8 Best Saddle Bags 2020 | The Sun UK
On the surface, a saddle bag might seem like an unnecessary purchase. A small volume bag that is strapped to your bike’s seat can’t make that much of a difference to your riding enjoyment, can it?
The truth is, this relatively cheap accessory can transform your on-bike experience.
A saddle bag is the ideal place to store road- or trailside maintenance essentials – a multitool, a couple of spare inner tubes and a CO2 cartridge – keeping your mid-ride repair kit on your bike at all times
By storing all of these essentials on your bike, you also free up space in your cycling jersey’s pockets or mountain biking day bag – reducing the weight that you have to carry on your person or allowing you to load up on things like food and waterproofs.
Saddle bags are generally small and discreet, slotting innocuously beneath your saddle, but it’s possible to get larger volume designs that act like panniers and are perfect for commuting, touring or bikepacking.
Not sure what’s the best saddle bag for you? Find out our top picks that you can currently buy on the market.
1. Evoc saddle bag
- Evoc Saddle Bag, £7.98 from Alpine Trek – buy here
If you’ve got yourself a streamlined racing bike, the last thing you want to do is strap a big, cumbersome bag to its saddle – not only will it impact your aerodynamics, but it will stick out like a sore thumb compared to your pride and joy’s slick design.
This compact bag from Evoc is so unobtrusive you won’t even know it’s there. Weighing only 70g, it slots discreetly under your saddle but is still big enough to carry a multitool and inner tube.
It’s secured to your saddle’s rails and seat post by two Velcro straps, meaning it can be attached and removed in a cinch, and a water-resistant PU coating protects the bag from any spray if you do ride without a mudguard.
2. Lezyne Road Caddy
- Lezyne Road Caddy, £13.99 from Wiggle – buy here
Another 70g saddle bag perfect for road cyclists is the Road Caddy by well-known accessories specialist Lezyne.
Unlike the Evoc offering, its clamshell design means it has to be removed from the saddle if you want to access its contents, but a single Velcro strap makes this a simple procedure.
Inside, there is room for a multitool, tyre levers, innertube and CO2 cartridge, and all are kept dry thanks to a durable woven nylon construction and water-resistant zipper.
3. Brompton Zip Pouch
- Brompton Zip Pouch Made From Liberty Fabric, £30 from Condor Cycles – buy here
Who says saddle bags can't be both stylish and practical?
This striking bag is made from floral Liberty fabric, probably making it the most fashionable saddle bag on the market this year.
We tested it out and loved how spacious it was, finding it had enough room for all our essentials.
It sits snuggly under your saddle, or if you prefer, you can show it off by attaching it to your handlebars.
It has an internal zip pocket for your valuables, and an embedded magnet and two velcro straps to keep it securely attached to your bike.
If you love the print, you'll be happy to know you can also get tote bags and baskets too.
Safe. Secure. Stylish. We're big fans.
4. Ortlieb Micro Two
- Ortlieb Micro Two Saddle Bag, £23.99 from Tredz – buy here
If you ride your bike year-round in the UK, you’re going to encounter the worst of the weather at some point, which is when a waterproof saddle bag will come into its own.
The Micro Two by German giants Ortlieb is ideal for those who want to push themselves, whatever the weather, and can handle whatever you throw at it – be it a downpour on the road or wet and wild off-road trails.
It can guarantee this protection thanks to a roll closure system (rather than relying on a zip) that is secured with elastic bungees.
Fixed to your saddle via a mounting bracket that is secured to its rails, attaching and detaching can be done with one hand.
5. Topeak Aero Wedge Strap Mount Seat Pack
- Topeak Aero Wedge Strap Mount Seat Pack, from £10.50 from Amazon – buy here
If you’re looking for slightly more carrying potential, then the Aero Wedge by Topeak is a good option
The bag’s volume can be increased thanks to a smart zip that, when undone, boosts its carrying capacity by a third. This means that in addition to your roadside repair essentials, it’ll also have room for a waterproof cycling jacket and even some nutrition gels.
An adjustable quick-release buckle is the mounting system of choice, while finishing touches include a reflective strip and a clip for a bike light.
6. Silca Premio Seat Roll
- Silca Premio Seat Roll, £48 from Sigma Sports – buy here
The most premium pick on our list, the Premio seat roll by Italian brand Silca oozes style and would be a great accompaniment to any carbon fibre road racing machine.
Made from a highly durable waxed canvas, the roll has dedicated slots for a couple of CO2 canisters, an innertube and multitool with tyre levers (but it's worth noting that these don't come as part of the package).
Its high-end nature is summed up by its attachment system – an integrated Boa dial (the same found on premium cycling shoes) keeping the seat roll and its contents securely mounted to your saddle.
7. Blackburn Wayside Tool Roll
- Blackburn Wayside Tool Roll, £15.75 from Fawkes Cycles – buy here
If you like the idea of a seat roll but can’t quite stomach the cost of the Silca offering above, then this Wayside model from American brand Blackburn could be a good, more affordable alternative.
Also constructed from a waxed canvas material, the roll has four mesh organisers that are perfect for a multitool, tyre levers, CO2 canisters and a tubeless tyre repair kit, and it even has a zipped pocket for cash and cards.
Secured using a strap and a metal fastener, the Wayside tool roll wouldn’t look out of place on any bike.
8. Apidura Expedition Saddle Pack
- Apidura Expedition Saddle Pack, from £118 from Apidura – buy here
While all of the above offer a subtle solution for carrying your mid-ride essentials, it is possible to get much larger saddle bags that perform a similar function to a pannier bag (minus the rack).
The Expedition Saddle Pack by British brand Apidura is the best of the bunch in a rapidly growing market and comes in sizes ranging from 9L to 17L.
Waterproof, lightweight and with a three-point attachment system that minimises how much it swings from side-to-side (even when putting in an effort out of the saddle), the Expedition is perfect for everything from carrying your clothes when commuting to ferrying your camping kit on continent-crossing bikepacking epics.
And while it isn’t cheap, its long-lasting durability means it’s a saddle pack that will survive years of riding.
What are saddle bags used for?
Saddle bags are a great way of carrying cycling essentials that would otherwise have to be carried in your cycling jersey’s pockets or in a rucksack. They are perfect for those who want to minimise the amount of things they’re having to carry on their person while being located in an otherwise unused spot on your bike.
What should I keep in my saddle bag?
The majority of saddle bags are big enough to store a multitool, inner tube (or two), tyre levers and a CO2 canister for reinflating your tyres. Those that are slightly bigger can fit a waterproof jacket, cash and cards and bike lights, while the largest packs can replace a pannier bag.
Should I store my phone in my bike saddle bag?
You should only store your phone in your bike’s saddle bag if the bag is guaranteed to be waterproof. If it is only water-resistant, water still might permeate the saddle bag’s material on particularly wet rides, which could damage your phone.
What are the best saddle bag for a road bike?
The best saddle bags for a road bike are those that are discreet, small and don’t detract too much from the bike’s aerodynamic design. Evoc’s Saddle Bag is an easily accessible option that doesn’t need to be detached from the saddle to use, while Silca’s Premio Seat Roll wouldn’t look out of place on even the most premium carbon fibre road bike.
Where do you put a saddle bag?
You put a saddle bag directly beneath the bike’s saddle. The majority are secured in one form or another to the saddle’s rails, while some include additional straps that mount them to the seat post too.
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