Updated on August 26, 2020

So you want to know what are the best touring saddles out there? You’ve come to the right place! 

The best bike in the world is nothing if it’s uncomfortable to ride. Considering you’re going to be pedaling your bike for hours each day you’re bicycle touring, picking the right saddle is crucial. But, how do you know what is the best touring saddle?

That’s where we come in. One of our goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to choosing outdoor gear. Here in this article we’ll walk you through what to look for while shopping for a saddle and how to find the one that fits your needs best.  

If you’re about to set out on your very first tour don’t forget to check out the bike touring packing list to make sure you don’t forget to pack the essentials. Okay, let’s get into the best saddles for touring.

For more of our top mountain bike gear recommendations, check out the Best Bike Handlebar Bags.


Quick Answer - The Best Touring Saddles

  1. Brooks Flyer
  2. Brooks Cambium C17


Comparison Table - Best Touring Saddles

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Brooks FlyerLeather Seat, Steel Springs & Rails$$$4.7Read Review
Brooks B17Leather Seat With Steel Rails$$4.7Read Review
Brooks Cambium C17Vulcanized Natural Rubber & Organic Cotton$$$4.8Read Review

Reviews - The Best Saddles for Bike Touring

Brooks Flyer

  • Best For: Heavy Touring & Off Road
  • Material: Leather Seat, Steel Springs & Rails

RELATED MODELS: Flyer Special, Flyer S

PROS: Springs Absorb Vibrations & Very Comfortable

CONS: Heavy & Needs Extra Care

Brooks B17

  • Best For: Long Distance Touring & Trekking
  • Material: Leather Seat With Steel Rails
Brooks B17


PROS: High Quality Craftsmanship, Long Lasting, Shapes To Your Body

CONS: Needs Extra Care

Brooks Cambium C17

  • Best For: Lightweight Touring
  • Material: Vulcanized Natural Rubber & Organic Cotton
Brooks Cambium C17

RELATED MODELS: Cambium C17 Carved

PROS: Maintenance Free, Waterproof & Light

CONS: Not As Comfortable As Leather 





If you’ve never been on a bicycle tour before, you’re might think you need to go out and find the cushiest gel saddle out there to keep your but from being sore. This saddle might be comfortable for the first few days but you will soon discover the gel has worn down and you are riding on solid plastic…ouch!

Do you want to know a tip that will save you from literally a big pain in the butt? The secret is in the leather. While it can fool you at first sight with it’s stiff and uninviting appearance, once you break it in, it will fit you like a glove.

Aside from the comfort factor, leather saddles are long lasting and are cooler than plastic seats on summer rides. The downsides to leather saddles are they are not waterproof and require special maintenance and care.

Plastic saddles with some type of padding are more suitable for racing (short and fast rides). I would only recommend this style of saddle for short tours (a few days). 



One feature you can find in touring saddles is springs. These saddles absorb vibrations making them especially useful if you plan to ride off road. Whether or not you will find a sprung saddle comfortable or not depends on your riding position. It is recommended for tourers who sit upright and have the handle bars at a height that is at the same or higher than the saddle height. 



Women’s specific saddles are shorter than the mens version and have a slightly different shape to match anatomy of a female. However, this doesn’t mean women can’t comfortable ride with a men’s saddle or vice versa, it depends on your riding style and personal preference. 



Another feature you can consider when shopping for a touring saddle is if you want to have a cut out or not. Saddles with cut outs are designed to protect the nerves and arteries of your perineum (the area between the sit bones). The cut out relieves pressure on this part of your body which makes them more comfortable for long rides. They also provide some airflow.

However, everyone’s anatomy and personal preferences are different some riders will find no big advantage in comfort when using a cut out saddle.  




You probably have notice that we only reviewed three saddles and they all happen to be from the same manufacturer, Brooks England. Typically for gear review posts we do our best to critic several makes and models. However, in this case we dug deep to search for worthy contenders but had no luck in finding a saddle that could match the quality, comfort and value of a Brooks saddle.

Here’s a few models we considered for this article but did not put them on the list because of we were not confident with their quality and/or suitability for bicycle touring. They’re listed below so you can decide for yourself.

Selle Anatomica X Series Watershed Saddle.

Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow.

Origin8 Classique Saddle


For more of our top bicycle touring gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer's guides:

Touring Bikes

Bike Handlebar Bags

Touring Tires

Panniers for Touring

Touring Saddles

Fat Bikes

6 Responses

  1. Piker

    I have leather saddles on all my bikes. Brooks B17 Imperial for touring, Brooks Swallow for racing and Seller Anatomica on Audax and MTB bike.
    Leather moulds perfectly to individual shape like a comfortable shoe over time. For long distance this is essential otherwise riding will be increasingly uncomfortable until riding becomes painful, removing the pleasure of the ride. Leather saddles also allow the contact interface to breath, reducing sweating and mother source of discomfort.
    So no brainer really, leather saddle for distance. There are other leather saddle was well as Brooks, Seller Anatomica is also comfortable and durable with less break in, all depends on which bike and position in ride, upright or prone.

    • Amanda Zeisset

      After riding a leather saddle for years I recently bought a mountain bike with a standard foam saddle. I can only go for about an hour before it starts hurting. I’ll have to try out some of your recommendations.

  2. Johnny

    I have been a recent convert to the Selle Anatomica X Series saddle for my touring needs. This is the most comfortable saddle that I’ve ever had the pleasure to sit on right out of the box. No leather break in or anything. I’ve owned 2 Brooks B-17 and was glad to sell those in favor of the SA. I’ve recommended them to other folks and they’ve been quite pleased.

  3. Ken

    I’m using a Selle SMP TRK MAN on my touring bike. I have just over 4000 miles on the saddle and just love it. I found it to be comfortable right out of the box. No break in or adjustment period.

    • Amanda Zeisset

      That’s great Ken. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s always good to hear about what other people are using.