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Specialized Seat Pack review

2 Mar 2018
Verdict:

Simple, no-nonsense pack

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£25
For 
No zips or clips to go wrong
Against 
Lack of seatpost strap

Buy the Specialized Seat Pack from Evans Cycles here

When I first removed the Specialized Seat Pack from its plastic wrapping in the offices, a colleague remarked that he knew it would be rubbish, without even using it.

I enquired as to why that was his opinion, and he replied, ‘It’s too small.’

Further enquiries revealed that my colleague likes to take two spare inner tubes with him on every ride – along with assorted other gubbins – and that therefore he requires a voluminous seat pack that can accommodate all his stuff. For him, any seat pack that can’t take two tubes is, by definition, ‘rubbish’.

There may be many riders out there who feel the same, but I’m not one of them. For me, a seat pack should be as small as possible while still being able to cram in the bare essentials – one spare inner tube, a gas canister and adaptor, minitool and tyre lever.

I also, like my colleague, take two spare inner tubes with me on long rides, but the second one goes in my jersey pocket, along with another gas canister. So why not get a bigger seat pack and put the extra tube and canister in there? The reason is aesthetics.

A big seat pack is a monstrosity. I don’t go as far as columnist Frank Strack (of Velominati fame), who insists that there is no place on a bike for what he terms the ‘European Posterior Man-Satchel’, but a seat pack should complement the bike, and that means being small, neat and unobtrusive – not swinging pendulously from beneath the saddle like a cow’s udder before milking.

On that front, I deem the Specialized Seat Pack to be the right size (in fact, even a touch on the large size – 9cm x 5cm x 16cm – but I’m not going to split hairs on this issue).

As well as my essentials, I found room for a chain splitter, some patches and other smaller items. It all squashed in neatly so there was no wasted space or unsightly bulges.

The highlight of the Specialized Seat Pack is that it has no zips or clasps. Anyone who has used seat packs for any length of time will know that zips are almost certain to break at some point, rendering the pack fit for the bin.

As such, I imagine that the Specialized Seat Pack will have a long service life, although I can’t confirm that after only a few weeks of testing it.

Instead of buckles, zips or clasps, all the attachments on the Specialized Seat Pack are Velcro. This makes the pack both light and highly adjustable, as well as being robust.

It also means there are hardly any solid plastic parts to tap irritatingly against the saddle rails during rides.

The pack attaches via two straps that go around the saddle rails, and once these are tightened up, the pack remain fairly solidly in place, with only a small amount of movement while riding.

That said, I would have liked an extra strap to go around the seatpost, just to eliminate any swaying and tapping of the bag when riding on bumpy ground.

In terms of weather proofing the Specialized Seat Pack proved to be adept at keeping out damp and muck. Everyday spray and rain made little impact. The water simply beaded on the material and dripped off.

Even when I doused the pack with a hose, the roll-up closure was more than adequate to keep out any dampness, and I had to immerse the whole thing in a bucket of water before its defences finally gave way.

The Velcro closure is also particularly easy for opening and closing when you need to get to something in a hurry. A rubber attachment gives you somewhere to clip a light to, and there is a reflective patch at the rear to increase visibility for approaching traffic.

Not that anyone could fail to miss the caustic green colour of the one on test. It’s not a colour that I would normally go for, and there aren’t many bikes that it would match pleasingly, but there is a black option or a red option for those who don’t want to go green.

Like many Specialized products, this seat pack benefits from simple, thoughtful design, and at £25 it compares favourably with its rivals on price as well.

Buy the Specialized Seat Pack from Evans Cycles here