[Updated December 2, 2021]
Here at off-road.cc bikepacking is high on the agenda and we test plenty of gear including numerous seat packs, saddle packs, frame bags and handlebar bags. Here are our top rated saddle bags you can buy in 2020 for carrying gear on your mountain, gravel or adventure bike.
The 12 best seat packs you can buy in 2021
Varying in size and price, all these packs have been tried and tested by us and have scored over four out of five stars in review. That means you can rest assured that we liked them and we'd use them again on our own bikes! Scroll down for the full list in no particular order or hit one of the links below to jump straight to that bag.
2021 Ortlieb Bikepacking bags-15.jpg, by Matt Page
Ortlieb's Seat-pack marries a decent carrying capacity with high-quality, fully waterproof construction. The materials are all top notch and it's got some really nicely thought out details, though it'd be nice to also have the same bungee strap as the 16L model.
The Restrap Race Saddle Bag is a quick-fitting, lightweight and stable way to carry bulky items on your bike. Less than half the weight of Restrap's own standard saddle bag whilst retaining the features needed to perform, it's a great bit of kit at a good price. Quality is excellent too – in fact, its sole problem is a poorly designed light strap.
The Alpkit Koala is one of the original bags created by the British company, and it's still made in the UK. It's reasonably light, easy to attach, and doesn't sway much once fitted, though the seven-litre version's not the biggest. The good news there is that the thirteen-litre version is the same price.
MissGrape-Cluster13-2.JPG, by Matt Page
The Cluster 13 Waterproof is a very strong and durable saddlebag that’s ideal for the toughest and longest adventures. The 13 litres of space is easy to pack, and it’s easy to secure to thanks to good buckles. There is a lot to like, but at this price you would expect so.
The Brooks Scape Seat Bag is a beautiful bit of kit. Top quality materials have been used to not only make sure it looks the part, but also that it is functional, durable and waterproof. For the money it's not the biggest pack out there, though.
2021 Wildcat Tiger Drover, by Matt Page
The Wildcat Tiger Drover Saddle Harness is designed to hold a drybag securely beneath your saddle, and makes for an incredibly secure and lightweight bikepacking setup. The design makes packing easy and quick, although the initial setup can take a while.
We used the Tiger Drover harness with Wildcat's 10L tapered drybag (£30 and 63g) but you can fit any regular drybag between 5-10L in here.
Altura Vortex 2 Compact Seatpack Main.jpg, by Matt Page
The Altura Vortex 2 Waterproof Compact Seatpack is well priced and stands up brilliantly to heavy rain and spray. The weight is good and it's stable too, though some of the fixings are a little fiddly to secure and adjust.
The Wildcat Tiger Wayfarer saddle harness is more compact than a lot of bikepacking bags and better suited for longer days and shorter tours. Designed to hold your stuff in a dry bag, it's super stable but can be a bit strappy.
The LifeLine Adventure Seat Pack offers a reasonable 7.5 litres of storage within a single compartment. The ripstop fabric is strong, very waterproof and light – the whole thing weighs just 320g – while the Velcro and buckle straps are quick and secure. The tapered shape needs careful packing to stop the pack sagging, however.
The Polaris Ventura seat pack comes with all the core features you’d need in a seat pack; it's tough, fairly spacious and offers some nice details, but is slightly compromised by its fiddly attachment straps. It’s pretty good value for money but does have a slight simplicity or lack of refinement in the build.
The Topeak Backloader 10L is a reasonably priced bikepacking seatpack that carries its own waterproof stuffsack inside. Although you can get a waterproof bag of similar size that weighs slightly less, for its price and ease of use the Topeak Backloader is a brilliant choice. If you like the idea of the two-part inner-outer system for a completely waterproof luggage carrier, it's a good option right now given its balance of function and price.
If you need to carry up to 14 litres of luggage but don't want to use a rack, the Restrap Saddle Bag Holster is an excellent choice. Unconstrained by frame design or bottle cage placement, it will work for just about any bike.
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