Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag



Bulletproof bag that's light and highly resistant to the elements, but the zip is a minor bugbear
Generous capacity
Very light
Waterproof (but not impervious to water)
Easy to fit
Can be attached to other Scape bags
Water can get past the zip
Zip is hard to operate
No compartments inside

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag is a high-performance bag for day trips or bigger adventures thanks to its modularity. It's rugged, waterproof, lightweight, and the 0.7-litre capacity is perfect for carrying a day's worth of stuff. A couple of minor design niggles prevent it from being top of the class, and it's costly too.

Scape – presumably Brooks' trendy take on the word escape – is its new lineup of bike bags built specifically for travelling, be it short trips, bikepacking or international travel. Even the colour of its bags – 'Mud' – is bang on for the adventure fashion. (Check out those we've already reviewed here.)

> Find your nearest dealer here

The Scape Saddle Pocket Bag takes the role of the ever popular underslung saddle luggage, and with its 0.7L capacity it's the ideal bag for strapping to your bike to carry your things.

But Brooks has in mind something more than being resigned to your saddle for its working life. The Scape lineup embraces modularity, meaning some bags connect to others thanks to a system of loops and straps, allowing you to change up their purpose depending on the ride you've got planned.

For instance, the Saddle Pocket Bag can be connected to the Handlebar Pouch, Seat Bag, and Large Pannier, allowing you to increase your overall storage space. You could purchase multiples and bolt them on, depending on how creative you want to get.

It's a very neat system, but how does the Saddle Pocket Bag fare on its own?

As mentioned a little earlier, the storage space is excellent for day trips, allowing you to carry just enough to keep you going, minimising the amount of storage you need elsewhere on the bike. It's 150mm long, 80mm wide and 55mm high. Weighing in at 69g, it's really light, given its overall size and capacity.

2021 Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag - from back.jpg

Fitting the bag to your saddle is incredibly simple – just loop one end of the strap through your seat rail, and the other end through the opposite seat rail, and then fasten the Velcro strap down. The super wide strap means the bag feels rock solid.

I could fit a 2020 iPhone SE (that's about the biggest phone it'll accept), a wallet, keys, some snack bars and all my tools and repair kits, and I still had space to spare for gloves. I even managed to fit in a Lezyne Pocket Drive mini pump.

2021 Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag contents.jpg

Had I not been running tubeless, I could have also packed a spare inner tube, which would have just squeezed in. The bag might not look huge on the outside, but it's surprisingly capacious.

That's probably helped out by the fact that inside is just one big space, with no pockets or compartments to keep things in place. This brings me neatly to my one criticism with the interior: you need to be meticulous how you pack it.

2021 Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag inside.jpg

If there are keys loose among a bag with an expensive smartphone inside, you know what's going to happen to that screen, right? And the other issue is, if the bag isn't full of stuff, things can move about.

While that might seem more of an annoyance than anything, it actually affects the rigidity of the bag. The bag's super-tough, welded material construction is great for keeping the innards dry (mostly – we'll get to that in a bit) and it's great for durability too – more so thanks to the use of Hypalon on the strap, and foam padded Hypalon patches on the top and bottom. But because there's no reinforcement on the inside, it doesn't keep its shape very well. Just look at the photo from the rear and you'll see what I mean – the side with the nifty reflective Brooks logo (no rear light attachment sadly, my friends) collapses slightly when it's strapped down.

2021 Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag 1.jpg

This also affects the operation of the zip, which runs along the majority of the front section of the bag (facing the seatpost). If the bag is full then it's not really an issue, but if it isn't, it means the bag has an annoying habit of collapsing in on itself when the zip reaches the front section. You can pinch the zip section to help it move along in either direction, but it's not ideal.

2021 Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag zip.jpg

Getting to the zip isn't particularly easy when it's mounted, either, but thankfully, unfastening the strap is easy enough that you can just remove the bag altogether to get to the innards. There's an auto-lock zip to keep the bag from accidentally opening up when it's in the locked position, and the zip has been coated to help keep out the elements.

2021 Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag 2.jpg

Interestingly, Brooks claims the Saddle Pocket Bag is 100 per cent waterproof, only... it's not. I think what Brooks meant to state was that the material is 100 per cent waterproof, not the entire bag, because the zip failed the tap test pretty miserably. After less than a minute of being soaked under a stream of water, the interior was soaking wet. So material, yes. Zip, no.

If you check out the rest of the bags in the Scape range, you'll notice that on some bags, instead of saying '100% waterproof', it says 'superior waterproof (IPX4 certified)'. I reckon this is Brooks' way of saying the latter are actually genuinely 100 per cent waterproof.

> 15 easy ways to carry stuff on your bike

That said, I've run this bag through some pretty crap weather, and I've even washed my bike with the bag in place. Not completely unsurprisingly, since the zip is around the front and the saddle offers a lot of natural protection from the elements, it hasn't let in a drop of water during any of those escapades. Provided you're not submerging your saddle, I'm sure the bag will do just fine.

How does it compare?

We've reviewed umpteen seat bags on, but how does the Scape Saddle Pocket Bag compare against those with a similar capacity? It's slightly more capacious than the Silca Mattone Seat Pack, and lighter, though it is a little longer (which might be an issue if you have your saddle far forward).

The Boa system on the Mattone is a plus, though there's nothing wrong with the Scape's straightforward Velcro fastener. The Mattone is nowhere near as resistant to water ingress as the Scape, and it's a fiver more. Easy win for Brooks, in my book.

> Buyer’s Guide: 23 of the best bikepacking bags

For similar money (£40 seems to be the sweet spot), the PRO Discover Saddle Bag offers a little less space at 0.6L, but unlike the Scape it uses a roll-top closure, so it's totally water tight. You can also access the interior space from the rear.


Zip issues aside, I do think this is a superb little seat bag. It's on the expensive side, but in return I reckon you're going to get a lot of life out of it – the quality of the construction is A-game stuff. A couple of organiser pockets on the inside would've been nice, but it's pretty obvious Brooks has prioritised storage space and weight over total practicality. That's fine with me.


Bulletproof bag that's light and highly resistant to the elements, but the zip is a minor bugbear test report

Make and model: Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag

Size tested: Width: 15cm Height: 5.5cm Depth: 8cm

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?

Brooks says, "The Scape Saddle Pocket Bag is a small, practical 100% waterproof bag for bikepacking or gravel cycling, used as a classic saddle bag or as a versatile pocket bag to attached in multiple ways to the other Scape bags for convenient additional storage space."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Brooks lists:

Capacity 0,7 L

W 150 x H 55 x D 80 mm

Weight 70 g

Front reflective logo

Coated zip with blocked puller

Hypalon patch both side to protect the bag

Hypalon velcro strap


Rate the product for quality of construction:

The materials used are very high quality and it's built to last.

Rate the product for performance:

The bag is held securely in place and though the zip is hard to get to from the front, it's easy to remove. Weatherproofing might not be 100%, but it's excellent nonetheless.

Rate the product for durability:

Materials used are designed to take a beating. Even when the bag gets filthy, it's easy to wash off the dirt.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

Very light, given its size and capacity.

Rate the product for value:

Not cheap, but it compares well to similar capacity saddle bags.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Easy to fit, easy to remove and the single storage space means it's easy to chuck everything into the pack. The zip isn't easy to use and can't really be accessed when it's in situ. The bag has very good water resistance.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Loads of capacity but it's very light.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The zip is hard to operate unless the bag is full, or you pinch the material.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

Pretty well: two products with similar capacity are the Silca Mattone Seat Pack and the PRO Discover Saddle Bag. Both are slightly less capacious at 0.6L. The PRO is identically priced, while the Silca is a fiver more.

The Silca is great to look at and the Boa system is neat, but the Brooks outperforms it in most aspects. The PRO has better waterproofing than the Brooks.

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

Aside from the zip issues, which admittedly aren't that big a deal when the pack is full, the Scape Saddle Pocket Bag is a terrific performer. I was impressed with its capacity and weight, and the waterproofing is excellent, if not as good as Brooks claims it is. This would make a great day bag, and I like that it connects to other bags in the Scape system.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Steel audax bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,

Add new comment


abedfo | 2 years ago
1 like

A brand on ali express called Sahoo does exactly the same bag for £9.

Sriracha replied to abedfo | 2 years ago

Nah, the logo looks completely different!

Truffl3Shuffl3 replied to abedfo | 2 years ago

Yeah yeah, we all know you can buy anything and everything for a fraction of the price of the real thing on that website. Good luck.

Sriracha replied to Truffl3Shuffl3 | 2 years ago

Where do you suppose the "real thing" comes from? Not Smethwick.

Truffl3Shuffl3 replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago

Does it really matter? Doing get me wrong, I'd like to see more stuff being made in the UK (or even in the EU) but if the quality ends up being the same, it's no difference to the end user.

Interestingly, I did recently have a Wizard Works bag on test and that thing is a beauty of craftsmanship - hand made in the UK and a pretty reasonable price compared with the likes of Brooks. 

If it were my money I'd go this route every time.

Sriracha replied to Truffl3Shuffl3 | 2 years ago
1 like

My beef with the offering from Brooks is they trade on the heritage "Brooks England" angle whilst simply taking a massive mark up on AliExpress stuff. You don't really think the products are not out of the same factory? This is not the Chinese ripping off Brooks' products, it's Brooks ripping off the name England on Chinese products.

Quite possibly it is the result of being owned by a foreign company now, I suspect bean counters see a chance to milk a trusted brand name. But if it carries on like this it will be just another Pierre Cardin.

Rich_cb replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago

The issue I have with that argument is that it ignores the value of design.

Assuming that Brooks pay their designers and invest in R&D it's only right that they are able to recoup that investment by selling their bags at a profit.

AliExpress knock offs have no designers etc to pay so can sell at just above manufacturing cost.

If you buy the AliExpress product you're essentially buying stolen Intellectual Property.

Sriracha replied to Rich_cb | 2 years ago

Well Brooks went to China for their manufacturing expertise in welded fabric, so the R&D is not from Brooks, nor England. As to the design element, it's pretty generic - quiff points to a very similar design from Castelli. The only thing of value contributed by Brooks is their brand name, which will come to represent what it gets stuck on.

Rich_cb replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago

Is your argument that the development of this bag cost Brooks nothing at all?

Because unless the development cost was zero the argument still stands.

Buying knock offs is stealing intellectual property.

Sriracha replied to Rich_cb | 2 years ago

I'd go with the Sekonda strap line here, "beware of expensive imitations". It's a generic design from a Chinese manufacturer, branded by Brooks England. Maybe Brooks England did apply a coat of varnish to the design, and if that is the store by which they set their brand name good luck to them.

But I'd have no compunction buying the existing Chinese version, if I was in any case happy to buy Chinese.

Rich_cb replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago

If they have merely stuck their badge on an existing design then your approach is valid.

But figuring out whether the chicken or the egg came first might be difficult.

quiff | 3 years ago
1 like

This looks very similar in construction and (based just on photos) size to the Castelli Mini ( ) though the Castelli's zip faces the rear (or, depending on how you look at it, Castelli put both the zip and reflective logo on the same end) so you can access the contents without removing from the bike.

But either the Brooks is a fair bit larger, or I'm underusing my Castelli, because the idea of fitting "a phone, wallet, keys, some snack bars and all my tools and repair kits... gloves and a Lezyne Pocket Drive mini pump" in the Castelli is laughable.


zero_trooper replied to quiff | 2 years ago

Yes Quiff, the Castelli is a real roadies saddlebag. You have to wear a jersey to pocket all the things that won't fit in the bag. That would be most things  3

Lovely bag (as is the Brooks), just a tad impractical.

quiff replied to zero_trooper | 2 years ago

To be fair, I knew what I was getting into - I was just after something slim to keep a minimal puncture kit on the bike. I am however really enjoying my new Wizard Works Lil Presto barrel / bar bag, which is not very roadie, but will fit all of said items.  

brooksby | 3 years ago

It's interesting, isn't it?  Whether on luggage or on clothing, it's a dead cert (or, almost a dead cert) that the zip will break before any other part of the 'thing'.

Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

Since this bag is designed for under the saddle and the other bags mentioned attach to other areas of the bike, the ability to link them together doesnt sound like much of a USP and more of a statement that they have lots of loops and hypalon attached.

Truffl3Shuffl3 replied to Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago
1 like

I think you're missing the point - if you were to go on a bike packing trip, you might use the larger seat pack (which we've reviewed), making the smaller one redundant. Unless... you could attach it to the handlebar pack. Voila! Extra luggage space using the thing you already own.

Latest Comments