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I'm looking for recommendations for a really big saddle bag. I am not a pannier rack fan, and my current bike (Van Nic Mistral) doesn't have mounts anyway.

I'm planning on venturing out a lot at weekends with a nice lightweight tent, a book, and a change of clothes + extras.

Yes, there is obviously Carradice, but I'm thinking more Mark Hall (/content/news/59716-interview-round-world-record-holder-mike-hall-talks-round-world-record-kit) than slow laden touring.

Carradice SQR Slim or SQR Tour look quite good, but there is a specific saddle bag I've seen used for LEJOG which is more aero shaped - long and thin. No idea of the brand though...

Also, if anyone has a secondhand one floating around that I can buy...  6

22 comments

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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*Mike Hall.

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David Arthur @d... [841 posts] 4 years ago
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You want one of them Revelate bags, looking at getting myself one actually for some light touring, as an alternative to panniers or a traditional Carradice bag

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=store.catalog&CategoryID=4&ProductID=1

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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Yeah I had a peek, but can't find how to source one in the UK!

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Gkam84 [9113 posts] 4 years ago
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Here you go http://www.backcountrybiking.co.uk/product/viscacha/

Says "out of stock" but also 3 available. Might want to contact them

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chokofingrz [407 posts] 4 years ago
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Alpkit Airlok XTra drybag + bungee cord. 8, 12, 20 or 35 litres of stuff crammed into a minimalist lightweight sack and tied onto the back of your saddle rails. Cheap, durable, waterproof, made in UK, perfect for a spot of adventuring.

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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chokofingrz wrote:

Alpkit Airlok XTra drybag + bungee cord. 8, 12, 20 or 35 litres of stuff crammed into a minimalist lightweight sack and tied onto the back of your saddle rails. Cheap, durable, waterproof, made in UK, perfect for a spot of adventuring.

This idea hit me last night too! I'm going to source one and see if I can attach it suitably. Thanks for the brand recommendation.

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Gkam84 [9113 posts] 4 years ago
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If you are going to go down the dry bag route. DONT search for dry bag, search for compression sack.

One of the best out there is the Sea to Summit
http://www.touring-gear.com/products/Compression-Dry-Sacks-%252d-Sea-to-...

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hammond83 [24 posts] 4 years ago
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I think you may want the Ortleib large saddle bag. I haven't got a link but google it.

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mustard [73 posts] 4 years ago
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How about this: http://wildcatgear.co.uk/products/seat-packs/

They recommend a round dry bag rather, than the 'squashed' shape of the Alpkit ones, for the best fit.

Nice thing with it is you can leave it on the bike and just pop the dry bag out rather than having to remove then re-fit it each morning.

There is also a Polish guy who makes Revelate type saddle bags for good prices, I can't remember the name but if you search Singletrackworld.com forum for saddle bags and/or bikepacking you'll get lots of links and opinions.

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mustard [73 posts] 4 years ago
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chokofingrz wrote:

Alpkit Airlok XTra drybag + bungee cord. ....... made in UK, perfect for a spot of adventuring.

While they are a great company and I own lots of their kit, Alpkit Airlocks are not made in teh UK, I think it's just their chalk bags, frame bags and bouldering mats that are UK manufactured.

It will be cheap to find out if it works for you or not, but I've a feeling that a dry bag bungied to the saddle rails will rub your thighs while riding as it is a uniform shape rather than tapered towards the seat post. It also may not be as stable - I'd try webbing luggage straps and toe straps rather than elastic bungees if i was going to try it.

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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hammond83 wrote:

I think you may want the Ortleib large saddle bag. I haven't got a link but google it.

I already have the Ortlieb large saddle bag with QR bracket. It holds 2.7l only though.

I haven't tried this current setup for any distance yet, but I'm going to try and bungee everything on to the Ortlieb bag (possibly a terrible plan). The tent seems happy enough up there (The one I'm taking is 1.6kg - the one pictured is a little heavier and larger):

mustard wrote:

How about this: http://wildcatgear.co.uk/products/seat-packs/

They recommend a round dry bag rather, than the 'squashed' shape of the Alpkit ones, for the best fit.

This is pretty good actually! I wonder if I can attach a tent around it...

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chokofingrz [407 posts] 4 years ago
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mustard wrote:

I've a feeling that a dry bag bungied to the saddle rails will rub your thighs while riding as it is a uniform shape rather than tapered towards the seat post. It also may not be as stable.

It depends on your saddle. I did a 350-mile tour with mine and it did slightly brush my thighs but not enough to impede pedaling or cause a friction problem - actually it was quite reassuring to constantly feel that my luggage was still with me! With a heavy-duty automotive-style bungee there was no movement or danger of it dropping off. Extra items like jackets can be secured under the bungee. It works best if the drybag is fully packed.

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mustard [73 posts] 4 years ago
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Sounds like, with the amount of kit you want to carry, a frame bag could be a worthwhile additional investment. Spread the load around the bike a bit. Either get one shaped to allow you to still access your bottle cages (you may still need to replace them with side loaders), or pop the bottles in the top - i did the latter on a mtb tour and it was easy to pull the zip back enough to grab the bottle, even at speed off road.

Or could you pack your tent so it is deep and flattish, rather than round, and just strap that to the underside of your downtube without buying a frame bag for it? You've a big empty space there and loads piled on the back of your seatpost/saddle.

chokofingrz wrote:

I did a 350-mile tour with mine and it did slightly brush my thighs but not enough to impede pedaling or cause a friction problem - actually it was quite reassuring to constantly feel that my luggage was still with me!

Interesting, I definitely understand the reassurance of feeling it's still there - i was using a beam rack with an Alpkit Gourdon strapped to it on my mtb tour and occasionally the bag would slip on rougher sections, i never lost it, but did buzz a few holes in it with the tyre!

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mustard [73 posts] 4 years ago
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I really need to get better at keeping forum posts short and concise!

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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It's a pretty small frame, and my knees sometimes knock the top tube as is. I am struggling with the Topeak bag on the top! The bike fits me perfectly, it just isn't designed for luggage.

mustard wrote:

I really need to get better at keeping forum posts short and concise!

Nah. I ramble on a bit too, but then really appreciate long informative posts. Can't have too much info with kit imho.

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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mustard wrote:

Sounds like, with the amount of kit you want to carry, a frame bag could be a worthwhile additional investment. Spread the load around the bike a bit.

It's a 52cm frame, and I'd like access to both bottle cages (one for tubes/tools), so I figured a frame bag wouldn't really hold enough to make it worthwhile.

I will try attaching the tent poles to the top tube, which would make everything a bit more free form.

Following this - any ideas for waterproof handlebar bags/storage compartment which don't need fiddley brackets? I'd like to just (velcro/tie) something small on the front.

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Gkam84 [9113 posts] 4 years ago
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If you are looking to carry your tent, something like this, or just a couple of strong straps and do it like this http://www.backcountrybiking.co.uk/product/harness/

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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mustard wrote:

Sounds like, with the amount of kit you want to carry, a frame bag could be a worthwhile additional investment. Spread the load around the bike a bit.

It's a 52cm frame, and I'd like access to both bottle cages (one for tubes/tools), so I figured a frame bag wouldn't really hold enough to make it worthwhile.

I will try attaching the tent poles to the top tube, which would make everything a bit more free form.

Following this - any ideas for waterproof handlebar bags/storage compartment which don't need fiddley brackets? I'd like to just (velcro/tie) something small on the front.

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

If you are looking to carry your tent, something like this, or just a couple of strong straps and do it like this http://www.backcountrybiking.co.uk/product/harness/

This is absolutely perfect (and thanks for your other comments - all taken into consideration).

Pity it's completely out of stock with no due date : (

This kit really does costs a small fortune. I think I'll try and bodge one together myself.

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mustard [73 posts] 4 years ago
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Issue with a harness, or any kind of bar bag, is the space between the hoods and remember you need to leave room for your shifters to move too.

As for a cheap simple bodge, the Alpkit Airlock drybags are great for this kind of thing because of the loops they have attached so all you need is a strap to loop around your bars. I can't remember if they have dimensions on their site but they'r a pretty helpful bunch so if you fire them an email asking for info i'm sure they'll get back to you.

edit: p.s. the Ortlieb bar bag is really great too, super quick and easy to take on and off, but does have a bracket - it connects via a cable which loops around the bars at the stem leaving the bracket in front of the stem.

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oddbydefault [83 posts] 4 years ago
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I have a Carradry bar box bag on the other bike, and have the QR bracket permanently on the bars. The Mistral is my 'fast' road bike, so everything needs to be able to come off and on quickly, easily, and without a trace.

...Yeah. Not being difficult at all. The next n+1 will be an swift audaxer, I promise.

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mustard [73 posts] 4 years ago
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Not awkward at all I totally get it, hence all the replies, just putting all the options out there.  1