Best Saddle Bags 2022 | Best Bike Bags


With so many different saddle bag options and styles on the market today, it can be overwhelming to pick the correct one for the type of riding you do. A road racer and commuter have very different needs when it comes to what to bring along on a ride, and as a result, will have different priorities when searching for a saddle bag.

Saddle bags are no longer the bulky, swaying eyesores they once were. Boa dials, compression straps, and waterproof fabrics elevate construction and performance so much so that not even the classic tool roll–style design and its decades-long dependability has remained immune. Today’s saddle bags are secure, durable, and some so minimal you’ll forget they are even there. You’ll no longer have an excuse for your riding partners when you forget to bring a repair kit for that roadside puncture.

Best Saddle Bags

    The Expert: After over a dozen years of cycling on every type of terrain out there, I’ve learned the hard way on more than one occasion of what works and what does not in a saddle bag. Whether it be a quick after-work road ride or a multiday bikepacking trip, each ride requires a different saddle bag or packing strategy to keep your repair kit and gear stowed away safe and secure. Over the years, I’ve gotten my kit and bag selection down to a science and can spot a good saddle bag a mile away.

    What to Know About Saddle Bags

    Saddle bags can be broken down into two main size categories: everyday carry and bikepacking. Smaller everyday bags often house basic tools to fix minor problems, such as punctures and loose bolts, out on the road or trail. Typically, you leave them attached to your bike in case of emergency. Larger bikepacking-style bags carry camping gear, clothes, and even food on overnight or multiday trips. In this review, I’ve curated a selection of smaller saddle bags that are geared toward quick weekday rides and all-day jaunts on the weekend. If you find yourself heading out on a bikepacking trip, or even just want to carry a bit more gear, head over to our best bikepacking bags article.

    It’s important to know whether a saddle bag is waterproof. Some are made with water-resistant fabric, but unless it’s specifically stated, assume there is no weatherproofing. If you often ride in wet conditions or commute regularly, consider getting a waterproof bag that features burlier material and a water-tight closure. Your tools and gear inside will thank you.

    Lastly, think about how the bag attaches to your bike. There are several attachment methods that manufacturers use now, including basic Velcro straps, cables secured with Boa dials, and more permanent bolt-on options. Be sure to not overlook this point, as a loose and saggy bag can become a huge annoyance out on the road.

    How We Evaluated

    Based on my personal experience using many of these models, I pieced together what I believe are eight of the best saddle bags you can buy right now. I considered models from larger easy-to-find brands and handmade options from smaller companies. Size-wise, I prioritized bags designed for daily use. These are models you can use day in and day out on your road bike, commuter bike, or even gravel bike on shorter rides.

    While comparing the contenders, I looked at all their aspects from design to material to how it attaches to the saddle itself—no detail was overlooked. The bags I personally tested were subjected to all sorts of riding and weather conditions. For the bags I haven’t used, I reached out to some close riding buddies—former professional racers—who offered their wide breadth of insight. Keep reading to learn which saddle bags earned my recommendation.

Best Everyday Saddle Bag

Speedsleev Ranger Medium

  • Strong ballistic nylon construction
  • Extremely versatile

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof fabric
  • Attachment System: Velcro strap

The Ranger line of saddle bags from Speedsleev is one of my favorite everyday bags I’ve use. The Ranger comes in three sizes, from small to large, but I’ve found the medium to be the ideal balance of storage capacity and overall size. With dedicated compartments for tubes, CO2s, and more, it’s easy to keep this bag tidy. The large Velcro strap not only securely locks the bag in place, but it also doubles as a volume control allowing you to cinch down varying size loads very securely to eliminate rattling. The waterproof ballistic nylon fabric has stood up to all the abuse I’ve thrown at it; I just wish it was slightly more weather-resistant.

Best Small Saddle Bag

Specialized Road Bandit

  • Very lightweight
  • Secure mounting to saddle
  • Great for road racers
  • Only fits SWAT-compatible saddles

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: None
  • Attachment System: Two bolts

For the weight weenies and minimalists among us, the Specialized Road Bandit fits the bill. The Road Bandit is by far one of the most minimal saddle “bags” I’ve tested. It fits only the bare essentials: a CO2 valve head, road tube, two-sided tire lever (included), and a 16-gram CO2 cartridge. The Road Bandit securely mounts to any Specialized SWAT-compatible saddle and holds the contents very securely. Don’t expect much, or anything, in the way of protection from the elements.

Best Commuter Saddle Bag

Blackburn Grid Large

  • Reflective sides for visibility
  • Water-resistant to keep contents dry
  • Hook and loop strap can hit some riders’ thighs

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: Water-resistant
  • Attachment System: Two Velcro straps

Blackburn checks all the boxes when it comes to a commuter-style saddle bag with its Grid series. With three sizes from small to large, you can choose the right size bag for your needs. I found the large size to be ideal for carrying a few extra items when commuting. I even managed to fit a lightweight wind jacket along with all my tools, tubes, and CO2s. I experienced no swaying or moving thanks to the bags’ two secure mounting points that attach directly to the saddle rails. The reflective black sides of the bag help keep you visible in low light.

Most Innovative

Silca Seat Roll Asymmetrico

  • Boa dial is a breeze to use
  • High-quality fabrics throughout

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: Water-resistant
  • Attachment System: Boa dial

Silca has a long history of innovation, and its Asymmetrico seat roll is no different. Silca was the first company I know of to offer a Boa dial as a closure and mounting system on a saddle bag, and I love it. The dial makes installation, removal, and adjustment a breeze. A high-quality Cordura fabric creates an asymmetric tool roll–style design (the top flap is wider than the two other panels) that allows you to maximize packing efficiency. The integrated padded guard helps protect your saddle rails from abrasion. I also appreciated the red fabric inside the bag, which really helped small tools stand out for quick roadside repairs.

Best Tool Roll–Style

Road Runner Tool Saddle Roll

  • Time-tested secure design
  • Made by hand in Los Angeles
  • Can take practice to pack properly

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: None
  • Attachment System: Buckle strap

Tool roll–style saddle bags have been around for seemingly forever. Road Runner Bags have probably been my favorite tool roll bag I’ve used to date. With its removable seatpost strap in place, I found this roll to be extremely secure. The quick-release buckle allows for perfect volume control and makes installation super quick. It can take some practice to get this roll packed and secured properly, but once you do it’s rock solid. Road Runner offers it in many different colors to suit your style.

Easiest to Attach

OruCase Saddle Bag

  • Ski strap mounting strap is innovative and secure
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Slightly bulky when packed full

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof
  • Attachment System: Ski strap

The OruCase saddle bag features a ski strap attachment system for a very secure and quick mounting process. The ski strap also snugs down the load in the bag to prevent any rattling or swaying. Waterproof X-PAC fabric and a waterproof zipper keep the contents dry in adverse weather. With ample room inside, we found the bag fit everything we might need on a road ride. This is a very high-quality bag that will last a long time.

Best Multiuse Saddle Bag

Evoc Seat Pack Boa Medium

  • Rolltop style design offer wide range of adjustment
  • Easy to mount and remove
  • Can sway when fully loaded
  • Expensive

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof
  • Attachment System: Boa dial

The Seat Pack Boa by EVOC has the ability to roll down small for a road ride or commute, then expand up to 2 liters for some light-duty bikepacking. This bag features a Boa system that cinches the back tight to the seatpost and a rolltop closure to allow a wide range of size adjustments. The waterproof fabric keeps your packed items safe and dry. I did notice a slight amount of sway when the bag was fully loaded.

Best Waterproof Saddle Bag

Ortlieb Micro Two 0.8 Liter

  • 100% waterproof
  • Easy to access contents
  • Initial install takes a couple minutes

Key Specs

  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof
  • Attachment System: Two bolts

Ortlieb has a history of making durable and waterproof bags of all kinds, and the Micro Two saddle bag fits the mold. Thanks to a rolltop closure and polyurethane-coated nylon fabric, water and muck don’t stand a chance of getting inside. The Micro Two’s bolt-on design isn’t as easy to install as other bags but is rock solid once attached. With a large easy-to-access main compartment, I had no issues getting items in and out of the bag. However, I would’ve liked to see some sort of volume control strap for cinching down smaller loads.

Why Everyone Should Have a Saddle Bag and What Expert Chris Pino Packs in His

BI: What do you keep in your saddle bag?

C.P.: My everyday carry for a typical road ride always includes at least one tube, a small multitool, Dynaplug, one tire lever, a Leatherman Squirt PS4, and a glueless patch kit. Depending on the ride, I’ll also occasionally throw in a CO2 and inflater head (I’m usually a frame pump guy). A new addition I’ve also begun bringing are some latex gloves. I run tubeless on all my bikes and punctures are rare, but when they happen the gloves are great for keeping all that nasty sealant off my hands.

BI: What’s your ideal saddle bag size?

C.P.: The perfect size bag is one that fits all your stuff with very little room to spare. I’m not a fan of carrying more than absolutely necessary or a too big bag with all my stuff rattling around inside. Less is more for me in this area.

BI: What’s one feature you pay special attention to when testing or purchasing a new saddle bag?

C.P.: If I had to narrow it down to one feature, I’d go with a secure mounting system that also doubles as volume control. It drives me crazy having a saddle bag that sways or makes noise over rough roads. The single strap system allows me to pack varying sized loads without ever having my contents shift while also keeping my bag nice and tight to the saddle.

BI: Saddle bags aren’t the only on-frame storage options. What advantage do they offer compared to handlebar bags or frame packs?

C.P.: I actually love a small frame pack, but even when running one, I still use a saddle bag. Saddle bags are so easy to pack your everyday repair kit in, strap it to your bike, and just forget about it until you need it. You’ll never accidentally leave home without it, and if packed right, you’ll barely notice it. Frame packs are great for stowing some larger items on longer rides or in adverse weather, but I never keep my repair kit in a frame bag.

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