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Best saddle bags for your road bike

Included in this guide:

Best saddle bags
(Image credit: Silca)

Going on a ride is never as simple as just grabbing your bike and rolling out the door. However, a handy saddle bag will keep your spare tube, CO2 and inflator, patch kit, tyre levers, tyre boot, multi-tool and a few other bits and pieces organised and together to make sure you aren’t left stranded on the side of the road, calling a friend to come pick you up.

For the Velominati types, all of this can be stuffed in a pocket but will take up room that would otherwise be used for all-important snacks. For the rest of us, a saddlebag is the way to go. 

They come in all different shapes and sizes and are attached to your bike via the saddle rails and sometimes seatpost. Some use simple Velcro straps, while others employ Boa dials or more permanent clip-on attachments. 

The best saddle bags you can buy today

(Image credit: Evoc)

Evoc Seat Bag

Simple, bright and effective

Attachment: Velcro
Volume: 0.65L
Reasons to buy
+Perfect size for a road bike+Clip for rear light+Individual straps make for easy setup
Reasons to avoid
-Not totally waterproof

Available in a few different sizes, the Evoc Saddle Bag is the middle-volume version with 0.65L of internal capacity. The exterior is made from the same PU coated ripstop nylon used in the brand's backpacks, which is durable and has a bit of weather resistance, too.

Inside, there are mesh pockets to keep your gear organised, and the bag is held in place with three velcro straps, making for faff-free mounting. Beyond the quality finishing, we love the Evoc seat pack because it comes in bright colours rather than the stock standard black or flash yellow.

(Image credit: Scicon)

Scicon Phantom 230 Roller 2.1

Best for swapping between bikes

Attachment: Bracket
Volume: 0.23L
Reasons to buy
+Easy swapping between bikes+Large opening+Tyre levers included
Reasons to avoid
-The initial install is fiddly

Scicon’s Roller 2.0 system uses a bracket attached to your saddle rails and the bag clips on with a quarter-turn mount - similar to your cycling computer. The hold is secure, provided the bracket is tight and the Phantom 230 Roller 2.0 is one of the easiest bags to swap between bikes. To free up a bit of space inside the bag, the Phantom 230 features mounts for two tyre levers on the exterior of the pack.

A zip runs two-thirds of the way around the bag so you don’t have to pull everything out in search of a quick link, though the interior doesn't feature any pockets to keep things separate. The majority of the bag is made from nylon, while the mounting base is 'carbon optic'.

(Image credit: Silca)

Silca Seat Roll Premio

Great-looking, super-secure Boa-fastened saddle roll

Attachment: Boa
Volume: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Great looking+Clever design
Reasons to avoid
-Not quick to access contents-Price

Silca is known for its extremely high quality (and expensive) gear and the Seat Roll Premio is no exception. Made from waxed canvas, the Silca seat roll has three internal pockets, with enough room for a tube, tyre levers, a multi-tool and a small patch kit - even with that amount you’ll have to pack carefully to make it all fit. 

The pack rolls up and is attached to your bike using a Boa dial, with the cable looping through the seat rails - Silca has included a rail guard to protect lightweight carbon rails. 

(Image credit: Lezyne)

Lezyne Loaded Caddy Saddle Bag

Neat seatpack that comes preloaded with tools

Attachment: Velcro and webbing
Volume: 0.4L
Reasons to buy
+Tools included+Internal organizational pockets
Reasons to avoid
-Outer tool storage -Small size

Lezyne offers a couple of different seatpack options but if you are looking for a complete set the Lezyne Loaded Caddy Saddle Bag comes with a multi-tool, tyre levers, patches and a tyre boot, pop a pump in your pocket and you are ready to go.

The pack itself secures to the saddle rails and seatpost using velcro straps. The pack uses a woven nylon construction and a water-resistant zip to keep wheel spray at bay. Reflective logos add a visibility detail for when being used on dusky rides or commutes.

Arundle Dual

(Image credit: Arundle)

Arundel Dual Seat bag

Traditional bag with heaps of space

Attachment: Velcro
Volume: 0.4L
Reasons to buy
+Old school aesthetics+Capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Lack of waterproofing

Arundel calls this bag the Dual because it’s designed to carry two tubes, in addition to the other essentials you need to fix a flat. A single strap loops around the saddle rails and the bag without needing to be anchored to the seatpost.

The zip runs up the middle of the bag and the carrier sits up almost underneath the saddle to offer a small degree of protection from water and grit being flung off your rear wheel. That said, the bag could benefit from a DWR coating or a waterproof exterior fabric. 

(Image credit: Speedsleeve)

Speedsleev Ballistic Nylon Seatsleev

Minimalist alternative to a traditional saddle bag

Attachment: Velcro
Volume: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Made of Ballistic Nylon+Sleek and compact when rolled up
Reasons to avoid
-Included rain-cover seems like an afterthought

The Speedsleev Seatsleev is not your traditional saddle bag; instead, it's a velcro compression strap with slots for all your essentials. It’s actually made up of three velcro straps, with the innermost used to create a pocket for a tube, the middle strap has sleeves for tyre levers, CO2 canisters and the like and the outermost hook and loop secures the whole thing to your saddle rails.

It all lays out flat for easy access to everything and comes with a rain cover to keep your spare tube grit-free. Even though it only attaches to your saddle rails it hangs on tight and is swing free - even over rough terrain. 

(Image credit: Colin Levitch)

Voile Strap 12in Nano series

It’s like a toe strap but considerably more useful

Attachment: Buckle
Volume: N/A
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Inexpensive and extremely durable-Must be packed correctly not to lose all your gear

Voile is actually a ski brand based in Utah and its trademark orange straps were invented more than thirty years ago as a unique way to keep skis together and attach glueless climbing skins. They are also this writer's preferred way to attach spare tyre kit to his bikes. 

Traditionally, roadies have used a toe strap to attach spares to the underside of their saddle; a Voile strap performs the same task but does the job better - they work so well, in fact, OneUp Components and Abby Tools sell copycat/logo licensed versions. Made from UV-resistance tested rubber these things are tough and neither the strap nor the glass-filled nylon buckle scratch carbon components, meaning they can be used to strap things to your frame, too. 

They come in lengths from six to 32-inches, two widths and enough colours to match any bike.

(Image credit: Straight Cut Design)

Straight Cut Design Tool Roll v.2

Super tough tool roll from the Scottish bikepacking bag maker

Attachment: Nylon webbing strap
Volume: n/a
Reasons to buy
+Rugged materials+Secure storage+Handmade in the UK
Reasons to avoid
-Not suited for quick to hand items

Straight Cut Design is a small custom frame bag and bikepacking brand, producing hard-wearing and well designed on bike storage from their Edinburgh base.

The Tool Roll V.2 uses X51 fabric, which is 500d Cordura® backed with X-Pac™, for protection against abrasions and rear-wheel grime. The three compartments keep all necessary tools organised and the varying pocket depths stops shorter items getting swallowed up in larger pockets.

The tool roll is attached to the saddle rails using a simple yet effective webbing strap and buckle which can be cinched up nice and tight to keep your essentials secure.

(Image credit: skingrowsback)

skingrowsback Plan B Micron

Handmade aussie saddle bag

Attachment: Webbing
Volume: 0.4L
Reasons to buy
+Clamshell design+Fun colours and patterns
Reasons to avoid
-Clamshell must be removed to get inside

Aussie outfit skingrowsback makes hard-wearing bags ranging from duffles and backpacks, down to the humble saddle bag. The Plan B is a compact nylon saddle pack with heavyweight 1000d nylon exterior and a PU-coated zip to prevent water ingress. 

Similar to the Arundel bag, a single strip of webbing runs through the saddle rails and wraps around the clamshell-style bag. Inside there are elastic straps to secure CO2 and tyre levers. The bags are hand-made in Australia and come in a massive range of colours and patterns.

What to look for?

1. Size and shape

How much stuff are you going to need on a ride? Are you headed out for a few hours, or a week riding the entire Colorado Trail?

The former is what applies to most of us and a 0.5-litre bag will fit two road tubes, CO2 canisters and an inflator, a small multi-tool and some tyre levers with a bit of Tetris. Pro tip: re-roll your innertubes with the valve in the middle (keep the valve cap on), it will be about half the size it was when you started.

2. Attachment

Many saddlebags use basic velcro straps attached to your saddle. This is the lightest weight and arguably the most secure option - just make sure to watch where the rough side of the hook and loop ends on your seat-post, if it's in a bad spot or peels up a bit you may wear a hole through your shorts. 

Of course, every brand in the bike industry is continually searching for a point of difference, and thus seat packs that use a bracket on the seat post or saddle rails also exist. These are often a bit heavier, and we have seen a few hit the eject button over rough sections of road.

Regardless of how they attach to your bike, most bags will utilise a zip to keep everything inside, while strap-on tool rolls may use buckles or even Boa dials.