You don’t need to have a cargo rack to add a little bit of carrying capacity to your bicycle. Whether you’re trying to skip hopping in a car for the trip down to the grocery store, adding a blanket to your next bike picnic, or want to head out on a “bikepacking” two wheeled camping trip, Apidura has bike bags that will help you carry just about anything you want. One such bag is the Expedition Series 14L Saddle Pack.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Saddle Pack is that it will fit on almost any bike. That’s because the bag does not need any special mounting points. It secures with velcro straps around the seat post, and straps, secured by buckles, that tuck up under the seat around the saddle rails. Since the bag secures to the bike’s structure rather than any bag specific mounting points, it will fit on just about any bike. And the high degree of adjustability means it will fit securely and firmly without sliding down, or shaking side to side.
When attached, the base of the bag tucks up under the seat, and manages to avoid hitting your butt or the inside of your thighs as you pedal. This is due in part to the lightweight molded thermoplastic structure within the end of the bag that helps keep it from sagging out the sides, while remaining flexible enough to press into the seat post, or saddle rails, when you tighten the bag.
The 14L, when fully stuffed, sticks out a good 10 inches from behind your saddle, which is still less than you’d expect with the impressive storage space. We wanted to see just how much the bag could handle, so we packed it full of clothing. All told, the bag handled: two shirts, a pair of pants, three pairs of socks, two crewneck sweatshirts, a raincoat and two pairs of boxers. An impressive haul. And other than the weight, we didn’t notice, or rub against, the bag even as it was fully stuffed. Apidura recommends this bag for “clothes and equipment,” a category broad enough for day trips, weeklong adventures or trips to the store.
Even fully stuffed, the bag is easy to close; there are no bursting zippers or buttons. Just roll down the wide roll-top opening over itself and buckle the ends to the attachment points lower down on the bag. It gives you an easy and secure closure that maintains the waterproofing of the Expedition Series without any hassle.
The laminate fabric construction also contributes to the bag’s waterproofing, and resists tears and abrasions from brick, the road surface, or whatever else you might drag the bag against. It’s ready for any adventures you point your bike at.
While the storage, and ease of bike fit, are impressive, the Saddle Pack sets itself apart from other cycling gear with its clever finish. Many bags fail when they are only partially filled, but the inner structure of the Apidura, in combination with the rolltop that can just keep rolling down to accommodate smaller loads, keeps the bag in place and maintains its shape. And even if you are tightening straps down tightly, you don’t need to worry about excess straps getting sucked into your spokes. Plastic collars keep the strap ends flush with the bag, and away from the danger of your bicycle’s moving parts.
All in, we love the easy, and flexible, addition of storage space this bag provides, all while leaving your riding motion unaffected. It’s ready for messy commutes, weekend adventures and week-long treks. Its versatility, durability and weather—proofing mean it can grow with you, the cycling you do, and the bikes you ride. It’s an all-around winner.