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The Brooks Scape Seat Bag, from its latest bike luggage range, is a beautiful bit of kit. Top quality materials have been used to not only make sure it looks the part, but also that it is functional, durable and waterproof. For the money it's not the biggest pack out there, though.
Seat packs like this tend to come in two styles: a large bag that straps to your seatpost and saddle rails, or, like the Scape, a holster that fits to the bike which you then use to carry a dry bag.
This holster style allows you to remove the bag without having to keep faffing with clips and straps to attach it to your saddle and seatpost, making it ideal if you want to take your stuff with you into a shop or café while leaving your bike parked up outside.
For stability the Scape uses two Velcro straps around the seatpost and a clamp system attached to nylon webbing which wraps around the holster and the saddle rails. When loaded there is a small amount of sway, but on the whole it's a very sturdy setup.
The holster material is hugely tough and hardwearing. It's been battered by the elements and covered in mud with no ill effects. If the front section that sits near the seatpost gets full of water there is a drainage hole in place to get rid of it – a nice touch.
The top panel has various loops, a daisy chain, which allows plenty of adjustment when using the strap that secures the dry bag, and also means you can add various bags from Brooks' line-up.
On that strap there are also two loops to attach a rear light. Most bags like this will cover your entire seatpost length so that's very important.
The dry bag is constructed from 420D nylon with fully welded seams, and I found the waterproofing great, both out on the trail and when giving it a shower with the hosepipe out on the drive.
Overall capacity is 8 litres, which isn't as big as the likes of Restrap's slightly cheaper offering at 14 litres.
I could still fit in a lightweight sleeping bag, inflatable sleeping mat and pillow, large titanium mug filled with stove, utensils etc and a gas canister. Various small bits of clothing could be shoved into the little nooks and crannies too.
That would leave enough space to roll the end of the dry bag over a couple of times to seal it, with excess air squeezed out through the pressure valve to make the bag as compact as possible.
One thing to bear in mind is that the weight limit for the Scape is just 3kg.
The overall quality of the Scape Seat Bag is top notch and that goes a long way to explain the £120 price tag.
The Restrap I mentioned earlier is slightly cheaper at £109.99 and you are getting an extra 6 litres of storage; Restrap also does an 8-litre version for £104.99.
I recently tested the Zefal Z Adventure R17 seat pack and was very impressed. It doesn't use a holster/dry bag design, it's just a bag you attach to the bike. It has 17 litres of space, though, and costs just £69.99. I managed to get the whole of my sleeping stuff in it, including a one-man tent.
Overall, the Scape Seat Bag is definitely up there with the best when it comes to the quality and I like the attention to detail. The materials are tough, so it'll retain its new look for a long time to come, and you can rely on it to keep your kit dry. It is priced right at the top end, though, and you can get more packing space for less cash if that's what you need.
Top quality seat pack with great waterproofing and attention to detail, though you're paying a premium price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Brooks Scape Seat Bag
Size tested: 8 litres
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?
Brooks says, "Made for Gravel & Bikepacking and Adventure Cycling, the Scape Seatpost Bag is a saddle pack designed as a holster attached to the saddle and seatpost made to hold its own waterproof dry sack."
It's a high quality seat pack that does a great job of keeping out the elements.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lateral reflective logo
Plastic buckles with cam lock
Aluminium hook to fix the dry bag into the holster
Vertical daisy chain for extra bags attachment
Reinforced fabric at all points of contact to the seat and wheel
Dryhole to drain any water drops or condensation
Loop for mounting a rear light
420D Nylon fully welded
Air pressure valve to minimize the space
Capacity 8 L
W 400-600 x H 180 x D 140 mm
Dry Bag: 620 x 320 mm
Max Load 3 kg
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It'll carry a decent amount of kit and fits securely to the bike when loaded.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Other than the top-end price there is little to dislike.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's £15 more than the equivalent size offering from Restrap, and £10 more than the 14-litre version. It's a lot more than bags like the Zefal I mention in the review, but it's a few quid cheaper than Apidura's highly regarded 9-litre Expedition Saddle Pack.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I could find a good deal.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Scape Seat Bag is very well made out of some top quality materials so it will certainly last the test of time. It has a premium price, though, and other high-end brands offer the same or more storage for less money.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!