Given its comparatively bijou dimensions, the BTR large seat wedge pack bag is a distinctly no-frills gear carrier and something of a contradiction in terms, since despite its name it's actually quite small and just about carry the basics - spare tube, multi tool, patch kit, tyre levers etc. Its construction and materials also feel decidedly low-rent in comparison with some other packs at similar prices.
It attaches to the saddle rails and post via three thin black Velcro straps, which are reasonably secure on 27.2mm posts but a surprisingly sloppy fit on narrower posts, still common on older/cheaper bikes. The pouch is made from neutral grey/black soft shell nylon, sports reasonably uniform stitching and a generous webbed LED mount.
Internally it's a single compartment with webbed sub-section presumably for bank card/ID but that proved a more useful parking spot for spare patches. Access is via a black tag, which was fiddly even with nimble fingers and a non-starter in winter weight gloves. The concertina panels prevent tyre levers and patch kit from falling out.
So long as you can persuade the Velcro to cling the BTR bag is pretty unobtrusive with minimal sway on reasonably smooth roads. This song remained much the same off-road too. Scorching along deserted singletrack, there was a slight shimmy but thankfully the soft shell muffled multi-tool 'n' patch kit percussion and blinkies have also remained safely on board.
Light to moderate showery rain, road and trail spray haven't penetrated the outer fabric, thanks largely to its sheltered location. Close encounters with a watering can saw rapid saturation but it dries reasonably quickly at room temperature.
While overall performance has exceeded my expectations, brands such as B'Twin are offering vastly superior, wallet friendly fare that gives some established household names a seriously good run for our hard earned, which leaves this one feeling cheap and not particularly cheerful.
Basic seat pack that feels dated and poor value alongside its competition
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Make and model: BTR Black & Silver seat pack
Size tested: 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?
"Black and silver seat pack. Easy to put on and take off the bike with clip on straps so no tools needed! Handy strap for a rear light to be fixed to the bag"
True enough but feels decidedly low-rent alongside similarly priced competition.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"180 x 120 x 80 mm
Easy fitting and removal with clip on straps
Strap on face of bag for clipping on a rear light"
Main pouch seems fairly rugged.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
My main problem with this wedge pack is that while functional enough, there's no shortage of better quality, similarly priced competition. The main compartment seems fairly hard wearing, manages the basics and the LED tab is reassuringly substantial. However, the retention straps are at best OK and accessing the main compartment in gloved hands is unnecessarily fiddly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fairly rugged bag material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Feels cheap throughout.
Did you enjoy using the product? No.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)