At road.cc 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 road.cc scores mean
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
As the name suggests, the Topeak Backloader X 10L has a volume of ten litres, which means it swallows a lot of kit. It's well made and both easy to fit and adjust, plus the waterproof dry-bag keeps your kit safe.
The choice of seatpost/saddle bags is forever growing, and the Backloader X fits in nicely – the volume and quality are great for the money. Instead of attaching directly, this is a holster and dry-bag design, meaning you strap the holster to the bike and leave it there, then add or remove the bag with just a simple buckle.
It makes things easier, and it's more secure when leaving your bike unattended as you can take your belongings with you. It's easy to reload in a matter of seconds before riding off.
The holster is hard-wearing and very durable, and its shape has really been well though through. It's narrow at the seatpost end to remove any worries of your thighs rubbing against it when it's fully loaded, and widens as it goes out.
It's secured to the post by way of a wide Velcro strap. It has a rubber end which helps you easily undo it should you want to remove the harness from the bike quickly too.
The whole thing sits low enough below the saddle rails that I could use it with the Cane Creek eeSilk+ suspension seatpost on my gravel bike. The upper straps loop over your saddle rails, pass through a buckle and are then pulled tight. Excess material is kept in place by a small clip.
Everything is really secure and there is minimal sway as you are riding along. If you do want/need a bit of extra support, Topeak sells the Backloader Wishbone to help with heavier loads. It will also hold extra bottle cages.
On the underneath of the harness is a loop for attaching a rear light, which is a great idea as you may not have a lot of seatpost left available for one. I adjusted the bag so it sat quite upright and pointing the light backwards, rather than straight at the road.
The dry bag has a waterproof rating of 10,000mm, which will keep the worst of any rain out. Like most brands, Topeak recommends at least using at least three folds at the open end for full protection.
As mentioned, you can get 10 litres worth of stuff in here, and there's a 15L option too. If you are carrying less than the maximum capacity, you can roll the bag up and purge excess air via a valve.
The quality is great. Okay, it's not on par with the handmade finish of the Restrap Saddle Bag (I own the 8L version), but neither would I expect it to be at thirty quid less. The Backloader's components are certainly well made, though, and the holster will take a lot of abuse. The cargo limit is 5kg/11lb, which is pretty hefty.
The only thing missing for me is reflective detailing on the holster. There is plenty of material on the side panels and underneath for it to sit, and it could really help out in the darkness of a far-flung adventure. Other than that, there is little to fault.
The £84.99 tag is competitive considering something like the Wildcat Tiger Drover is now £85 just for the harness; it's another £35 for a 10L dry bag.
Brooks has its Scape Seat Bag, which I reviewed last year. It's also a holster/dry bag setup and has a capacity of eight litres. It's a nice bit of kit that's very well made and reasonably easy to set up, but it costs £120 and I'd say that the Topeak actually fits better, and has less sway.
Topeak has created a great bag here. It literally took me less than five minutes to set up on the bike, and fitting or removing the bag takes seconds – it's much more practical that a bag with own straps. It's very well made too – it's impressive for the money.
Well made saddle pack that's a breeze to set up and holds plenty of kit
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Backloader X 10L
Size tested: 10 litre
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?
Topeak says, "A large capacity seat bag specifically designed for bikepackers wanting a streamlined way to carry gear without the need for a rear rack. The reinforced, anti-slip/scratch fabric protects the saddle while the advanced mounting system enables convenient and secure mounting to seatpost and saddle rails. Easy access waterproof carry bag and built-in air release purge valve keeps bag compact and dry while you're on your next adventure."
It's a well made bag that just sits right on the bike.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CAPACITY: 10L or 15L options
MATERIAL: Polyethylene / Anti-slip PU leather / Nylon / Engineering grade polymer
Lightweight, durable, water repellent and stain resistant
BAG ATTACHMENT: Holster with hook and loop fastener and buckle fastener
WATERPROOF RATING: 10,000 mm (waterproof inner bag)
MAX LOAD: 5kg/11lb
ADDED FEATURES: Waterproof carry bag, Air release purge valve, Attachable rear light strap, Optional BackLoader Wishbone
SIZE: 46 x 24 x 22 cm / 18.1in x 9.4in x 8.7in (10 L), 51 x 24 x 22 cm / 20.1in x 9.4in x 8.7in (15
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Waterproof, and just really well designed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fits very well to the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It could do with a few reflectives to complete it.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than a lot of bags of this design, such as the Brooks mentioned, and it's similar in price to the Wildcat – and that's for the harness only.
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
I'm very impressed with this – it's been designed to fit the saddle and seatpost very well, and setup is very easy too. The quality is great and for this kind of design, it's good value.
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!