In my previous setup I carried everything in a bright yellow dry bag divers usually use, and from that activity I have two of these water and air proof bags that traveled with me on the rack you see in the photo above. I use two bungee straps with hooks to keep everything in place and they are not the fastest and most convenient to operate, especially if in a hurry. I had a tiny saddle bag from Pro that barely fit my iPhone, multitool and keys – so when I started having flats, I basically always needed to have my waterproof bag with me.
Then it occurred to me: Why not get a large saddle bag to cover my needs? That’s exactly what I ended up doing. I spent long hours pondering between the large size Topeak Aero Wedge and the Deuter Bike Bag IV, but I went for the longer and more spacious Topeak. It may seem rather small actually when you receive it, but the magic happens when you start stuffing things in. It even has a zipper in the middle (you can see it on the right side of the Topeak logo) that extends the capacity even more. Fully extended, the 190 gram bag can swallow up to 3 liters.
The coolest thing with the new bag? I can put my compact digital camera in there (a Fuji F60FD), so now you can expect more actual photos of things I spot on the way, which is something I have been missing. Other stuff I have in the bag on a daily basis is the Crank Brothers Power Pump Ultra, the Crank Brothers m17 multitool, a Continental 28-42 mm inner tube, Park Tools TL-1 tire levers and a cloth shopping bag from Ajomies.
The bag has a few nice features if you need the extra space: Below are two rubber bands where you can attach your pump if you don’t want it taking room on the inside – but I wouldn’t go riding in rough terrain with the pump in the bands. The bag also has a reflective strip in the back together with a loop for a light rear light, should you want to use one instead of the brilliant Reelights I have.
There are two ways of attaching the bag to your bike, and they are separate versions: a strap-on that works on Velcro straps and then there’s the Quick clip version that attaches to the rails of your saddle. The strap version is naturally more suitable for a wide number of bikes, especially when the standard clip (Topeak F1) that comes with the clip version does not fit a racer saddle like my Selle up in the picture. You’ll need a separate €8 quick clip adapter (Topeak F22) for it – but now I have the clip in both of my bikes.
If you’re planning to use saddle bags daily, taking it off and putting it back on again – go with the Quick Clip version, if not – I’m sure the strap version is enough. Either way, this €25 saddle bag is worth the money and will fit pretty much anything you throw at it. Even my socks.