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The Carradice Colorado Seatpack is different to most of these designs, blending the pros of complete bags and those that use a drybag and cradle setup. It offers plenty of space, comes in a selection of colour choices, and even includes a rail system for extra support. And you get a drybag to increase its weatherproofing too.
For more options, sizes and designs, check out our guide to the best bikepacking bags.
Handmade in the UK from 1,000 denier Cordura, the Colorado is a high-quality and durable saddle bag with a bikepacking friendly 12 to 16 litres of available space.
It really is tough as old boots, and after being taken around the gravel trails with all of the overgrown hedgerows full of brambles it has remained as scuff free and undamaged as it was when I received it.
It's not completely waterproof, but it can stand up to a heavy shower or prolonged steady rain for a good few hours. If you know you are going to be out in the rain, or just want to be prepared, the Carradice also comes with an internal, removable dry bag to keep your contents safe. It's bright orange so you shouldn't lose it either.
Another thing you get is a stainless steel rail system which the bag slides over; it really cuts down on sway when loaded up and you are riding out of the saddle.
It clamps around your saddle rails, which means it's not the type of thing you can switch from one bike to another on a whim, but that won't bother the majority of us. It adds a bit of weight too, around 200g, but having a more secure bag on the back of the bike is a big bonus and worth the trade-off.
The Carradice comes with a compression strap for heavier loads; you can carry up to 3kg without it, or up to 6kg if you wrap the strap around the seatpost and through the tab on the bottom of the bag.
Keeping the bag attached to the bike is a large Velcro strap, which fits around the seatpost. It's quite bulky, but the plastic loop to run the strap through is well positioned so it doesn't rub your thigh. The section that wraps around the seatpost is made from old inner tubes to reduce damage.
This simple attachment means it is easy to remove from the bike to take with you into the shop or for camping. It has a carry handle, too, which is a nice touch.
For closure, it uses a mixture of two poppers and a roll top. It is simple to gain access to and when using the straps with the aluminium hooks on the end, the bag remains closed securely. You have plenty of options to hook into as well, so you can run the Carradice anywhere between part-way full and full.
The Colorado has a couple of rear light attachment loops to give you options depending on how much of the bag you have rolled, plus there are plenty of reflective details, which can be seen from the rear and the side.
On top you also have a 'net', an elasticated rope criss-crossed over, to stuff a jacket under, or anything else for that matter.
This Camo is one of three colours available, the others being black and a very bright fluoro yellow.
The whole package will cost you £100 which, overall, I'd say is pretty decent. Large saddle bags like this tend to fall into two kinds of designs: a full bag, like we have here, which doesn't normally come with a drybag, or a drybag system that slides into a skeleton holster. So this is like a best of both worlds – plus you get that support rail included too.
The Alpkit Koala is a simple bag system offering 13 litres of space. We haven't reviewed it, but I have owned one for about three years. Its capacity and shape are similar to the Carradice and it costs £89.99. Alpkit's Exo Rail system is an extra £17.99, and there is no drybag included.
Simpler bags of a similar size can be had for less – Tom tested the 13-litre Lomo Bikepacking Seat Pack Dry Bag recently, which costs just £36 – but what you are paying for here is the excellent handmade quality and the extra details.
This is a very well made bag that is more versatile than most, and it's great to see a drybag and saddle rail system included in the price.
Well-designed package that fits well, minimises sway and keeps everything dry
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Carradice Colorado Seatpack
Size tested: 57cm long (unrolled) x 28 cm wide x 15 cm deep
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?
Carradice says, "A feature packed, large capacity saddle and seatpost mounted bikepacking bag with its own support rack which makes it a cinch to use and gives dependable support."
It's a complete package for those who want a secure, and spacious seat bag.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
1000 denier military grade Cordura for abrasion resistance and strength
Multi directional reflective panels for low light safety
Simple no fuss daisy chain roll top closure
Multiple rear light attachment points
Wipe clean base panel acts as mud guard
Re-cycled innertubes incorporated into the straps for better seatpost grip
Top handle for easy on/off mounting and carrying off bike
Elasticated cargo net for storing extra gear
Removeable nylon liner for when it's really wet!
Dimensions: 57cm long (unrolled) x 28 cm wide x 15 cm deep
Weight: Bag – 335 grams Support – 200 grams Liner – 65 grams
Capacity: 12 – 16 litres
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A good amount of space inside and it is very well made.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The rail adds extra security.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's not an easy switch between bikes.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For everything that is included I'd say it represents good value for money against others that we have reviewed, especially when you consider it is handmade in the UK.
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
It's a similar price to some other bags on the market, but to have things like the saddle rail and a dry bag included makes for good value for money. It performs very well too, with minimal sway and great durability.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!