The Timbuk2 Bike Seat Pack XT With Tools is the big brother of the small Seat Pack XT that we tested recently, so much of what's said there carries over to this saddle bag, but it's quite a bit more cavernous and comes with basic tools as an added bonus.
The 'With Tools' of this XT bag means that it comes with a multi-tool and a trio of tyre-levers. The multi-tool is a dinky 6cm long and comes with 3/4/5/6mm Allen keys, a Phillips head screwdriver and a bottle-opener. That should cover most of the tools needed for roadside maintenance and refreshment, although a flat-head screwdriver would have been a useful addition and its cutesy size could mean it'll be hard to get a decent leverage on any troublesome bolts that might need a good heft. If you're a seasoned cyclist you probably already have your favourite tool and enough tyre levers kicking around but the bag and bits package could come in handy to a newbie in need of a saddle-pack.
Timbuk2 say the XT pack has a volume of 27 cubic inches, or half a litre in new money, which translates to quite a bit of storage for bike stuff. You can get the supplied multi-tool and tyre levers in, obviously, a mini chain-breaker, a puncture kit, a couple of road inner-tubes, keys, cash, credit cards, some energy bars or gels maybe, a mobile phone – only one of those quaint old small ones that's just a phone though, or a lucky Gonk and some Polos. And a support Gonk at a push. Your kit combinations and accompaniment amounts will vary but pretty much anything you could possibly need for a big day out will fit in there.
With all that stuff in the bag it's going to need a secure way to keep it all attached to the saddle, luckily the Timbuk2 double clip straps are effective and incredibly secure, avoiding the frequent desire of some seat-packs to break free from the clutches of their evil saddle overlords. A twin buckled strap loops over the saddle rails to clip in either side of the pack, which then can be resolutely tightened to ensure the seat pack is locked in and without any annoying swagger, especially as filled to the gills the XT Pack can get quite weighty.
There's a useful 45mm of fore/aft movement on this clipped strap so you can get the position of the bag just right under the saddle with your combination of saddle and seatpost.
An elastic cord at the front end keeps the whole bulky thing secure to a wide variety of seat-post sizes and shapes, but as with the standard XT pack the toggle end still needs tucking away somehow to stop it perpetually stroking your inner thigh.
Both sides of the Timbuk2 bag are reinforced with thin sheets of stiff plastic to help it keep its shape, although this does mean the pack has to be firmly stuffed otherwise things will bounce and rattle about. These reinforcements can be removed from their sleeves if you want to squish the body though.
The rear of the pack is home to the zip opening that extends round three sides of the bag making access to stuff inside easy without having to faff the bag off the bike. That rear door has a sewn in lanyard for clipping keys to and a sleeve pocket for slipping small quickly needed things into; that teeny multi-tool that comes with the bag maybe. To complement that, inside the bag, along the left-hand edge, is a side pocket for further tool hiding, handy if you want to keep pointy things away from vulnerable inner-tubes perchance.
That rear of the bag has a reflective patch sewn on the outside, with the Timbuk2 swirly logo embossed on there. It's also somewhere you can clip your little blinky light on, which doubles its practicality.
The bag is made from Ballistic Nylon, which is a posh name for a tough fabric and the top and bottom of the XT seat pack are covered in a rubbery waterproof material which both protects it and the contents from seat-rail rubbage and water spray from below. Should there be a problem with anything all Timbuk2 products have a lifetime warranty.
Strapped to the bike you can feel there's a bit of weight under the saddle if you really, really really think hard about it, but ultimately it's not a problem. Despite its hefty size it doesn't get in the way of a rotating leg in any way and thanks to being able to haul the straps tight it doesn't bothersomely bobble around, so apart from the times you might need it you won't know it's there.
If you don't like to carry a bunch of baggage in your rear pockets, or their cargo capacities aren't enough then the XT is worth a look see, especially if you need a basic multi-tool and some tyre-levers at the same time.
Resolutely safe and secure seat-pack that carries enough stuff for a big day out
road.cc test report
Make and model: Timbuk2 Seat Pack XT with tools
Size tested: Medium, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Timbuk2 say it's a reflective bike seat pack with bungee attachment and tools. Which just about covers it really.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Depth – 10cms, Length – 20cms, Width - 9cms
Wide mouth opening allows quick access
Bungee and keeper attachment fit multiple sized seat posts
Easy and secure on-off bike attachment - adjustable SR buckles attach to rails in multiple positions
Includes custom Timbuk2 bike multi tool for quick fixes and adjustments
In-pocket key keeper
It's quite a bit of cash for a saddle pack, even with the tools.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a seat-pack, it kept a lot of things you might need on a ride under a seat, and reassuringly securely thanks to the buckle fastening. The tools would be handy if you don't have them already.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It didn't want to escape from under the saddle despite some bumpy encouragement; it held a lot of stuff for potentially spares heavy rides.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, despite being too large for my particular cycling needs though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes. Despite its increased magnitude over the usual seat pack it wasn't annoying and didn't get in the way.
Would you consider buying the product? Not really, I never feel the need to carry that much stuff on the bike. My audaxy friend is however very keen on taking it off my hands. I'm keeping the multi-tool.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they wanted a seat-pack to carry a fair bit of stuff securely, yes.
About the tester
Age: 47 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.