Even when I am traveling fairly lightly, I prefer to have a bit of weight in the front to balance the load. I’ve thus been experimenting with Salsa’s Anything cages on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. The AC is a sort of extra large and open wide bottle cage into which can be strapped small cylindrical items. The three bolt attachment is designed to work easily with Salsa’s own forks (e.g., on the 2011 Fargo) or on any bicycle with the proper hi/low bottle cage mounts, but they can also be attached with hose clamps or zip ties. On the LHT fork I have attached the topmost fitting to the rack bosses and the two lower fittings by hose clamp.
Here I have my tent, sleeping pad, and puff pullover in the cages. The setup seems secure even over lumpy roads. Steering is no more affected than with a stuff sack on the bars.
The attachment on the LHT is kludgey and the overall look of the bike when the cages are empty is a bit cluttered, but neither is catastrophic to my eye.
Surly Long Haul Trucker with Salsa Anything cages on fork.