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The PNW Components Satellite Saddle Bag is a light, attractive, and reliable piece of kit that makes an excellent companion on commutes or short rides. While it's tough enough to withstand the flying debris and sharp brambles of off-road riding, its compact size and lycra-friendly attachment make it ideal for road use too.
Made from recycled sail cloth, this essentials-sized bag is both durable and water resistant enough to cope with muddy trail spray or scratchy brambles, but it's just as well suited to road use. The YKK zipper works very smoothly and, while it's the only part that's not really water resistant, it's tucked up under the saddle. Even in a heavy downpour, it's not really an issue.
The biggest issue here is the size – there's only one, and it's aimed at the bare minimum. I always carry a spare tube with me even though I run tubeless, and was able to cram in one spare gravel inner tube (a size 32/47), a small multitool, a Dynaplug Racer repair kit, and a pair of tyre levers. If that sounds like plenty to you, then this bag will be perfect.
Obviously a road tube is considerably smaller than a gravel one, of course, while a couple pre-glued patches would take up a lot less space than a Dynaplug Racer. It's a good size for squeezing in just what you need.
I wish all small saddle bags came this one's removable bungee for seatpost attachment. Most instead use Velcro, and I have had many pairs of shorts ruined by catching such straps. When you've shelled out a considerable amount on a fresh new pair, that hurts. This bungee cord is a brilliant, simple, and effective solution to that issue.
One small downside is that because the zip goes under the compression strap, it's not the quickest bag to get into – you have to loosen it first, and leave it dangling from the saddle rails to open it.
When frantically fixing a puncture at the side of the road I found this slightly annoying, as it cost me precious seconds as sealant and air spewed out of my tyre.
On the other hand, this is far from the only saddle bag designed this way.
At £35, the PNW Satellite Saddle Bag is at the expensive end of things, though it does pull off a slightly premium feel to justify it, and it's still not as expensive as the most recent saddle bag we've reviewed – the Silca Mattone Grande Pack is €65, which currently converts to around £56, or to £66 if you buy it here in the UK because, well, reasons. Note that despite the name, it's definitely more piccolo than grande.
However, if you just want the functionality, it's easy to find cheaper options. Both the Liv Vecta and the Vel Waterproof Saddle Bag Small were £19.99 when tested, for instance, though the Liv is now £20.99 and the Vel is £20.
The sturdy and durable construction makes this feel worth its price, as does the stylish design – plus the reflective logo is flashy in all the right ways. If you don't need a large capacity and are simply looking for something hardy and low-profile – or perhaps as a nice gift – this is perfect.
Stylish and sturdy bag for the bare essentials, and the straps won't shred your shorts
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PNW Components Satellite Saddle Bag
Size tested: 6x2.5x2.5in
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?
PNW says: "Every rider has essentials they like to keep in close orbit. Equipped with a tough shell, adjustable compression strap, and removable, dropper-friendly bungee for added stability, our Satellite Saddle Bag offers convenient storage for a spare tube, multi-tool, and more."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-Water resistant, DWR coated tri-layer sailcloth fabric
-Universal saddle rail compatibility using adjustable strap and removable dropper-friendly bungee
-Colors to match your Rover Hip Pack
Overall it's very well made, though a waterproof zip would be a nice addition.
Works very well, though you do have to undo the strap to unzip the bag, then leave it awkwardly hanging from the bungee around the seatpost.
PNW offers a lifetime warranty on all their products.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's durable and reliable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The bungee strap is a very welcome change to Velcro, as that can shred your bib shorts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only comes in one size.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's mid to high-end for a small saddle bags, though the fabric and compelling design make it an attractive option.
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
This does what it sets out to do, and does it well.
About the tester
I usually ride: 2021 Cannondale Topstone 1 (XS) My best bike is: 2016 Specialized Ruby Comp (52)
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, Gravel, Triathlon