Best seat­packs on test

An un­der-sad­dle pack is still the best way to stow ride essen­tials — we test five of the best

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WHAT

The seat pack’s job is to carry one or two in­ner tubes, tyre levers, a mul­ti­tool and some­times a gas can­is­ter. There are broadly two types: the first is held to the sad­dle rails us­ing a Vel­cro strap that passes around the whole pack, and some­times an­other strap goes around the seat­post too, while oth­ers are fixed to the rails in a more per­ma­nent way with a clamp. The strap type is quick and easy to swap between bikes but with this sys­tem you of­ten need to take off the sad­dle pack to gain ac­cess to the con­tents. It may also rub and mark your seat­post. The clamp­ing type can be opened while in place, does not touch the seat­post but can­not be trans­ferred between bikes so quickly.

Durable ma­te­ri­als and water­proof­ing are use­ful as the sad­dle pack is di­rectly in the line of fire for mud and spray.

WHY

De­spite what Rule #29 says, a seat pack sup­plies the most prac­ti­cal and ef­fi­cient way to be self-suf­fi­cient on your ride if don’t want lumpy, low-hang­ing jersey pock­ets and if you want to use both bot­tle cages for bot­tles rather than sac­ri­fic­ing one for a so-called tool keg.

HOW

We’ve tested these sad­dle packs on our own bikes and rated them for de­sign, us­abil­ity and value for money.

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