for storing one or two bulky items like clothing layers, rather than lots of little bits and bobs like tools, as I found these got lost inside.
For stashing used wrappers and the like, the external side pockets of the bag proved really useful in keeping them separate from clean items: one side for finished-with wrappers and the other for unopened riding fuel ready to be grabbed quickly.
The only thing is the pockets aren't very deep, so for the longer adventures you'll need to store extra nutrition elsewhere, keeping only the food you want close at hand for quick munching in the side pocket.
Also, the side pockets aren't tight or stretchy, so I didn't feel comfortable putting anything precious there. I would prefer there to be a zipped compartment on the outside for valuable items that you don't want falling out of the side pocket but that you also don't want to lose in the capacious inner.
Starting at £65 (the high-vis one on test is £70, but currently out of stock), the Wizard Works barrel bags are expensive for their 2.15 litre capacity. The Ortlieb Ultimate6 S Plus Waterproof Handlebar bag shares a rigid design (but with a magnetic opening) and has an easy mounting system, and while it's £75 it's a much greater 5 litres. The Topeak BarLoader is cheaper at £54.99 and boasts an impressive 6.5 litres, but doesn't have an accessible opening for on the move.
I tested the ultra-visible reflective Fluro Orange design, but there's a choice of Black Camo, Fluro Pink, Splatter, Olive, and Rust options (all £5 less). These choices not your taste? Well, at £75 you can go for a fully customised finish to really make this adventure companion your own.
Overall, the Wizard Works Lil Presto! is a great choice for quick access to snacks and layers on the go, but it's a shame it doesn't have compartments inside to keep lots of items tidy.
Sturdy, rigid handlebar bag that attaches easily and securely, but tight to get inside
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Wizard Works Lil Presto! Barrel Bag
Size tested: 2.15 litres
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Wizard Works says: "The Wiz Viz Lil Presto! is the perfect companion for a day out this winter; looks cool, carries stuff, bears snacks and keeps you alive! What more could you want? Designed for happy-go-lucky scamps that need to be prepared for anything, this Hi Viz wee bag mounts to either handle bars or saddles (with saddle loops. i.e.: Brooks).
"Big enough to stash an extra layer, keep your phone to hand and carry your lunch. A daisy chain on the front to clip a light to or dangle a mug off of. Maybe you need to carry some spare socks, travel scrabble, or a burrito or two, whatever you've got to stash, the Lil Presto! will do it besto!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Wizard Works lists:
Seriously Visible! It's reflective!
YKK Aquaguard water-resistant zipper access to main compartment, that can be opened and closed with one hand (easy in easy out)
Two side pockets for thin things like ninja-stars or a used wrapper etc
Daisy Chain on Front (ideal for clipping a light too)
Voile Nano Straps (Included) for rock solid attachment that won't mark your bars (yes, even your fancy carbon bars)
Cordlock headtube/seat post strap non-marking and secure
Accessible while riding (when mounted to the front, accessibility from backwards mounting wholly dependent on personal flexibility)
Made from Waterproof Cordura outer fabric and waterproof nylon liner, the bag is very water reistant, however like all stitched items it is not waterpoof.
HDPE plastic liner means she'll keep her shape no matter what you've got stashed
Loops at top for attaching a shoulder strap, available separately
Made in UK.
With the zip that has a large loop for grabbing it was really easy to open, but the side pockets could be deeper and stretchier to hold items more securely. It is also difficult getting your hand inside to fish something out.
The YKK zip is very good quality and the fabric feels robust.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Provides easy(ish) access to snacks and extra layers when on the move.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How easy it is to mount, the sturdiness, the rigid shape, the reflectiveness and quality zip.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The shallow and loose side pockets, and the lack of a zipped compartment.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It is expensive for the capacity it provides. But the barrel bag has other perks like – in this particular model – its reflectiveness, and the easy zip opening which other handlebar bags do not offer.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Wizard Works Lil Presto! Barrell Bag doesn't have the largest capacity but that's handy as it means it's less of a commitment bringing it along. It's quick and easy to mount, and it comes with lots of neat little details including the webbing for hooking lights and, with this particular design, a reflective outer. But the opening could be improved so it is easier to get into, and the side pockets aren't very secure. It's good, but could be very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.