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 £125 you would expect so.
The biggest sections of fabric with the dotted pattern are 420 denier nylon, which is thicker than most bags use and fully waterproof. It’s light though, as well as very strong – 420 denier was originally designed for parachutes.
That thickness (and some plastic reinforcement) gives the roll-top Cluster a great shape that doesn't crinkle or fold. This, plus the large opening, makes it really easy to pack and unpack. This is the middle size of three – it also comes in 7L and 20L sizes.
The underside features a PVC section right above the rear wheel, and with a 30,000mm hydrostatic head figure, it's not letting anything through. That number means it can withstand the pressure of a 30 metre water column without leaking…
The same stuff covers the saddle rail area to protect against wear, as it’s also pretty tough. For good measure the Cluster has a waterproof lining as well, which covers all the seams and attachment points for very strong protection.
The clamps for the saddle rails have locks on the straps, meaning they can be pulled tight and secured, and the seatpost gets two strong Velcro straps with non-slip fabric on the contact points.
With the Cluster packed well and secured tight there’s no sway noticeable at all, even when pushing hard and climbing out of the saddle.
At 17cm deep it’s a relatively thin bag for its volume, and the 9cm of seatpost Miss Grape recommends you have showing is also usefully short. At 425g it’s fairly heavy, but not outrageously so – especially considering the strength and thickness of the fabrics.
The Cluster is thoughtfully detailed. There’s a tidy to stop the end of the closure strap flapping in the wind, and there are multiple loops for attaching extra cargo or lights. All it’s really lacking is some good reflective patches for visibility.
Bikepacking bags vary in price considerably, but you usually get what you pay for. The Cluster 13 Waterproof sits right at the top end at £125, with the superb Ortlieb Seat Pack (£135) one of the few that cost more.
The vast majority are under £100, however, even from other premium brands: the 13L Alpkit Koala is £85, for instance, while the popular Wildcat Tiger Drover harness and matching 10L tapered drybag is £102 combined.
If you are looking to take on big adventures and want a saddle bag that will stand the roughest weather and riding conditions, the Cluster 13 will absolutely earn its money. For occasional or less intense bikepackers, though, the price is harder to justify – especially with so many other good bags out there for less.
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