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When you’re out away from your house on a ride, you need to take a few essential repair items with you.
The amount of kit you need to take is relatively small. Some riders opt to keep the kit in the back of their jerseys, or their pockets, if they’re mountain bikers. However, a compact saddlebag is a great alternative.
So, if you do go down this route, it needn’t cost a fortune. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular options and see if we can help you find the ideal saddlebag for you and your bike.
- Top 8 Best Saddle Bags For Cyclists 2021 Reviews
- 1 SCICON Elan Velcro 210 Saddle Bag
- 2 Blackburn Grid MTB Bike Seat Bag
- 3 LEZYNE Road Caddy Bicycle Seat Bag, Small, Water Resistant
- 4 Fizik Saddle 00 Bicycle Saddle Bag
- 5 Cyckit’s Aeroclam P1 | Hard Shell Bike Seat Bag Made
- 6 Arundel Dual Seatbag
- 7 Castelli 2019/20 Undersaddle XL Cycling Saddle Bag
- 8 Topeak Aero Wedge Velcro Pack
- Best Saddle Bags For Cyclists Buying Guide
- Before We Tell You Which Saddlebag Wins The Race
- Final Thoughts on The Best Saddle Bags For Cyclists
Top 8 Best Saddle Bags For Cyclists 2021 Reviews
1 SCICON Elan Velcro 210 Saddle Bag
The SCICON Elan Velcro 210 Saddle Bag is about as small as they come. It measures 8” x 5” x 2” and weighs just 1.44 ounces. With these kinds of dimensions, you won’t get a lot in it. However, on the positive side, it weighs next to nothing, and it’s about as unobtrusive as it’s possible to get.
Realistically, you won’t get much more in it other than a spare inner tube, a couple of tire levers, a CO2 cartridge, and a couple of hex keys. We think that you can also get one of the new, tiny chain splitters and a quick link in as well. Since the latest chain splitters can be used with a couple of hex keys, a 4mm, and a 5mm to be precise, they’re worth packing in if you’ve got them.
The bag is made out of good quality durable nylon and polyester. The zip is a good quality one and is unlikely to fail after a lot of use. Happily, the material will stand up to all the weather will throw at it. This means if you decided to put some cash in the bag, it won’t end up a soggy mess when you get to the coffee shop.
The saddlebag is secured under your seat using a strong loop and Velcro strap. It’s easy to secure, and once it’s fastened, you can be sure it won’t come undone. However, if you want to take it off on your stops, it’s also easy to do.
This is undoubtedly a bag for all the minimalist road cyclists who like to travel light.
- Small profile.
- Strong strap.
- Good quality zip.
- Will accommodate a small phone.
- Small storage capacity.
2 Blackburn Grid MTB Bike Seat Bag
This is another very small saddlebag.
The Blackburn Grid MTB Bike Seat Bag measures just 1.75” × 3.5” × 5.5” and weighs a mere 31 g. This makes it even smaller and lighter than the SCICON Elan Velcro 210 Saddle Bag. And that was small!
You can squeeze in an inner tube, tire levers, CO2 cartridge, and a couple of essential tools, but there won’t be room for much else, including a phone. It does, however, have a small inside pocket that is handy to store things like your cash or house key.
The Blackburn Grid MTB is made from 210T nylon ripstop, together with 2100 polyester. It’s hard-wearing and also water-resistant. The zipper is coated for longevity and features a silent cord pull.
Firstly, they have applied a reflective coating on the rear of the bag. Plus, they have a tail light loop which allows you to mount your light, if it has a clip, directly onto the bag. Since some rear lights only use clipped mounts, it’s a very useful feature.
The bag has a thick, strong loop and Velcro that can be secured on the rails of your saddle. It’s suitable for use with any saddle on any style of bike. Never the less, we expect it’s likely to find the most use on the back of road bike saddles.
- Internal pocket.
- Reflective strip.
- Loop to hang rear light.
- No room for a phone.
3 LEZYNE Road Caddy Bicycle Seat Bag, Small, Water Resistant
Lezyne makes a range of well-branded and high-quality cycling accessories.
The Lezyne saddlebag is small and will fit easily into the palm of your hand. There’s no doubt that this saddle bag has the feeling and look of quality. Although it’s a little more expensive than some of its competitors, we feel it does enough to justify its slightly higher price tag.
The bag is made from a strong TPU material and features high-frequency welded seams. It’s durable and waterproof. It’s guaranteed to keep your things dry even on the heaviest of downfalls.
The bag can be attached to your seat using the loop and Velcro system. The Velcro strap is heavily branded with the Lezyne logo, and we have to say that it looks rather smart. It looks more like something you’d see on a lady’s handbag rather than on a humble saddlebag.
Despite looking rather fetching, the quality and strength of the bag and fixings make us comfortable enough to keep our keys and money inside. Once you attach it to your seat and seat post, it’s going nowhere until you take it off.
You won’t be able to get too much into this bag other than the absolute essentials. This is a bag to store some basic tools, an inner tube, and a puncture repair kit. Once you have all this inside, there’s little if no chance of being able to squeeze in a phone.
- High-quality TPU material.
- Strong loop and strap.
- Reflective strip on the rear.
- Light mounting strip.
- No room for a phone.
4 Fizik Saddle 00 Bicycle Saddle Bag
Fizik is best known for its high-quality saddles, shoes, and bar tape. However, they also make saddlebags. Unsurprisingly, the bags they make are every bit as stylish and well made as everything in their range.
We were impressed with the Lezyne Road Caddy bag, and rightly so, but the Fizik Saddle 00 Bicycle Saddle Bag genuinely raises the bar to a whole new level.
The bag is made from a thermoformed Microtex. It forms a hard case tough shell. In fact, this is one of the very few hard-cased small-sized saddlebags on the market.
The hard case shell is very compact, measuring just 5” x 6” x 3”. The saddlebag is oval and very much resembles a clamshell. The cool thing is that the bag can also be fully opened like a clamshell, to enable easy access to your things. Unlike a lot of other bags, once it’s off the bike, you don’t have to spend your time poking around inside to find what you want.
As well as having a tough outer shell, the Fizik saddle bag also has a padded interior to keep your things safe regardless of what you carry. You can also be assured that it will stay dry as it has a waterproof coating and a fully waterproof zip.
The Fizik Saddle 00 Bicycle Saddle Bag attaches to your bike with a thermoplastic rubber welded strap. It is strong and reliable. Plus, it’s easy to take on and off.
This is definitely one of the best saddle bags for cyclists who want to carry around a few essential items in style.
- Bag fully opens.
- Hard outer shell.
- Padded interior.
- No reflective strip.
- No rear light loop.
5 Cyckit’s Aeroclam P1 | Hard Shell Bike Seat Bag Made
The Aeroclam is made from 1.5mm injection molded plastic. It’s wedged-shaped and utilizes a unique fastening system to keep it firmly secured to your bike seat. Once it’s in place, there will be no rattling or movement.
The Aeroclam does not use a strap and Velcro fastener. It also does not have a zip on the body of the saddlebag. This means that there are fewer points of failure, and it does give the bag good longevity.
The bag can be accessed whilst on the bike by unlocking the two fasteners. The fasteners are part of the hard shell, so they are not going to wear. Once the bag is opened, the bottom section drops down, like a clam, to let you get to your things.
The cool thing is that all of this makes it easy to load things in and take things out without having to stoop down. The bag is relatively small, measuring just 3.9” x 4.5” x 2”, so you’re limited to what you can carry. This bag is, therefore, most suitable for carrying a basic repair kit. There is no chance whatsoever of getting a phone into the bag.
If you want to carry something that you need to keep dry, you won’t be disappointed with the Aeroclam.
Frankly, what is a little disappointing is the weight. At 126 g, it’s 2, 3, even four times heavier than some of the other bags. This is going to be less of an issue on a mountain bike, but on a road bike, it matters.
This is interesting. The bag claims to produce aero saving, and it even has the word ‘Aero’ in the name. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that it has any aero advantages over other saddlebags. There is no wind tunnel or any other form of data to back their claims.
You can’t make something you think will be aero and then claim it is. You’ve got to prove it guys, and sadly, you clearly haven’t. We’re not impressed.
- Tough injection molded shell.
- Easy access.
- Excellent fixing system.
- Misleading aero claims.
6 Arundel Dual Seatbag
This is a larger-sized saddlebag. It has a 27” cubic capacity. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it translates into more carrying capacity than all the other bags we’ve looked at.
This can carry the usual essentials for a ride. You’ll be able to fit in tire levers, a basic multi-tool, a puncture repair kit, chain splitter, and chain quick link. Additionally, you’ll also be able to fit in two, rather than one spare inner tube. This is why they have ‘dual’ in the description.
For longer rides, having the capacity to take an extra inner tube is a nice option. However, we think we might choose to take our phone and a couple for extra tools with us instead. Regardless, the extra space is useful if you’re the kind of rider that likes to be prepared for a greater range of repair eventualities.
The Arundel Dual Seatbag is made from strong nylon and can be attached to your saddle rails by the loop and Velcro strap. It has a zip closure that has an easy to pull grab tab. Both the Velcro fastener and the zip can be used whilst wearing cycling gloves, which we’re sure you’ll agree is a great feature.
Unusually for this type of bag, there is some kind of color choice. The piping on the edges of the bag can be ordered in either blue, pink-red, or yellow. For the traditionalists, it’s also available in standard black.
- Can hold two inner tubes.
- Strong nylon construction.
- Zip grab tab.
- Color choice.
- No reflective strip.
- No light mounting strip.
7 Castelli 2019/20 Undersaddle XL Cycling Saddle Bag
Castelli is one of the oldest and most respected companies still making cycling clothing and cycling accessories. They make quality products and have an excellent reputation amongst amateur and professional cyclists alike.
Castelli makes a range of saddlebags in different sizes. If you need something a little larger, the XL is a very good option as it can hold rather a lot.
The fact is that this is the first saddlebag we’ve reviewed that’s able to comfortably hold most standard smartphones. Now, we know that a lot of riders, particularly roadies, prefer to keep their phones in the back of their jerseys. However, if you’re going over some rough stuff, you’re riding gravel, or you’re on a mountain bike, it’s great to have the option of putting it in the saddlebag.
The bag is beautifully made, as you’d expect, from water-resistant material. The zipper has a water-resistant closure and features a large branded Castelli pull chord. This can be easily used even when wearing full-fingered gloves.
Because of the bag’s size, there are two Velcro straps and loops. One fixes around the seat rails and the other around the seat post. This is very much in keeping with a bag of this size and works well to keep it secure and wobble-free.
A couple of things we like about the Castelli saddlebag are the internal pocket and best of all the external mini-pump sleeve. Don’t worry about the pump working loose, because it won’t. However, if you prefer, there’s more than ample room to fit your mini pump inside the bag, with plenty of room left over for those repair must-haves.
- Large capacity.
- Internal pocket.
- External mini pump sleeve.
- Large zipper tab.
- No rear light loop mount.
8 Topeak Aero Wedge Velcro Pack
Though Topeak doesn’t have the same phenomenal history as Castelli, they are also respected for making good quality products at a very fair price. In this respect, the Topeak Aero Wedge Velcro Pack doesn’t disappoint.
The wedge shape lends itself more to this kind of bike. Fitted onto a road bike, it looks too large and bulky.
The Topeak Aero is made from 1200 denier nylon. It’s coated with a water-resistant coating that repels stains too. After a muddy ride, it’s easy to clean. Just hose it down, give it a quick wipe, and you’re good to go.
The bag is constructed with high-quality materials, and you can also see some close attention to detail. The zip, zip pull, strap, and stitches look perfectly finished. It’s all as we’d expect from Topeak.
As with the Castelli saddlebag, the Topeak saddle bag is secured into place, using the two straps, one through the seat rails and the other through the seat post. Once in situ, if you need to get into the bag, it opens nice and wide for excellent access.
The bag is big enough for a standard smartphone, plus your inner tube CO2 cylinder, or mini pump, and basic tools and accessories. Additionally, it has a handy internal pocket where you can keep your money or keys.
The rear of the bag has a 3M reflective sticker and a mount for your rear light too.
- Very well made.
- Large capacity.
- Water-resistant coating.
- Reflective strip.
- Rear loop light mount.
- Straps hang loose once secured.
Best Saddle Bags For Cyclists Buying Guide
If you’re riding more than a mile or so from your house, there are a few essential items you should carry with you on every ride. You need to take a spare inner tube and a puncture repair outfit. You will also need to take either two CO2 canisters or a mini-pump, plus a couple of tire levers.
This is the absolute minimum you should carry. We would also recommend carrying a chain splitter, a multi-tool, and a chain quick link. A valve adapter can also be very useful if you’re running on deeper rims.
If you want to travel light, then even the smallest saddle bag will be big enough to squeeze this lot in.
If you don’t need to take much with you, it’s worth getting a smaller bag. We’re sure you’ll agree its pointless carrying around a bag that’s too big. It’s just excess weight, it looks ungainly, and it’s likely to do little for your aero performance.
For cyclists who want a small and light set-up, we’d recommend the Blackburn Grid MTB Bike Seat Bag. It’s small, compact, and at only 31 g is the lightest of all the bags in our review.
If you want to carry more with you, such as an extra inner tube and maybe your phone, you’ll need a bigger bag. The larger bags like the Castelli and Topeak saddle bags both have plenty of room for additional items.
The most common fastening system is a loop and Velcro fastener. These fit around the seat rails and, once fastened, stay securely fixed in place, even on the bumpiest of rides. The exception to this kind of clamping system is the Blackburn Grid MTB Bike Seat Bag. This uses a form of twist clamping system that again uses the seat rails as an anchor.
Larger bags use a second loop and Velcro fastener around the seat post. This is as much to stop them from wobbling around as it is to prevent them from falling off.
All the fastening systems of the best saddlebags for cyclists in our review are strong and dependable.
Nylon and combinations of nylon and polyester, are the most popular choice of material because it is strong, durable, and has weatherproof properties. Topeak stood out from the rest for the quality of the nylon used in the bag, as well as the excellent waterproof coating used.
One saddlebag not to use nylon was the Cyckit’s Aeroclam P1. This used a molded plastic to form a hard shell. If you need a guaranteed waterproof saddle bag, this would be your best choice. Unfortunately, it does come with a weight penalty. It weighs 126 g, which makes it, by far, the heaviest of the eight saddle bags we reviewed.
Safety is paramount. So, anything that can be done to improve a rider’s safety, no matter how small, is worthwhile. One way is to include a reflective strip on the rear of the bag. It’s a simple addition but may just be enough to help you be seen that little bit easier.
Another way to improve safety is by providing a loop at the rear of the bag. Having a loop allows a place for the rear light to be clipped onto. Putting your light on your bag places it in the highest possible position on your bike and results in maximum visibility.
Where space is tight, it can be difficult to fit in a mini pump. That’s why we think having an external mini-pump sleeve is such a good idea. It gives that flexibility to allow you to keep the pump either on the inside or outside of the bag, depending on what you’re carrying.
Hats off to Castelli for being the only bag to have this feature.
Before We Tell You Which Saddlebag Wins The Race
Speaking of emergency accessories and bike repair tools, we recommend you see our reviews for the Best Bicycle Tool Kits, the Best Bike Repair Stands, the Best Bicycle Pumps, the Best Bicycle GPS Trackers, the Best Bicycle Seats, the Best Mountain Bike Saddles, the Best Bike Tubes, the Best Bicycle Tires for Gravel Riding, and the Best Bicycle Tire Pressure Gauges currently available.
Right, back to saddlebags…
Final Thoughts on The Best Saddle Bags For Cyclists
So, there you have it.
A selection of the best saddlebags for cyclists, with enough room for your essentials, to keep you on the road. The great thing about any of these bags is that once you’ve put in your repair items, you can leave the bag on your bike, forget about it, and only ever have to look inside when you have an emergency.
We liked all the bags and would be happy to put any of them on our bike. However, the… Topeak Aero Wedge Velcro Pack
… stood out from the rest, and so is our top pick.
We feel this was the best-made saddlebag because it used high-quality materials and was very well put together. What’s more, it also had a large capacity, had an effective reflective strip, as well as a loop to clip on a rear light.
Enjoy your bikes, and enjoy your rides with your new saddlebag.