Restrap's Race Saddle Bag provides a decent amount of storage that is quick and easy to gain access to. It's secure, too, and very well made.
Restrap's Race series is designed as a lightweight solution for ultra-endurance races, audaxes, and everything in between. Iwein tested the Race Bar Bag recently and thought it was excellent.
This saddle bag follows a common design of a harness that attaches to your saddle rails and seatpost, into which you then slide a drybag, in this case a respectable 7 litres.
Fitment is simple and will literally take a couple of minutes. You loop each of the upper straps over their corresponding saddle rail before tightening them using the buckles on the lower part of the harness; another strap wraps around the seatpost, passing through a slimline buckle which keeps it away from your thighs. No Velcro to destroy your shorts, either, which is another plus point.
Foam pads are included to give a secure fit and reduce the chance of any wear or rubbing against your components.
With the drybag inside, the straps are easy to adjust to give a secure fit, and there is a magnetic strap at the rear which keeps the bag in place.
Even loaded up, the Race bag stays secure with barely any sway at all, and the magnetic strap held firm even when using the bag on rough gravel routes.
The drybag rolls up at the top and then both corners clip together, creating a completely waterproof package. I rode a couple of times in the rain and there was no ingress at all, even on a bike without mudguards.
The harness has a hardshell construction, created from VX21, a waterproof material that sandwiches a PET film between a 210-denier nylon on the outside and a 50-denier polyester backing. It also uses Hypalon for the strapping and edging.
When Mike tested the previous version of the Race saddle bag back in 2020 he wasn't impressed with the position of the loop for attaching a light. That loop has gone now, which isn't a problem because if you need to clip a light on you can attach it to the strap that holds the drybag in position.
The whole construction is scuff resistant and highly durable. It's very well made too, by hand in Yorkshire, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
This kind of quality doesn't come cheap, though, which is why the Race Saddle Bag costs £119.99.
That is less than the Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof bag, though, which is £135. That also has a 7-litre capacity but is an actual bag rather than a harness/drybag combo, which does mean it takes longer to detach your kit from your bike, to take it into a shop with you, for example.
It's also cheaper than Apidura's Racing Saddle Pack, which is designed for a similar style of riding as the Restrap, though again it's a full bag design. The 7-litre model is £132.
> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best bikepacking bags
There are cheaper options out there, though. The Wildcat Tiger Wayfarer is a similar harness design to the Restrap and is a little cheaper at £80 for the harness (it's gone up since Vecchiojo tested it last year), £30 for the 7L drybag. You can currently buy both for £99.
You can get a drybag from somewhere like Alpkit for just over a tenner, though, while Restrap sells the Race drybag on its own for £17.99.
A cheaper 7L bag design (not holster and bag) is Vel's Seat Pack; it costs £65, and Stef was very impressed with it.
The Race Saddle Bag is quite an investment, but I can't fault the quality or the way it fits to the bike securely and with little sway. The drybag/harness design also makes it quick and easy to remove your kit.
Exceptional build quality and waterproofing, with an excellent fit on the bike
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Make and model: Restrap Race Saddle Bag 7L
Size tested: Capacity - 7L
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?
Restrap says, "The Adventure Race Saddle Bag uses a laser-cut holster design and is built for ultra-distance riding, audaxes and races."
The lightweight design means it adds little heft to your bike compared to some bags on the market.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Restrap's website: "The holster has a dedicated 7.0L dry bag that is 100% waterproof and is secured with a Fidlock™ magnetic buckle that's easy to adjust, even whilst wearing gloves. Nylon webbing, Hypalon straps and foam blocks secure the holster around the seat post, keeping the bag securely in place without sway.
The holster is a hardshell construction with an X21 technical outer, and includes Hypalon MOLLE system for additional strapping whilst further Hypalon detailing aids durability and prevents scuffs and scratches. Reflective detailing on the dry bag adds visibility during night time riding."
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It carries a decent amount of kit and barely sways when loaded up.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very secure fit to the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Very little, as long as you don't mind the price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are some cheaper options on the market, as highlighted in the review, but there are others like the bag from Apidura that are more expensive.
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
There are cheaper alternatives out there, but I think the Restrap justifies its cost by the build quality and just how well it works as a system. It's excellent.
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
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,
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