You’re heading out for a long weekend ride and the three back pockets of your cycling jersey just isn’t enough space. Welcome to the saddle bag. There’s plenty of options on the market today, but don’t worry, we’ve put a few options together for you to consider. To make things easy for you, we’ve listed out the 8 best bike saddle bags in 2020.
- Lezyne Caddy QR Saddle Bag
- Evoc Saddle Bag Tour
- SpeedSleev Ranger
- Scicon Elan 210 Saddle Bag
- Lizard Skins Cache Saddle Bag
- Topeak Aero Wedge Velcro Pack – Best Overall Saddle Bag
- Rockbros Saddle Seat Bag
- Lezyne Roll Caddy
Things To Consider Before Buying
The most common materials for saddle bags are nylon, polyester and (synthetic) leather. The durability and waterproofness of the bag will be dependent on the mix of materials. The properties of each type of material are listed out below. This should help you determine which bag to select based on your usage rate and weather conditions you normally cycle in.
- Nylon / Polyester – are known to be waterproof, light and tough, which helps with durability factor of the bag
- Leather – generally used on the exterior of a saddle bag, makes it look a bit more high class and has good durability
Saddle Bag Storage Size And Weight
Another key point of the saddle bag is, how much can it carry? Most manufacturers make their saddle bags in various sizes. Depending on what equipment you’re carrying (see below for more details on some items you should carry), you can choose the right storage size for your needs. Saddle bags are often listed in terms of capacity in liters and some brands will just provide you dimensions of the bag.
If you’re looking to ride around with a saddle bag, you are probably passed the debate of “to jersey pocket or not to jersey pocket”. Most saddle bags will add a few hundred grams (at most) so the convenience factor will pay off during the long weekend rides. Just something to be mindful of if you’re out on a racing day or want to be lighter and more aerodynamic!
Saddle Bag Attachment And Closure
The saddle bag attachment will be dependent on the size and weight of the bag. Smaller bags will generally come with just a velcro strap that can be easily fastened to the bike. This should be sufficient to hold it all in place if the velcro is kept clean.
Due to their weight, larger saddle bags will need additional support and will come with plastic mounts / hooks that attach to the saddle or seat post. At this point you’re likely carrying additional weight anyway so the extra ounces won’t be a major issue.
A majority of bags on the market feature a zipper. Ensure that you’re picking up something that’s a bit more durable and waterproof. Otherwise, it’ll be quite hard to open the zipper with all the gunk that the bag picks up along the way! Other types of closures are buckles, clasps and roll-up cases.
What Should I Keep In My Bicycle Saddle Bag?
The bare essentials should be a spare inner tube and two tier levers. If you’re going on long solo rides it will be handy to also carry a Co2 bike tire inflator and two canisters, inner tube patch and a multi tool. Having a zip tie or two doesn’t hurt either.
Interesting read – The Ulimate Beginners Guide To Bicycle Touring
The Best Bicycle Saddle Bag Roundup
A medium sized saddle bag with 0.5L storage capacity and weighs 115g. This will be enough to carry essential tire repair equipment. The bag is made of durable nylon and features a water resistant zipper. The bag also features neoprene pockets which are able to stretch a bit. The bag has a reflective light loop, helpful in low light environments.
The QR stands for “Quick Release”. It is a mounting system that attaches the saddle bag to the saddle rails. It holds the bag solidly in place away, however some riders have reported that the mechanism rattles slightly. It’s made of plastic so careful not to overtighten the mount.
Overall, a good build quality with portability functionality.
Coming in at only 3.9 ounces, this nylon saddle bag has storage capacity of 1 liter. There is plenty of space for tubes, tire levers, Co2 inflator/canisters and ID / bank cards.
The Evoc uses a three hook-and-loop velcro straps mount system. The bag attaches to the bottom of your saddle and to the seat post, forming a stable mount. There are reflective details and a rear light loop.
Hard to fault this saddle bag and comes in a few nice bright colours!
The SpeedSleev Ranger is made with a ballistic nylon shell making it extremely durable and waterproof. Weighing in at only 44 grams, the Ranger is one of the lightest bags in this roundup. One large velcro strap mounts the bag onto the saddle and a second small velcro strap opens / closes the main compartment.
The Ranger comes in three sizes: Ranger S, Ranger, and Ranger Plus. The medium size (reviewed here) has purpose built segments that can hold two tire tubes, two Co2 canisters and inflator, two tire levers and a multi-tool.
For those that like to match colors, it’s available in black, green and red.
If you’re going for the minimalist approach and need a saddle bag, then you should take a look at the Scicon Elan 210. Weighing only 49 grams, it has one of the smallest and slimmest profiles of all bags on the market and neatly tucks under your saddle.
Given the size, it will snuggly fit a spare inner tube, two Co2 canisters and inflator, a pair of tire levers and patch kit. The package is secured with a hook and loop strap to your saddle rails.
The carbon fiber design looks pretty good too!
Made from 1000D Cordura Nylon fabric and Amara synthetic leather, this saddle bag is well made and very water resistant (not waterproof). The design is meant to be light and small and one for the more minimalist rider. This saddle bag features a hook and loop strap that attaches to seat rails.
Weighing at 69 grams, the Lizard Skin Cache is large enough to fit a spare inner tube, tire levers, multi-tool, cards and keys. If color coordination is important to you, this comes in a Crimson Red or a Jet Black colorway.
Made from a durable 1200D Cordura material, this weather resistant bag comes in 4 different sizes. Capacity ranges from 0.41L to 1.97L and weighs between 85g to 165g. The medium and large are expandable for when you need extra storage space on longer rides.
The small size (0.66L) will be sufficient to fit in all the essentials. The bag also features a reflective strip on the back which provides additional visibility in low light environments. For additional visibility and safety, you can also add on another light on the light clip. The bag is attached with a velcro strap mount and snap-on buckles.
If you’re looking for a larger capacity bag, take a look at the Rockbros Saddle Seat Bag. The mounting system on this bag is slightly different to the others in this round up. It has a plastic hook that attaches to the saddle post along with a velcro strap around the saddle rails. Rockbros boasts that the velcro strap can support up to 4kg.
The nylon material and zipper is waterproofed and there is a reflective strap that goes around the seat bag to increase visibility. For additional light, you can also attach a light on the back of the bag.
The Lezyne Roll Caddy has a completely different design to the other bags in this saddle bag round up. However, it still uses the single velcro strap, hook and loop system which makes it easy to mount on the saddle rails. Made of out nylon, this roll caddy will be durable. Lezyne have not advertised anything about water resistance / proofness so don’t go dunking this into water any time soon.
The Roll Caddy comes with five internal pockets of dimensions. One includes a zip pocket to store your valuables. You can easily fit tire tubes, Co2 canisters and inflator, tire levers, a multi-tool and keys/cards!
Best of all, if you don’t like it hanging off your seat rail, you can roll this up nice and tight and slip it into your jersey pocket!
If you’re looking to go on long rides or solo rides pretty often, then equipping your bike with a saddle bag will be pretty handy. You will be able to store all the essentials listed out above and allow you to get home on your bike instead of public transport! 🙂
Our top overall pick is the Topeak Aero Wedge Velcro Pack. Lightweight, secure, fits the essentials – an all around value for money saddle bag!
A close second would be the Evoc Saddle Bag Tour, gets the job done with minimal fuss and comes in a range of colors.
Now that you’ve chosen your saddle bag – need something to put into it? Check out our reviews: