We often get asked about our harnesses and why we've gone down the route of pairing a harness with a drybag, versus the alternative which is an all-in-one handlebar bag or seatpack.
I'll try and outline my thinking here as best as I can.
1) Easy unpacking. This is the biggie for me and it ties in with some of the other reasons too. The scenario I keep coming back to is getting to my camp spot, it's late and it's wet. Once I get my shelter up, I can very quickly remove my drybag from my harness(es) and dive under cover. This keeps everything dry and it's fast. The alternative with an all-in-one bag is to either detach the whole bag from the bike (we'll get to this later) or unpack everything in the rain. This risks everything getting wet and increases the potential for losing stuff (because it's dark, I'm a doofus and I'm guaranteed to drop something in the long grass while unpacking).
2) Easy packing. This obviously ties in with the unpacking thing. Again, a lot of the reasoning behind this design is to take into account the worst case conditions. In lovely, summer, dry weather, we all love the leisurely morning spent sipping coffee and packing the bike. That's a pretty rare picture round these parts though. Having the separate drybag system means I can pack up my kit while still under shelter and leave it until the very last minute before attaching to the harness. I don't need to refit or adjust the harness, it's still where I left it. Because we're packing into a drybag, once we have the bags filled, we can leave them unattached if we need to, without fear of the contents getting wet.
3) Versatility and modularity. Because the main container (drybag) is not permanently connected to the harness, we can pick and choose the correct size of bag for the kit we're taking, without worrying about either overfilling the bag or underfilling it and carrying excess weight. The harnesses are designed to expand and contract to match the companion bags.
4) Security and stability. This is quite a subtle one but I think it's key to what makes the harness system superior to the all-in-one bags. Since there's little expectation for the harness to be removed and refitted often during a trip, we've designed a fastening system that provides the most secure and stable platform without having to over-think the fact that it takes a little longer to fit in the first place. The freedom that not having to worry about quick fitting/unfitting gives us, means we really can focus on providing the best, waggle free luggage system there is. The secure and tight fitting nature of the harness is, by far, the number one piece of positive feedback we receive for both the Lion handlebar harness and the Tiger seat harness.
We're extremely confident that both the Lion and Tiger will be the best fitting system for your bike and if you feel that they're not going to work for you once you've tried a test fit, we're happy to replace/refund if you'd rather return them to us.
Tiger - this is our seat harness and is available in two sizes, the bigger (Tiger Drover) is optimised for drybags up to around 10l and the slightly smaller (Tiger Wayfarer) is best for drybags of up to 6l. Both harnesses can be used with any drybags but we recommend our tapered drybags which have been designed specifically for the Tiger. These make packing much easier and eliminate any deadspots at the head of the drybag where it fits into the harness.
The Mountain Lion is our handlebar harness and will work with flat bars, loop bars and drop bars. It's designed to fit rigid forks as well as suspension forks (but not the Lefty fork). The standard Lion will work for most people but if you have kit that is particularly large volume but not especially heavy (think winter sleeping bags), then the Fat Lion is a slightly bigger harness for managing bigger loads. We recommend our innovative double-ended drybags for use with either Lion harness but any other drybag will also work too.