This is a gear review about the best saddle bags for Bikepacking 2023.
Bikepacking Seat Packs attach to the seat and seat post of your bicycle and are a convenient lightweight option for gear storage that doesn’t affect the balance of the bike too much. It also makes the ‘hike a bike’ pushing of the bicycle easier than with conventional storage options like panniers which get in the way.
Let’s take a look at the best seat packs and find out which one is best for you.
Best Bikepacking Seat Bags 2023
The Best Bikepacking Seat Bags in 2023 are:
- Ortlieb Seat Pack Saddle Bag
- Revelate Designs Terrapin 14L Seat Bag
- Revelate Design Spinelock 10L Seat Bag
- REI Co-op Link Seat Pack
- Topeak Back Loader Post Mount Bikepacking Bag
- ROCKBROS Bikepacking Bag Waterproof Large Capacity Bikepacking Saddle Bag
- Blackburn Outpost Seat Pack & Dry Bike Bag
- Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal Seat Pack and Dry Bike Bag
Best Bike Saddle Bag 2023 – Overall
Ortlieb Seat Pack Saddle Bag
Weight: 16.1 oz / 456 grams
> Large capacity 16.5L
> Purge Valve
> Sometimes there can be side swaying, due to its size and weight.
The Ortlieb Seat Pack Saddle Bag is a fully waterproof saddle bag that can hold up to 16.5 litres of things. This saddle bag is made from a combination of polyurethane ripstop nylon that has been joined together using Ortlieb’s secret radio frequency welding technology.
Therefore, there are no stitches in this saddle bag, so less chance of water trying to get in and it has a purge valve to assist in removing air from the pack to allow you to put more gear in the bag. There are also reflective patches when there is low light. Alongside this, there are also various fix points so you can attach a rear light even when the bag is completely full.
The Ortlieb saddle pack is easy to attach to your bike. A pair of heavy-duty velcro straps attach to the seat post and a pair of clipped webbing straps attach to your bike by looping through the saddle rails and they run to the base of the saddle bag.
Overall, this is one of the Best Bikepacking Seat Bags on the market right now.
Most Stable Bike Seat Pack 2023
Revelate Design Spinelock 10L Seat Bag
Weight: 22.5 oz / 638 g
> Purge Valve
> Slots for rear light
> A little bit heavier than most of the seat bags in this review
The Revelate Design Spinelock 10L Seat Pack is the most stable saddle bag on the market. Its stability system consists of three parts including the saddle clamp, a pin and the baseplate. Almost all side sway is eliminated when using this seat saddlebag.
The spine/baseplate is made from impact-resistant UV stabilized nylon and your bag will attach to it, using the pin that slots through the bag. The stability of this bag is the key feature that the manufacturer strived for.
The Spinelock seat bag is waterproof. It is ideal for carrying soft objects, however, if you do want to carry cookware in this bag then make sure to pad any hard objects. This bag also features a one-way air valve to remove any unwanted air in your bag.
There are also light slots, so you can attach a light for reading in dimmer conditions. This bag gives you plenty of space, but there is the option for some external storage too on the corded deck if needed.
Overall, this is the most stable Bikepacking Saddle Bag on the market. Some people will prefer the larger Spinelock 16L model to carry more gear.
More Seat Bags for Bikepacking
Revelate Designs Terrapin 14
Weight: 20 oz / 567 grams
> Adjustable capacity up to 14 liters
> Protective bottom sheet acts as a fender
> Purge Valve
> This is a pricy saddle bag, that is on the higher end of the market
The Revelate Designs Terrapin System Seat Pack is a waterproof seat pack that comes with a removable drybag that lets you pack this bag away easily when it is off the bike. A plastic bottom is used, which acts as a fender to protect the bottom of the bag while you are riding.
To attach this bag is really simple, as this product uses a seat rail attachment system. The indie-rail straps cinch around the saddle rails and another thick and strong strap attaches on the sides of the bag to the seat post. This combination makes this saddle bag the most stable of all the packs in this review.
This eliminates any chance of the bag causing any swaying. Durable buckles and straps will keep this bag in place, even when it is going through rocky terrain. This is a large saddle bag that is perfect for longer journeys and adventures.
Overall, this is not only one of the Best Saddle Bags on the market but one of the most stable, specially when fully loaded.
Best Budget Bike Seat Pack
REI Co-op Link Seat Pack
Weight: 15 oz / 425 g
> Eco-Friendly Bluesign-approved materials
> Large 11 L capacity
> This bag can sway while riding.
The REI Co-op Link Seat Pack is made with a combination of different materials to create a strong and waterproof saddle bag at a reasonable price.
The upper body of the bag is made from ripstop nylon, while the panels nearest to the bike are made from ballistic nylon that has been treated to repel light rain and any tire spray. To add to the weather resistance, this bag has a seam sealed liner and a roll top closure.
To keep this bag secure while you are riding, there is a seat post attachment, along with cam-lock side release buckles. This will keep your bag secure to the saddle rails and compression straps keep everything in your bag contained and stable.
This bag can hold up to 11 liters and has a shock cord for stashing your jacket while on the go. The REI Co-op link seat pack has external pockets for tent poles and has a reflective logo that will keep you safe in dim lighting.
Overall, this is a great budget Bike Saddle Bag that will be a good option for someone wanting a cheap Bikepacking seat pack.
Topeak Backloader Post Mount bikepacking Bag
Weight: 20 oz / 565 grams
> Mounts high which is good for bikes with not much wheel clearance
> Large 15L Capacity
> Large Buckles on the seat rail can be an issue for some riders
The Topeak Backloader Post Mount Bikepacking Bag is another budget-priced seat pack for Bikepacking. There are many decent choices when you are on a budget and this represents good value for money.
It has a 15-liter capacity for carrying all your large and bulky gear with ease. This bag is made from lightweight, durable, and water-resistant nylon and polyethylene. There is also a waterproof inner bag to keep your stuff safe and dry.
This bag is extremely easy to mount to your bike. There is no wide velcro strap that goes around the seat post, while there are also two buckles that go through the seat rails. This bag mounts quite high on the seat post and the straps help to keep this bag as far away from the rear wheel as possible.
Overall, the Topeak Backloader Post Mount Bikepacking Bag is another good budget bike seat bag.
Rockbros Waterproof Saddle Bag
Weight: 19.6 oz / 556 grams
> Affordable Price
> Large 14L capacity
> Easy to install
> Straps loosen when riding and there’s a chance that the buckles could break
> Not as a high quality as some of the other manufacturers in this review
The ROCKBROS Bikepacking large capacity saddle bag comes in two sizes and can hold either 10 or 14 liters worth of gear. This is a great saddle bag for someone who is more on a budget, compared to some of the other bags on this list.
This bag is made from nylon materials and a waterproof TPU film. This makes this bag durable and waterproof.
The Rockbros saddle bag is very simple to install, with two buckle straps that attach to the saddle rails and two velcro straps which attach to the seatpost. A foam insert is provided for the seatpost attachment, which helps with stability.
Overall, this is a great budget bikepacking seat post bag which will suit anyone on a budget.
Blackburn Outpost Seat Pack & Dry Bike Bag
Weight: 15.7 oz / 447 grams
> Removable bag allows harness to stay on bike
> 11L Capacity
> Good quality
> Can be fiddly to get something out of your bag.
The Blackburn Outpost Seat Pack and Dry Bag is easy to install on your bike. It comes with two velcro straps that attach to the seatpost and a clip fastened strap that goes over the saddle rails. This saddle bag comes in two parts.
There is the outlet nylon casing which is what you fit onto your bike. The other part is a removable inner lining, which is a large dry sack. This makes removing the dry bag really easy as you don’t have to remove the harness from the bike. This bag can contain up to 11 liters of gear.
The seams of the Blackburn outpost have been welded, which reduces the chance of any water trying to get in through any needle holes.
Overall, this is a good quality, well-made Bikepacking seat bag.
Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal Seat Pack and Dry Bag
Weight: 20 oz / 572 grams
> You can easily remove the inner bag without dismounting the entire bag from your bike.
> Air Purge Valve
> Can be a bit fiddly with the bolts and alloy plate. Once set up it is fine.
The Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal Seat Pack and Dry Bag is made up of an outer component that is attached to your bike and a removable inner compartment.
There is also an air valve on the inner bag which helps you remove any unwanted air, which then makes the bag smaller. By being able to remove the inner bag, this saves you time and effort as you don’t have to physically remove the bag from your bike to get to your belongings.
This bag reduces any chance of swaying due to the reinforced areas in the nose and bottom of the harness. This product is installed to the saddle by using aluminum wing bolts that are then sandwiched between an interior alloy plate.
There are also two velcro straps to add even more stability to the bag. Alongside this, the seams have been welded shut instead of stitched to avoid any unwanted holes for water to get into.
Overall, the Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal Seat Pack and Dry Bag are high-quality, well-made Bikepacking Seat Bags that is great for someone wanting a large-capacity seat post bag.
If you are looking to buy a bike saddle bag, then there are a couple of things you need to think about. If you are going on a Bikepacking trip or a long bike touring journey having a bike saddle bag will allow you to bring a lot of your gear.
When it comes to buying your next or first saddle bag then there are a few things you need to consider. Keep reading below to assist you in buying the best bag possible for your bike riding experience.
Saddle bags come in a wide range of sizes. You can get saddlebags that have very large capacities that would be perfect for long Bikepacking trips. Smaller saddle bags are perfect for road bikes or for shorter bike rides and commuting.
You aren’t limited by the capacity of the bag that you buy. But, when you are purchasing your saddle bag you need to know what you will be using this bag for.
A lot of the bags we have mentioned have a feature where you can roll the bag down and carry smaller amounts of gear.
There are options, but you want to make sure that your bag has enough capacity for the uses that you have in mind. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bag that doesn’t fit in everything that you want.
Also, consider that some of the larger bags have a tendency to sway and wobble about when riding. Especially when they are fully loaded with heavy weight.
Seat Packs are just one of the many Bikepacking Bags you can get. Also, take a look at Bike Framebags, and Bike Handlebar Bags.
These bags fit onto your saddle post and fit behind you while you are riding. You must make sure the bag you chose has enough clearance for your tire. Not a good idea for the pack to hit the rear tire. Generally, 9-10 inches / 22-24cm clearance is enough.
Saddle bags are designed to fit on pretty much all and every type of bike, providing have enough tire clearance. Yet, it doesn’t hurt to double check the tire clearance just in case.
While you are riding your bike, you can’t always be sure what kind of weather you will be facing. If you find yourself riding through puddles, water may splash onto you and your bike.
The bags that we have mentioned are waterproof, and that is something that you need when buying a saddle bag. You want to feel confident that no matter the weather conditions that your gear will stay safe and dry in the bag.
How stable your bag will be depends several things.
Firstly, on the terrain, you will be taking your bike and bag into. When it comes to rougher and rockier terrain some bags struggle to stay still. Straps can loosen, which then makes riding more difficult.
Secondly, the design will determine stability. The way the bag straps to the seat post and seat rail will determine how much or how little the bag will sway.
Thirdly, the weight you are carrying will affect the handling of the bike and how stable it is. Smaller bags with less weight will be more stable than large, heavily loaded bags.
The vast majority of saddle bags should be able to withstand any terrain whether you are riding a Bikepacking Bike, Mountain Biking, or Fat Tire Bike.
There are two different types of packing styles when it comes to saddle bags. You can have a saddle bag that comes in one piece and you usually pack all your stuff straight onto the bike. While there are some bags that come in two pieces.
There is a harness bag that is constantly attached to the bike and there is a removable inner bag that you can easily take on and off the bike for packing and unpacking.
The one piece packing style is much more traditional, and you could take it off the bike to pack but that requires a lot more effort. Whilst the two piece system is a lot more convenient and easier.
By removing the inner bag you can easily fill your bag up. Both types work really well and it is up to personal preference which type you should choose.
A bike saddle bag is a really useful thing to have, as it makes carrying gear a lot easier, as you don’t need to carry any heavy equipment on your back.
There are a lot of different bike saddle bags to choose from, but my personal favorites that I recommend are the following.
The Ortlieb Seat Pack Saddle Bag is the best overall due to the very being one of the lightest on the market, It is also stable, even when fully loaded. And it is the most waterproof of all the bike seat bags in this review.
Both the bike-packing bags from Revelate Designs are also highly recommended. I love the stability of Revelate Design Spinelock 10L Seat Bag. It will not wobble, even when fully loaded. And the Revelate Designs Terrapin 14L Seat Bag also performs similarly well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Saddle bags are useful pieces of equipment to have. While out riding you always need to carry a couple of pieces of essential equipment like a tire repair kit and pump to name a couple.
A saddle bag allows you to carry all the essentials, while larger saddlebags allow you to carry all your gear easily. This type of bag is a better solution and option than carrying everyone on your back with a bike backpack.
This can depend on how long you will be away for and the size of the bag you have chosen. However, you should always pack a pump and tire repair kit, alongside your phone, keys and wallet.
Sometimes you may want to pack some food and a change of clothes, depending on the length of your bike ride and the weather. It is up to you what you pack, but you always need to make sure that the essentials are packed, just in case something goes wrong.
Yes, Saddle Bags and Seat Bags are essentially the same things, however, there are smaller bags that fit under the bike seats that are best suited for small items such as tools and spares. Larger saddlebags are best suited for Bikepacking style trips.
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The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.
BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.
The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.
BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.