ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE SADDLE BAGSMTB SADDLE BAGS REVIEWSREVELATE DESIGNS TERRAPIN SYSTEMEVOC SADDLE BAGTOPEAK WEDGE DRYBAG MEDIUMDEFIANCE PAK RATT 2ORTLIEB MICROTOPEAK AERO EXPANDINGTIMBUK2 SEAT PACK XTTIMBUK2 SONOMAORTLIEB SEAT-PACKTOPEAK BACK LOADERCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE SADDLE BAGSHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE SADDLE BAGSSIZE AND USEMATERIALSADDLE ATTACHMENTDROPPER POST COMPATIBILITYBIKE FIT Want to ditch your rucksack on shorter rides or go on a multi-day “bikepacking” adventure? If so, then you will probably need a saddle bag. There are bags of different sizes and types available so knowing what makes the best mountain bike saddle bag can be challenging. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we do not want you to be confused when it comes to choosing your equipment. We have written this article for you so you can learn what makes a good saddle bag and what you need to look out for. We have also included a list of what we think are the best saddle bags so you don’t have to do all the research yourself. For more of out top mountain bike gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Men’s Bikes | Women’s Bikes Pedals | Wheels | Tires | Brakes | Saddles Chains | Cranksets | Derailleurs | Gear Shifters Helmets | Lights | Computers | GPS | Pumps Shorts | Jackets | Shoes | Gloves CLICK HERE to Download our FREE Quick Starter Guide to Mountain Biking Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/aleksey_rezinPhoto by istockphoto.com/portfolio/dolomites-image QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE SADDLE BAGS Revelate Designs Terrapin System EVOC Saddle Bag Topeak Wedge DryBag Medium Defiance Pak Ratt 2 Ortlieb Micro Topeak Aero Expanding Wedge Timbuk2 Seat Pack XT Timbuk2 Sonoma Ortlieb Seat-Pack Topeak Back Loader MTB SADDLE BAGS REVIEWS REVELATE DESIGNS TERRAPIN SYSTEM Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Overall CAPACITY: 15L WATERPROOF: Yes PROS: Huge amounts of storage space, roll closure, holster prevents swaying CONS: None EVOC SADDLE BAG Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Overall CAPACITY: 1L WATERPROOF: No PROS: Stylish, durable rip stop nylon, light CONS: None TOPEAK WEDGE DRYBAG MEDIUM Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Budget CAPACITY: 1L WATERPROOF: Yes PROS: Waterproof material and roll closure to keep contents dry, 3 sizes available CONS: Rigid material makes noise if items inside are loose DEFIANCE PAK RATT 2 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Budget CAPACITY: 15L WATERPROOF: No PROS: Roll closure, robust material CONS: Not waterproof, buckles are prone to breaking ORTLIEB MICRO Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI FOR: Tools CAPACITY: 0.6L WATERPROOF: Yes PROS: Roll closure to remove extra space, reflective logo CONS: Opening is small TOPEAK AERO EXPANDING Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Tools CAPACITY: 1.31L WATERPROOF: No PROS: Expanding compartment to carry more gear, internal elastic secures contents CONS: Attachment can be tricky TIMBUK2 SEAT PACK XT Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Tools CAPACITY: 0.5L WATERPROOF: No PROS: Just the right size to hold the essentials, durable, attachment for rear light CONS: Attachment can be fiddly TIMBUK2 SONOMA Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Bikepacking CAPACITY: 5L WATERPROOF: No PROS: Extra small for the bare essentials, lightweight, attachment for a rear light CONS: Fiddly attachment ORTLIEB SEAT-PACK Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Bikepacking CAPACITY: 16.5L WATERPROOF: Yes PROS: Large capacity, roll closure, waterproof CONS: Heavy items need to be packed close to the saddle otherwise it will sway TOPEAK BACK LOADER Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Backpacking CAPACITY: 6L WATERPROOF: Yes PROS: Mount and compression straps prevent swaying, included waterproof liner keeps contents dry CONS: Dry bag is not the same shape as external bag COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE SADDLE BAGS PICTURESADDLE BAGBEST USECAPACITY (L)WATERPROOFPRICERATING PICTURESADDLE BAGBEST USECAPACITY (L)WATERPROOFPRICERATING Revelate Designs Terrapin SystemOverall15Yes$$$5.0 EVOC Saddle BagOverall1No$5.0 Topeak Wedge DryBag MediumBudget1Yes$5.0 Defiance Pak Ratt 2Budget15No$$4.0 Ortlieb MicroTools0.6Yes$$4.5 Topeak Aero Expanding WedgeTools1.31No$4.0 Timbuk2 Seat Pack XTTools0.5No$4.5 Timbuk2 SonomaBikepacking5No$$$4.0 Ortlieb Seat-PackBikepacking16.5Yes$$3.8 Topeak Back LoaderBikepacking6Yes$$4.0 Gear up for mountain biking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on MTB GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR MTB HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE SADDLE BAGS SIZE AND USE The first thing you need to think about is how much gear you need to transport. Do you just want somewhere to stash your tools on your regular rides so you can leave the rucksack at home? If this is the case then you will only need a small bag to fit a spare tube, multitool and maybe a CO2 inflator. A pump is unlikely to fit but can be attached to your frame. If you want to go on longer rides without your rucksack, then you might need a slightly larger bag to hold a jacket or snacks. Remember that if the bag is only half full, then the contents will rattle around. The consequences of this are not dire, but you may have to put up with the sound of tools jingling around. If your bag is not full, consider wrapping your multitool in a cloth or wrap your spare tube around it to reduce noise. Large saddle bags are generally used for bikepacking when you need to transport extra layers, camping equipment and food. On a bikepacking trip, you are unlikely to be able to fit everything you need into one saddle bag, even if it the biggest available. For this reason you should also take a rucksack and consider using other frame bags or handlebar bags. Check out this article to learn more about how to set up your bike for bikepacking and www.cyclingabout.com have a great overview of some recent tech that has entered the bikepacking market. MATERIAL Due to its position on the bike, a saddle bag will be constantly bombarded with dirt, stones, mud and water that get kicked up by the rear wheel. You want your bag to be made out a material that can put up with this abuse. Unless you are OK with the contents of the bag getting wet, you should also look for a bag that is at least water resistant or waterproof. This is especially important when bikepacking because you do not want your warm camp clothes to be soaking wet when you need them to keep you warm. The same goes for your sleeping bag. SADDLE ATTACHMENT How securely the bag attaches to the saddle or seatpost is important for two reasons. The first is that you do not want your bag to fall off while you are riding. This shouldn’t be a problem with any good quality bag however. A problem that bigger bags encounter is that the more they extend rearwards, the more they sway from side to side while you are riding. This can be very annoying. If you are looking for a bikepacking saddle bag, choose one that has been specifically designed not to sway. Some have additional braces to prevent it, but you can play your part too by packing the heaviest items nearest to the saddle. DROPPER POST COMPATIBILITY Some bags are designed to work with dropper posts. Others may work with them but it is not guaranteed and some manufacturers with discourage using their bags with dropper posts. The reason for this is the extra weight and forces that big bags can exert on the seat post. BIKE FIT If you ride a hardtail, you can just strap a bag on and get riding. If you are on a full suspension bike, then you will need to think about if a bag will fit before you purchase. As the shock compresses, the distance between the rear wheel and saddle decreases. Depending on how much travel you have and how high your saddle is (especially if you have a dropper post), there may not be enough space for a saddle bag when the shock is fully compressed. You can check how much space you have by releasing all the air from your shock and letting it compress. Measure the distance between the saddle and tire. MOUNTAIN BIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSMOUNTAIN BIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. MTB BASICS 4. MTB MAINTENANCE 2. MTB CLOTHING 5. MTB SKILLS 3. MTB EQUIPMENT 6. MTB TRAINING 1. MTB BASICS 2. MTB CLOTHING 3. MTB EQUIPMENT 4. MTB MAINTENANCE 5. MTB SKILLS 6. MTB TRAINING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.