Review: Brooks Scape Seat Bag
The Scape Seat Bag is part of a new range of bikepacking luggage from the brand best known for its leather saddles. Brooks has been making panniers, backpacks and traditional saddlebags for some years now, so the move into the bikepacking market isn’t surprising.
The seat bag is made up of two parts: an outer holster and a waterproof inner bag with an 8L capacity. The materials used are high quality: the outer fabric is durable 600D polyester while the inner bag has an impressive 50,000mm waterproof rating – much more than most waterproof jackets.
My favourite feature is the air valve on the inner drybag. You can open the air lock to compress the bag down tightly and then lock it off to prevent further air getting in. The valve is easy to twist even in gloves and is an excellent way to reduce the pack size. Other useful features include the daisy chain for attaching smaller bags or various belongings, and a loop on the rear to mount a light.
The Scape bag fitted securely to my bike’s seat post, and there was very little sway when riding – unlike some other seat bags I’ve tried. There are two Velcro straps that latch around the seat post and then two straps that are designed to thread through the saddle rails and clip back on to the sides of the bag. These worked well and held the bag tight to my bike.
Seatpacks like this need a reasonable amount of room between the saddle and rear tyre. With short legs and a bike with 700C wheels, it’s something I’m always conscious of. The Scape bag had only minimal clearance.
However, as it remained firmly in position and didn’t droop or sway, it didn’t rub on the rear tyre. You can improve clearance by tightening the side straps further and compressing the bag, as long as it’s not too full. Clearance was bigger on my mountain bike, which has smaller wheels.
I was very impressed with the Brooks Scape Seat Bag and would recommend it. At £115 it is expensive but the quality is well worth paying for.
Ortlieb Seatpack £96.41+
Similar design to the Brooks, with a drybag in a holster. Other sizes available are 7L and 14L.
First published in Cycle magazine, August/September 2021 issue. All information correct at time of publishing.
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