12 Budget-Friendly Bikepacking Seat Bags

Intrigued by the idea of pedaling off toward the horizon with a go-anywhere bike and some lightweight camping gear?

Then you’re most likely going to need a bikepacking seat bag.

In the bikepacking style, seat packs often take the place of a rear rack and panniers. The narrow profile is helpful for mountain biking on technical singletrack, easing tricky hike-a-bikes, and reducing wind resistance when you’re cruising. The smaller volume encourages a more minimalist packing list, which pays off hugely on challenging terrain. Soft mounts make seatpost bags lighter than a rack, more resilient to knocks, and easier to remove from the bike when needed. In short, if you’re in search of a fast-and-light bike luggage setup and/or off-pavement adventures, you’re probably considering a seatpost bag.

Plus, they look cool. Something about that strangely shaped bag hovering improbably above a knobby rear tire just screams “adventure!”

Bikepacking in New Mexico with one of the budget seat bags from this list.

Unfortunately, they can be expensive. A full-size bikepacking saddle bag from a premium manufacturer like Revelate Designs or Porcelain Rocket (now Rockgeist) will run you at least $150, maybe even north of $200.

To be clear, I’m very much in favor of supporting these companies. Many are small, locally and ethically run, and have been major players in the evolution of bikepacking as a sport. Many seat bags in this category have been thoroughly tested and reviewed by bikepacking.com, and if you have the cash to afford a top-notch product I suggest you check them out.

For the rest of us though, there’s no need to let budget stand in the way of enjoying pedal-powered adventures. Affordable bikepacking seat bags have been popping up all over the place during 2019 and 2020! When I saw that REI now produces a Co-op branded seat pack, I realized it was time to create this list. If you’re itching to try bikepacking but budget is holding you back, I hope this will help you take the plunge.

Related: Creative Gear Ideas for Bikepacking on a Budget

This list contains every cheap bikepacking seat pack I’m aware of (for now, until more pop up!) that can be bought at full price for under $100. Some are even under $50! Most of them are sold on Amazon, but a few can be found elsewhere. I’ve listed them in increasing order of stated capacity starting at 10 liters, which is a pretty typical moderate size for an overnight or multiday bikepacking trip.

To be clear (I believe transparency in online content is so important these days), I haven’t tried most of these seat bags personally. I have, however, done the legwork to gather all the options here and offer my perspective. My own bikepacking journey began with a cheap RockBros seat bag at a time when I would never have shelled out for premium one, so I have a lot of appreciation for affordable bikepacking bags and how then can help more people discover one of my favorite activities ever.

Without further ado, here’s the complete list of most affordable bikepacking seat packs for under $100. Read on past the product listings for advice on which features are most important, how to choose your seat bag, and how to pack it once it arrives.

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you buy through them.

Rhinowalk Saddle Bag

Max Capacity: 10 L
Weight: 1.1 lbs / 17.6 oz
Features: shock cord, strip of light clips, waterproof
Price: $46.99

A sturdy waterproof seat bag with convenient features like shock cord and multiple light clips, for an affordable price.

Lixada Saddle Bag

Max Capacity: 10 L
Weight: ?
Features: shock cord, light clip, waterproof, external zip pocket on style 1, reflective markings on style 2
Price: $35.99

This seat bag currently comes in two styles which look to have same capacity but slightly different features. It has a solid 4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with over 80 reviews, which is impressive for a bag at this price point.

Roswheel Tail Bag

Max Capacity: 10 L
Weight: 0.77 lbs / 12.3 oz
Exposed seat post needed: 5″
Features: light clip, reflective markings, waterproof
Price: $26.00

This is currently the cheapest bikepacking seat bag in the whole list, and it looks like a great value. It lacks shock cord on top, which I personally love for stashing extra layers or small stuff sacks, but if you don’t need that extra capacity this looks like a solid choice. It’s also fairly lightweight.

Topeak Backloader Seat Bag

Max Capacity: 10 L
Weight: 1.1 lbs / 17 oz
Features: light clip, water resistant with waterproof inner bag
Price: $84.95

Topeak is a respected maker of quality affordable bike bags, including a touring-style handlebar bag I used for years. This seat bag (and its larger version below) look to be good quality and include locking buckles to minimize sagging. Also comes in a low-key green color for those craving something besides black.

Lone Peak Expedition Seat Bag

Max Capacity: 10 L?
Weight: 0.7 lb / 11.5 oz
Features: water resistant
Price: $84.95

The Lone Peak stands out as the only bag in this list that’s made in the USA, and the only one available in red (or any color other besides black, for that matter). It seems to be good quality but lacks extra bells and whistles like shock cord and light clip. The “max capacity” on Lone Peak’s website is listed as 17.9 liters, but based on the weight and picture I’m guessing that’s not right. The Amazon listing Q&A mentions 10 liters, which seems much more likely.

Max Capacity: 11 L
Weight: 0.94 lbs / 15 oz
Features: shock cord, light clip, locking buckles, tent pole sleeve(!), water resistant with 2 water resistant stuff sacks included
Price: $79.95

It’s official, bikepacking must be mainstream, because REI now has a branded bikepacking seat bag. Their products are usually a great mix of quality and value, and this affordable quality seat pack looks no different. It’s one of few in this list to feature locking buckles which are great for preventing sagging on rough terrain, and the tent pole sleeve is an ingenious addition.

Zefal Z-Adventures Saddle Bag – 11 L

Max Capacity: 11 L
Weight: 1.1 lbs / 18.3 oz
Features: shock cord, locking buckles, waterproof
Price: $49.99

Like the REI seat pack above, this bag from respected cycling company Zefal has locking buckles. That alone would be enough to win me over, but the price is great too, and the Amazon listing has a very impressive 4.4 star rating from over 100 reviews. My guess is that this, or its larger cousin down below, is an excellent budget seat bag choice.

Moosetreks Seatpost Bag – Small

Max Capacity: 11 L
Weight: 0.8 lbs / 13 oz
Saddle to tire clearance needed: 6″
Exposed seat post needed: 3″
Features: shock cord, water repellent
Price: $79.99

This simple budget seat bag comes in two sizes; see below for the larger version. Moosetreks is one of the better-known makers of budget bike bags; I still use their frame bag with nearly 10,000 miles on it – and just a bit of torn stitching – on my touring bike.

RockBros Seat Bag

Max Capacity: 14 L
Weight: 1.4 lbs / 20 oz
Saddle to tire clearance needed: 7″
Exposed seat post needed: 7″
Features: shock cord, light clips, waterproof
Price: $68.99

Though competitors now abound, RockBros was one of the original affordable bikepacking seat bags. It’s on the heavier side and needs 6-7″ of seat post but is very full-featured, with a long strip of light clips and a clever shaped seat post mount to reduce sway. I’ve used this bag extensively; see my detailed review here.

Topeak Backloader Seat Bag – 15 L

Max Capacity: 15 L
Weight: 1.25 lbs / 20 oz
Features: light clip, water resistant with waterproof inner bag
Price: $89.95

Topeak is a respected maker of quality affordable bike bags, including a touring-style handlebar bag I used for years. This seat bag (and its smaller version above) look to be good quality and include locking buckles to minimize sagging. Also comes in a low-key green color for those craving something besides black.

Moosetreks Seatpost Bag – Large

Max Capacity: 16.5 L
Weight: 1.3 lbs / 21 oz
Saddle to tire clearance needed: 7″
Exposed seat post needed: 6″
Features: shock cord, waterproof
Price: $79.99

This large version from Moosetreks looks similar in design and shape to the RockBros bag above. Moosetreks is one of the better-known makers of budget bike bags; I still use their frame bag with nearly 10,000 miles on it – and just a bit of torn stitching – on my touring bike.

Zefal Z-Adventures Saddle Bag – 17 L

Max Capacity: 17 L
Weight: 1.4 lbs / 22 oz
Features: shock cord, locking buckles, waterproof
Price: $55.95

As with the smaller version above, this seat bag looks like a great buy. Locking buckles and a 4.4 star rating on Amazon make it stand out from most other budget seat packs, yet the price is very reasonable.

Defiance Pak RATT Bikepacking Bag

Max Capacity: ?
Weight: ?
Features: water resistant, light clip
Price: $35.99

I couldn’t find a capacity listed for this seat bag, though it looks comparable to the other mid-size bags in this list. It has a 3.7 star rating on Amazon, with the most common complaint being loosening buckles leading to sagging. However, it’s been around for several years and the price is hard to beat.

What to Look For

Wondering how to choose between all these budget seat bags? Here are some considerations.

Capacity: Bigger is not always better when it comes to saddle bags. Though it is convenient to have the space for an extra-warm jacket or flask of whiskey, an overstuffed seat bag can be unwieldy. If you mostly do overnighters in fair weather, 10 liters is probably enough, but riders on longer trips or with more elaborate gear requirements will usually appreciate having more space. All of these bags compact down to much less than their stated capacity, so it’s really just the top end you need to consider.

All max capacities listed above are taken from the product listings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s wiggle room in how different manufacturers measure this. It’s often possible to overstuff a seat bag by just barely rolling the end closed, with tradeoffs like light clips not being in the right place and waterproofing being compromised.

Tire clearance: Not all seat bags fit on all bikes. In particular, riders on small bike frames with 29er tires often struggle with tire rub, especially if riding on rough surfaces. Full-suspension mountain bikes have a similar issue. Low-quality buckles make this worse as the straps slip longer over time. For these riders I would especially recommend paying a little more for one of the models with locking buckles (REI, Topeak, or Zefal).

Locking buckles: One of the most common issues with budget seat bags is sagginess and loosening buckles. If you ride pavement this will probably be tolerable, but if you ride gravel and trails you may quickly get tired of stopping to tighten straps. Especially if you have tight tire clearance, I suggest choosing a seat bag with locking buckles like the REI, Topeak, or Zefal models.

Shock cord: A web of stretchy cord on top of your seat bag can be very convenient. I use mine for stashing extra layers I’ll need during the day (tether them carefully!) and for expanding my luggage capacity with an extra stuff sack or two. If you choose a bag that doesn’t have them, you might be able to make due with a long Voile strap or other creative solution.

Light clips: Some of these seat bags have a single clip for a tail light, some have a whole strip (so there’s always one in the right place no matter how full the bag is), and some have none. I like this feature for riding safely on roads, but you can work around it if needed. Some lights can mount on your seat stays, or you can roll the end of the seat bag upward instead of downward to create a makeshift light clip.

Waterproof versus water resistant: It’s certainly a nice feature to have a fully waterproof seat bag, but I wouldn’t consider it a deal breaker. Some cheap bikepacking seatpost bags may not be as waterproof as advertised, and it’s always wise to have a backup anyway. In wet weather I line my seat bag with a kitchen trash bag, and/or enclose critical items in dry sacks, regardless of whether it’s advertised as waterproof or just water resistant.

Using shock cord for extra capacity

Seat Bag Packing Tips

Once your shiny new seat bag arrives, here are some packing tips to get you started on the right foot.

What goes in a seat pack? Seat bags are good for bulky stuff that’s relatively lightweight (heavy stuff should go lower to the ground if possible). This usually means clothing, a sleeping bag, or part of your tent. If you must put heavier items like food in your seat bag, try to put them closer to the seat post to minimize sway.

Read next: How to Pack for Bikepacking

Pack carefully to reduce sagging and drooping. Even expensive seat bags will sag if not packed carefully, so try these tricks:

  • Ditch stuff sacks and compact soft items into a single block that’s as solid as possible. Shove the innermost items all the way into the furthest corner, closest to the seat post.
  • Use something stiff, like a sandal or tent poles or Kindle e-reader, in the bottom of the pack to create a stiffer surface that won’t droop onto the tire.
  • Pack the bag tightly with the saddle rail straps a little loose, then cinch them tight to compact the contents even further.
Overloaded and poorly packed seat bag, looking droopy.

More Bikepacking Resources

If you’re looking for a budget seat bag, you might also enjoy these other bikepacking posts:

Or, see the full bikepacking resources list here!

About the Author

Hi there, I’m Alissa. I’ve traveled over 17,000 miles by bike and still can’t stop planning my next ride (and helping you plan yours). Pavement and panniers or singletrack and seat bag, I love it all. On my bike I feel free. Learn more or say hi.

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