The ETC Arid Waterproof Wedge Bag makes the most of its one litre capacity with a shape that fits pretty much all of a ride's essentials in. It all stays dry, too.
The main thing I like about this ETC is the closure and attachment system. Attachment to the saddle rails is the usual affair, where a strap is sewn into the top centre of the bag and loops over each rail. But, instead of wrapping right around the bag and clipping together, these pass through a clamp connected to a long strap from underneath.
This means you can get a really good tension balance to stop the bag swaying whether it's being heavy, full or empty. A simple Velcro strap keeps it tight against the seatpost. It retains its shape too, helped by the reinforced base.
Rather than a zip for closure, the Arid uses Velcro and – once sealed – you roll the end of the bag a turn or two and clip it onto the side. It's almost like a miniature bikepacking seat pack.
Being able to roll the entrance over gives another layer of protection, alongside welded seams and the 600D nylon's IPX4 waterproof rating.
I found it effective against rainwater being splashed up from the road beneath. With the bag rolled, there are no little crevices for the water to find a way into either.
From the rear the bag has a square profile, and ETC has added a large reflective border and logo which really helps rear visibility. There are reflective logos on the sides too.
The one thing I would like to see though is a loop of material to hang a light from. The bike I tested it on has 195mm between the top of the seatclamp to the saddle rails, which leaves room to clamp a light underneath, but if you're running less than about 125mm that won't be possible.
The Arid has a litre of space inside, and easily packs two tubes, tyre levers, a multi-tool, patches and a CO2 head with a couple of canisters. There's still room for a lightweight set of armwarmers or gloves as well.
It holds pretty much everything you need for most instances on the road; the only thing that won't fit is the majority of mini-pumps. All those I have are just a touch too long.
Priced at just twenty quid, I think the Arid is a good bag. The quality is impressive, and it does the job well. The Birzman Roadster II saddle bag is a touch cheaper at £16.99, but it only has 0.4L of space.
The same can be said for the Fabric Contain Small Saddle Bag, which is again 0.4L, but £21.99.
The ETC Arid is a lot of bag for the money. Just get that light loop added and there's nothing to seriously fault.
Well made, with good shaping and plenty of storage for very little cash
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ETC Arid Waterproof Wedge Bag
Size tested: 1L
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?
ETC says: "Compact and inconspicuous, the ETC Arid 1 litre wedge bag allows you to carry those essential items whatever your ride consists of. The side fastening push-fit buckles and Seam Welded Waterproof material construction, ensure the bag is sealed and prevents water ingress, whatever the conditions."
It's a clever compact bag that protects your stuff from the elements.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Easy Fit Strap Fixing
Wrap over side fastening
Waterproof Rating: IPX4
Capacity: 1 litre
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It swallows plenty of kit and keeps it dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No light loop.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's around the same price as many bags with half the capacity.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
For the money it's very hard to fault, to be honest. The only real issue is the lack of a light loop, restricting its use for people that don't run much seat post. Otherwise it's very good.
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!