Best Bicycle Saddle Bags

The desire to ride a bike is doubled in summer. In this season of the year, many of us try to do without the car or public transport to go out more with our bikes. Going shopping and going on longer routes can become a problem since we don’t want to carry a backpack full of gear.

Bicycle saddlebags are a great option. With different characteristics and load capacity, they facilitate transportation on our bicycles. With some saddlebags, you will be prepared to tour the city and face a good adventure. Have no idea where to start? In this article, we will tell you everything.

Most critical points for bicycle saddlebags:

  • Saddlebags are a kind of bag or suitcase that allows you to carry all your bike belongings.
  • The capacity of bicycle panniers is measured in liters. There are from 25-30 liters to 60.
  • The tightness, impermeability, and compartments are some of the purchase criteria you should consider.

The best bicycle panniers on the market

Next, we leave you the best saddlebags on the market. Remember that, before deciding on one or the other, it is essential that you study the load you will carry on your trip. The size of the saddlebags is significant, as it will determine the load capacity. Remember that it is measured in liters!

Waterproof saddlebags for all types of trips

Made from waterproof canvas, these saddlebags are very strong and durable. They consist of two side bags and one top, and numerous pockets to achieve maximum possible storage. The closure is made through straps and the fastening to the rack with buckles.

 

The top is removable and can be worn on the shoulder. They incorporate reflective printed letters to travel at night, and their load capacity is 30 liters. for long-distance routes.

 

These waterproof saddlebags stand out for their large size, as they have a load capacity of 68 liters. Structured in 4 side compartments and two rear bags, they are ideal for long-distance routes.

They are made of nylon oxford fabric, which makes them more resistant to wear and tear. Installation is straightforward, as it is done through 4 D-shaped buckles and two lateral release buckles located at the bottom.

Saddlebags with anti-wrinkle fabric and pockets on the sides

These saddlebags consist of two side bags and one top. They are made of a lightweight anti-wrinkle fabric that repels water from entering the interior. Its load capacity is 37 liters. They incorporate mesh pockets to store frequently used objects, such as water bottles.

These saddlebags are waterproof but are not recommended in heavy rain. The top bag measures 30 x 13 x 35 cm, and those on the sides are 30 x 13 x 31 cm.

Saddlebags suitable for bikes and motorcycles with luggage rack

These saddlebags have two side pockets and one upper, removable using a zipper to carry with handles or hung on your shoulders. Their assembly is straightforward, and they are suitable for motorcycles with luggage racks.

The main compartments have double zip closures, and the seven side pockets with single zip closure. With a capacity of 60 liters, these saddlebags are ideal for long trips.

Bike saddlebag or shoulder bag

You can use this article as a bike saddle bag or as a shoulder bag. Its expansion allows the bag to reach a capacity of up to 25 liters. It is made of double-sided PVC and polyester, so it is very resistant to water. On both sides, it incorporates a reflective band.

Installation, using double hooks and a buckle on the back, is straightforward. Besides, the clips can slide to adjust the saddlebag to different bikes.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Bicycle Saddlebags

The saddlebags are one of the hallmarks of cycling tourism (a non-competitive activity in which physical activity and tourism are combined). One of the cyclists’ concerns is the transport of all their junk, and saddlebags have become the ideal system. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, stay. We are going to dispel all your doubts!

What exactly are bicycle saddlebags?

Saddlebags are bags or suitcases attached to the sides of the rear or front rack or rack of the bike. In this way, saddlebags significantly increase the load capacity of your bike. There are different types, with other qualities, capacities, and various types of closure.

What types of bicycle saddlebags can I find on the market?

Before buying some saddlebags, you must consider the type of trip you will do since its capacity will depend mainly on this. Remember that if the journey is more extended and colder, you will need more luggage than shorter routes with your bike and in good weather.

How can I attach my bike bags?

Each saddlebag has a system that allows it to be attached to the bike and prevent it from flying off. These hitches have to be very strong to handle the potholes. There are several types, although there are already brands that manufacture their system. Next, we will explain the two types of hooks that hold the saddlebags to the bike carrier: 

  • The upper hitch: It is the main hitch and supports the weight of the saddlebag. The saddlebag is hooked to the upper rod of the carrier.
  • Lower hitch: This hitch is used so that the saddlebag does not move during the route that we make with our bike.

The most recognized brands, such as Ortlieb, Vaude, or Deuter, have designed their systems with a clamp-type anchor that favors a mechanical closure by pressing the saddlebag against the rack.

What material is the most advisable for my bicycle saddlebags?

Bicycle saddlebags can be made of sanity, plastic, or a mixed material made with a mixture of these two materials. Keep in mind that sanity saddlebags are usually low-mid, while those made with a mix of sanity and plastic are generally very high-end. We explain it to you below:

  • Sanity: They tend to be in the lower-middle range. Their main disadvantage is that they are not usually waterproof, so they typically include a cover to prevent them from getting wet. If you are going to do a route with adverse weather conditions, they are not recommended since, in the end, the rain will end up seeping into the interior. The material of which they are made is very resistant and breathable.
  • Plastic: They are medium-high or high range. Brands use different types of plastic for their manufacture (similar to caving mats), although they usually have nylon reinforcement. They are waterproof but do not sweat anything.
  • Cordura / Plastic: Very high-end. The exterior is made of Cordura and the interior of plastic. They are waterproof and very resistant.

What capacity can my bike panniers have?

You can find saddlebags in different shapes and sizes. As a general rule, the largest saddlebags are carried on the rear of the bicycle, while the smaller ones will go in the front rack. As for the size of the saddlebags, it is specified in liters. The most common are 40-45 liters. Those of 60 liters are recommended for long routes and are usually very large. The much smaller 25-30 liter ones are carried in the front. If you will bring only some saddlebags, it is best to get 40-45 liters, but if you will bring front and rear saddlebags, opt for 40 for the back and 25 for the front.

How many bicycle saddlebags will I need?

Touring bikes are designed to carry two or four saddlebags. This does not mean that you have to take all four. In any case, the use of two or the complete set of four saddlebags will obey your space needs. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that four saddlebags will avoid overloading the rear wheel. Besides, the use of four saddlebags will allow the bike to roll in a more balanced way, especially on slopes, where there can be a swing in the carrier and facilitate a better organization of all your junk. That said, it all depends on the type of trip you are going to organize and the budget you have for your bicycle panniers.

How much do bicycle panniers cost?

Your budget for the saddlebags will determine the model to buy. With approximately 40 euros, you will be able to purchase saddlebags of acceptable quality. Always look at the number of saddlebags that the chosen item includes since sometimes you can bring only one. Remember that the quality and quantity of the saddlebags will depend on your route objectives.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of bicycle saddlebags?

Whether you want to go around the world or not, forget about carrying a backpack loaded with things you may end up with the occasional back pain. The bicycle saddlebags will facilitate the transport of your belongings in any situation. In the following table we show you the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantage

  • No physical effort is necessary to transport your things.
  • Different sizes for different luggage needs.
  • Fair distribution of luggage and easy access to it.

Disadvantages

  • Assembly and disassembly are necessary.
  • Some bicycles do not accept luggage racks or saddlebags.

Purchase criteria

It does not matter if you want to go on an adventure with your bike or go from home to work every day. The use of saddlebags becomes something necessary to carry all your belongings, no matter how small. Next, we leave you the purchase criteria that you should study before purchasing any saddlebag:

  • Resistance
  • Compartments
  • Watertightness and Impermeability
  • Displacement
  • Compatibility

Resistance

You must pay attention to both strength of the saddlebags’ manufacturing material and that of the anchors to the carrier. Accidental bumps, swings, and falls can send your saddlebags flying. Regardless of the weight you will carry, opt for the purchase of resistant saddlebags to take all your belongings safely.

Compartments

Ideally, you are looking for a saddlebag without many compartments. The more pockets you have, the more weak points your construction will have. In this way, as there are more seams, the saddlebag may lose in terms of tightness and waterproofing. The ones most used by cyclists do not have pockets except for one inside.

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Type Advantage Disadvantages
With pockets Better at the organizational level. Cordura bags usually have pockets on the outside so a cover is necessary to prevent them from getting wet and getting inside. It may lose its sealing and waterproofing capacity.
With few or no pockets They usually have an inside pocket. Worse at the organizational level. More waterproof.

Water tightness and impermeability

Right saddlebags must be waterproof, but in addition to this, they must be watertight, that is, that water does not penetrate the fabric at any time and that it cannot pass through the closure either. This tightness is achieved through the type of closure. In this table, we explain the main types of closure:

Type Functionality Tightness
Click closing In low ranges. Quick access to the inside of the saddlebag. Little tightness.
Click closure with drawstring Similar to the previous one, only that it includes an adjustable plastic cover with a drawstring inside the saddlebag. It has a little more tightness.
Roll-Top closure or roll closure The most popular closure for travel. Roll up the top of the saddlebag on itself. Access to the saddlebag is more difficult. 100% watertight.

If you do long routes, you should avoid zip or click closures since water would end up seeping through them.

Displacement

We refer to the displacement as how we can carry the saddlebags once we unhook them from the bike. The best thing is that the saddlebags include some straps to take them on the shoulder type bag. This criterion becomes essential when, for example, we must leave the bike outside the tent.

Compatibility

Today, saddlebags are usually universal, so they should be compatible with any rack. However, there can always be exceptions derived from the type of anchor. We recommend that when you buy the saddlebag, you quickly check if it is hooked to the rack or not.

Summary

Bicycle panniers are the best option for cyclists. It does not matter what trip you want to do because it will always be necessary to carry a series of things with you. Carrying a backpack is not advisable since you could be more tired while pedaling and even reach your destination with back pain.

If you are thinking of buying saddlebags for daily use, you can opt for those with a lower load capacity, which fulfill this function perfectly. You can also choose the large ones that facilitate your belongings on that trip that you have planned to the mountain. Always carry your saddlebags and belongings with you!