Lomo's Bike Saddle Bag is a good, light and reasonably water-resistant place to keep the essentials – one tube, levers, puncture stuff and a multi-tool is pretty much it – and once fitted it's secure and easy to use. The price is reasonable, but the fiddly strap, rattling zip and uneven welded seams mean it ends up feeling a bit cheap.
The best thing about this bag is the shape, which broadens towards the opening and acts to funnel your supplies in – little packs with parallel walls can be difficult to load, especially with today's bigger/thicker tubes. This one's easy to fill but compact under your saddle.
The second best thing is the elasticated net pocket inside the flap. It's actually useful for stopping little bits like patches and spare chain links getting pulled out with your tube and disappearing into the verge... it's also much better than a pocket inside the main section, as they're usually impossible to get into unless you pull everything out anyway.
As if to prove it, the Lomo also includes a weird little mesh pouch that Velcros down to the floor, but it's not much use – you can cram a couple of CO2 cartridges in if you like, but I'm not sure why you would. Still, it's there if you want it, and removable if not.
The main strap cinches this 500ml pack down if it's not full, and is well-stitched with a strong plastic buckle. The buckle end is so short, though, that it can be fiddly pulling it over the saddle rail to feed the other end through.
The overall funnel shape at least means the pack is easily used with the strap loosened, so you can avoid undoing/refitting it unless you're swapping between bikes. (I find some packs so tight, with such recalcitrant zips, I have to take them off the bike just to get into them.)
The zip is only splashproof (the fabric is waterproof), but copes OK with spray so long as you snug it down tight to minimise the hole it leaves at the very end – a hole that's right in the line of spray. It got a little damp inside at times, but never properly wet.
The metal zip pull rattles constantly and is annoying, though it's easily damped with a strategically-wrapped zip tie. The strong tab for lights on the rear is welcome, as is its band of reflective material.
The £15 price seems reasonable, even allowing for the niggles, though the poorly cut side panels make the functionally-decent welded seams look cheap.
You can have fully waterproof for the same price, such as with the ludicrously-named pack I shall abbreviate as the BTR WUTBSWSBB, for instance, but while you could spend more – check out the £20 Blackburn Grid or the £22 Fabric Contain – you won't necessarily get perfection there either.
The Lomo Bike Saddle Bag performs a useful if unspectacular service in a fittingly useful if unspectacular way, and Lomo hints as much with its useful if unspectacular approach to naming it. I, for the most part, recommend you fit it to your bike, silence the zip and almost instantly forget the whole thing is there.
Useful and well-shaped bag for essentials, though not without niggles
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lomo Bike Saddle Bag
Size tested: Height 135mm Width 80mm
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?
Lomo says: "Our Bike Saddle Bags are great for storing smaller items. With a compact profile, the bag sits neatly underneath the saddle so it is out of the way."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The company lists these things:
"The small saddle bag has a 500ml capacity and features waterproof welded seams plus a splashproof zip closure. This gives peace of mind that your items will stay dry when cycling in poor conditions.
"They also feature a small pocket bag that attaches using velcro to the inside of the bag."
Not especially neat or accurate, but fine.
Takes the essentials easily and holds them securely.
Feels a bit cheap, but holding up as well as most so far.
Pretty thin and light.
£15 is a middling price, but the quality feels a bit lower than that.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, though the short end of the strap is fiddly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Flared mouth makes getting the basics in and out mercifully easy. Net pocket inside the door is very useful.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The welded seams look amateurish. D-ring end of the strap is awkwardly short. The zip rattles.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's right around the middle of the range for a small saddle bag.
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
With neater construction, 10mm more strap and a more suitable zip pull, this would be a very good eight. As it is, it's a good seven.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
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: general fitness riding, mountain biking