Get the weight off your shoulders. Perhaps this is easier said than done due to the many solutions available. Carrying miscellaneous tools and spares may weigh grams, but grams make kilograms in the end. Reducing the extra load on your body will make riding more enjoyable and less of a negative impact to your health. Set aside the uncomfortable pockets full of calorie-rich goop and awkwardly shaped tools poking your body and you’ll likely discover more freedom on the bike when these items aren’t attached to you. Hours on the bike will become more bearable and the risk of crashing on a multi-tool in your pocket is a thing of the past.
Everyone and their mother makes saddle bags, frame bags etc., but few have a proven history of producing quality goods for storing your…er…goods. I already trust EVOC to protect and store my camera gear, so it was of no thought to try out their saddle bag for my gravel bike. I’m often miles away from the car or the house so being able to carry tools and nutrition without compromising my sense of freedom was important to me.
Their saddle bag line comes in three sizes: a race cut (0.3 liter), a medium (“normal size”, 0.7L) and a touring model (1L). I opted for the normal 0.7L version as I pack fairly light, but more than just a tube. Another reason I went for an EVOC product was for their materials. They use Ripstop nylon on all their bags and provide a durable and long-lasting product. Simple and utilitarian, there are no frills except for a handy little mesh pocket inside the door. Perfect for most items like nutrition packets, car keys or a capable multi-tool like my Crankbrothers F15.
The bag mounts via three simple and strong Velcro straps; two for the saddle rails and one embracing the seatpost. As previously mentioned the bag features a Ripstop exterior with a reflective loop on the rear, leaving the option for attaching an extra taillight of your choice. For capacity, I found the medium sized offering to be perfect for everyday use and even on my longer gravel rides. I’m currently storing one extra 700c tube, one tire lever, a multi-tool, a GU packet and my car keys. I’m sure I can finagle an additional CO2 inflator in there, if I feel the urge.
At $20, this bag is a very affordable way to get a quality storage device under your saddle and to remove the annoying weight and bulk from your jersey pockets. After many muddy miles and repeated use on my commutes to work, I’m happy to have this little guy riding with me, ready and willing to lend a helpful hand when an emergency arises.
Buy yours here.
Words and photos by Mike Cartier