There's a huge choice of saddle packs available, some with clever quick release fastenings, others huge enough to carry a sleeping bag. The catchily named Lotus SH-6702 M Commuter Saddle Bag is a straightforward and well featured pouch capable of carrying all the essentials at a really good price.
Looks-wise, the Lotus is very similar to the Topeak Aero Wedge Saddle bag (and a very similar price too), sharing a pretty functional yet not ugly aesthetic. It's made from a mix of tough fabrics, with water and road grot-repellent areas at top and bottom. There are lots of reflective accents to help visibility after dark, and there's a rear light tab too.
The bag itself fastens with a zip, while it attaches to the bike with a pair of straps, one Velcro for the seatpost and a buckle strap for the saddle rails that wraps around the bag itself. Inside, there's a small mesh pouch in the lid and a hook on which to attach keys.
Size-wise, there was plenty of space for a good selection of tools and spares, snacks and even a compact windproof shell. Only a CO2 pump would fit, rather than a standard small pump. The mesh pocket and key clip meant there weren't small things like patches rattling around in the body of the bag too.
It was extremely easy to mount to the bike and sat snug and secure when riding, with no rattling, and didn't cause any interference with legs or pedalling. The Velcro seatpost strap was a bit long and difficult to trim because of a small hook area in comparison with the loop, leaving that a bit untidy and at risk of catching unwary shorts. However, a spot of gaffer tape sorted it.
For £9.99 I reckon it's a bargain for a good sized, well-featured if basic seat pouch with all the room you need for ride essentials, even bearing in mind the slightly overlong seatpost strap. Well worth the money.
Excellent value, well featured and rugged, with space for all the essentials
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lotus SH-6702 M Commuter Saddle Bag - Medium
Size tested: Medium - 0.7 Litres, Black/Grey
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?
Straightforward tough and inexpensive seat pack aimed at all riders.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Polyester and Nylon Cordura fabric
Velcro seat post fastening
Webbing and clip saddle rail fastening
3M reflective trim
Small internal mesh pouch
Internal key clip
Very rugged and nicely finished.
Spot-on for everyday tools and essentials transport.
This will probably last a very long time indeed.
Not the lightest but it's built for low cost, long life so not a problem. It's still pretty light anyway.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Price, ease of fitting, capacity, reflective trims...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slightly overlong and hard to trim Velcro seatpost strap.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your score
Aside from the Velcro seatpost strap issues, this is a well made and extremely useful saddle bag at an excellent price. It's ideal for anyone looking for a handy rugged place to store tools and essentials for a very long time to come without spending a fortune on clever attachment mechanisms and low-weight fabrics.
About the tester
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.