The Contain Small saddle bag is the most diminutive in Fabric's range, but it's easily big enough to hold the essentials for your ride. It's well made and fits securely to the bike – the only issue I had was some irritation from the seatpost strap. But that's more of a problem with my thighs than the bag.
- Pros: Quality piece of kit, keeps your kit dry
- Cons: Seatpost D-ring might rub if you have large thighs
I ride anything up to five different bikes throughout a week so it's good to have a bag I can switch easily from one bike to another in a matter of seconds, and you can definitely do that with the Fabric.
To attach it, one long strap is sewn to the top centre of the bag, with each Velcro end wrapped over the saddle rails before they attach to the corresponding Velcro on the side of the bag, which holds it securely in place. There is plenty of length so it'll go around any saddle rail shape or size without hassle.
To stop things swaying, the bag also has a Velcro loop that wraps around the seatpost. This was the only real issue I've had with the bag, as the plastic D-ring that the strap doubles back through would catch on my thigh as I pedalled.
To be fair, I didn't really notice at first but when it had eventually worn though the material of my shorts and a few layers of skin, the blood started to sting a bit.
It might sound a bit extreme, but I don't think this will be a problem for everyone as I do have quite large thighs, and on most bikes I ride my legs are missing the seatpost by a matter of a few millimetres. If you are in the same situation, though, you might get the same outcome as me.
The opening to the bag is at the rear, which means you don't have to remove the bag from the bike to gain access. It's a decent sized opening, which allows you to get just the kit you want out without having to remove it all.
I managed to fit an inner tube, tyre levers and a CO2 cannister and inflator in it with ease, but with a bit of careful packing you could probably get a small multi-tool in there as well.
It's all hidden behind a weatherproof zip and the material does a good job at keeping all your kit dry.
The whole bag is nicely made, with tidy stitching and durable fabric; it certainly looks as if it's going to stand up to the weather conditions for a good few seasons.
When it comes to cost, I think it's pretty reasonable at £21.99. A lot of the bags we test are around the 20 quid mark, like the Blackburn Grid Small seat bag, priced at £19.99. The 76 Projects Piggy Pouch is a similar size at £15, but I do think the Fabric justifies its price with its quality.
Well-made saddle bag for ride essentials, but those with big thighs might get some rubbing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Contain Small Saddle Bag
Size tested: 0.41L
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?
Fabric says, "Pack your ride essentials and protect them from the elements with the Contain saddle bag. Compact and durable, the saddle bag attaches securely underneath your saddle using two heavy-duty webbed Velcro straps. Ideal for carrying an inner tube, tyre levers, multi-tool, puncture repair kit, keys, cash and more. A rear safety light can be attached to the reflective loop on the rear, helping to improve your visibility in low light conditions"
It's a well built bag for carrying the essentials.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Heavy duty velcro straps
Rear light tab
Volume: 27 in3 / 0.41l
You can get cheaper, but it seems really well made, which lifts the score here.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The ideal size and shape for carrying the essentials.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very well made.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The seatpost mounting point rubbed my thigh.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's pretty much on the money for this size of saddle bag, and it easily justifies it with its build quality.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, apart from the rubbing issue.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a really well made bag and its shape lends itself well to fitting the bits in. I suffered with the bag rubbing my leg, but that will not affect everyone so I'm not being massively critical about that.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.