Best saddlebag for road bike options. Find them all here! Enjoy 🙂
Whatever our reason for riding, we all have things we need to keep with us while upon our bike. Things like our ID, phone, keys, and money.
But there are also things we carry with us to help ensure we arrive safely such as a tool, tubes, CO2, maybe gels; basically, our “emergency kit.”
So one may ask, “Where do we put all of that stuff?” One of the easiest methods of carrying items is in what is in what is called a “saddlebag” also known as a seat pack, race bag, and seat or tail bag.
Related: Best Budget Wireless Cycle Computer: A Buyers Guide
No Time To Read? No Worries, Here's My Top 9:
Questions To Ask Yourself:
Most saddlebags are built to fit neatly under your saddle and are generally under 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, and stay on the bike. A seat bag ensures you don’t have to remember to pack your kit pockets with safety stuff every ride.
Those items are just always there, already on the bike, ready when you need them.
They're made with a variety of materials and have various ways they connect to the bike itself. Some are adjustable in size; some use a quick-release, clip-on system with most using Velcro and straps to affix them to your bike.
When considering what type of seat pack is right for you, here are a few things you might consider:
- What type of riding will you be doing?
Will you be commuting daily for a 40-mile round-trip or are you training for your next event or race?
- What do you want to be able to fit inside?
Do you simply want a place to stash your keys or do you want to be able to throw in a jacket, or other supplies for any situation that may arise?
- What material is it made from?
Does it need to be waterproof or at least water-resistant? Do you want a lightweight bag or is durability more important? Is choosing a color to match your bike important? If it is, this will limit your options, as most bags tend to be black.
- How easily removed does it need to be?
Do you want to move it from one bike to another, or will it be on one bike all of the time? If you have multiple bikes as many of you do, you need to have your tool, spares, etc. with you on both.
So, you can either buy a bag for each bike, or one that has a quick release that is easy to mount to whichever bike you're on.
- Does it need to be able to expand?
Will you ever perhaps want to throw in a jacket, hat, or extra gloves? This is something to consider when riding in the colder months when you tend to "shed" clothes. You may start out riding with a jacket, thermal sleeves, undershirt, kit, and leg warmers.
After an hour in, you'll find yourself in need of losing half of those clothes because it has warmed up substantially.
- How easy is it to access and find your things?
Can you get into your bag while riding? If you're going to get in and out of it while riding, will all your stuff fall out if you open it? What if you're in a race and time is of the essence?
- Does it have separate compartments?
Most saddlebags have one compartment. Some have side compartments as well, maybe a mesh pocket, and elastic holders. How fast can you locate your items or does that even matter to you?
I can honestly say that when waiting on a friend to fix a flat, it's pretty nice that everything they need is right at their fingertips, and you're back to riding quickly.
- How stable with it be on your bike?
Stability is probably one of the most important questions to consider. Most bags fasten with Velcro and a strap and buckle. Some go through the rails on the underside of the saddle only, and some also have a Velcro strap that attaches to the seat post.
The quick release bags would attach to a plastic component that you have already secured to your bike.
Some bags have a supported bottom, and some are completely flexible. Either way, you want to ensure as little movement as possible occurs with the bag while you're riding.
- Will it fit on your bike?
You'll want to look at the measurements of the product, how it affixes to the bike and ensure you have the clearance for the bag and are happy with how it fits under your saddle.
Some bags sit more horizontal and some more vertical. Some are compact, fitting entirely under your saddle, and some extend beyond.
Additional Things To Consider:
Most saddlebags will come with Water/weather resistance material, reflective striping, and a place to hang a rear safety light. However, not all of them do so make sure you check before making any purchases.
A great video below by the Global Cycling Network below shows you how to pack your saddlebag with ultimate efficiency.
Review Of The Top 3
I like the BV Strap-on for many reasons, but the biggest of those is the expandable nature.
Because of the way the BV is designed the bottom opens up to give you, even more, space.
Perfect for when you decide to bring a few extra things along with you. However, if you're looking for something that is super streamlined, with just enough room for a few essentials such as a phone and keys, then the Newdora and Lezyne Micro Caddy would be worth taking a look at.
They're both small making them aerodynamic, spot on for the guys who value speed saving weight over everything else.
Most cycling jerseys will have pockets for your stuff, but the BV is constructed with a rugged 1000-denier corder material and covered zippers.
This means your content is much less likely to get damaged if you're unlucky enough to fall off. It’s also rainproof which a lot of cycling jersey's aren't.
However, if you were having the ultimate of bad days and fell off into a lake, it’s unlikely that the bag could save you here!
Another nice thing about this saddle bag is that installation takes seconds. One Velcro strap and two snap-on buckles are all you need to fix it to your bike nice and quickly. Watch this video to see how to install it. Although it's not the expandable version, the process is still the same.
There are some reflective strips on it for a little more visibility when riding at night. Along with this, there is a fitting for a small taillight. A small taillight is great when you're on your early morning or evening commute and need to be seen.
For an excellent review check out the video below by 24AnVRodri.
- Expandable for days when you're carrying more stuff
- Durable material to keep your valuables safe.
- Good additional safety features built into the design
- It's unlikely that you'll be able to put in any of your extra layers when you become too hot.
The Topeak Large Aero Wedge Pack is a beauty, as with the BV it’s made out of 1000 Denier nylon, so you know it’s got the durability to protect all of your valuables.
The lower portion of the bag also has a plastic like shell which helps to repel water and dirt.
The Topeak comes with quick release buckles which are used to attach the bag to the saddle rails. They’re fairly beefy for what they have to do. Big buckles mean they’re strong and well up to the job at hand.
There are also versions that use a quick release system to enable you to take the bag of the bike quickly. If that is part of criteria then choose this version instead
Similar to the BV, this bag has the added ability to be able to expand. The expansion is useful on the days that you need a little extra space for your kit (see the video by Captain Overpacker below for a further demo of this).
As you can see, it’s able to fit an entire hand up to the wrist, which is enough space for the majority of cyclists out there.
Inside the pack, there’s also a mesh pocket which is good for keeping items separate. You can put the most important kit at the front, enabling you to grab it instantly once you open the bag.
Additionally, there're a couple of elastic loops across the ceiling of the pack. These also help to keep things separate and stop any annoying rattling while cycling along.
Another useful feature is that the opening flap is “guesseted” (small flaps on either side that go up approximately hallway). This means you can open the front flap, and the sides will stop any of your stuff from falling on the floor.
As with the BV it has some built in safety features such as a nice reflective strip across the rear of the pack. There is also a loop at the back of the pack that allows you to attach a small tail light.
The loop is something that a lot of saddlebags miss off their design, so it’s good to see it on the bag, especially when visibility is such an important safety aspect.
- Expands for days when you have a little more kit to put in it
- Lots of ways to keep things separate within the bag so you can grab them easily
- Would struggle to get much extra clothing into it.
I’d like to start off by saying I like this bag! It’s got a roomy main compartment, and unlike any of the others in this review, it has lots of zippered side pockets as well. The side pockets make it perfect for separating all of the extra gear that you bring along with you.
What’s more, the side pockets also have elastic loops inside of them to hold items in place. The loops would be the perfect place for CO2 canisters. The zippers also have rubber pulls on them making it easier to get into with gloves on.
However, the downside to having the extra pockets is that it’s a little bulkier than some of the other products here. So if a slim-lined aerodynamic design was your main criteria, it might make sense to look elsewhere.
Although it prevents it from being able to fit tightly to the seat stem, a great thing about this bag is the quick-release system. The quick-release system makes it easy to take off of your bike if you need to, which is great if you want to take your bag with you quickly into a local coffee shop.
As with all the bags on this review they have made sure to account for visibility issues during low levels of light. As you can see on the picture above there is also a loop which is the perfect place to position a tail light.
- Lots of pockets to easily separate up all your valuables
- Quick release system allows you to take the bag off your bike quickly
- Not as streamlined as some of the products in this review
- The quick release system prevents the bag from being able to sit tightly to the seat post
Topeak Large Aero Wedge
With a saddlebag, there's no more trying to remember what you need to take with every trip, gathering it all and then stuffing it in your jersey pockets and wherever else you can.
No more remembering, and more importantly…no more forgetting. Your things are always there, already on the bike, ready when you need them.
The top saddle bag for a road bike is the Topeak Aero Wedge. It's tough, aerodynamic and has lots of compartments. The ideal addition to any cyclists gear.