It's a zipper pouch that uses a ski strap, but this simplicity and lack of velcro is why it's so great
- Voile strap instead of velcro
- Waterproof fabrics and zipper
- Super secure without the need for a seat post strap
- No internal organization
- Difficult to access on the bike
Orucase is best known for unapologetically flipping the bird at airlines and the extra baggage fees they like to slap on bike bags. The California-based brand is back with an updated selection of low-profile on-bike luggage, which is simple and unobtrusive.
The aptly named Saddle Bag comes in two sizes, is made from durable materials, and has proved to be one of those 'I wish I would have thought of that' products.
Design and ride expereince
Turning the clock back to January, I included a Voile Strap in my gear of the year for 2020. These are technically ski straps and are possibly the most useful thing ever invented — ranked above duct tape in my book. I have fixed all manner of mechanicals with them, and I have long used them to strap spare tubes onto my bike — they are essentially what you would get if a zip tie and rubber band had a baby. So when Orucase made a saddle bag that utilized a Voile strap instead of velcro, or some other clip-on system, I was intrigued.
The bag itself is a simple two-thirds zip bag made from Waterproof X-Pac fabric, and as a small loop of material which the strap passes through on the top of the bag to ensure it doesn't slip out of the strap. The zipper itself is waterproof and is offset, utilising the strap to prevent it from working its way open as you ride.
The Saddle Bag comes in two sizes, 25-cubic inch and 30-cubic inch. Orucase sent out the smaller of the two, and I had no trouble packing a spare tube, tyre levers, a full-size multi-tool, Co2 inflator, and two 16g canisters, and a Dynaplug inside without worrying about blowing out the zipper.
With the bag fully loaded, the ski strap passes under the saddle rails and around the bag, tucking it up against the saddle's hull. Once you cinch the strap down, it's there for better or worse. It doesn't have a strap that goes around the seatpost, but it doesn't need one; the bag is secure and rattle-free, both on and off-road. This also makes it compatible with dropper posts.
The only thing this bag is missing is some degree of an internal organization, but its absence is hardly a deal-breaker.
After the tail of a velcro strap on a saddle bag wore a hole in a pair of brand new Assos bib shorts, I swapped to using Voile straps for my spare tyre kit. This system works just fine, and once you learn how to pack the strap, it will hold everything you need securely and rattle-free. Plus, you have an indestructible ski strap with you should you need to bodge together a splint, fix a saddle that has come away from the rails, make a toe strap for a broken cleat, etc.
The trouble with this system is that it leaves your tube and spare tire kit exposed to the elements and picks up quite a lot of grit. The Orucase Saddle Bag offers this same reliable mounting solution that won't eat your shorts or rub the paint off your seatpost but keeps the spare tube protected from the elements.
There are a lot of saddlebags out there; most of them are passable, some more so than others. Frankly, the Orucase is one of the best I've used to date.
Tech Specs: Orucase Saddle bag
- Price: $29.00 / £21.08 / €24.26 / AU$37.92 (both sizes same price)
- Sizes: 25 / 30 Cubic inch
- Colours: Black, Black Camo, Cookies
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