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review

PNW Components Satellite Saddle Bag

8
£35.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Stylish and sturdy bag for the bare essentials, and the straps won't shred your shorts
Stylish and sleek design
Tough and water resistant
Very stable
Smooth YKK zip
Bungee strap doesn't snag shorts, unlike Velcro
Have to undo the strap to open the zip
Weight: 
54g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The PNW Components Satellite Saddle Bag is a light, attractive, and reliable piece of kit that makes an excellent companion on commutes or short rides. While it's tough enough to withstand the flying debris and sharp brambles of off-road riding, its compact size and lycra-friendly attachment make it ideal for road use too.

Made from recycled sail cloth, this essentials-sized bag is both durable and water resistant enough to cope with muddy trail spray or scratchy brambles, but it's just as well suited to road use. The YKK zipper works very smoothly and, while it's the only part that's not really water resistant, it's tucked up under the saddle. Even in a heavy downpour, it's not really an issue.

> Buy the Satellite Bag now from PNW Components for £35

The biggest issue here is the size – there's only one, and it's aimed at the bare minimum. I always carry a spare tube with me even though I run tubeless, and was able to cram in one spare gravel inner tube (a size 32/47), a small multitool, a Dynaplug Racer repair kit, and a pair of tyre levers. If that sounds like plenty to you, then this bag will be perfect.

Obviously a road tube is considerably smaller than a gravel one, of course, while a couple pre-glued patches would take up a lot less space than a Dynaplug Racer. It's a good size for squeezing in just what you need.

Practicality

I wish all small saddle bags came this one's removable bungee for seatpost attachment. Most instead use Velcro, and I have had many pairs of shorts ruined by catching such straps. When you've shelled out a considerable amount on a fresh new pair, that hurts. This bungee cord is a brilliant, simple, and effective solution to that issue.

2022 PNW Components Satellite Saddle Bag - seat post strap 1.jpg

One small downside is that because the zip goes under the compression strap, it's not the quickest bag to get into – you have to loosen it first, and leave it dangling from the saddle rails to open it.

2022 PNW Components Satellite Saddle Bag - seat post strap 2.jpg

When frantically fixing a puncture at the side of the road I found this slightly annoying, as it cost me precious seconds as sealant and air spewed out of my tyre.

> The 10 best bikepacking bags in 2022 — how to choose lightweight luggage

On the other hand, this is far from the only saddle bag designed this way.

Value

At £35, the PNW Satellite Saddle Bag is at the expensive end of things, though it does pull off a slightly premium feel to justify it, and it's still not as expensive as the most recent saddle bag we've reviewed – the Silca Mattone Grande Pack is €65, which currently converts to around £56, or to £66 if you buy it here in the UK because, well, reasons. Note that despite the name, it's definitely more piccolo than grande.

However, if you just want the functionality, it's easy to find cheaper options. Both the Liv Vecta and the Vel Waterproof Saddle Bag Small were £19.99 when tested, for instance, though the Liv is now £20.99 and the Vel is £20.

Overall

The sturdy and durable construction makes this feel worth its price, as does the stylish design – plus the reflective logo is flashy in all the right ways. If you don't need a large capacity and are simply looking for something hardy and low-profile – or perhaps as a nice gift – this is perfect.

Verdict

Stylish and sturdy bag for the bare essentials, and the straps won't shred your shorts

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road.cc test report

Make and model: PNW Components Satellite Saddle Bag

Size tested: 6x2.5x2.5in

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?

PNW says: "Every rider has essentials they like to keep in close orbit. Equipped with a tough shell, adjustable compression strap, and removable, dropper-friendly bungee for added stability, our Satellite Saddle Bag offers convenient storage for a spare tube, multi-tool, and more."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

-Water resistant, DWR coated tri-layer sailcloth fabric

-Universal saddle rail compatibility using adjustable strap and removable dropper-friendly bungee

-Colors to match your Rover Hip Pack

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Overall it's very well made, though a waterproof zip would be a nice addition.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Works very well, though you do have to undo the strap to unzip the bag, then leave it awkwardly hanging from the bungee around the seatpost.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

PNW offers a lifetime warranty on all their products.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's durable and reliable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The bungee strap is a very welcome change to Velcro, as that can shred your bib shorts.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Only comes in one size.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's mid to high-end for a small saddle bags, though the fabric and compelling design make it an attractive option.

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

This does what it sets out to do, and does it well.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 167 cm  Weight: 60 kg

I usually ride: 2021 Cannondale Topstone 1 (XS)  My best bike is: 2016 Specialized Ruby Comp (52)

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, Gravel, Triathlon

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