Waterproof and big enough for tubes and other little essentials, the Arundel Pico Seatbag is ideal for winter cycling. It's easy to use, light and compact, looks smart and is reasonably priced.
I reckon a seat bag, or saddle pack as it's invariably called, is essential at this time of year, when the risk of puncturing on wet roads is increased. You definitely want to be taking at least one spare tube with you and a few other essential tools – at the very least a multi-tool with chain breaker, tyre levers and maybe a CO2 inflator.
The Pico is made from a nylon fabric impregnated with thermoplastic polyurethane and the seams are sonic welded. The zip is waterproof with a small garage to cover the end. It attaches to the saddle rails using a simple Velcro strap with a metal hoop – a nice nod towards durability.
Fitting the saddlebag to the bike is easy, except that on the Fabric Scoop saddle I tested it with I couldn't cinch the Velcro strap up tight enough to compress the bag against the underside of the saddle. It never came detached or loose while riding, but I was never quite happy that it wasn't more securely locked into place. A wider section of Velcro on the strap would remedy this.
One nice detail you can see in the photos is the reflective zip, just to add a bit more visibility on the road.
The Pico is the smallest of three sizes (there's the larger Medio and Gordo) and Arundel says on its website it's large enough for a 700C gravel tube plus gas, filler and levers. That implies that the company thinks the waterproof construction will be ideal for the wet and muddy conditions that typify gravel riding at this time of year in the UK, and it's not wrong.
You can stuff quite a few bits and bobs in the bag, with some careful packing. It's about the same size as the Castelli Mini which I also have. It's enough for the essentials, but if you like to travel with a comprehensive set of spares it likely won't be big enough.
I'd say the Pico is reasonably priced – it's cheaper than the Castelli Mini at rrp, but you can spend less and get a similarly sized pack. The Lezyne Road Caddy is a compact saddlebag with a wide Velcro strap and costs £19.99, but it's not waterproof like the Pico.
Giant's WP Waterproof Saddle Bag is small and waterproof, and £16.99, but the fitment system is a little more complicated.
All in all, the Pico is a neat little bag with a waterproof and solid construction, but a bit more Velcro to enable a really secure fit would be appreciated.
Waterproof and tough, but not the most secure fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Arundel Pico Seatbag
Size tested: 4.75x3x1.5in
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?
Pico, Medio and Gordo are our water resistant, extra durable range of Arundel seat bags. We make use of sonic welded seams and nylon fabric impregnated with thermoplastic polyurethane. Think frogman raft. The straps are also nylon and wider than usual, like seat belts in planes and cars. A wider strap means more Velcro area for better security. The materials we chose cost more but in exchange, you have a seat bag that should last a good long time. All three are slightly roomier than our time proven corresponding sized Uno, Dual and Tubi.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 19 cubic in, 4¾ x 3 x 1½in
* Sonic welded seams
* Wide 1 in nylon strap with extra velcro
* Enough room for a 700c gravel tube plus gas, filler and levers
Very nicely made with waterproof materials.
Keeps your essentials dry, and is easy to use.
So far it's been pounded through some very wet and muddy riding and has survived it all.
It doesn't weigh much and is no heavier than a regular saddle bag of this size.
There are cheaper alternatives, though the choice of completely waterproof saddlebags is limited.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keeps your essentials dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to install and waterproof zip is smooth and reflective.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can't get a really secure fit on the saddle rails.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good little bag with a solid waterproof construction and it's easy to install, but you can get cheaper and it offers limited adjustment on some saddles.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.