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Verdict: 
Innovative, cool, ethical, effective and versatile plus it's made in the UK
Weight: 
155g
Contact: 
Upso Stirling Seat Pack
8 10

Upso, the new brand from British bike bag supremo Carradice, is all about the upcycling (see what I did there). All the products are made in Lancashire, using locally sourced lorry tarpaulins as the base fabric, combined with other recycled bits and pieces. The result is a quirky but attractive range, with the Upso Stirling Seat Pack being tough, good looking and generously sized.

It's nice to see something a little out of the ordinary, particularly in the somewhat mundane world of saddle bags. A range made entirely from recycled lorry tarpaulins is one of the most innovative I've heard of in a while and the fact that the other components are also upcycled and the bag is made in Lancashire using solar powered sewing machines all stacks together to create a really nice idea. (Like the idea but need something bigger? Check out Jez's review of the Upso Potters Pannier here.)

> Buy this online here

But it's not just a good idea, the Stirling Seat Pack is a generously proportioned bag, easy to mount via a toe clip strap and Velcro strap (provided) as a traditional seat pack, or with an extra Velcro strap (also provided) as a compact bar bag.

Upso Stirling Seat Pack - from front.jpg

Upso Stirling Seat Pack - from front.jpg

It can even be mounted in a bottle cage, although it's a bit of a tight fit for all but the most voluminous, but as such makes a good tool 'roll' and small pump holder for the winter when perhaps less water will be carried.

Talking of which, the zip is water resistant – and pulls using bits of firehose – and there's a logo/light tab at the top. 

Upso Stirling Seat Pack - back.jpg

Upso Stirling Seat Pack - back.jpg

In use, there is plenty of space for tools, snacks and even a lightweight windproof, with a bit of room to spare. There are also a couple of elastic straps within the bag to secure something like a small pump.

> Beginner's guide: how to carry stuff on your bike

Looks-wise, it might not be the most high tech, but I think the design is quirky and attractive and far from at odds with all but the most spangly of carbon machines.

The fact that it's made in Britain from recycled materials and looks just that little bit different makes up for the slight premium in price, I reckon. It's roomy and versatile too.

Verdict

Innovative, cool, ethical, effective and versatile, plus it's made in the UK

road.cc test report

Make and model: Upso Stirling Seat Pack

Size tested: Height 20 cm Diameter 9 cm

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?

Aimed at any cyclist looking for a versatile saddle pack with a difference.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Main body made from up cycled lorry tarps

Water resistant zip with zip pulls made from fire hose

Toe clip strap fastener

2 velcro straps

Height 20cm

Diameter 9cm

Made in Britain

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Really well made and very rugged.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Does its job very well.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

This is not going anywhere in a hurry!

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
5/10

Not the lightest but no heavier than other very durable seat packs.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

At the more expensive end of the spectrum but it's made in the UK, it's quirky and original, and it has a really great up cycling story, so worth the premium. Plus, as it mounts in a number of ways and has a very basic shape, it's versatile too.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Excellent.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Style, up cycling story, made in Britain, durability.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely, and looking at the other Upso bags as options too.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

It's a fully functional and genuinely good seat pack, but that's not all. It has a great recycling story, was manufactured in the UK, and has a versatile and durable design. What's not to love?

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

6 comments

Avatar
230548 [54 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I think the back of your legs is going to be hitting the pack each cycle of the leg. Perhaps that why the majority of seat packs taper in at that point .

 

Avatar
nowasps [519 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The word innovative should only be used to describe the company who came up with the idea. Copying someone else's work is something else.

Avatar
step83 [36 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
230548 wrote:

I think the back of your legs is going to be hitting the pack each cycle of the leg. Perhaps that why the majority of seat packs taper in at that point .

 

 

Id think if your legs are hitting the back of this, which is above the seat post collar your going to be having some other issues to be honest.

Nice Idea though, may have a look see if theres one a touch smaller

Avatar
localsurfer [202 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I've got one of these, and it's really good.  There are no issues with it hitting your legs at all.

You can get loads in it, I've got two spare tubes, a mini pump, CO2 pump, tyre levers and a multi-tool and you still have space.  Cinch up the toe-strap and you don't get any rattles.

The only thing that would improve it, and if Upso are reading this, is to use a velcro strap with a buckle rather than just a plain strap.  It's very hard to get a snug fit on to the bottom of your saddle and seatpost, because you just can't tighten up the strap properly.

It looks esp. good on a classic steel frame.

Avatar
Ratfink [158 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
localsurfer wrote:

I've got one of these, and it's really good.  There are no issues with it hitting your legs at all.

You can get loads in it, I've got two spare tubes, a mini pump, CO2 pump, tyre levers and a multi-tool and you still have space.  Cinch up the toe-strap and you don't get any rattles.

The only thing that would improve it, and if Upso are reading this, is to use a velcro strap with a buckle rather than just a plain strap.  It's very hard to get a snug fit on to the bottom of your saddle and seatpost, because you just can't tighten up the strap properly.

It looks esp. good on a classic steel frame.

 

Can you clip a light on the label?

Avatar
localsurfer [202 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Ratfink wrote:

 

 

Can you clip a light on the label?

 

Yes, and it's a nice 'tight' tab too, so once something is clipped on to it it's not likely to come off.