With Audax season well and truly here, the Carradice Carradry SQR Bag may be just the ticket for those looking for fresh luggage, or simply a gear-carrier for their daily commute.
A great deal of seat-post attached luggage is secured with straps and velcro. Not the Carradry SQR which has a rigid frame to attach to your seat post, with solid plastic clips to insert and fix the mounting points on the bag to - the SQR system. It's certainly not as light as velcro, but it is a far more solid mounting system, with the bag practically becoming part of the bike.
This does mean that the bag will swing in tandem to your movement, but unlike velcro, it won't swing any further, it is totally in sync with the you.
Carradice make a big deal about the bag being waterproof. Being placed directly above the rear wheel means it will take a beating from spray off the road, so if you are planning on using it for work clothes, or maybe even a small laptop (11in will fit) it had better be waterproof. It is. The wipe-clean reinforced PVC material may not be everyone's cup of tea but it certainly does an excellent job at keeping the weather on the correct side, and the waterproof zips are just that. The aesthetics are workman-like, but they grew on me.
The lid of the bag is expandable, so you can cram in additional stuff. It's worth noting that Carradice claim a weight limit of 10kg, but in reality the bike will handle like a drunk horse on an icey lake if you attempt to put that much in, rather though it will take a great deal of bulk, and the aforementioned laptop. The bag will take 14 litres - up to 18 when expanded. While this is great for bulky items, it presents the temptation to fill for the sake of it and add extra weight.
The two pockets on the side are ideal for storing more frequently needed items without opening the main compartment, and should you wish to add a roll matt (think DofE style camping) then there are D-ring points to allow it.
The bag's biggest issues for me were the amount of seatpost needed to attach it and allow it to be removed again. With the SQR mounting system on the post I found it tight to get the mount past the saddle rail.
Its weight was an issue for me. At 1.4kg it makes a difference straight away to the bike. Others may find this not a big deal, but I'm used to far-lighter, racier, bags.
I also found that due to my position on the saddle I could hit the bag with the back of my legs at times while pedalling. This wasn't really an issue but it served as a reminder that I needed to get further up the saddle to tap out the miles.
The handle on the bag was a useful addition, allowing it to be transported with ease, although the placement of the handle meant the bag was always going to be lopsided and rub your leg - hardly a show-stopper.
Overall I've enjoyed using the Carradice Carradry SQR Bag. It wouldn't make my Transcontinental kit list, due in large part to its 1.4kg weight, but it's seen many many miles of commuting over the last six months and handled them with aplomb. For longer rides and Audax events it's an ideal companion.
Well-constructed work-horse of a bag, ready to tame your luggage needs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Carradice Carradry SQR Bag
Size tested: 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?
Riders needing capacity and weight bearing will be in luck, whether it be an Audax or a daily commute, the bag swallows a huge amount of kit and shrugs off the weather with ease.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2 external zipped pockets. Zipped internal clear-view pocket on under-side of lid. Zipped detachable mesh pocket inside main body
Other features: Made from wipe-clean reinforced PVC with high frequency welded seams
Roll top with quick release buckle fastening.
Removable lid with height adjustment straps and quick release buckles.
Fixed carry handle included.
Reflective straps and trim and led attachment strip
D Ring strapping points on top for additional loads
SQR system allows secure fitting and removal in seconds
Maximum recommended load - 10kg
Additional SQR blocks are available for swapping bag to other bikes
Frame Size Minimum exposed seatpost length required
22''+ (56cm) 60mm
21''+ (53cm) 85mm
20''+ (51cm) 110mm
19''+ (48cm) 135mm
The bag feels bomb-proof, it's handled hundreds of grotty miles with ease, and nothing has come undone and no water has penetrated at all.
Excellent. The fixing is solid and the bag is really secure, it performs its duty as a load-bearer with ease.
1.4kg is a big hit to take - my go-to bag is closer to 350g, so there's a price to pay for its sturdiness.
It's certainly not cheap, but decent luggage isn't. For me it's a commute bag not an adventure bag (weight stops that for me), and in that capacity it does a great job, but for me it doesn't do both and for the price i think it should.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. Excellent luggage storage and weather resistance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's big enough to store a laptop in. A laptop...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's needy for seat post space, wanting every millimetre I had, so it was a bit tricky to put on and take off again.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes - for commuting.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Well made and solidly performing, an excellent bag, slightly let down by its weight.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 176cm Weight:
I usually ride: WyndyMilla Massive Attack, Raleigh SP Race, Hoffman BMX My best bike is: WyndyMilla Massive Attack
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Adventure-packing, crossing-countries