Gear up: Podsacs

Gear up: Podsacs

Cycling UK's Communications manager, Sam Jones reviews weatherproof bikepacking luggage at entry-level prices

Waterproof Saddle Pack (Small) £29.99 



Pros: great price, fits most bikes. Cons: cage feels less sturdy than alternatives

Tarpaulin Fork Dry Bag & Cage £24.99



Pros: great price, fits most bikes. Cons: cage feels less sturdy than alternatives

Bikepacking gear often comes with a premium price tag. Podsacs gear doesn’t. It should be affordable for most people and, just as importantly, fit most bikes.

At 9L capacity, the small saddle pack (there’s also an 11L large) doesn’t have a lot of room. The design is narrow at the base, so it’s difficult packing awkward-shaped items like pans. The black, floating liner makes it more waterproof but also harder to find anything stowed inside. Half the base is rigid – heavy-duty plastic, I’d imagine. I’d worry about that wearing a hole in the outer fabric over time, especially if the non-rigid part of the bag droops during the ride.

Scotchlite 3M reflective accents and LED light mounts should help you be seen in the dark, and the bungee is great for stuffing a jacket into. The two elastic loops on the underside are largely pointless: gear attached here is likely to end up dirty or lost. With this style of seat pack, shorter riders risk it hitting the rear wheel on rough terrain, which could damage the bag.

The dry-bag with fork cage is very similar to the Salsa Anything HD Cage and accompanying bag – except a third the price. Like the beefier Salsa versions, these cages attach by three bolts to the fork legs. There’s a kit with cable ties and hose clamps for forks without triple mounts, but I’d want at least a low-rider mount so the cage could be bolted securely at one point.

The cages have nylon straps to hold the bags. These are simple, with a flat base so they can stand upright. The straps are a bit fiddly but at this price you could readily afford some Voile straps and use them instead. Each bag has a 4-litre capacity – ideal for tools, cooking kit, a jacket, or a lightweight sleeping bag.

Verdict

It’s hard to fault Podsacs’ budget-priced range of bags. They’re ideal for those who want to try bikepacking without breaking the bank.

Other options

Passport Seatpack £55


Not much different from the Podsacs seatpack apart from colour and price. The Passport bag has two handy zipped pockets – up to you if that’s worth £35 more! passportcycles.co.uk

Salsa Anything Cage HD £35


Expensive, especially as the Anything Bags are another £34 each, but sturdy and long-time favourites among the bikepacking community. Mine are three years old. salsacycles.com 

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