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Lizard Skin's Cache Saddle Bag is the middle child in a family of three compact wedge packs designed to carry your little essentials. To my surprise, it swallows more than I'd expected and seems pretty hardy. But despite being generally well made, in a fiercely competitive market, £20 seems a bit steep.
It's made from a sturdy 1000 denier fabric, which is easily wiped clean and feels pretty tough. I rather like our red sample, but it comes in 'goes with virtually everything' black, if you're planning on swapping it between bikes and coordination is important to you.
Provocative tickling from the garden hose suggests it's as water repellent as most riders will need, and since it shelters beneath the saddle, only the most adventurous of river riders should find the zipper foiled.
Bereft of wind tunnel facilities I can't comment on its drag-cheating prowess, but that sleek profile also ensures there's no danger of it catching the thighs at higher cadences. At the rear, there's an unusually generous LED tab that offers decent tenure to most, even the really beefy designs such as Topeak's Redlite Mega. Sensible design keeps them at driver eye-level, too, which is great – just be a bit mindful if you're running a bright retina tickler.
While not Tardis-like, true to claims and with efficient packing, the internal compartment will gobble a spare 700x23-28 tube, 20-function multi tool, tyre levers and a CO2 inflator. Keys/change slips into the mesh lip – but we are talking three or four keys not a jailer's bunch like mine! I've found it easiest to load first and then attach, since the fabric doesn't have a great deal of give, placing strain on the zipper. Since things sit sardine fashion, there's no hint of annoying chatter over washboard surfaces.
Attaching takes all of five seconds: simply loop the side Velcro around the saddle rails and the stabiliser strap to the post. I'm pleased to report that the latter is long enough to provide strain-free tenure to standard and oversized posts, with little sway. Suspension models such as my 'cross-inspired fixer's Cane Creek Thudbuster can often cause these to tear after a few months, but no sign of fatigue-inducing strain so far.
All told, it does exactly what it says on the tin. I've tended to pair ours with a top tube bag on longer rides – when I need an extra tube, energy bars, more tools and so on. Personally, I'd be inclined toward its big brother, but this size seems perfect for clutter phobic best bikes or when you want to travel fast and light.
Ultimately, while it's not bad value, its not that competitive either. If you didn't need something aero, there is a wealth of equally competent wedge packs capable of hauling loads for less. Some in-house shop-branded models offer comparable spec and lifetime warranties for half the Cache's asking price.
Does what it says on the tin, but so do a wealth of others with smaller price tags
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lizard Skins Cache Saddle Bag
Size tested: Medium
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?
Lizard Skins says: "THE PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN LIGHTWEIGHT AND CAPACITY. LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE A SPARE INNER TUBE, TIRE LEVERS, MULTI-TOOL, A WALLET, AND KEYS. BUT COMPACT ENOUGH FOR ADVENTURE."
Generally well made wedge pack that accommodates more than the size suggests.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Water resistant 1000D material with YKK zipper
* Interior division for all your essentials
* Reflective logo, webbing to clip light
* Angled straps achieve a low profile fit
* No-snag Velcro and Amara leather limit abrasion
Generally well made and material is very water resistant (but not waterproof). The zipper on our sample seemed under strain when stuffed to capacity, but hasn't given way.
Materials seem good quality and straps accommodate less conventional seatposts, such as Cane Creek's Thudbuster, without any sign of strain.
Nice design but it faces stiff competition from store brands offering waterproof models for half the asking price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Cache seems well made, with some nice touches. Sturdy water repelling fabric and generous Velcro straps are definite pluses and the LED tab is a secure host to bigger blinkies. Laden to the gills, it's not remotely intrusive and the snug design eliminates any annoying tool percussion over poorly surfaced roads. However, this version is best suited to pared-to-the essentials TT/race bikes – I'd be inclined towards its bigger sibling.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Decent fabrics and some nice touches.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Quite pricey compared with store branded models boasting similar spec.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Would consider its larger sibling but not at full RRP.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Worth a look but there is plenty of competition offering similar spec for less cash.
Use this box to explain your score
It's a decent enough wedge pack with some definite charm and would score 7 but for the price: it faces stiff competition from models offering similar spec for half the money.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
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)